Importing for the first time, you've come to the right place
Congratulations on your first time! You will find Importing and Exporting goods can be a rewarding and pain-free experience. We can help show you how!
Are you goods worth under 1000 AUD? If so please visit our page on Self Assessed Clearance Declarations.
Importing or export a car? We have some information that can help you.
Importing or exporting personal effects? We can help you make the transition as smoothly as possible.
So you have found a product you wish to import, made arrangements with a suitable supplier in the country of origin and now your next step is to figure out what else needs to be done.
A few questions to ask yourself about your product you are considering importing
Is the product you are importing already available? Will it be viable?
Is your product food? If so you may need permits.
Is your product going to be used by Australians? I.e Some sports equipment. These may have to meet specific Australian Standards to be suitable to be distributed.
Is your product a prohibited import? It may check to double check this before signing anything.
With this also comes other similar questions such as, Is it a trademark product? Do you need to enter an agreement for importation and distribution?
Are you aware of any duties or GST that are applicable to your goods? Some goods incur extra duties upon importation.
Are you importing for a project and the goods will be re-exported? If so there may be special provisions that you can use to defer duty and/or GST.
Will you require AQIS to inspect your goods before release?
Working out a Price and Contract with your Supplier
This can be daunting, but there are a few quick guidelines to follow and many people out there who you probably already deal with such as your accountant or business banking manager who we be able to guide you in the best direction regarding the purchase.
Some ideas are cash advance, letter of credit (an arrangement between bank and exporter) or open account.
Ask for the quotation in Australian Dollars.
Be specific in your request from your supplier, state exactly what you require regarding price, quantity, terms of payment and shipping, and delivery (including packing).
Freight to Australia
Sometimes this is included in the purchase price from the supplier. These details can usually be found on your commercial invoice.
If this is not included (incoterms include FOB, Exworks) we can arrange competitive rates for you.
Marine Cargo Insurance
It may be viable for you to take our cargo insurance on your goods. If you are importing under a bank letter of credit or similar documentation it is mandatory.
However, if you do not have any insurance, and your cargo is lost or damaged, you may be left out of pocket.
Documents required for Customs Clearance
Packing declaration (in prescribed format)
Commercial invoice (not a proforma invoice)
Bill of lading
Treatment certificates if required for your goods or packaging
Import permits if required for your goods
Other commodity specific documentation can include: Analysis sheets or MO41's
If you let us know the commodity you are importing we may be able to help you apply for Import permits and the likes, it is important you have all of this before the goods leave the export country, otherwise there can be very costly delays and the possibility of re-export if you can not obtain documentation required.
Transport in Australia
Depending on the goods you are importing it can be very costly to arrange transport in Australia.
If your goods are out of the ordinary, it may pay to get a quotation, or we can help arrange a quote for you before importing the goods.
LCL (or loose, less than a container load cargo) is usually charged by the m3 or weight, whichever is greater (similar to airfreight) for delivery. Sometimes you may be able to pick up the cargo yourself from the depot.
All personal effects will be unpacked on arrival to Australia, so it is important you factor in the cost of a removalist to deliver your goods after unpack, normal transport companies will not handle this type of cargo.
Please note: All information given above is a very general outline. This is not to be considered as the only avenue of advice when importing and is by no means exhaustive.