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Hendry

Importing a Hookah into Australia?

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Can one legally import a traditional style Hookah (unused without Shisha in the parcel) into Aus? or will it be stopped by customs.I know importing tobacco is frowned upon but was wondering if this extends to hookahs,pipes etc?

Better safe than........stolen by customs.They are a sticky fingered bunch

thanks in advance

Hendry

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I wanted to have a go at selling some on E-Bay last year, as there were very few around on that site. It was a complete tragedy on a few counts. I ordered three of them from the USA just to test the waters, they were retail price, so no profit for me anyway. The asshole in the USA decided that the postage calculation wasnt enough for shipping to Australia after I had paid for the items, so unbeknownst to me he put through another charge for $60 without advising me. Many heated emails later and he still wouldn't honour the fact that he had illegally charged me - I would have cancelled the order if he had contacted me to discuss.

When they arrived, I put them on E-Bay only to have them taken don, and explained to me that it was considered 'drug paraphernalia'. Many angry emails explaining that they are perfectly legal in all states of Australia, that it is a cultural device that many restaurants openly offer in Sydney at least, for diner to have a toke after their meal. Seriously, I could name 10 places in Sydney that do the Hookah, it's a growing trend especially for arabic people who want to go out and socialise, but dont drink alcohol. Regardless, E-Bay stood firm. So I'm stuck with three very expensive hookahs !

To answer your question, they got through customs fine, and I highly doubt that they are illegal, because many tobacconists in certain areas of Sydney openly display them for sale, unlike bongs which are tucked away in a cupboard our under a counter.

If you can wait until the weekend, I can send you some photos of mine, if you want to buy one. Will charge you the price that I should have got them for, with the original postage calculation, not with the extra postage. But you might just find that you can get one from a local cigarette shop anyway :)

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Bit of murky law regarding these. Bongs & waterpipes are illegal in Qld and selling them can get you in serious trouble under the tobacco and smoking laws, but apparently not under drug laws. The question is whether a hooka is a waterpipe or not and it seems law enforcement applies their standards as it suits them.

In NSW it is now illegal to display smoking implements unless you are a licenses tobacconist and follow various restrictions. So you can't advertise hookas online in NSW.

ebay makes its own rules which often go well beyond the law and they will usually also make any restriction from one state apply to all other states.

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^^this

Speaking for NSW, there are several sweets shops I can think of - places to have a coffee, icecream and some pistachio pastrites, and not only have a hookah session, but in the shop in clear public view are more than 30 hookahs for sale. Funnily enough there seems to be no tobacco/molasses mixture on diaplay, but it's available under the counter. This suggests to me that these joints arent licenced tobacco dealers. Something else that is a weird discovery, one restauarant allows hookah smoking in an area that would have an impossible time being considered 'outdoors', and has done for years. No idea how they get away with that. Maybe the local coppers turn a blind eye, but I would have thought there was another body of inspectors doing the rounds, similar to OLGA does for pubs.

ebay makes its own rules which often go well beyond the law and they will usually also make any restriction from one state apply to all other states.

Dont get me started. Theres 10 issues I could rave on about with goddamn ebay.

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LOL this is weird, in melbourne you can't walk a city block without seeing hundreds of bongs. and hookahs. i would have thought that since a hookah is just a bong with a hose on it, any law applying to one would affect the other. that being said i also believe they would get through customs easily. of course i could be wrong. i wish i got a good one when i was in qatar recently but i ran out of room in my bag :(

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a hookah is just a bong with a hose on it

Speaking in terms of appreciating a smoking experience, while they are both based upon the function of water-filtered smoke, I would have to disagree that the two are 'just the same'. A hookah session is a relaxing, intoxicating hour or more on a single bowl, whereas a bong is more a 'punch it down' immediate intake. It's like comparing the experience of taking a shot of cheap white tequila at the bar as opposed to savoring a measure of peated single malt scotch at your leisure.

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frank, bongs are not illegal in Vic, but they are classed as drug paraphernalia in NSW. It is actually a drug offence to sell or own a bong in NSW. However, for over 10 years the cops have had 'discretionary powers' meaning that they do not HAVE TO bust you for a bong, but they can if they WANT TO. Thus bongs have become a widespread item that most people are not aware can get them arrested and their house searched.

There were two issues driving the discretionary powers in NSW. One was police time which is obvious with the number of bongs they would encounter and they would otherwise not be allowed to turn a blind eye to. The other was the recycling lobby. a single piece of garden hose can ruin several tons of recycled PET. The humble orchy bottle bong was singlehandedly making PET recycling in NSW a complete failure.

But even after more than a decade we should never forget that it is still illegal to have a bong in NSW and I wouldn't be surprised if the conservative government scraps the discretionary powers.

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Thus bongs have become a widespread item that most people are not aware can get them arrested and their house searched.

This is of some concern to me. My partner bought a few accessories for her new Wii from an online store based in Honk Kong, and she told me "oh I ordered a bong as well, it was only a few dollars". SHIT ! While I have bought bongs online that were shipped within Australia, I would never risk the customs crossing. She contacted them to cancel this part of the order but it was too late, already dispatched.

Should I be clearing out my cache of consumables around the house in the event of some serious repercussions ? Starting to feel a bit stressed out.

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nope, wouldn't worry. they'd only use the bong if there was a good reason to search, ie if you were already on their radar for drug dealing or something like that.

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If you can wait until the weekend, I can send you some photos of mine

Please do.Thanks!

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My mate recently (last week) had a bong and a pipe shipped from overseas and he received it fine.

I really don't think you will have any issues.

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Update

Was shipped over here fine. labeled "Waterpipe". Parcel arrived unmolested. The cost of shipping it was steep $100-ish( priority and express were the only methods offered? ) Not sure if I got overcharged on shipping. I am happy to get the pipe. Thanks for the replies.

the . gallery_5572_443_768291.jpg

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Nice pic ;)

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lovely piece of equipment.

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I've bought 3 billys on different occasions off everyonedoesit, they're based in Europe I think, bit of a wait bit I've gotten everything fine :) they also do flavourings that come in a dropper, got like 10 flavours was sooooooooo gooooood!!

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That's a wicked looking hookah btw :)

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That's a wicked looking hookah btw :)

Thanks

I originally figured on getting a traditional style hookah but most of them are dedicated 1,2,3,or 4 hose models . I couldn't decide on #of hoses. Some cultures employ one hose exclusively. …. Then again much to be said for dual hose set up when entertaining to suppress bogarting. Others figure multihosed variants come at the expense of how good it draws? All I know about hookahs I read online(no practical experience really). So essentially I have no idea what I'm talking about.

I wound up getting a "modern" style one the Mya Colossus ($225) from a site in Texas(hookah shisha) itis made in China. The advantages to the setup are the ability to convert it from a one,two,three or four hose easily if you feel like it. It accepts "auto close" hose adaptors so when using multiple hoses the people your smoking with don't have to remember to cover their hose end for you to get a decent hit. This works by a small ball bearing inside of the hose connector/valve . Thing is pretty topheavy but it works fine and the parts interchange so you can remove the top two ball stem section and set it up as a foot or so shorter hookah than its original 40 inch configuration. Out of the box it tends to lean a little bit this can be fixed by reinforcing the seal where the stem locks into the glass base by either doubling up on the "rubber band" type silicone seal (if you buy an extra one.50 cents?) Or just using electrical tape. Have yet to do this mine still leans lol.

I got two Nammor hoses (the ones in pic) separately for it after reading about them being good online.They were $20 something each . A vortex bowl (that has a post with the holes elevated to stop the tobacco/molasses/flavor being sucked into water) is supposed to be much preferred to conventional types as it prolongs the flavor/smoke. cost $14?

I don't have a lot of money. But sometimes an idea/pet project takes on a life of its own. Shipping >$120 makes it pretty expensive. In for a penny in for a pound. They prolly sell the same hookahs in Aus. I wasn't able to find an identical domestic one online but I didn't look in any stores. Even though it cost me an arm and a leg (by my standards anyway) thing looks pretty cool even when not in use and its always good to have a fucking gigantro waterpipe around…just in case ; )

P.S. The cacti in the backgroud are Psycho0 hybrids.Some Cathys on the right. My patio (having an overhang) is pretty shite as a growing platform but might as well keep gardening until the sun burns out or I get struck by lightning.

Edited by Hendry

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Hey Hendry,

Magnificent hookah! How much was the actual pipe? I brought one back from Egypt in 2005, declared it to Singapore and Australian customs and it was ok but since then mine rusted and I threw it away. Do you have any more for sale?

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Thanks The Mya colossus (one hose) cost $225 (not including shipping +120 that included the 2 extra hoses pictured,vortex bowl n adaptors )I bought the one hose variant as I was going to use Nammor Hoses on it anyway so it was cheaper for me to get the one hose and order two autoclose hose adapters(hose adaptor included with hookah isn't autoclose),two blue Nammor hoses and make it a 2 hose hookah. Regardless of the kind of hookah you have getting a" vortex" type bowl for it is a good idea. After all was said and done the hookah,2 nammor hoses,vortex bowl, hose adaptors +bits n pieces came to 400'ish. I ordered it from the site hookah shisha in Texas. Since my order was >$100 I had the option of getting a free smaller Mya hookah from them but I decided against it as the cost of shipping it would be even more ridiculous and I was already way overbudget.

I don't sell hookahs. AFAIK I was unable to find one of it'stype from a domestic source online. That being said I didn't look in any hookahshops for one.Maybe an identical one is available in Australian stores? I dunno? If you choose to order a hookah it is prolly a good idea to leave out tobacco( from said hookah order anyway)as the overzealous,overfunded border security personnel could delay you getting your pipe.

Edited by Hendry

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