Australian Customs Clearance Guide

One of the less enjoyable aspects of importing goods into Australia is dealing with Australian customs clearance. Procedures are strict and highly regulated, so you need to do everything impeccably to ensure fast clearance and correct tariff assessment.

If you have a thorough understanding of applicable duties, permits, prohibited goods, and quarantine regulations, then clearance can be quick and convenient. However, the alternative is delay, frustration and possible penalties for non-compliance.

Here’s a Brief Guide to Australian Customs Clearance

Any goods entering Australia have to be declared to the authorities so that duties can be assessed.

Though as a company you don’t need to hold an import licence, you may need to obtain a permit to facilitate clearance of cargo. This depends on the nature and value of the goods you’re importing.

Once you’ve determined your goods are allowed into Australia and you’ve obtained any necessary permits, you have to consider any relevant customs restrictions.

You need to declare your cargo to the Australian Customs Service and have your goods logged into their database. In order to complete the necessary Import Declaration or Informal Clearance Documents, you need to provide documents such as an air waybill or bill of lading, invoices and items such as packing lists and related insurance documents.

The authorities will use these to determine any necessary customs duties, GST, or other charges you may need to pay. If you wish to access the GST deferral scheme, you’ll need to register for GST purposes and hold an Australian Business Number (ABN).

Be Smart – Use a Freight Forwarder

Dealing with the authorities can be a cumbersome and time consuming affair so it’s best to leave it in the hands of professional freight forwarders. Their in-depth knowledge of customs clearance procedures and a solid working relationship (including an online database link) with the necessary departments means fast processing.

Meanwhile a thorough knowledge of Australian customs concessions mean you make no excess duty payments.

The result is that you focus on your core business tasks confident that your customs affairs are in good hands.

For all your Australian customs clearance needs in Melbourne, contact IATA accredited cargo agent Atlas Forwarding on (03) 93355225.

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