Importing goods can help your business meet its goals and provide services to customers that may not otherwise be available locally.
To ensure your importing is successful, you need to be aware of government regulations, including clearance by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Services (Customs) and duty taxes.
Whilst there is no general licence required for importing, customs will need to clear your goods on import. You will need to know what import permits, quarantine permits and treatments apply to your specific category and type of imported goods and whether they are subject to mandatory safety or information standards.
If you don't follow the correct steps and regulations, you will risk breaking the law and not receiving your imports.
Customs requirements for imports
All goods imported into Australia must be cleared by Customs. When importing goods, Customs can provide you information on duties and import regulations, such as import clearance requirements, prohibited goods and import permits.
Depending on the type and value of the goods or products you import, there may be costs involved. These can include clearance fees, customs duty, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and other taxes.
Some goods may carry special restrictions or may even be prohibited from being imported. If your goods contain industrial chemicals like cosmetics, solvents, adhesives, plastics, inks, printing and photocopying chemicals, paints, household cleaning products and toiletries, they will require additional registration.
If your goods also fall under quarantine regulations, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) will need to inspect and possibly treat them.
Read more about Prohibited and restricted goods.
If you're considering importing goods because you can't find a local supplier, search the Industry Capability Network to see if there is a supplier in Australia.
What to do...
- Find out more on Custom's Importing goods page.
- See General imports for information about costs, permits and documentation.
- Read our Trade measurement page if the price of your goods is based on measurement of quantity or quality.
- Contact the Customs Information Centre (CIC) for advice and information on 1300 363 263.