If you are fond of an American car or an English boat or any other foreign object and are interested in importing it to Australia, you will have to know the Australian rules for imported goods. Here’s some useful information.
Things You Should Know
- There are no taxes, charges or duties to pay for goods imported through sea or air cargo or international mail the value of which is equal to or less than 1000 AUD.
- If your goods cost more than 1000 AUD, you will have to fill out a special form known as an Import Declaration and pay taxes, charges and duties.
- For some goods such as alcohol or tobacco, you will have to pay taxes and duties irrespective of their value.
- Certain kinds of goods are prohibited to be brought into Australia or require special permits.
- First time or occasional importers are strongly recommended to hire a customs broker in order to clear their items through customs.
Goods Imported by Travellers
For the goods imported by travellers who arrive by sea or air, there are different rules. For example, their most personal items like footwear or clothing can be brought into the country without paying tax or duty.
What can You Import?
As mentioned above, certain items are prohibited to bring into Australia. For example, you cannot import firearms or follow a number of rules while importing them.
Your goods can be treated with screening or x-ray or examined to ensure they are allowed into the country. The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources may also come in to examine and clear your goods.
How the authorities will clear your goods will depend on what the value of the goods is and how they have arrived in Australia. This will also decide the taxes, charges and duty that will be applied to the goods.
Goods Worth AUD 1000 or Less
You need not pay taxes and duty on goods (barring alcoholic beverages, tobacco and tobacco products) worth AUD 1000 or less. These goods are known as low-value imports.
If such goods come to Australia by sea or air cargo, they should have a Self-Assessed Clearance (SAC) declaration. Usually, this is taken care of by the freight forwarder or cargo company. There is no charge for this declaration.
Goods that arrive by international mail do not need a SAC declaration.
Good Worth More than AUD 1000
Visit Marine and Auto Depot website to import a valuable item like a car or boat that may be worth more than AUD 1,000. For such goods, you have to make an Import Declaration. This provides information about the items being imported.
You will have to pay a processing charge for preparing an Import Declaration. Also, you will have to pay taxes and duty for your goods.
Hiring a licensed customs broker can help you import your items safely and without any hassle.
First Time or Occasional Importers
Using a licensed customs broker is highly recommended for first time or occasional importers.
These brokers can prepare the Import Declaration for you and submit it to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection electronically via the Integrated Cargo System. They are also helpful for completing other tasks required to do while importing goods.
These brokers charge for their services, though they have access to reduced processing fees due to their online linkage to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. You can find a licensed customs broker online or in your local Yellow Pages.
A limited assistance is provided by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for the first-time importers only who want to clear their goods themselves.
Hire a Quarantine Cleaning Service
Australian quarantine rules are very stringent and so, you should also hire one of the professional quarantine cleaning services.
If you take care of all these rules, your process of importing goods will be smooth and comfortable.