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International convention and customs procedures of Australia

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Party to the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls For Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies
Party to the International Coffee Agreement
International Economic Cooperation
Australia is a member of the following international economic organisations: OECD, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), WTO, G-20, Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), ICC, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Australia click here. International organisation membership of Australia is also outlined here.
Non Tariff Barriers
Animals, plants and unprocessed derivatives are subject to complex phytosanitary legislation.
More than 150 agricultural products are subject to import licensing, and to very restrictive quarantine regulations.
Packaging and pallets must be accompanied by a fumigation certificate.
Some goods, such as cheese and tobacco, are subject to quotas.
Antibiotics may only be sold if authorized by the Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Health and Family Services. Pharmaceutical products are subject  to particular conditions.
Restricted items include drugs, steroids, weapons/firearms, heritage items, plants and animals, food and protected wildlife. It is important to note that while some items may be imported, their use may be prohibited under individual State laws.
For further information:
Temporary importation of commercial goods
Information for travellers
Prohibited and restricted imports
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (en anglais)Restrictions on importation of agricultural products
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
On most products imported into Australia, customs duty is 5% of the value of the goods converted to Australian dollars, but this is dependent on the type of goods. For more information, click here.
Customs Classification
Australia applies the Harmonized Customs System.
Import Procedures
Australia does not require a general licence to meet the importing requirements. However, depending on the nature of the goods and regardless of value, importers might need to obtain permits to clear certain imported goods from customs control. Importers need to verify:

  • what import permits, quarantine permits and treatments apply to the specific category and type of imported goods
  • whether imported goods are subject to mandatory safety or information standards.

All goods whose value is over AUD 1,000 must enter the country via a Self-Assessed Clearance (SAC) declaration. If importers are clearing goods directly into home consumption and the goods have a value of more than AUD1,000 they will need to make an Import Declaration (N10 Form), and pay the duties, taxes and charges that apply.
These declarations can be done by Internet, via the Integrated Cargo System (ICS). An alternative option for lodging Import Declarations is in documentary (paper) form, through:

  • the Import Declaration (N10) (Form B650) if the goods are arriving by sea or air cargo
  • the Import Declaration (N10) – Post (Form B374) if the goods are arriving by international mail.

It is advisable for new importers to use the services of a Customs broker, who will assist in filling out the Import Declaration document, and can take charge of a certain number of import processes on the importer's behalf. The broker will find the most cost-efficient tariffs for the Customs procedures, but will bill you for the services.

You can also take charge of the procedure yourself and obtain all the necessary information on reefund of customs duty from the Australian Border Force. You will find all the necessary information in the How to Import Comprehensive Guide.

Importing Samples
The ATA carnet can be used for the import, export or re-export of commercial samples. It must be written on the product that it is a free sample and cannot be sold.
People traveling for business and carrying goods or samples for business purposes may need special authorizations for their goods according to their nature and irrespective of their sale value.

To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export controls.

For Further Information
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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Latest Update: March 2024

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