Australia has some of the strictest regulations on the sale of therapeutic goods, which include vitamins, minerals and other products claiming to be natural health products which make claim to health benefits. Only Germany has tighter regulations.
Generally, you can get them through Customs unless they contain raw or suspect materials. Customs might choose to fumigate the raw goods, and will certainly hold back any considered suspect in regards to drug importation.
But even if you get them through Customs, you still won’t be able to make health claims about the products unless these claims are approved by the Government.
Vitamin products containing ingredients such as herbs, vitamins, minerals, nutritional supplements, homoeopathic and certain aromatherapy preparations, are referred to as ‘complementary medicines’ and are regulated as medicines under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.
To find out what goods are allowed you can visit the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) website which is part of the Department of Health. This site will also explain what claims you can make about your products.
To make health and healing claims you have to be able to support those claims with verified, peer-reviewed academic research. This has to be approved by the TGA. You are then provided with a TGA number which must be displayed on your product. You are sure to have a vitamin product in your cupboard – check out the label to see what is required just as an example. Each product is different.
For more information on this topic, see our previous article Importing Health Supplements Or Protein Powders.