7 Mistakes To Avoid When Importing to Australia

By  //  February 9, 2023

When you’re running an international business, it’s important to know what the laws are of different countries to avoid running into problems.

Knowing what this legal tape is beforehand can make your business run a lot smoother in the long run. To avoid them, here are seven common mistakes business owners make when importing into Australia.

  1. Forgetting To Book In Advance

Shipping lines will be in big demand during the shipping peak season, so you must book at least four weeks in advance to secure your shipment. Shipping lines will take more bookings that they can fulfill and roll over the extra into the following week to maximize their profits. Contact any customs brokerage services in Melbourne to help you figure out the best time to book in advance for your shipments.

  1. Forgetting about Free Trade Agreements

Australia does have some free trade agreements with other countries, such as China and Malaysia, and it would be a mistake to not take advantage of these.  However, there are rules that need to be followed when importing from these countries so that you can receive a duty defund.

  1. Forgetting About Customs Charges

Importing into Australia usually comes with a breakdown of certain fees, such as duties and GST.  These customs charges are based on the value of the goods, the country of origin, and the commodity. You want to account for these charges beforehand to ensure that you can afford to pay for them.

  1. Not Understanding Shipping Terms

Incoterms are laws that govern the shipping industry, especially in contracts that involve international trade. Failure to get a grasp on these laws can lead to you being underpaid, receiving an unexpected bill, or getting sued for not adhering to these laws. It might be best to contact someone experienced in Incoterms to help you understand all of the terminology.

  1. Not Allowing Enough Time Upon Arrival

When your goods arrive, there are two important steps that you need to take: first, there’s the handling by the container line and second, there’s the review by customs. Both of these processes affect the time before your cargo is available to be picked up.

  1. Going Silent On The Forwarder

As an importer, you have a certain amount of “free time” to collect your goods and then return any empty containers to the shipping line. This free time is usually three days, but sometimes it might be shorter. But before you can collect it, your agent won’t be able to collect it until all the duties and GSTs have been paid and the proper paperwork has been presented. That’s why it’s important to stay in communication with your forwarder throughout the shipping process so that everything can proceed smoothly.

  1. Not Preparing Paperwork

Paperwork is essential for every consignment that comes into Australia; that means that you can’t combine paperwork to cover everything. All of your paperwork should be in order beforehand to minimize delays or any additional charges before receiving your shipment.

Receiving international shipments doesn’t have to be difficult if you have assistance on your side. Consider contacting a customs brokerage service to help you with the process so that you’re not incurring unnecessary fees.