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Importing Coffee

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  • Importing Coffee

    Does anyone know hoe difficult it is to get an import permit to bring in green beans?
    I just got back from visiting a mate whod just received his regular supply of roasted beans from his friend, one (chief?)of the coffee inspectors in Hawaii. The coffee wasnt that good after spending 12 weeks in the post, but if we could get primo green Kona, it might be worth a try

  • #2
    Re: Importing Coffee

    Im going to Kona in September and was doing a bit of research on this.

    Basically, 5kg and under is deemed non commercial.
    The advice I got from AQIS was that the permits would cost around the $30 dollar mark (I have the exact figure at home). Im considering going ahead with it, just so I can have some Kona that I know is fresh. However, with over 300 plantations, the next issue is finding a quality green.

    As a starting point, I would have a poke around the website:
    and have a look through the ICON database.

    I ended up sending a question via the website and got a response a couple of days later.



    • #3
      Re: Importing Coffee


      Just spoke to Mark, hes emailing his mate in HI to get info on the plantations for you. Hes the state coffee inspector, so he should know.,giventhat he receives samples from all the plantations, then roasts, cups and grades them



      • #4
        Re: Importing Coffee

        Thank you muchly.

        Looking forward to some names.

        This was the question I asked AQIS:
        Subject: Query regarding green coffee beans from Hawaii

        Comments: I am visiting Hawaii in September and was wondering what measures are required to bring less than 5kg of green coffee beans home for private use (I roast my own coffee). I have had a look in ICON and found what looks like a relevant document. Condition C8678 tells me that if I import less than 5kg, it is deemed non-commercial and that an Import Permit is required. Is this the case if I am bringing the goods into the country personally? If so, which type of permit should I apply for? Thank you.
        This is the email response I got:
        If its in your luggage it will still be considered non-commercial; a permit will be required. The link below will take you to the correct form on our website:

        The permit will cost $33 if you apply online.
        Now, it could be read to say you could bring more than 5kg back in your luggage and still be considered non-commercial, but I doubt that I would want to try and lug more than 5kg back anyway.



        • #5
          Re: Importing Coffee

          Found this old post, and have an update... Its definitely a 5 KG limit for non-commercial importation. Worthy of note, online application of a valid permit. Partially digested green coffee is not allowed. Green coffee must be in new packaging and free of all insects etc.

          Its now $125 ($85 to lodge a permit, and $40 to asses it), which makes it far more expensive than buying here... So unless you can buy green coffee dirt cheap overseas and you really want a specific coffee...

          From the AQIS website:

          Condition PC0660
          The following conditions apply to green coffee beans from the country of export specified. The coffee beans may be grown in any country of origin.
          Trade samples and personal consignments of green coffee beans are deemed non-commercial if they weigh 5kg or less. If the consignment is over 5kg the conditions under the commercial section apply.

          These conditions do not apply to coffee that has been partially digested through the alimentary tract of animals (e.g. Kopi Luwak/Civet coffee).


          1. All consignments must be accompanied by a valid Import Permit or by a means to allow the identification of the Import Permit.

          2. All packaging used with the consignment must be clean and new.

          3. Each consignment will be subject to an inspection to verify that the beans are free of live insects and other quarantine risk material.

          4. If the consignment does not meet the above conditions it will require treatment as detailed in the Commercial permit conditions below.

          5. If the above conditions are met, the consignment can be released for processing.

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          • #6
            Re: Importing Coffee

            ...and you need that permit from each import country.

            ...and if you freight it, sometimes customs will randomly inspect the <5kg sample and change an additional $180 +GST to clear it (even with the annual permits in place)

            ...and sometimes even when flying in and holding the permit and beans in your hand you will have a fight with the customs agent at the airport that takes an hour to resolve.

            Ive had all the above and even more fun getting under 5kg sample lots into Oz.

            It would be easier to pay a drug mule sometimes


            • #7
              Re: Importing Coffee

              Can you imagine someone getting hauled over the coals...

              "He was found with 120 packets of green coffee beans strapped to his body. The 4 kilo haul, if roasted, was worth around $80.

              The penalty for this offence was a maximum of 10 years in prison. Joe Citizen was fined $35 and had his beans confiscated."