How is import duty calculated?
In very broad terms duty is payable on the FOB value of imported goods. That is the total price paid to get the goods to the place of export. This price is subject to a number of adjustments depending on various financial arrangements between supplier and buyer.

Our Customs Brokers are available to help you. You can E-mail them now. (Back to FAQs)
What duty rate will I pay?

A number of industries receive high protection, these are mostly in the automotive, textiles, clothing and footwear area. As a result of this high protection duty rates are quite high 15% or higher.

General duty rates are 5% but for goods where there are no Australian manufactured alternative it may be possible to have this reduced to 3% by application. There are a growing number of Free Trade Agreements which eliminate duty for qualifying items. Free trade agreements are becoming more popular and presently exist for countries such as USA, Thailand and New Zealand.

The best advice we can give is that you should check with us. You can either call 02-9839-3100 or E-mail us now. In many cases we can give you very quick advice for minimal if any cost. For those more complex matters we can prepare an argument and make representation to Australian Customs for you to obtain their written opinion. (Back to FAQs)

Are there any other taxes payable on import?

YES. Australia has a Goods & Services Tax (GST) regime. The rate of GST payable is generally 10% with some exemptions such as certain foodstuffs.

GST is payable on all imported goods including the freight and any import duty paid. Exports from Australia are, subject to certain conditions, exempt from GST.

Again you should check with us for specific items. Phone 02-9839-3100 or E-mail. (Back to FAQs)

What if I get it wrong?

Customs work on a self assessment method. That means that the importer, through his Customs Broker prepares and lodges the Customs Entry (Declaration). This entry details the goods, their value and and duties etc payable. The majority of imports are released without further - immediate - check. But customs perform audits on imports at any time up to 5 years after the initial entry. If they find incorrect declarations they will charge the duty unpaid and a penalty of up to 200%. That could be on every import file over a 5 year period. Under the Customs Act it is the importer that Customs will hold responsible for this money. It is worth getting it right the first time.

There are also circumstances where you can claim a refund on duty incorrectly paid. These circumstances are very particular and the maximum time limit is only 12 months. You can check with us if you have any questions in this regard.

Need to know more? Our people are waiting to help you. Phone 02-9839-3100 or E-mail. (Back to FAQs)

I'd like someone to check what I've been doing, can you help?

Yes we certainly can. We can review every aspect of your importing or exporting process. We can check duties, freight methods, documentation, freight rates etc. One big advantage of this is that if mistakes have been made and you volunteer the duty, penalties wont apply. You never know you might even get some money back. We find that this audit process invariably turns up on-going savings of one type or another.

Enquiries on phone 02-9839-3100 or E-mail. (Back to FAQs)

Do I need any special documentation?

Yes - quarantine packing declarationsfor all seafreight consignments. Contact our offices for details. Australian Customs accept normal commercial documents. What they need to be able to see from the documents is what you are importing and how much you paid for it.

For seafreight consignments we would normally need an original Bill of Lading. Customs would normally expect to see the B/L or for airfreight the Air Waybill, the commercial invoice and packing list.

You should check with our people for your specific circumstance. Phone 02-9839-3100 or E-mail.

It is important to keep all of your import documents for 5 years. Customs can impose major penalties if you can not produce paperwork.

There are many more special documents associated with exports. See documentation requirements. (Back to FAQs)

What about exports?

Australian Customs have control over everything that comes into and out of the country. Export declarations have to be made prior to export. We can help with those. Phone 02-9839-3100 or E-mail. (Back to FAQs)

Are there any restrictions on what I can import or export?

Yes. Customs administer a number of controls for many government agencies. As an indication they worry about dangerous items. Items that are not correctly "commerce marked" (eg country of origin, composition etc). Goods that may infringe someone's copyright or trade mark. With exports their main concern is with protecting Australia's reputation & heritage. So there are many items subject to permit or restriction etc. Again you should check with us before committing. Phone 02-9839-3100 or E-mail. (Back to FAQs)

If I export something that was imported can I get my duty back?

Usually yes. Customs call this a Drawback of duty. You need to be registered with Customs. You need to tell them you intend to claim drawback before you export the goods. You have to lodge your claim for drawback within 12 months of export. Prospectors Logistics can help you with all of this.

You can call us on 02-9839-3100 or E-mail. (Back to FAQs)


Our location
Norwest Business Park,
6-8/22 Lexington Drive
Bella Vista NSW 2153,
Ph: +61-2-9839-3100

Did you know?
We offer full shipment tracking
facilites. For details please call
or email us.

Located in Sydney's Hills District
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