SunShine Customs Broker

Customs Broker Articles
  1. Special edition for Fashion Exposed Year 2007 Melbourne
  2. About duty free concessions for travellers
  3. Importing Handicrafts Into Australia duty free
  4. Customs clearance re goods purchased over Internet
  5. Importing Goods By Post

Special edition for Fashion Exposed Year 2007 Melbourne Go To Top

Import Customs clearance for clothing

When the marvellous fashion catches the eyes of the world, we are more concerned about how smoothly those goods can be cleared from the barriers of Customs and Quarantine. As Customs broker specialized in clothing and textile industry, we hope we can help you with the following information:

Customs Duty

17.50% duty is applicable to most of the clothing with a DC rate of 12.5%. (DC refer to developing countries ) some attracts 11% (some of baby's garments), some attracts 5% (eg protective garments) or some are duty free (clothing accessories). Duty rate will be reduced from 17.5% to 10%, from 12.5% to 5% in year 2010

Australia-China Free Trade Negotiations

The negotiation is still under process. We are aware clothing industry is part of the negotiation. We will expect duty free or reduced duty rate on clothing if the Free Trade Agreement is reached. We don't know when but it will happen.

Calculation of Duty and GST

Duty is levied on FOB price. For example A$1000 term FOB

Duty = 1000*17.5% =A$175

GST 10%

GST is levied on CIF price plus Duty. For example A$1000 FOB, overseas freight A$100, Insurance A$1

Duty = 1000*17.5% =A175

GST = (1000+100+1+175)*10% =$127.6


  Description of clothing for customs classification purpose should include:

•  What material: Cotton, polyester or plastic etc?

•  Knitted or woven?

•  Is it for baby or adult, for man or woman?

•  What kind of clothing, top, shirts, jacket, or trousers etc?

To describe the clothing correctly on the import documentation is very important.

A Lot of delay of clearance is due to not sufficient information of the descriptions.

Packing declaration

To present a packing declaration for clearance can save you a lot of money and energy. Quarantine will release the cargo if you provide a correct packing declaration with no timber packing. If you don't have a packing declaration, Quarantine will order an inspection, either you or customs agent will need to be present during the inspection which incurs cost.

Fumigation certificate

Don't use timber as packing material if possible. If timber has been used, you need to provide fumigation certificate. The only acceptable fumigation provider from China is Chinese Quarantine.

Commerce Marking and Labelling

All clothing, footwear needs commerce marking. Please refer to Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act 1905

If the goods have no commerce marking, it is an offence of Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act 1905. The commerce marking will have to be put on at a nominated premise under the supervision of Customs before the goods can be released.

About duty free concessions for travellers Go To Top

The following duty-free concessions are available to travellers provided that they do not exceed the specified amounts.

Group 1 - general
A$900 worth of goods (A$450 for people under 18 and both air and sea crew members ) including gifts (given to you or intended for others), souvenirs, cameras, electronic equipment, leather goods, perfume concentrates, jewellery, watches and sporting equipment. Alcohol and tobacco products cannot be included in this concession.

These goods can be:
obtained overseas
purchased in Australia duty or tax free before departure
goods for which a tax refund has been approved through the Tourist Refund Scheme
purchased from an inwards duty free shop on arrival.

Group 2 - alcohol
2.25 litres of alcoholic beverages for each passenger aged 18 years or over.

Group 3 - tobacco
250 cigarettes, or 250 grams of cigars or tobacco products for each passenger aged 18 years or over. One opened packet containing 25 cigarettes or less is also allowed.

NOTE: However, if you exceed any of the concession limits set out above, Customs will charge you duty and tax on the entire importation or purchase within that group of items.
You can pool your duty free concessions if you are a family travelling together.
Family means husband and wife and, if any, a child who is, or children who are, under the age of 18 years.
Most personal items such as new clothing, footwear, and articles for personal hygiene and grooming (but not fur or perfume concentrates) may also be brought into Australia in accompanied baggage free from duty and/or tax.
If you have anything in excess of your duty free concession, declare the goods and provide proof of purchase to Customs for calculation of any duty and tax to be paid.
Failure to declare goods in excess of your concession could result in the application of penalties. If in doubt, contact a Customs officer or call 1300 363 263 (Australia only) for information. If overseas, call +61 2 6275 6666 or email
Payment of customs duty/taxes
Payment of Customs duty and/or other taxes may be made in cash or by travellers cheque in Australian dollars or by personal cheque drawn on an Australian Bank or by Credit card (American Express, Mastercard, Visa or Bankcard) - only available at international airports or by electronic funds transfer (EFTPOS) from an Australian bank account only available at international airports.

Business travellers
Business travellers carrying commercial goods or samples may need to obtain permits for their goods depending on the nature of the goods, regardless of value. Quarantine and wildlife regulations and other restrictions may also apply to certain goods.
A customs entry for Customs clearance may be required if the goods carried are valued over $A250.
Laptop computers and other similar electronic equipment for personal use may also be brought in duty/tax free provided Customs is satisfied you are taking these goods with you on departure.
Temporary importation of commercial goods
Carnets may be obtained for temporary duty/tax free entry of goods such as commercial samples, jewellery, goods for international exhibitions, equipment for sporting events, professional television and film equipment etc. Contact your International Chamber of Commerce for application details.
For more information on importing goods, contact a Customs office or an Australian mission overseas or refer to the Customs brochure Customs Information for Importers available at Customs offices in Australia or at Australian missions overseas.

Notice to domestic passengers travelling on an international cruise ship
Customs legislation only permits duty and excise and tax free sales to travellers undertaking international journeys. Passengers joining international cruise ships only to travel between Australian ports (i.e. domestic passengers) are not entitled to duty free benefits or concessions.
Customs recognises that while on board domestic passengers may need to purchase items for personal use such as toiletries and film, and these are sold free of duty. Also, domestic passengers may purchase spiritous beverages by the glass or nip, and cigarettes and tobacco products by the individual packet or tin free of duty which are for immediate consumption.
Unaccompanied goods
Unaccompanied baggage does not receive the same duty/tax concessions as goods you bring with you. These goods may be subject to duty/tax unless you have both owned and used them for 12 months or more.

Importing Handicrafts Into Australia duty free Go To Top
The Australian Customs Service (ACS) grants importers a tariff concession that permits the duty free entry of genuine handicrafts into Australia. To qualify for this concession the manufacturer or supplier of the goods, through the importer, will be required to prove to the ACS that the items were, in fact, "handmade". For the purposes of the concession, the term “handmade” means:

(a) fabric made by one or more of the following processes, and by no other process:
i. by hand;
ii. by non-mechanical, non-powered tools held in the hand; or
iii. produced on hand or foot powered looms.
(b) goods made by one or more of the following processes, and by no other process:
i. by hand;
ii. by non-powered tools held in the hand; or
iii. where the concession specifically allows, by machines powered by foot or hand; and
(c) are wholly, or in chief part by weight, of materials traditionally used in the production of handicrafts; and
(d) have attained, by reason of being “handmade”, an artistic or decorative character generally comparable with traditional “handmade” products of the country in which the goods were made.

Acceptable evidence of this should be in the form of:

1. a video or a series of photographs of the manufacturer’s factory showing all processes of manufacture; and
2. a written description of the manufacturing process

Customs clearance re goods purchased over Internet Go To Top
All goods (except for tobacco products and alcoholic beverages) may be imported
duty and tax free if their value is $1,000 or less.
Note: However, where there are multiple packages to the same addressee in Australia from a single consignor overseas that arrive at about the same time, then the value of all packages will be combined for duty and tax assessment purposes.
Some goods commonly purchased over the Internet that are, or contain, restricted items may be detained or seized by Customs. These include:
• performance-enhancing medicines, including steroids and health supplements containing restricted substances;
• medications, both traditional and alternative such as herbal preparations;
• videos, DVDs, CDs and books/publications with objectionable or offensive content;
• wildlife souvenirs and products;
• plant seeds;
• electronic dog collars;
• electronic hand-held insect zappers
This is a not a complete list of restricted or prohibited imports. To obtain further details on goods subject to import restrictions including details of permit requirements, click on link to Prohibited Imports.

Imported goods with a value of A$1000 or less

Imported goods arriving by post will be released duty and tax free by Customs for delivery direct to the addressee except for tobacco, tobacco products and alcoholic beverages or goods subject to import permit requirements. In these cases, you will be contacted and notified of the action you must take.

Imported goods arriving otherwise than by post will require the completion of a Self Assessed Clearance (SAC) declaration before clearance from Customs control .SAC declarations can only be lodged electronically
Where the carrier of your goods has sufficient information available to be satisfied that no duty or taxes apply and that no import permit is required, they may lodge the SAC declaration on your behalf . it is understood that the major express couriers will do so where duty or taxes apply (for tobacco products and alcoholic beverages) and/or an import permit is required, you will be contacted and notified of the action you must take.

Imported goods with a value of more than A$1000
Irrespective of how your imported goods arrive in Australia, you will be required to lodge a formal Customs import declaration if their value is above $1,000, and to pay the calculated duty and taxes.

Importing Goods By Post Go To Top

If you are receiving your goods via the post you are considered the importer of those goods and these may be subject to Customs duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Generally, all goods imported into Australia are subject to Customs duty and GST and are assessed for community protection risks. However, all goods (except for tobacco and alcoholic beverages) may be imported duty and tax free if the value of the goods is A$1000 or less.

Irrespective of how your imported goods arrive in Australia, you will be required to lodge a formal Customs Import Declaration if their value is above A$1000, and pay the calculated duty and taxes.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to give us a call, our consultant will exhaust all the resources to assist you.

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