I was under the impression that Australia was somewhat restrictive. Not as bad as the United States and certainly not as severe as New Zealand. Who ever is telling you otherwise should spend a little time on the Biosecurity Web Pages
of your government's Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
You may wish to consult with Sean Spence who is a member on this and many of the other CP fora. I believe he is or was associated with one or more of the agencies in question. He is one of the top Drosera people in Australia and most likely the world.
Mail Order and Internet Purchases
A great deal!
Found a great deal on an overseas internet site? A price that is too good to pass-up, or an item that you can’t get in Australia? It may be therapeutic goods, herbal teas, plants or seeds for the garden, a special breed of reptile or fish, or simply delicious looking food.
You place your order and pay for the goods without checking that they can be legally imported into Australia. The goods you ordered could carry foreign pests and diseases that would place Australia at risk.
What happens next?
When your goods arrive at the Australian border they will be assessed as to whether they can be imported. This includes screening that utilises highly trained detector dogs and sophisticated X–ray machines at international mail centres around Australia.
Some goods may be prohibited and will be seized and destroyed. Other goods may require treatment before they will be permitted into Australia. The cost of any treatment will be at your expense. If any attempt has been made to conceal the goods, for example requesting the supplier to pack goods in a manner designed to hide or make them difficult to identify, the import may be subject to an investigation and possible criminal prosecution.
Want to avoid this happening to you?
When considering purchasing goods from overseas, check that they can be legally imported. Read the information below to make sure that the goods you are buying on the internet won’t be more trouble than they're worth.
By taking the time to check before you buy, you will also be helping protect Australia’s unique flora and fauna, and our agriculture and horticulture industries from potentially devastating foreign pests and diseases.
Tips for mail ordering goods from the internet into Australia
What can’t be mailed to Australia?
– a great starting point on what can’t be mailed to Australia
Passenger and Mail Import Enquiry
- provides information on the goods that DAFF receives the most questions about. If your item doesn’t appear, you will be given the opportunity to email for further advice.
The Australian Import Conditions Database (ICON)
– provides comprehensive information on goods and the conditions under which they can be imported.
If your goods require an import permit, you can obtain an application for an import permit
from the DAFF website or your nearest DAFF office
If your goods are not of biosecurity concern there may be other restrictions, you should also check:
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
Therapeutic Goods Administration
National Registration Authority for Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals
state or territory departments of agriculture.
Biosecurity and international mail
DAFF officers assess all incoming international mail and may screen mail using x-ray, detector dogs or manual inspection, to ensure mail does not contain items tht could harm Australia’s agricultural industries and environment.
What will DAFF remove from international mail items?
The following information is a basic guide to goods you should not mail to Australia.
Any items that contain insects or larvae will be seized and must be treated at the recipient’s expense or destroyed.
Seeds and nuts
Plants and soil
- seeds including vegetable and flower seeds, unidentified seeds, birdseed and some commercially-packaged seeds*
- gifts, ornaments and toys filled with seeds
- pine cones
- raw nuts
- grains and legumes including lentils, popping corn and cereal grains
- raw/green coffee beans.
- all plant material including bulbs, whole plants, cuttings, roots, flowers and stems
- soil, including small souvenir or sentimental samples
- footwear, sporting and camping equipment contaminated with soil, manure or plant material
- gifts, ornaments and toys filled with straw, plant matter, sand or soil.
- tea containing seeds, fruit skin (for example citrus and apple peel) and fruit pieces
- remedies and medicines containing herbs, seeds, bark, fungi and dried plant material*
- dried flower arrangements and potpourri
- dried herbs or leaves
- handicrafts—including wreaths and Christmas decorations—containing seeds, raw nuts, corn, pine cones, grapevines, bark, moss, straw or other plant material
- wooden items with bark or signs of insects present.
Bottom line is while Biosecurity may allow seed in most cases they do inspect and permits may be required in some cases. You could potentially lose your shipments.
As far as Lowrie goes there are three major concerns with him as a vendor. I'll leave that discussion for some other time. You could search some of the other boards for discussion on seed purchased from him.