Recently, we returned from a trip to Bali. Whilst there I did some homewares shopping so of course had to declare these on my way through Sydney Airport.
One of the products was a bag, made of woven products and leather. The Customs Officer tapped it on the table and out came a couple of tiny dead bugs and one live bug. I was surprised by this as I had bought it from a reputable shop and not simply at the markets – but bugs don’t discern!
The Customs Officer informed me she would have to seize and destroy the bag. The only remaining option was to pay $100 to have it treated and returned in 6 weeks. Sadly I chose to have it destroyed.
She did point out to me though, for any future trips, whilst in the country of purchase, to buy some insect spray and spray the product thoroughly. If possible the product could also be placed in a freezer for two days. This would definitely help towards killing any unseen insects. Of course it would still need to be declared on return to Australia.
It’s interesting also to note that these bugs can come from first world countries as well, not just from places like Bali, Vietnam or Thailand.
So keep this in mind next time you travel and it may just save you some heartache of losing your your much-loved purchases.
This article appeared in our April 2018 newsletter – written by Chris Mason