Importing or exporting caviar
Caviar is the processed roe (eggs) of sturgeons, paddlefish and other members of the Acipenseriformes order of fish (roe of other fish species is generally not subject to regulation).
Species of sturgeon include Baltic, shovelnose, Atlantic, beluga, sevruga, paddlefish, shovelfish and white shovelnose. Most are very slow growing, often taking more that 25 years to reach reproductive maturity, making them particularly vulnerable.
All sturgeon species have been included in CITES Appendix I or II in response to the decline in their wild populations as a result of unregulated international trade.
You will need a re–export permit to export any caviar that has been legally imported into Australia. The permit will be subject to any conditions legally imposed at the time of import.
You will generally need a permit to legally import caviar.
If the specimens are CITES Appendix II listed species, you will need an export permit from the exporting country's CITES management authority before any application for an Australian import permit. You will need a copy of the export permit to support your import permit application.
Caviar of a CITES Appendix I listed species must be sourced from a captive breeding operation registered with the CITES Secretariat (there are currently no such operations registered).
If the import is for commercial purposes and the caviar is a declared specimen that has not been bred in captivity, you must demonstrate that it has been harvested as part of an approved commercial import program. There is no approved commercial import program for caviar of the beluga sturgeon (Huso huso) originating from the Caspian Sea.
Special permits and exemptions
You will not need a permit to legally export or import up to 125g of caviar in accompanied baggage for personal purposes.
Customs and quarantine
Exports and imports of wildlife and wildlife products may also be subject to regulation under the Customs Act 1901 (administered by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service ) and the Quarantine Act 1908 (administered by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service ).