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Australia Country Snapshot

FedEx Service Availability

International Service Availability* Export U.S. to Australia Import U.S. from Australia
Document/Package/Mail Services    
FedEx® International Next Flight
FedEx International First®  
FedEx International Priority®
FedEx International Economy®
FedEx International Ground®    
FedEx International MailService®
     
Freight Services    
FedEx International Priority® Freight
FedEx International Economy® Freight
FedEx Freight® Priority    
FedEx Freight® Economy    
FedEx International Premium®
     
Distribution Services    
FedEx International Priority DirectDistribution®
FedEx® International DirectDistribution  
FedEx International Ground® Distribution    
     
Value-Added/Industry-specific Solutions    
FedEx® Electronic Trade Documents
Dangerous Goods
Dry Ice
FedEx Priority Alert™
SenseAware®
FedEx International Broker Select®
FedEx® 10kg Box and FedEx® 25kg Box
FedEx® Third Party Consignee
     
Australia Domestic Services No

*Availability of particular services may vary by origin and destination.  Availability of particular solutions may vary by service selected.  All services subject to the applicable FedEx Service Guide. 

 

Country Information

Capital: Canberra
Population: 22,015,576 est.
Language: English
Weights and Measures: Metric
Currency: (AUD) Australian Dollar
100 cents equal 1 AUD Dollar
Time Zone

GMT+ 10 hours
Daylight Savings Time is observed October through April, except in the Northern Territory, Queensland & Western Australia.

Australian Holidays

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Trade Group Member

The Closer Economic Relations (CER) between Australia and New Zealand provides for the possible elimination of duty if the goods are the produce or manufacture of New Zealand. (Based on % of NZ origin content/manufacture).

The Canada and Australia Trade Agreement (CANTRA) provides for possible elimination of some duty rates if goods are the produce or manufacture of Canada.

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is made up of 21 Pacific Rim countries, all devoted to unregulated free trade and investment in the region by 2010. (2020 for developing countries)

Australia is also a signatory on the Convention of International Trade on Endangered Species (Flora and Fauna), Montreal Protocol and Wassenauer Agreement.

The Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) came into effect on 01/01/2005.  Practical advice on exporting to the United States can also be obtained from Austrade. Advice for importers on tariff changes arising from the AUSFTA and a guide to Rules of Origin can be obtained from the Australian Customs Service.

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General Import Clearance Information

Clearance Process

All goods imported into Australia must be cleared by Customs. Importers are responsible for obtaining a formal Customs clearance for goods with a value of $1000 (AUD) or greater.

Consignments valued below $1000 (AUD) will be processed via a self accessed declaration.

Customs does employ cost-recovery schemes for processing declarations. The amount of the cost depends on whether the entry is submitted as an electronic or manual declaration.

If you are a private importer and want to clear your own goods, Customs does provide assistance. You should contact a Customs Information Centre on 61-1300-363-263 for further information.

Federal Express customs clearance service is included in the price of it's FXIP service. Although, we do recover any direct fees associated with processing declarations.

Document Requirements

All shipments tendered to Federal Express should have an International Airway Bill as well as a completed Commercial Invoice that covers each of the following: invoice terms (FOB, CIF, etc); currency (US dollars, AU dollars, etc); name and complete address of the consignor and consignee; complete description of the goods; country of origin of the goods; quantity of the goods, selling price of the goods to the buyer; labour costs incurred in packing the goods; value of the outside packages; amount of any royalties paid; amounts of any freight or insurance costs associated with the transport to Australia; any details that might affect the selling price such as discounts, rebates, compensation, etc. The customer is also responsible for securing any licences and/or permits required for clearance of the goods as regulated by any other government agency(s).

All multiple piece shipments (MPS) require a commercial invoice detailing the contents of each individual package within the shipment.

Customs Valuation

Customs determines the value of the goods imported into Australia based on the World Trade Organization (WTO) Valuation Agreement.  This valuation system is used by most trading nations.

The most common method used to determine the customs value is the transaction value method, which is based on the price actually paid (or payable) for the imported goods.  However, in applying the transaction value method, there must not be any corporate or personal relationship between the buyer and seller that has had an effect on the price.

The price paid might be subject to adjustment.  In some cases this could involve addtions for commissions or royalties not included in the original price.  If the price paid (or payable) cannot be accepted as the basis for determing the customs value, the Customs would consider alternative valuation methods.

All costs for foreign inland freight and foreign inland insurance incurred by the purchaser are included in the customs value.  Likewise, the cost of outside packages and labour for packing are included in the customs value.

Where a "price" will form the basis of a customs value and that price is not in Australian dollars, it will be converted to Australian dollars at the ruling rate of exchange on the day that the goods were exported.   

Import Duties

Rates of duty payable by an importer are determined by the classification of goods within the Australian Customs Tariff.

In some circumstances, anti-dumping or countervailing measures, which result in the imposition of additional rates of duty, may also apply.

A Customs processing fee applies to goods that require formal entry to customs of $54.20 (AUD) which includes a $6.50 (AUD) quarantine fee for which a declaration is lodged.

Antidumping

Dumping occurs when an exporter sells goods to an Australian importer at a lower price than the goods are sold on the domestic market of the country of export.  Subsidisation occurs where government assistance, by way of subsidy or other forms of financial assistance, is given to produce or export goods.  Australia is very vigilant in protecting local industry against dumping and other unfair trading practices.  Remedial action will be taken against overseas suppliers when it is demonstrated that the dumping or subsidizing of goods has adversly affected any Australian business producing similiar goods.  For more information about Australian antidumping measures and programs, please visit the Australian Customs www.customs.gov.au  website.

Excise Duties

None

Additional Duties

GST is currently set at a rate of 10% (in effect since July 1, 2000). Owners should have an Australian Business Number (ABN). The owners ABN number (which is linked to the importers owner code) may be approved for deferral from payment of GST. The ABN allows a correct match to the owner code. The ABN reduces the risk of an incorrect match to the owner code. (An incorrect code match may result in incorrect payment of GST should the company be deferred).  FedEx can still process consignments without an ABN.  It is preferred that the number is provided.

Importation of goods

Example of GST calculations

A sporting goods wholesaler imports a variety of golf clubs.

The customs VALUE of the golf clubs is AUD$20,000.

The customs DUTY payable is five percent, which is AUD $1000.

TRANSPORT and INSURANCE costs are AUD$2000.

Therefore the Value Of the Taxable Importation (V.O.T.I.) is $23,000.


The GST payable on importation is 10% of the V.O.T.I. = AUD$2300.

(V.O.T.I. or Value of the Taxable Importation is the Value of the goods, plus any duty payable, plus the value of International Transport & Insurance costs).

GST Free

There are exemptions from GST for some specific Items that are imported. Certain foodstuffs and certain medical aids / appliances may have exemptions. Certain goods, which qualify for duty exemption under By-Laws, may also be exempt from GST.

Import for private purposes

Where taxable imports are made for private purposes or by unregistered entities, the GST paid on the import cannot be claimed as an input tax credit.

Temporary imports

Duty and tax may not be required for temporary imports brought into Australia for a nominated period of time and then re-exported. (Special conditions and limitations apply - see previous heading covering temporary Imports in this profile). This applies where the importer provides a security or undertaking to Customs for payment of customs duty and taxes whilst the goods remain in Australia. No duty or taxes are payable when the goods are used in accordance with the terms of the security. Goods being entered into Australia under a temporary import bond are prohibited via FedEx Express International Priority Service. Consignments moving under this provision may move via FedEx Airport to Airport Service on a 023-airway bill.

Warehouse goods

Duty/Tax are not payable on goods that are imported for warehousing (under bond). However, duty/tax becomes payable when the goods are removed from the warehouse (entry for ex-warehousing). Goods being entered as warehoused goods into Australia or exported from a warehouse are prohibited via FedEx Express International Priority Service. Consignments moving under this provision may move via FedEx Airport to Airport Service on an 023 airway bill.)

Imports that qualify for customs duty concessions

  • Low value goods are goods with a customs value of less than $1000 (AUD) and in which the revenue is nil or insubstantial ($50 or less duty and/or GST).
  • Goods exported and returned in an unaltered condition
  • Warranty goods (Repaired or Replaced under Warranty and Free of Charge).
  • Global product safety recall goods
  • Passenger concession goods
  • Bequeathed goods
  • Goods on or in containers
  • Goods imported for repair then exported.
  • Trophies and medallions won outside Australia or donated by non-residents.

Exports

GST free - must keep records showing the goods were exported before or within the 60 days for them to be GST-free. Records such as airway bills, bills of lading, evidence from ACS, evidence that goods arrived in the country of destination.

Import Taxes

Australia has indirect taxes for most items.  These taxes are comprised of: the Goods and Service Tax (GST), the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) and the Luxury Car Tax (LCT).  GST applies to most imported goods.  There are a few exceptions from GST: select foodstuffs, certain medical aids, appliances and imports that qualify for certain customs duty concessions.

Subject to eligibility, importers who are registered for GST might be able to defer payment on imported goods by participating in the Deferred GST Scheme.  Participants in the scheme account for importations in their Business Activity Statements (BAS).  Importers can apply to defer GST through the Australian Taxation Office.

GST is applied at ten percent of the value of the taxable importation (VoTI).  The sum of the taxable importation is calculated as follows:

  • the customs value of the imported goods, plus
  • any customs duty payable, plus
  • the amount paid or payable to transport the goods to Australia and to insure said goods for that transport, plus
  • any wine tax payable (see section below for more details)

The following is an example of how GST is calculated:

Customs value is 1,000.00

Customs duty @ 5% x $1,000 equals 50.00 (payable)

International transport and insurance is 150.00

Wine tax (if applicable) 0.00

the VoTI amount is 1,200.00

GST @ 10% x $1,200.00 would be 120.00 (payable)


Total payable (customs duty + GST)     170.00 (total due) 

Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) is applied to the following types of alcoholic beverages:

  • Grape wine, including sparkling and fortified
  • Grape wine products such as marsala, vermouth, wine cocktails and creams
  • Other fruit wines and vegetable wines
  • Cider, sherry, mead (including fortified mead) and sake
  • Wine tax for imported wine is calculated at twenty-nine percent of the purchase price

The following example shows how WET liability is calculated:

Customs value is 1,000.00

Customs duty @ 5% x $1,000 would be 50.00 (payable)

International transport and insurance is 150.00 

WET @ 29% x (customs value +

customs duty + int. transport & insurance) equals 348.00 (payable)

the VoTI amount would be 1,548.00

GST @ 10% x $1,548 equals 154.80 (payable)


Total payable (customs duty + WET + GST) is 552.80 

As motor vehicles are not allowed transport on Federal Express (FXIP) International Priority Service, LCT is not explained here.  However, you may visit the Australian Customs Service website for details. 

Customs Fees

Shipments valued at more than 1000 AUD will require a Formal Import Declaration (IMD).  Shipments that require an IMD will be subject a regulatory processing fee of 54.20 AUD per clearance.

Exchange Controls

None

Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT's)

Technical barriers or non-tariff barriers to trade as they are sometimes known, can cause many problems for exporters looking for new markets for their products. These barriers can be in the form of regulations, standards, testing and certification procedures. The World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade tries to ensure that these barriers do not create unnecessary obstacles. To obtain further information on Technical Barriers to Trade as well as Notifications on technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures, go to the WTO website at http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tbt_e/tbt_e.htm.

Consular Fees

None

General Import Clearance Process

The Customs Declaration is prepared and lodged electronically by the customs broker. Once received by customs the goods will be flagged for the appropriate processing activity such as: 

  • Informal Declarations are made on shipments with a value less than $1000 (AUD).  These consignments are processed via a self-accessed declaration (SAC).
  • Formal examination or inspection by Australian Quarantine & Inspection Service (AQIS). 
  • Formal examination or inspection by Australian Customs Service (ACS) and/or:-

If the goods are not flagged by Customs or Quarantine they will be released for Home Consumption upon payment of any Duty and/or Taxes that are owed.

Cost recovery charges apply for the processing of customs declarations. The current cost for a formal electronic declaration processed by Federal Express is $54.20 (AUD) which includes $6.50 quarantine fee for all consignments for which a declaration is lodged.

A formal customs import declaration must be lodged for goods with a value of $1000 (AUD) or greater.

The minimum documentation required to be submitted with customs import declarations includes an airway bill, invoices, and any other papers (including packing lists, insurance documents, etc) relating to the shipment. All documents should be in English.

The Customs Act 1901 requires the owner of the goods to retain commercial documents relating to all import transactions for five years from the date of entry. These documents may be required for Customs audit purposes. Failure to meet the requirements may attract a penalty of $2000 (AUD).

Commerce Trade Descriptions

Importers are required to ensure that goods entering the commerce of Australia are correctly marked. Customs administers truth in labeling provisions, which makes in an offence to knowingly apply, or for imported goods to carry false trade descriptions.

A false trade description means any description which, by reason of anything contained therein or omitted therefrom, is false or likely to mislead in a material respect as regards the goods to which it is applied, and includes every alteration of a trade description which by way of addition, effacement, or otherwise, which makes the description false or likely to mislead in a material respect.

Trade description marking must be:

  • In English; and
  • In prominent and legible characters; and
  • On a principal label or brand attached to the goods in a prominent position in a manner as permanent as is practicable; and
  • In certain circumstances include the country of origin.

Rules of Origin

Rules of origin are the rules applied to determine from which country a good originates for international trade purposes.

Rules of origin are necessary for both preferential reasons such as determining eligibility for benefits such as reduced rates of duty as well as for non-preferential reasons such as the imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing duties, determining the country of origin and marking purposes.

Import Permit Controls

Where goods are subject to import controls under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) regulations, the importers must apply to the appropriate department or agency for a permission to import.

The permission to import must be obtained prior to the goods arriving in Australia.

Failure to obtain the permission to import prior to the arrival of the goods may result in the forfeiture of the goods.

Goods subject to import controls

The following is a list of categories of goods subject to import control.

  • Certain drugs and goods containing those drugs - hazardous and health related manufactured articles.
    Contact - Department of Health and Family Services
  • animals and animal products 
  • food and plant imports
    Australian Quarantine and Inspection Services
    Imported Food Inspection Service
  • firearms - other weapons
    Australian Federal Police (Capital Cities)
    Local (state) Police Authorities
    Australian Customs Service
  • protected wildlife (animals) and related products
    Environment Australia
  • protected cultural heritage items
    Department of Communication & the Arts
  • motor vehicles
    The Federal Office of Road Safety
  • restricted trading (certain countries)
    Dept of Foreign Affairs & Trade
  • labelling of goods
    Federal Bureau of Consumer Affairs
  • intellectual property
    IP Australia
    Attorney General's Department
    Australian Customs Service
  • currency
    Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center

Intellectual Property Rights

Australia Customs is tasked with administering certain provisions of the Copyright Act 1968, the Trade Mark Act 1995 and the Protection Act 1996 to protect intellectual property. These provisions related to the protection of the intellectual property rights of individuals, companies and corporation with the regard to the unauthorized use of nominated goods, logos, emblems, artistic or literary work, by importers through parallel importation, counterfeiting or piracy.

In these Acts the legislation establishes a scheme under which either the owner or authorized licensee can object to the importation of goods which allegedly infringe the intellectual property. Customs is authorized to act under this legislation once a Notice of Objection has been accepted. Its role is to enforce the protection of intellectual property at the Customs 'border'.

Customs has the power to seize imported goods which infringe intellectual property rights and to hold them for a specified period during which the objector must commence action in the Federal Court. Importers may, if they wish, forfeit infringing goods to Customs before legal action has commenced.

The issue of intellectual property rights enforcement at the Customs 'border' is complex because trade marks and copyright may exist in labels, logos and images as well as in more traditionally recognized works such as books, sound recording, films, designs, computer software etc. These goods may also be subject to the truth in labeling provisions contained in the consumer protection legislation of the Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act 1905.

Customs role in the enforcement of intellectual property legislation is limited to imported goods, which have not been released from Customs control. Copyright and Trade mark owners whose rights are infringed may also seek within the market place eight a civil remedy or criminal prosecution. Civil litigation is the most common form of intellectual property right enforcement. Effective criminal prosecution invariably requires policy involvement, usually with the Australian Federal Police, although the relevant acts do not name a specific enforcement agency.

 

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Australia Import Prohibitions

The seizure of prohibited goods on entry into Australia is often carried out by Customs on behalf of other government agencies. Importers are advised to pre-check what goods are covered by prohibits as they are subject to change. The following is a non-comprehensive list of items that are prohibited entry into Australia: goods bearing certain official emblems or designs (i.e. ANZAC); goods bearing incorrect or misleading labels or markings; goods which infringe on trade marks, copyrights or Olympic insignia; certain goods related to cultural heritage (i.e. goods from Papua New Guinea); dangerous goods as defined by IATA; filament light globes, Milk (except from New Zealand)

All Meat Products

All Wood Products

Please note; this is not a complete list of goods subject to import prohibitions and restrictions. For a more complete list, please refer to the Customs (Prohibitions and Restrictions) Regulations 1956. The regulations can be found on the SCALEPlus site at http://www.comlaw.gov.au/

Importers who fail to comply with import prohibitions and restrictions are subject to severe penalties.

Personal Effects are PROHIBITED. If goods are found to be mis-declared and/or importer claims Personal Effects status on arrival, they must be cleared using BSO or be subjected to a clearance administrative fee of $99.00 AUD.

Paintball Guns and Paintball Bullets.

Health Supplements containing Hoodia, Yohimbe and DHEA.

Prohibited Christmas Items Imported Into Australia

It is prohibited to include any of the following items when sending gift hampers to Australia:

  • Pine cones
  • Wooden ornaments that are manufactured from plant material
  • Fresh fruit
  • Item of meat origin or containing meat (all types: e.g. beef jerky, etc.)
  • Items containing egg or dairy
  • Items of plant origin (e.g. Decorations made from vine material, wreaths, flowers, pot-pourri, etc.)
  • Unpopped popcorn
  • Nuts

The Austrialian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) will request from the recipient to provide written permission to destroy such commodities at Customs, prior to releasing the remaining consignment, thereby delaying delivery.

Please note the shipments containing alcohol will be subject to substantial taxes and may cause clearance delays.

Shipments (including mail) originating in or transiting through Somalia entering Australia or its territories.

Certain commodities are prohibited to import into Australia. The shipper must research to see if their product is prohibited by checking the Australia Customs website and the Australian Government Department of Agriculture (ICON) database. This MUST be done PRIOR to shipping. If this research is not done; the shipment will be returned to origin, seized or destroyed by local authorities.

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General Import Restrictions

The following items are not acceptable for carriage to any international destinations unless otherwise indicated. (Additional restrictions may apply depending on destination. Various regulatory clearances in addition to customs clearance may be required for certain commodities, thereby extending the transit time.)

  1. APO/FPO addresses.
  2. C.O.D. shipments.
  3. Human corpses, human organs or body parts, human and animal embryos, or cremated or disinterred human remains.
  4. Explosives (Class 1.4 explosives are acceptable for carriage to Canada, Germany, France, Japan, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. Note: United Arab Emirates only allows Class 1.4 explosives to be shipped hold-for-pickup to the FedEx Express facility in Dubai).
  5. Firearms, weaponry and their parts (acceptable between the U.S. and Puerto Rico).
  6. Perishable foodstuffs and foods and beverages requiring refrigeration or other environmental control.
  7. Live animals including insects, except as provided in the Live Animals section in the FedEx Service Guide. (Call the FedEx Live Animal Desk at 1.800.405.9052).
  8. Plants and plant material, including cut flowers (cut flowers are acceptable from the U.S. to selected points in Canada and from Colombia, Ecuador and the Netherlands to the U.S.).
  9. Lottery tickets and gambling devices where prohibited by law.
  10. Money (coins, cash, currency, paper money and negotiable instruments equivalent to cash such as endorsed stocks, bonds and cash letters).
  11. Pornographic and/or obscene material.
  12. Shipments being processed under:
    1. Duty drawbacks claims unless advance arrangements are made.
    2. Temporary Import Bonds – acceptable under the FedEx International Broker Select option, for initial import only.
    3. U.S. State Department licenses
    4. Carnets
    5. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration export permit.
    6. Letters of Credit. Shipments subject to Letters of Credit are generally prohibited, with the exception of shipments subject to Letters of Credit calling for a “courier receipt”, as defined by Article 25 of UCP 600, shipped using the FedEx Expanded Service International Air Waybill.
    7. Certificate of Registration shipments (CF4455).

    You may be able to ship these items via FedEx International Controlled Export, FedEx International Premium, FedEx International Express Freight (IXF) or FedEx International Airpot-to-Airport (ATA). For information on FedEx International Controlled Export, call International Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 (say “international services’). For information on the other services listed call FedEx Express Freight Customer Service at 1.800.332.0807.
  13. Hazardous waste, including, but not limited to, used hypodermic needles or syringes or other medial waste.
  14. Shipments that may cause damage to, or delay of, equipment, personnel or other shipments.
  15. Shipments that require us to obtain any special licenses or permit for transportation, importation or exportation.
  16. Shipments or commodities whose carriage, importation or exportation is prohibited by any law, statute or regulation.
  17. Shipments with a declared value for customs in excess of that permitted for a specific destination. (See the Declared Value for Carriage and Limits of Liability section in the FedEx Service Guide).
  18. Dangerous goods except as permitted under the Dangerous Goods section of these terms and conditions.
  19. Processed or unprocessed dead animals, including insects and pets. Taxidermy-finished hunting trophies or completely processed (dried) specimens of whole animals or parts of animals are acceptable for shipment into the U.S.
  20. Packages that are wet, leaking or emit an odor of any kind.
  21. Wildlife products that require U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service export clearance by FedEx prior to exportation from the U.S.
  22. In-bond shipments destined to or being withdrawn from a Foreign Trade Zone or bonded warehouse, unless the FedEx International Broker Select option is selected for U.S. import shipments, or the FedEx International Controlled Export service option is selected for U.S. export shipments.

Not withstanding any other provision of the FedEx Service Guide, we are not liable for delay of, loss of damage to a shipment of any prohibited item. The shipper agrees to indemnity FedEx for any and all costs, fees and expenses FedEx incurs as a result of the shipper’s violation of any local, state or federal laws or regulations or from tendering any prohibited item for shipment.

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Australia Restrictions

Goods that are subject to import controls include but are not limited to the following: Goods subject to censorship controls; goods, as identified by the United Nations, which are subject to trade restrictions; goods that are regulated by the Consumer Affairs Division of the Department of Treasury

Please note; this is not a complete list of goods subject to import prohibitions and restrictions.  For a more complete list, please refer to the Customs (Prohibitions and Restrictions) Regulations 1956.  The regulations can be found on the SCALEPlus site at http://www.comlaw.gov.au/  

In cases relating to intellectual property rights infringements, civil action might be taken against the importer by the owner or licensed user of a trademark or copyright.

Import restrictions might be in place to support local industry and implement international agreements.

Importers who fail to comply with import prohibitions and restrictions are subject to severe penalties.


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Special Import Provisions

Warehouse Goods

Warehouse goods are not subject to duty or tax until they are released into home consumption via an ex-warehousing entry. The warehouse must be a Licensed premises approved by Australian Customs. A warehouse goods entry fee will be charged.  Please note that Federal Express will NOT process these declarations.

Temporary Imports

Federal Express will not normally process these consignments through Customs.  The client will need to secure the services of an external customs broker to process these consignments where the client does not wish to pay duty and GST upon importation.  Goods that are imported on a temporary basis of value should be shipped under CARNET. This can be done by the shipper through the Chamber of Commerce in the Country of export; OR you can arrange for a Customs Broker who will enter the goods under Security - A deposit of the equivalent amount of DUTY/GST that would be payable in a normal import transaction is required; OR you can arrange for a Customs Broker who will enter the goods under Security - A deposit of the equivalent amount of DUTY/GST that would be payable in a normal import transaction is required. Alternatively, the import duties and taxes can be paid and an application for a drawback can be applied for upon re-export as well as a claim for refund. However, there are specific conditions that must be met prior to the granting of a refund or drawback. It is highly recommended that specific advice be obtained prior to importation.

Repair/Warranty

Repair and warranty goods can be entered under Schedule By-Law and imported duty free. Duty/GST is however considered payable if the repair was carried out at a cost.(IE Goods not covered under a specific warranty agreement and repaired at cost).The By-Law requires that the goods or parts of goods previously imported into Australia, and returned after repairs (under warranty ) and free of charge. This does not include upgraded goods or replacement goods for items, which have reached the end of their operational life. This also would not include goods for which drawback or refund of any duty, taxes or charges of the Commonwealth were paid. The Australian Customs Service may request proof of the warranty that the goods are covered under. It is requested that "WARRANTY" goods to be indicated as such on the commercial invoice to ensure Customs Clearance under the appropriate item as duty free. Failure to indicate "WARRANTY" on the commercial invoice / pro-forma invoice AND that the goods are warranty "REPAIR" or warranty "REPLACEMENT", can cause the clearance to be processed under the normal rates of duty & GST payable in a normal import transaction as there is no indicator to identify the goods as "WARRANTY".

Antiques

Goods that are "antiques" require a declaration on the commercial invoice or a face declaration from a recognised antique dealer stating they are over 100 years old. Australian Customs will recognise signed declarations from the British Antique Dealers Association Ltd, London and Provincial Antique Dealers Association, The Association of Dealers in Old Art in the Netherlands, The China National Arts and Crafts Import and Export Corporation or branches, The Japan and Tokyo Fine Art Dealers Association National Syndicate of Antiques, Federal association of the German Art and Antique Dealers Society, The State School for Violin Building (F.R. Germany, violins), The National Museum, Dublin Ireland, (not including the six counties of Northern Ireland) and the New Zealand Antique Dealers Association.

Australian Customs may require examination of imports to verify the goods against entry details, to inspect commerce markings, and/or detect prohibited imports. If goods are entered falsely as Antiques, this will render the owner liable to penalties in accordance with normal import transactions. The amount of the shortpaid Duty/GST plus 200% is the normal penalty issued.



Personal Effects***Warning*** Personal Effects shipments are not accepted on Federal Express FXIP service to Australia. Please contact your local Federal Express customer service for alternate shipping options offered by FedEx. Personal effects can apply to tourists, temporary residents, immigrants and Australian citizens returning to Australia. The goods may be imported duty/tax free if the goods have been owned and used overseas for a minimum of 12 months (or more) by the owner of the goods. Personal effects are usually delayed 3-7 days in processing times (sometimes longer) because of the delays in waiting on return of documents, Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) inspection requirements, Australian Customs (ACS) verification of customs documents and inspection of goods. Shipments that are personal effects must complete the B534 form to ensure clearance through Australian Customs.

The B534 form is required to be completed and signed by the owner of the goods contained therein. If more than one person is covered by the B534 (declaration), this needs to be indicated where required on the form and copies of all passports (relevant pages) for all persons covered in the B534 will need to be returned with the form.

The B534 form attempts customs clearance without attracting customs entry fees on goods, which exceed the minimum 12 months ownership/use overseas requirement under the By-Law pertaining to personal effects. Customs may still request a formal entry of the goods, which will then incur the normal entry processing fees. Additional costs for examinations, etc as directed by Customs and Quarantine may be administered. If goods are determined to be less than 12 months old or not to be of a used nature the relevant duty & GST rates will apply on those goods. A copy of the passport identification page, any pages that contain customs/immigration stamps and/or which contain visas and a detailed packing list or commercial invoice indicating the value of the goods contained therein, must accompany the B534 form . Fax copies and originals only are acceptable by Australian Customs provided ALL details contained therein are legible. The B534 declaration must be in the owner's handwriting.

The B534 form can be downloaded from the Document Library contained on this site or you can visit the Australian Customs Service website at http://www.customs.gov.au under the section "forms".

Personal Effects are PROHIBITED. If goods are found to be mis-declared and/or importer claims Personal Effects status on arrival, they must be cleared using BSO or be subjected to a clearance administrative fee of $99.00 AUD.

Samples

Australian Customs are extremely vigilant in their assessment of what are and are not samples.  Samples are a very contentious issue but what follows are some general guidelines when deciding whether or not to claim samples for your import shipments:

  1. the item(s) should be of a non-recurring nature (i.e. only 1 of any particular commodity)
  2. they should be given a nominal value (not their regular wholesale value)                                               

Australian Customs uses a common sense, but cautious, approach to samples.  Clothing, imported as samples, will be subject to mutilation (this may be applied in the form of red ink stamps apply to them so that they can not be sold).  Shoes may be drilled in the soles so that they may not be resold.   

Gifts

Unsolicited gift shipments valued up to 1000 AUD are acceptable duty and tax free provided the commercial invoice includes a full description and itemized values. Gift shipments must be from individual to individual and must not contain any commercial items including company awards. Alcohol and tobacco are not acceptable as gifts and therefore are dutiable. 

Prohibited Christmas Items Imported Into Australia

It is prohibited to include any of the following items when sending gift hampers to Australia:

  • Pine cones
  • Wooden ornaments that are manufactured from plant material
  • Fresh fruit
  • Item of meat origin or containing meat (all types: e.g. beef jerky, etc.)
  • Items containing egg or dairy
  • Items of plant origin (e.g. Decorations made from vine material, wreaths, flowers, pot-pourri, etc.)
  • Unpopped popcorn
  • Nuts

The Austrialian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) will request from the recipient to provide written permission to destroy such commodities at Customs, prior to releasing the remaining consignment, thereby delaying delivery.

Please note the shipments containing alcohol will be subject to substantial taxes and may cause clearance delays.


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Standards

Chinaware is subject to lead/cadmium testing if food or drink is to be consumed from it in order to test for the lead content.  This test is conducted a different governing body and could delay clearance of your shipment for up to seven business days. 

 

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General Export Clearance Information

Clearance Process
Export entries are lodged electronically by a registered user of the ICS (Integrated Cargo System) either as an owner or as an agent acting on behalf of an owner; which may be prepared by the owner or an agent appointed by the owner.  Exporters must report all export details prior to the goods being loaded on board the ship or aircraft transporting them out of Australia.

The ICS operates 24 hours a day.  Customs aims to transmit a clearance within a few minutes of receipt of a complete and accurate electronic entry, provided there are no regulatory impediments.

Exemptions from export entry

The following classes of Goods are exempt from export entry requirements:

  • Personal or household effects (including motor vehicles or pets) of a passenger or crew of a ship or aircraft other than goods, which are regarded as commercial consignments or are in commercial quantities.

A postal consignment that has a free on board (FOB) value not exceeding $2000.00 (AUD) except for:

  1. dutiable goods on which duty is unpaid;
  2. excisable goods on which excise duty is unpaid;
  3. goods on which a person intends to claim a drawback of customs duty or excise duty;
  4. goods which require any permit or permission.
  5. Containers whether empty or loaded that belongs to a business in Australia that is exported on a temporary basis to be re-imported.

Goods which require an export permit are required to be entered for export irregardless of any exemption(s) that might apply.

AHECC Classification System 

While duty is not generally payable on exports, goods must still be classified on an export entry using the Australian Harmonized Export Commodity Classification (AHECC).  The AHECC is similiar to the tariff but there are differences.  Exporters should not assume that an import classification will be the same as an export classification for the same commodity.  

  • It is most important that accurrate information be supplied to Customs.  Customs gathers, maintains and reports export statistical data. This data is the basis for international trade initiatives and agreements.  While all information provided to Customs should be correct, the following should be listed with extra care:   
  1. Owner's ABN or Customs Client ID (CCID)
  2. Country of destination
  3. Total FOB value
  4. AHECC code
  5. Origin code - Australian state/territory where they are made or F for foreign
  6. Unit of Measure - kgs (kilograms) tne (tonnes) nmb (number)
  7. Permit number - permit prefix and number where required

Commerce Trade Description

Exporters are required to ensure that goods being exported are correctly marked. It is an offence to knowingly apply any false trade descriptions to any goods destined for export or to export such goods. A false trade description means any description which by addition, deletion, effacement or otherwise is false or is likely to mislead.

Trade description markings must be:

  • In English;
  • In prominent and legible characters; and
  • On a principal label or brand attached to the goods in a prominent position in as permanent a manner as practical.

The Commerce (Trade Descriptions Act) 1905 provides that any goods exported in contravention of any regulation may be seized and forfeited to the Crown.

Examination of export cargo

Cargo, which is received for export is subject to Customs control and as such is liable for examination. Customs officers examine export cargo for a variety of reasons including:

  • To verify the goods against entry details;
  • To inspect commerce marks; and
  • To detect prohibited exports;
  • To prevent the diversion of goods causing the government a revenue loss through non-payment of duties or GST 
  • An examination can be conducted in the owner's presence, while the goods are being packed for export, at a wharf, terminal or depot. Examinations may be followed by an audit of commercial records relating to that and other export consignments.

GST and export goods

As most export goods are GST-free, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) requires exporters to keep all records as proof of actual export.  The ATO uses this information when conducting audits on GST-free entries on Business Activity Statements.  For further information, please visit the ATO's website www.ato.gov.au

Export Prohibitions

In addition to the goods prohibited by regulation and/or law, the following items are prohibited for export from Australia via FedEx Express International Priority (FXIP) Service:

  • Dangerous goods as defined by International Air Transportation Association (IATA)
  • Dry Ice

Permit Controls

Where goods are subject to export controls under the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulation or any other Commonwealth legislation, the exporter must apply to the appropriate department or agency for a permit to export.

Details of the permit must be presented to Customs where the goods are entered for export. Failure to quote or provide a valid permit, where necessary, may result in the exportation of the goods not being approved, fines and loss of export privileges.

Goods Subject to Export Controls

The following is a list (non-exhaustive) of categories of goods subject to export control:

  • Fresh apples, pears, nashi and citrus. (Australian Horticultural Corporation)
  • Certain animals, plants and their products. Hazardous waste. Ozone depleting substances. (Environment Australia)
  • Wine, Brandy and grape spirit. (Australian Wine & Brandy Corporation)
  • Wheat. (Wheat Export Authority)
  • Movable Cultural Heritage Items (i.e.  works of art, aboriginal artifacts, precious stones & minerals, fossils & items of national significance). (Dept. of Communication, Information Tech. & the Arts)
  • Prescription medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) (please note that PBS medicines do not require an export permit. However, they are subject to certain restrictions which are detailed on the HIC website). (Dept. of Health and Aged Care)
  • Military goods, civilian arms and explosives. Goods containing dual-use (military/civilian) technology. (Dept. of Defense)
  • Goods containing dual-use (military/civilian) technology and items including certain chemical precursors and biological agents.  (Dept. of Foreign Affairs & Trade)
  • Primary Products (excluding minerals),animals and marine life. (Dept. of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries)
  • Minerals (including nuclear material) (Dept. of Industry, Science & Resources)
  • Meat, dairy products, eggs, animals, fish, grains, vegetables and fruit. (Australian Quarantine & Inspection Service)
  • Currency over AUD $10,000.00 (or foreign equivalent) (Australian Transaction Reports & Analysis Centre)
  • Publications (including books, films & computer software) depicting sex, drug misuse or violence (Office of Film & Literature Classification)

Document Requirements

Customs Officers may issue Restricted Goods Export Permits (RGPs) for the exportation of firearms for non-commercial purposes that are part of the accompanied or unaccompanied personal or household effects of a passenger of a ship or aircraft. RGP's are issued for privately owned non-military firearms where no more than five (5) firearms are exported in one consignment.  RGP's are not issued for firearms exported via the post, sent as gifts or sent overseas for repair.  Inquiries regarding the exportation of firearms qualifying under the guidelines for the issue of RGPs should be directed to the Customs office at the intended port of export.  Where the proposed exportation does not qualify under the guidelines, inquiries are to be directed to the Department of Defence.



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Australia Export Prohibitions

In addition to the goods prohibited by regulation and/or law, the following items are prohibited for export from Australia via FedEx Express International Priority (FXIP) Service:

  • Radioactive and Explosives
  • Dry Ice


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General Export Restrictions

The following items are not acceptable for carriage to any international destinations unless otherwise indicated. (Additional restrictions may apply depending on destination. Various regulatory clearances in addition to customs clearance may be required for certain commodities, thereby extending the transit time.)

  1. APO/FPO addresses.
  2. C.O.D. shipments.
  3. Human corpses, human organs or body parts, human and animal embryos, or cremated or disinterred human remains.
  4. Explosives (Class 1.4 explosives are acceptable for carriage to Canada, Germany, France, Japan, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. Note: United Arab Emirates only allows Class 1.4 explosives to be shipped hold-for-pickup to the FedEx Express facility in Dubai).
  5. Firearms, weaponry and their parts (acceptable between the U.S. and Puerto Rico).
  6. Perishable foodstuffs and foods and beverages requiring refrigeration or other environmental control.
  7. Live animals including insects, except as provided in the Live Animals section in the FedEx Service Guide. (Call the FedEx Live Animal Desk at 1.800.405.9052).
  8. Plants and plant material, including cut flowers (cut flowers are acceptable from the U.S. to selected points in Canada and from Colombia, Ecuador and the Netherlands to the U.S.).
  9. Lottery tickets and gambling devices where prohibited by law.
  10. Money (coins, cash, currency, paper money and negotiable instruments equivalent to cash such as endorsed stocks, bonds and cash letters).
  11. Pornographic and/or obscene material.
  12. Shipments being processed under:
    1. Duty drawbacks claims unless advance arrangements are made.
    2. Temporary Import Bonds – acceptable under the FedEx International Broker Select option, for initial import only.
    3. U.S. State Department licenses
    4. Carnets
    5. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration export permit.
    6. Letters of Credit. Shipments subject to Letters of Credit are generally prohibited, with the exception of shipments subject to Letters of Credit calling for a “courier receipt”, as defined by Article 25 of UCP 600, shipped using the FedEx Expanded Service International Air Waybill.
    7. Certificate of Registration shipments (CF4455).

    You may be able to ship these items via FedEx International Controlled Export, FedEx International Premium, FedEx International Express Freight (IXF) or FedEx International Airpot-to-Airport (ATA). For information on FedEx International Controlled Export, call International Customer Service at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 (say “international services’). For information on the other services listed call FedEx Express Freight Customer Service at 1.800.332.0807.
  13. Hazardous waste, including, but not limited to, used hypodermic needles or syringes or other medial waste.
  14. Shipments that may cause damage to, or delay of, equipment, personnel or other shipments.
  15. Shipments that require us to obtain any special licenses or permit for transportation, importation or exportation.
  16. Shipments or commodities whose carriage, importation or exportation is prohibited by any law, statute or regulation.
  17. Shipments with a declared value for customs in excess of that permitted for a specific destination. (See the Declared Value for Carriage and Limits of Liability section in the FedEx Service Guide).
  18. Dangerous goods except as permitted under the Dangerous Goods section of these terms and conditions.
  19. Processed or unprocessed dead animals, including insects and pets. Taxidermy-finished hunting trophies or completely processed (dried) specimens of whole animals or parts of animals are acceptable for shipment into the U.S.
  20. Packages that are wet, leaking or emit an odor of any kind.
  21. Wildlife products that require U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service export clearance by FedEx prior to exportation from the U.S.
  22. In-bond shipments destined to or being withdrawn from a Foreign Trade Zone or bonded warehouse, unless the FedEx International Broker Select option is selected for U.S. import shipments, or the FedEx International Controlled Export service option is selected for U.S. export shipments.

Not withstanding any other provision of the FedEx Service Guide, we are not liable for delay of, loss of damage to a shipment of any prohibited item. The shipper agrees to indemnity FedEx for any and all costs, fees and expenses FedEx incurs as a result of the shipper’s violation of any local, state or federal laws or regulations or from tendering any prohibited item for shipment.

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Australia Restrictions

N/A


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Regulatory Contact Information

Branch or Agency Name Areas of Responsibility
Australian Customs Service
Central Office
Customs House
5 Constitution Avenue
Canberra City 2601

Telephone: 02 6275 6666
Fax: 02 9213 4043
  • Import and Export issues and procedures related to Customs
Australian Quarantine and Inspection Services (AQIS)
Edmund Barton Building
Kings Avenue
Barton ACT 2600 GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601

Free Call: 1.800.020.504
Telephone: 02 6272 3933
Fax: 02 6272 5697

Overseas clients please call:
Telephone: 61.2.6272.5131
Facsimile: 61.2.6239.7351
  • Animals and animal products
  • Food and plant imports
Imported Food Inspection Service (IFIP)
Food Business Group
Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry - Australia
Edmund Barton Building
Blackall Street,
Barton ACT 2600

Telephone: 02 6272 3933
Facsimile: 02 6272 5753
  • Food imports
Australian Wine & Brandy Corp
National Wine Centre, Industry House
Hackney Road, (Cnr. Botanic Rd.)
Adelaide S.A. 5000
Telephone: 08 8228 2000
Fax: 08 8228 2022
  • Alcohol and spirit regulators
Dept of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (AFFA)
Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry - Australia
Edmund Barton Building
Broughton Street,
Barton ACT 2600
GPO BOX 858
Canberra ACT 2601

Attention: Biological Unit
Telephone: 02 6272 3933
Facsimile: 02 6272 3008
  • Agriculture and related industries
Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
2 Constitution Avenue
Canberra ACT 2600
PO Box 900
Civic Square ACT 2608

Telephone: 02 6216 1111
Facsimile: 02 6216 2830

General Public Tax Reform Info line: 136140
Business Tax Reform Info line: 132478
  • Tax and GST administration
Department of Defence (DOD)
Russell Offices
Canberra ACT 2600
Attn: Strategic Trade Policy and Operations Section
Telephone: 02 6265 9111
Fax: 02 6266 2997
  • Munitions controls
Australian Heritage Council 
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2600
John Gorton Building
King Edward Terrace
Parkes ACT 2600
Telephone: 02 6274 2111
Facsimile: 02 6274 2095
  • Protected cultural heritage items
Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA)
Heritage Protection Section
38 Sydney Avenue,
Forrest ACT 2603
GPO Box 2154
Canberra ACT 2601

Telephone: 02 6271 1000
Fax: 02 6271 1901
  • Protected cultural heritage items
Department of the Environment and Water Resources
John Gorton Building
Level One (1)
King Edward Terrace
Parkes ACT 2600
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Att: Biodiversity Group
Telephone: 02 6274 1111
Fax: 02 6274 1123
  • Environmental protection
Dept of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT)
RG Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent
Barton ACT 2601
Telephone: 02 6261 1111
Fax: 02 6261 3111
  • Restricted trading (certain countries)
Attorney General's Department (AG'S)
Robert Garran Offices
National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600
Telephone: 02 6250 6666
Fax: 02 6250 5900
  • Intellectual property
Australian Bureau of Statistics
PO Box 10
Belconnen ACT 2616

Telephone: 1.300.135.070
Facsimile: 1.300.135.211

Overseas Clients Please Call:
Telephone: 61 2 9268 4909
  • Collect and tabulate statistical data
Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
136 Narrabundah Lane
Symonston ACT 2609
PO Box 100
Woden ACT 2606

Telephone: 02 6232 8444 (switchboard)
Facsimile: 02 6232 8241
TGA INFO: 1.800.020.653

Overseas Clients Please Call:
Telephone: 61 2 6232 8644
  • Imports of therapeutic goods

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