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Importing from China to Australia: A Complete Guide

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About to import products from China to Australia? This guide is a comprehensive introduction to everything that Australian importers must know, before getting started.

Keep reading, and learn more about Australian product safety standards, mandatory labeling requirements, GST, customs duties, and other import taxes.

As a bonus, this guide also includes an exclusive Import Cost Calculation Case Study, providing you with a tool for calculating all relevant taxes and fees in Australia.

Australian Product Safety Standards

Australia regulates products in many industries, including Children’s products, furniture, vehicles and chemicals in consumer products.

When importing from China to Australia, the buyer is responsible for ensuring compliance with all mandatory product safety standards, and compliance procedures.

As such, you must keep track of the following:

a. Product safety standards (i.e., AS/NZS standards)
b. Substance restrictions (i.e., AZO dyes) Continue Reading →

Australia Product Safety Standards: What Importers Must Know

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About to import products from China to Australia or New Zealand? Ensuring compliance with mandatory safety standards should not come as an afterthought, but be the core focus when importing any consumer product to Australia.

Importing non-compliant products to Australia is an offense, which may not only result in a forced recall, but fines counted in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In other words, you only got one chance to get it right. Keep reading, to learn what every Australian importer must know about product safety:

  • Which products are regulated in Australia?
  • What is an AS/NZS standard?
  • How do I know which AS/NZS safety standards apply to my product?
  • How do I verify that a product conforms to a certain AS/NZS standard?
  • Do I need to get my products lab tested?
  • Who is responsible for ensuring compliance?
  • Non-compliances fines and penalties

Which products are regulated in Australia?

Several product categories, ranging from bicycle helmets and sunglasses to children’s toys, are regulated by a set of mandatory product safety standards. While there are also voluntary standards, we focus on the mandatory standards in this article. The following product categories are regulated, by at least one safety standard, in Australia and New Zealand:

  • Animals & agriculture
  • Baby & nursery
  • Bicycles
  • Boats & marine
  • Clothing & accessories
  • Fire & flammables
  • Food & groceries
  • Furniture, homewares & window furnishings
  • Gas & electrical appliances
  • Hardware & building materials
  • Health & cosmetics
  • Household chemicals
  • Novelties
  • Spas, pools & swimming
  • Sports & recreation
  • Tobacco & smoking accessories
  • Toys
  • Vehicles & accessories
  • Weapons

The Australian government lists all categories, to which mandatory safety standards apply, on Product Safety Australia. On this portal, you’ll find all mandatory product safety regulations and applicable AS/NZS standards. Continue Reading →

Import Duties in Australia When Buying From Asia: An Essential Guide

Understanding the Australian import duty and tariff system, with many its exemptions and country of origin classes, can be rather complicated. In this article, we explain what Australian importers must know about import duty rates, HS codes, and tariffs:

  • Country of origin classifications
  • How to confirm the applicable HS code and duty rate for your product
  • Chapters and sections
  • How to (legally) reduce the import duty rate
  • When to pay import duties
  • How to calculate the customs value and import duty
  • Other import taxes in Australia

Continue Reading →

List of Sourcing Companies in Australia: Top 6 Agencies

australian sourcing companies

Sometimes it actually makes sense start looking for a sourcing agency closer to home, rather than trying to find the right partner in China, Vietnam or India. In this article, we list some of Australia’s leading sourcing companies.

You will also learn how you can benefit from working with a local sourcing company, rather than one that’s based overseas.

What are the benefits of working with an Australian sourcing company?

Most Importers may assume that a company that’s located in the manufacturing country is always superior to one that’s headquartered at home. That said, the opposite is more often the case.

While a sourcing company based in China or Vietnam can disappear with your product designs and supplier network by tomorrow, an Australian agency is far easier to hold accountable when something goes wrong.

Further, sourcing companies based in Australia, or those based in Asia but with Australian ownership, tend to have a better understanding of the following:

Further, all Australian sourcing companies have representation in Asia, be it through partners or a directly owned subsidiary or representative office. Continue Reading →

Australia Import Processing Charge When Importing From Asia: A Complete Guide

About to import products from China, Vietnam or elsewhere, to Australia? If the total importation value is above AU$1,000, you’ll need to submit an import declaration and pay an import processing charge of at least 50 Australian Dollars.

In this guide, we explain what Australian importers must know about the Import Processing Charge:

  • Import Processing Charge Overview
  • Reduced rates for warehoused goods
  • When and how to pay the Import Processing Charge
  • Exemptions, small volumes, and sample orders
  • Import Processing Charge for online purchases and private importers

What is the Import Processing Charge when importing from China, Vietnam or India?

The importing processing charge depends on the customs value (CVAL) and whether you submit the import declaration manually or online. However, unlike import duties which may differ depending on the country of origin, the import processing charge is always the same.

As such, you’ll pay as much for a shipment coming in from China, as one from Vietnam or any other foreign country. Continue Reading →

Australia GST When Importing From Asia: A Complete Guide

Importing from China, Vietnam or India to Australia? Most likely, you’ll need to pay a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10% on top of the taxable importation value.

In this article, I explain what every Australian importer must know about GST, including:

  • GST rates on imported goods
  • GST calculation examples
  • How to (legally) reduce the payable GST
  • How to correctly declare GST
  • GST credits when importing goods
  • GST exemptions and thresholds on imported goods
  • GST for private importers
  • GST registration for overseas companies

What is the GST rate when importing from China, Vietnam or other countries in Asia?

The GST rate for imported goods in Australia is 10%. Unlike for import duties (which may differ depending on the manufacturing country), the GST rate is the same regardless of the country of origin.

As such, you’ll pay a 10% GST on top of the customs value (CVAL) regardless of whether the products are manufactured in or imported from China, Vietnam, India or another country. Continue Reading →

Customs & Taxes When Importing from China: US, EU, Australia & Canada

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Understanding import duties, customs fees, VAT and other taxes is crucial when importing products from China. However, each country or market (i.e., the EU) have their own customs duty rates and tax calculation methods.

In this article, we explain what every Importer must know about custom & taxes when importing products to the following countries / markets.

Product Labeling Regulations in the US, EU and Australia

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About to import products from China or elsewhere in Asia? Then you need to ensure that the products are properly labeled.

In this article, we explain what every importer must know about labeling requirements in the EU, US and Australia.

We also explain why you cannot rely on your manufacturer to ensure compliance on your behalf. In fact, most of them don’t even know how products must be labeled in your market.

Keep reading, to ensure that your products are not seized by the customs authorities!

What is ‘Product Labeling Requirements’?

Most countries have legal requirements for how a product shall be labeled. A label can, for example, inform the customer about the following:

  • The manufacturing country
  • If the product meets certain legal safety requirements (i.e., compliance marks)
  • Size, material and other general product information
  • Warning labels and user instructions

Some labeling requirements apply to all, or a wide range of, product categories.

For example, all products in the US must be labelled with the country of origin (i.e., Made in China). In the European Union, many products must be CE marked.

Other labeling requirements apply to specific products. Examples include toys, electronics and textiles – each with their own set of unique labeling requirements.

Notice that labeling requirements are usually just one of many requirements that importers must fulfil to ensure compliance with certain regulations.

In addition, you may need to keep track of the following:

Technical Compliance: This means that the product is manufactured according to certain technical standards, or substance restrictions. The product is therefore able to pass the necessary tests.

Documents Requirements: The Importer is required to create and store a set of documents. Such documents may include circuit diagrams, component lists, design drawings and risk assessments.

It is important to underline that this article does not include information above the two points above. Continue Reading →