The Australian Border Force (ABF) has released a warning advising Australians that they “may face prosecution” if they import CBD products.
CBD (or ‘cannabidiol’) is one of the non-psychoactive components of cannabis. People commonly take CBD as an oil or use it in skincare, beauty and health products. CBD is a fairly safe substance when prepared and used correctly.
However, the ABF has recently released a warning reminding people that it is illegal to CBD into the country. In the warning, the ABF advises “those attempting to import products” containing cannabis or CBD that their packages will be seized and they may face prosecution.
While some CBD products can be imported legally with permission, people who import CBD goods without permission breach the 1901 Customs Act – which prohibits cannabis. The ABF also notes that many products they have seized also make claims that breach the 1989 Therapeutic Goods Act (as in, they claim to cure or treat conditions).
According to the ABF, they have released this warning after noticing a “marked increase” in the number of CBD products that have been intercepted at the border. These products include hemp or CBD gummies, CBD oils, tinctures and skincare products. When the ABF intercepts these goods, they send them to the police for further investigation.
ABF’s Assistant Secretary, Trusted Trader and Trade Compliance, Bret Cox notes that people who are caught bringing CBD products into Australia illegally face “large fines or even imprisonment.” The Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs Jason Wood also says it is people’s responsibility to check if their hemp products are legal before importing them.
People who import these products are not only wasting their money, they risk prosecution. Anyone purchasing goods from overseas has a responsibility to check if they can legally be bought into Australia.
Some hemp products (including hemp seeds and hemp seed oil) can be legally brought into Australia under the Approval for the importation of hemp seeds and hemp derived products guideline. This does not include CBD oil. While CBD oil is commonly made from the flower of cannabis plants, hemp seed oil is made from the seeds of hemp (a subspecies of cannabis with a THC content of 1% or less).