Will I face greater scrutiny entering Australia from Thailand?

Old Jan 29, 19, 1:22 am
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Will I face greater scrutiny entering Australia from Thailand?

[Moderator edit of text related to another thread.]

I'll soon be arriving for a 3 day visit, travelling from Thailand. Watching these Border Force type programs in the UK it seems I could be a target for increased customs scrutiny. I won't have anything dodgy, except perhaps a belly full of beer, but what sort of delays should I expect under normal circumstances and also if I'm held for inspection?

Last edited by Ocn Vw 1K; Jan 29, 19 at 1:18 pm Reason: See note above - this was split-off from another thread on a different topic.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 3:12 am
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[off topic]

Originally Posted by ft101 View Post
As the OP has his/her answer,can I tag another question on here?

I'll soon be arriving for a 3 day visit, travelling from Thailand. Watching these Border Force type programs in the UK it seems I could be a target for increased customs scrutiny. I won't have anything dodgy, except perhaps a belly full of beer, but what sort of delays should I expect under normal circumstances and also if I'm held for inspection?
99% of people have no issues
Declare any & all food/wood/vegetable matter. Or better still bring nothing. They do have dogs in customs. They have good noses. For flights is Thailand they may have more on duty.
At MEL I am usually landside, with checked bag, 10-15-20 minutes after aircraft door opens using the kiosk for e-passports. But never have been sent for customs bag Xray (usually coming in from NZ).

[on topic]

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Jan 29, 19 at 3:47 am
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Old Jan 29, 19, 4:30 am
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Originally Posted by ft101 View Post
I'll soon be arriving for a 3 day visit, travelling from Thailand. Watching these Border Force type programs in the UK it seems I could be a target for increased customs scrutiny. I won't have anything dodgy, except perhaps a belly full of beer, but what sort of delays should I expect under normal circumstances and also if I'm held for inspection?
They're looking for two types of people: Drug smugglers and Asians bearing food. As long you don't fit the profile of either, it's more than likely you'll be waved through.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 8:07 am
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Originally Posted by ft101 View Post
As the OP has his/her answer,can I tag another question on here?

I'll soon be arriving for a 3 day visit, travelling from Thailand. Watching these Border Force type programs in the UK it seems I could be a target for increased customs scrutiny. I won't have anything dodgy, except perhaps a belly full of beer, but what sort of delays should I expect under normal circumstances and also if I'm held for inspection?
I think if Border Force read this and can track you down, they'll be giving you a very thorough examination!!

Drugs, food and working illegally are the things they are looking at. Don't bring the first, declare the second and be prepared to evidence what you will be doing with your time. Saying you are going to work interviews would probably raise a red flag.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 2:43 pm
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BKK isn't the largest hub in Asia, but still lots of people connect there onward to Europe, etc. I don't really think there's any reason to worry.

Under normal circumstances, people are not delayed by customs inspectors.

Last edited by CPMaverick; Jan 29, 19 at 2:54 pm
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Old Jan 30, 19, 12:21 am
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Thanks all. I should have mentioned it's SYD I'll be arriving at if it makes any difference.

One tale that sticks in my mind from a few years ago was that it's a good idea to declare food, even if it's just a boiled sweet. The idea was that the queue would be much shorter and you would actually get out quicker than using the regular "Nothing to Declare" exit. Any truth in this or just a fairy story?
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Old Jan 30, 19, 3:48 am
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Originally Posted by ft101 View Post
Thanks all. I should have mentioned it's SYD I'll be arriving at if it makes any difference.

One tale that sticks in my mind from a few years ago was that it's a good idea to declare food, even if it's just a boiled sweet. The idea was that the queue would be much shorter and you would actually get out quicker than using the regular "Nothing to Declare" exit. Any truth in this or just a fairy story?
I think everyone goes through the same queue now. Once you talk to an agent you are passed directly to the exit, or passed off to a declaration lane. At least I think that is the case.

Regardless, you should declare any food products, even prepackaged ones.

http://www.agriculture.gov.au/SiteCo...-factsheet.pdf
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Old Jan 30, 19, 5:59 am
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Originally Posted by ft101 View Post
Thanks all. I should have mentioned it's SYD I'll be arriving at if it makes any difference.

One tale that sticks in my mind from a few years ago was that it's a good idea to declare food, even if it's just a boiled sweet. The idea was that the queue would be much shorter and you would actually get out quicker than using the regular "Nothing to Declare" exit. Any truth in this or just a fairy story?
It's a lot quicker to just go through the nothing to declare channel, it really moves fast. Only declare food if it is one of the types listed on the landing card, a boiled sweet is not.

Landing card here...
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Old Feb 1, 19, 4:50 pm
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Originally Posted by dddc View Post

Drugs, food and working illegally are the things they are looking at.
Child sex offenders is the third.

However, as someone who has travelled to/from Thailand at least twice a year for several years I get from plane door to arrival hall in minutes.

I once declared Milo from Singapore and Thailand. The Milo from Singapore was fine but not from Thailand. The reason being it has milk in it and there are concerns about how it's processed. I declared it (both on the form and verbally) and then surrendered it, it wasn't an issue and I've never had any adverse consequences.
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Old Feb 2, 19, 2:42 am
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I am Asian, usually travel alone and arrive from HKG or BKK into the capitals of all states (except TAS), so I might be a target for "increased customs scrutiny".

I never have anything to declare and tick no to everything on the form. Since 2009, I have been waved through straight to the exit.

In 2009 everyone had to put their bags through an X-ray. Prior to that, every traveller entering at the same time as me, had an individual manual inspection which took between 1 to 15 mins.

I do bring in something which is completely legal and does not need to be declared, but if found by customs, they might choose to keep me for 10 minutes while verifying this. But they have not done so yet.
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Old Feb 3, 19, 3:47 am
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
I am Asian, usually travel alone and arrive from HKG or BKK into the capitals of all states (except TAS), so I might be a target for "increased customs scrutiny".
How long are your visits typically? The 3 day duration I thought was another flag, as well as the origin point.
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Old Feb 4, 19, 7:29 am
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My last three and next trip to Thailand were all under three days and I’ve never had anything remotely resembling extra scrutiny. About 800,000 Australians travel to Thailand every year, really, don’t over think it.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 2:41 am
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My three days is in Australia, not Thailand and I'm not Australian, so not quite the same, but as you suggest I won't think too much about it.

More thinking about the time I should allow.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 12:38 pm
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Originally Posted by ft101 View Post
How long are your visits typically? The 3 day duration I thought was another flag, as well as the origin point.
Usually less than 6 days

I am Australian but customs doesn't care about your citizenship
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Old Feb 5, 19, 7:05 pm
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Originally Posted by :D! View Post
I am Australian but customs doesn't care about your citizenship
I would tend to disagree. Customs won't give Australians a free pass, but you would not convince me that Australians are treated equally to non-Australians in every case.
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