Actress Amber Heard has been officially charged with two counts of illegally importing her and her husband Johnny Depp's dogs, Pistol and Boo, into Australia and one count of producing a false document, the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions said on Thursday. The incident stems from May, when the couple traveled to Queensland on a private jet where Depp, 52, was filming the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film. Their Yorkshire terriers failed to go through customs and undergo the country's required 10-day quarantine.
Australia has strict quarantine regulations to prevent diseases, and bringing pets into the country also involves applying for a permit.
"Everything in Australia, we absolutely enforce and make sure people understand ... a lot of things we're easy-going about, but we're not easy-going about biosecurity," Barnaby Joyce, Australian Agriculture Minister, said at a news conference. "We're deadly serious about it."
Amber's illegal importation charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $75,000 fine, while the false document charge carries a penalty of a year in prison and a fine of $7,500. The 29-year-old Magic Mike XXL star was issued a summons to appear in a Queensland court on Sept. 7.
Joyce insisted that Amber will not be getting any special treatment because of her celebrity status.
"All people are equivalent before the law and I think that's the Australian ethos and we like it that way," he said. "If you get into strife, you have to defend yourself and there is no preference shown to anybody, and if you've got a good case, you prevail, and if you've got a bad one, well, you get a bill."
ET caught up with Amber last month, who confirmed that the couple's dogs are alive and well after coming back on American soil before their 72 hour deadline. Officials had previously warned that if they weren't returned, the dogs would be euthanized.
"They're good despite attempts by certain rogue thug Australian government officials, they are alright," she said.
Last month, Amber accused Australian government officials of seeking attention.
"I have a feeling we're going to avoid the land Down Under from now on, just as much as we can, thanks to certain politicians there," she told Australia's Channel 7 News. "I don't know, I guess everybody goes for their 15 minutes, including some government officials."