Australia is looking into regulations that are blocking the commercial importation of kava into the country.
Kava is classified as a drug under Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations. And since 2007 kava has been allowed in the country only for medicinal purposes.
Those who were traveling to Australia were allowed to bring in up to only 4 kilograms of Kava in their luggage. But, it has also got ceased with the restrictions of Covid-19.
A paper ordered by the Office of Drug Control said that as the market for kava expands, growers, processors, and exporters of kava were expected to get benefit from being capable to export kava to Australia.
The paper notes that the market behaviors and trends related to the consumption of kava that is resulting from the commercial importation pilot may affect the decisions of the government which are related to future requirements for regulating the importation of kava into Australia.
The office of Drug Control before making the decision that will permit the commercial importation of limitless amounts of kava into Australia for non-medicinal purposes is now inviting submissions from interested parties.
In the meantime, prohibitions are having a crucial effect on the Pacific community of Australia who says that the case for permitting the importation of kava by mail is strong.
A Tongan-Maori student at the University of Canberra, Faonetapu Takiari, said that as the Kava is classed as a food and beverage in the Capital Territory, there were no legal prohibitions on it.
However, importing Kava is a different story. We are not eligible for importing it legally at all. The reason behind this is that it was classed as a dangerous substance before the change here in Act, yet it is under the therapeutic goods administration as a dangerous substance.
Takiari said that this is the reason that the customs laws mean that you are not eligible for bringing in more than 4 kilograms of kava at the movement.
Further, he said that kava must be classified as a food and beverage by all government agencies.
Kava plays a crucial role in social cohesion, and during times of stress such as the current pandemic Pacific communities rely on this.
Takiari said that as the Pacific community has shared its experience related to the consumption of kava and learning about it with others, Australians were becoming more aware of kava and the merits that are related to it as an alternative to alcohol.
He said that I am well aware that here there a lot of church leaders and other community leaders here in Canberra who know the conditions about kava along with some of our Pacific people, They are astonished about the condition and they were also not sure that why has been prohibited here, and why it is not so in New Zealand.
A petition has been launched here to the Australian government to temporarily lift the ban on kava import.