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Import customs procedures in Australia

Customs threshold (De Minimis Value)

Goods valued at AUD 1,000 or less are free of duty and GST, except tobacco, tobacco products, and alcoholic beverages. 

Standard GST rate :

GST is 10% of the value of the taxable importation. The value of the taxable importation is the sum of:

  • the customs value (CV) of the imported goods
  • any duty payable
  • transportation and insurance cost
  • any Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) payable, if applicable.

Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products):

Australia typically charges a 5% import or customs duty of the value of goods

Method of Calculation of Duties:

Customs duties are calculated on the CIF value.

Method of Payment of Custom Duties

Recipient can pay duty and tax  by credit card, check or cash to the appointed carrier. Please follow the instruction provided by the Carrier.

For shipment with Delivery Duty Prepaid (DDP) term, Spaceship will charge back the duty, tax and tax handling fee from the appointed carrier. 

Specific Import Procedures:

The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service screens all goods that are imported into Australia. The shipping documents for all regulated or non-compliant shipments are inspected. Incomplete invoices as well as goods requiring an import permit and inspection are charged an inspection fee. Using the following words to describe a shipment will incur Quarantine inspections and fees: wood, sample, gift, present, sporting goods, used goods, food, and nutritional supplements. All used items are Quarantine inspected. Quarantine inspections delay Customs clearance.

Australian Customs will request for Evidence of Money Price Paid (EMPP) if the total weight or number of packages relative to the value declared seems unrealistic. (for example: A shipment with 5 packages of Printed Advertising material that weighs 100 kg and costs $50.00 AUD. If the Advertising material is provided free of charge, the import paperwork must declare the fair market value or actual cost of the goods in the country or territory of export.) Failure to comply will cause delays.

Commodity Specific Procedures:

Animal Skins

If these skins are covered by the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species, they will be seized by Customs, unless a valid Export Permit and Import Permit is in place at time of importation and presented to Customs at such time.



All clothing must contain labels. The labels must state the material composition and country or territory of origin. This label must be sewn into the garment, where the customer can see the markings, if the garments are packaged. If the packaging is not transparent, the markings must also be on the packaging.



Green coffee beans require Import Permit from Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.


Compact Discs & Films

Subject to censorship for objectionable material.



Shipments of cosmetic products more than 250mg/kg of lead, require approval from the Ministry for Justice and Customs. This does not apply to those designed for use in hair treatments.



Requires an import permit from Dept of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.



Restrictions will depend on the product itself. All goods containing meat, dairy, fish, bee product, etc., will require permits to import. Quarantine charges apply for food importation. Restrictions in relation to commerce marking also apply. Must have manufacturer, distributor, importer, quantity, ingredients, and country or territory of manufacture on the packaging.

Any shipments that arrive in old fruit boxes will be repacked. The boxes are then destroyed. Clearance delays will occur.

Any food will be quarantine inspected and the charges will be billed. Suspicion of foods will be fumigated by Australian Quarantine Authorities. The minimum quarantine fee is 36 AUD.



Jewelery Shipments with a value less than $1000.00 AUD require Evidence of Price Paid or Sale. This can be in the form of Bank Statements showing proof of payment for the goods, or Credit Card statements or other Receipts showing the actual monetary transaction for the goods.



The importation of medicines into Australia is regulated under the "Therapeutic Goods Act". If the medicines are not registered with the "Therapeutic Administration" then they are not permitted entry into Australia. Permits to import are required for certain goods such as steroids.

Personal imports of prescription medicines can be imported if the importer is a person, the supply is for less than 3 months and they have a prescription from an Australian doctor.


Nutritional Supplements & Vitamins

A full listing of ingredients is required on the invoice. Customs and Quarantine will hold all shipments until ingredients can be verified. Shipments containing ingredients that cannot be verified or are prohibited, will be seized by Customs. Quarantine inspection charges will apply.

The list of prohibited ingredients can be found in the link .

Refer to Department of Health - Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) website for more information on importing personal shipments to Australia


Straw Packing Materials
Straw is strictly prohibited (non-compliance will result in longer delays). All packages containing straw will be stopped and the straw will be removed. This will be done at the importer's expense and with delays ranging from 48 hours to 2 weeks. The cost for this and the delay time will be based on the size of the package.



Require import permit from Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).



Under Trade Marking requirements shoes must be individually marked in a permanent manner with the country or territory of origin and their content material(s).



All software shipments must include the value of the CD-Rom/diskette and the intellectual property/programming. If the goods are blank CD-roms or disks, then the description on the invoice must mention the fact. Software shipments without the intellectual property/programming value which should be determined by the shipper, may be subject to further Customs checks, resulting in delays.



Ceramic tableware may be taken for lead cadnium testing.


Telephone Equipment

Portable telephones require an Import Permit.



Textiles must be labeled with composition of fabric and country or territory of origin.



The manufacturer must issue a certificate certifying that the tire is free from mosquitoes and/or their larvae.


Any painted item must be labelled with the words "Paint not containing lead".

Any form of toy gun or gun replica is prohibited.


Used Items

Quarantine will hold and inspect all used goods. Minimum quarantine charge of 36 AUD applies.


Veterinary Products

Require import permit from Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.



The Department of Commerce requires that the watch, the watch housing and the watch's movement be individually labeled with the country or territory of origin if they are not all made in the same country or territory. If each item is made in the same country or territory only the case needs to be marked with the country or territory of origin.


Wood and Products made of Wood

Wooden furniture and other wooden products should be fumigated prior to export. Shipments should include a Fumigation Certificate issued by a fumigation inspector to avoid delays. The Fumigation Certificate should be attached to the shipping documentation. All items made of wood, cane, bamboo and rattan imported into Australia must undergo quarantine checks, which could add 1 to 2 days of delay.

For solid wood packing and dunnage, AQIS will require mandatory compliance with ISPM 15. This can either be in the form of a phytosanitary certificate or an IPPC logo.

In the event of non-compliance , the package will be treated, destroyed or re-exported. Charges will apply in these instances.


Last Updated On : 25, Aug 2022

Disclaimer: Information provided by Spaceship is provided as is, may not be current, and does not constitute legal advice. In no event shall Spaceship be liable for any errors in the information, forms or features made available by Spaceship, or by any third party site linked to from Spaceship. Selection and completion of proper declaration for any given shipment is the sole responsibility of the shipper. All shipments are subject to the Spaceship Terms.