The importation of kava, for food use, is subject to Regulation 5F of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 (PI Regulations) and is prohibited unless the importer holds a permit issued by the Office of Drug Control (ODC). An import permit is required for each consignment that is imported and is only valid for a 6-month period from the day it is issued.
When applying for permission to import, persons must meet certain conditions.
For kava as food:
The applicant must have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and registered to pay GST.
Applications to import kava for commercial use must be 20kg and above.
Kava food product must be imported as air or sea cargo.
Kava food products cannot be imported through the international mail, or on the baggage of an air or sea traveller.
You should not import kava before obtaining a permit from the ODC, or Australian Border Force may seize the goods. Permits cannot be issued after the goods have arrived in Australia.
If a permit is not used within the date specified, you are required to return the permit and triplicate copy of the permit within 14 days of expiry.
Note: Imported kava must also comply with Australia's biosecurity requirements. The forms of kava that are permitted are dried or raw kava root of the Noble variety in the form of kava root chips, kava root powder, or whole kava root and kava beverages (using cold water only). All kava imported as food must be packed in clean and new packaging, and free from biosecurity risk material. Refer to Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON) for more information.
The Department of Health and Aged Care acknowledges First Nations peoples as the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to all Elders both past and present.