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Aussie traveller hit with $2,664 fine after failing to declare Subway sandwich at airport

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Aussie traveller hit with $2,664 fine after failing to declare Subway sandwich at airport
‘I’ll probably cry... I just paid $2,664 for my Subway. Don’t copy my expensive mistakes.’
Cindy Tran / Lifestyle / Updated 2 days ago

A young traveller has expressed her frustration after she copped a $2,664 fine for failing to declare her Subway sandwich.

Jessica Lee, from Perth, bought a foot-long Subway at Singapore airport while waiting for her flight home to Australia.

After she ate six inches of the sandwich, the 19-year-old decided to save the other half for her flight.

But she ended up not eating the rest during the journey home.

Upon presenting at Australian Customs, she was given a hefty fine - because she didn’t declare two ingredients in her sandwich - chicken and lettuce.

“Probably will cry. Basically just paid $2,664 for my Subway just from Singapore,” Jessica said in a TikTok video.


“It is my mistake but basically I bought a foot long Subway at Singapore airport because I was a hungry girl after my 11-hour flight.

“I ate six inches before my second flight and then saved the other six inches for my flight, which they [cabin crew] were more than happy with, they were fine with that.”

Struggling to hold her anger in, Jessica said things didn’t go to plan when she landed in Australia.

“I didn’t eat it on the plane,” she explained.

Expensive rookie mistake
Jessica said she didn’t declare her food because she assumed the form only applied to pre-purchased items in carry-on suitcases and check-in luggage.

“I didn’t tick chicken and I didn’t tick lettuce. Chicken and lettuce,” she said.

“And that is a nice little $2,664... to be paid in 28 days.

“Such an expensive rookie mistake.”

Rubbing salt into the wound, Jessica appeared defeated as she revealed she was unemployed after she quit her job to go on her European trip.

“I have rent to pay,” she said.

Jessica added: “I am very aware this is my mistake and I do take ownership, I am paying the fine.”

but by sharing her experience, she urged everyone to “don’t copy my expensive mistakes”.


Infringements up to $2,664 can be issued for breaches of the Biosecurity Act by travellers who fail to declare or make false declarations.

“Our biosecurity system works both at the border and here at home to prevent and respond to the arrival and spread of harmful pests and diseases,” a Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry spokeswoman told 7NEWS.com.au.

“Those pests and diseases could disrupt our agricultural industries, our natural environment and our national economy.

“Food and ingredients that have not met our biosecurity standards (or cannot be shown to have met them) are common and high-risk pathways for these threats.”

All meat products and vegetables must be declared on the Incoming Passenger Card, which is a legal document.

Biosecurity requirements
You must mark “YES” on your card to declare if you are carrying certain food, plant material or animal products.

You can take these declared goods with you to the clearance point where they will be assessed by a biosecurity officer and may be inspected.

Alternatively, you can voluntarily dispose of food items in bins located in the terminal.

All travellers coming to Australia must be aware of the country’s strict biosecurity requirements and the penalties for not complying with those requirements.

You may be issued an infringement notice if a biosecurity officer finds goods in your baggage that you have failed to declare on your IPC or not answer questions truthfully.


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I believe it's a common sense that most of the countries do not allow that meat/vegs/fruits to be brought in?

But $2664 is way too heavy fine.

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Australia and New Zealand are famous for this - they're way too harsh with penalties.

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