Wanting to Bring Ceremonial Dagger from Malaysia to Australia

Hi all,

Currently in Malaysia and have found a beautiful curved Arab dagger. The blade is completely dull and is about 15cm long. Can anyone give me any info on what the easiest way to get this into Australia (SA) is?

I only have a single carry on backpack with me so was thinking posting it might be the way to go but don't want to buy it, pay for shipping and then end up having it confiscated at customs




    Probably ok in checked luggage if you can do that?


    Not sure, I heard from someone once though that it needs to be bigger then 15cm, anything smaller then that is a concealable and can't be brought in. No idea if correct though, something to do with it being a knife and is hideable, but no worries if you want to bring over a samurai sword or something lol.

    Would be happy to be corrected though, I heard this many years ago.


      If it's double edged (which a dagger is), needs to be over 40cm


        Where did you learn this?


    Just mail it to yourself or family in australia, and label it chefs knife.


    Just consider it a letter opener and put it in checked luggage.

  • +3 votes
  • +5 votes

    I buy 3-4 knives from overseas every year. About 1/3 of them is opened and checked by customs.

    A dagger is double edged and instantly confiscated, however, if it is sufficiently dull, if can be classified as decorative only. Whether it falls under weapon or decoration becomes discretionary.

    Either way, it will not make it as a carry on. No chance.

    Ps. If it is a Kris, it has its origins in Java. It is not in anyway related to the middle East.

    • +1 vote

      As tshow says, it will be confiscated.

      My ex has a beautiful collection of Kris, including a very old one he bought on a trip to Yogjakarta. At the time he had not thought at all about importing it - just purchased it because it is a beautiful object.

      When we got to Melbourne airport it was confiscated, but because he had declared it, it was not destroyed. Instead, it was sent for review by Customs and after about 6 months (and a lot of research on his behalf) he was allowed to pay a lot of money for it and keep it.

      During the time it was with Customs, ha was able to research into the history of such objects and provide them with evidence that it was a cultural artefact and as such a collectible (as in antique) rather than a weapon. I think part of the cost that he had to pay was to obtain a permit for it. There was no way he would have been able to bring it in if it was a straight bladed Kris, and also if it did not have the decorative sheath in which it is encased. The age of the item, the sheath and the damascene patterned and engraved wavy blade all indicated that its primary purpose was not as a weapon (at least not now in our society, even though that was its original function).


      It's a janbiya

      It's incredibly dull, completely rounded off


        You almost have no chance for that one because of the curved tip as well as a double edge.

        You can probably get it in as a collector but that would be via shipping and there's paperwork. Not a impulse purchase level of commitment.


          Ah damn! Ah well, thanks for the help!


          Just had a thought, if I was to buy a longer janbiya would it be classified as a sword? From my limited research it looks like it's easier to import swords vs daggers


            @Heracles26: It is easier to import swords than daggers.

            Swords cannot be concealed and cannot be used discreetly.


              @tshow: Is the main difference length of the blade?


    Thanks all, not worth the trouble I think


    We went the other way, 2 daggers (family memorabilia) from Melbourne to Hong Kong for family continuity.

    We declared everything at security at the airport, and on instruction removed them from our luggage. They confirmed them with X-Ray first.

    They were quite safe, we had them secured together with opposing end to end with strong Zip-Locks, also well wrapped with even more Zip-Locks, making fast access very difficult.

    Who knows what checks they did about us, didn't care either. The still wrapped daggers were given to the pilot who carried them to the H.K. airport.

    At H.K. airport we were approached by a security staffer when collecting our luggage. That person took us to a security window where they handed the daggers to us, No I.D. checks of any sort was required. So I guess we passed all tests.

    Honesty, up front open and clear revelation of our needs made it an enjoyable and successful experience.