Mid-Autumn festival mooncakes a biosecurity risk

5 September 2021

Biosecurity officers are on the lookout for mooncakes and other gifts from overseas with the approaching Mid-Autumn festival, also known as the Moon Festival.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said it is important that importers and consumers check biosecurity conditions before ordering gifts.

“Australia has strict biosecurity conditions to ensure goods do not carry pest and disease risks that could impact our agricultural industries and environment,” Minister Littleproud said.

“In the lead up to and during Mid-Autumn festival, there is an increased likelihood of some potentially risky items being sent here. 

“Traditional gifts such as meat-filled mooncakes, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables such as pomelo, star fruit and taro, pose a serious biosecurity risk. 

“Fillings such as pork can carry African swine fever, which is a serious disease that kills about 80 per cent of the pigs it infects and could cost our pork industries up to $319 million in production losses per year.

“Plant products such as fresh fruits and vegetables could bring exotic pests and diseases such as citrus canker into Australia.

“Mooncakes and other gifts that do not meet our strict biosecurity requirements will be destroyed or exported, so it's crucial to follow our conditions and correctly declare any goods.

“You can avoid disappointment and delays by ensuring your friends and family overseas also know what isn't permitted into Australia.

“At the same time, you are playing a valuable part in keeping Australia's agricultural industries and unique environment safe from exotic pests and diseases.'

For more information, visit awe.gov.au/mid-autumn-moon-festival.

Fast Facts:

  • Mid-Autumn festival gifts that are not permitted into Australia:
    • mooncakes containing meat
    • fresh fruits and vegetables such as fresh pomelo, star fruit and taro
    • Mid-Autumn festival gifts that are permitted into Australia but must be declared:
    • commercially prepared and packaged mooncakes that do not contain meat
    • mooncakes with egg yolks (no meat)
    • chocolate mooncakes.