Importing can be a complicated process that requires declarations, customs entries, researching classifications for duty, etc. It's all about the paperwork and there is a lot of it. Getting it wrong can cost an extreme amount of money and cause costly delays. Rest assured, we take care of all this for you. I can go into an immense amount of detail however I will try to explain what's involved as simply and as briefly as possible.

Goods invoice:
This is the FOB amount. FOB is the "Free on Board" amount which is the cost of the goods themselves delivered from the manufacturers warehouse to the port of departure in China. 

Shipping cost are generally the same to all the major ports in Australia. Shipping charges will also vary dependent on the month of the year, ie peak season, the USD exchange rate, competition within the shipping industry, etc.

Government taxes and fees:
Duty is calculated on the value of the items and the tariff category they fall into. Most agricultural equipment is duty free however some items will attract duty.
AQIS fee, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service fee.
ACS fee, the Australian Customs Service fee.

GST which is calculated on the AUD value of the taxable items at the time of arrival in Australia.

Local taxes and fees:
Port service charges which will vary from Port to Port.
Associated fees and taxes applicable to your Port of arrival, if any.

The fee charged by your Broker for their services performed. You are free to choose whichever shipping agent and broker you prefer. If you do not have an agent we will happily forward your details to a trusted Australian agent with excellent communication updates whom we have used many times previously. Regardless, we will forward the shipping documents, declarations, certificates and customs entries to the agent of your choosing. We make no profit from either the shipping or the brokerage.

Customs Tariff entries, Certificates, Bill of Laden, Packing Declaration, Test Reports, the list goes on and on. These are all essential requirements to ensure trouble free importation without delay. An important issue right now is the importation of Asbestos which can be found in brake and clutch linings. We have had these components tested by an independent authority which we will supply to your Broker along with all the other required declarations. Without these certificates you may be forced to have the goods dismantled by an authorized mechanic where the components will be removed and taken to a laboratory for testing. Needless to say the costs involved to transport to a bond store, unloading fees, mechanical fees, laboratory fees, storage, container detention, etc are substantial and have been known to be more than the value of the goods themselves.

So what will my total cost be?
For an example we will use an AU $20,000 package to the Port of Fremantle. The following figures are from a 20 foot container we have imported previously which arrived during the peak shipping period of December. For simplicity I have omitted the cents:

Goods invoice AU $20,000, GST taxable.
Overseas freight AU $882, GST taxable.
Duty AU $105, GST taxable however we will attempt to reduce the duty to zero with the Australia China Free Trade Agreement now in place.
AQIS AU $45, GST free.
ACS AU $152, GST free.
Port service AU $745, GST taxable.

Calculating the GST:
$20,000 + $882 + $105 + $745 = $21,732 giving a GST value of $2,173.

Now we can calculate the cost to the Port of Fremantle:
Goods invoice $20,000
Overseas freight $882
Duty $105
AQIS $45
ACS $152
Port of Fremantle $745
GST $2,173
Giving a total of $24,102 including GST. You will need to add brokerage which will vary between Brokers but allow a couple of hundred dollars.


GST, Duty, etc is calculated at the time your goods arrive in Australia and is payable on or just prior to that date. For example, on the above figures you would pay to us the $20,000 upon the purchase of the goods, you would then pay the balance of $4,102 when the goods are due to arrive in Australia.

Our invoice to you is for the Free On Board amount of the goods themselves. There is no GST payable to us on this invoice even though we are an Australian registered company that holds an ABN. GST is calculated and paid for on the date of arrival to Australia.

Even though the dollar amounts above were taken from an actual container we have imported, these are indicative only. Realistically the shipping and government taxes will be what they will be. The industry is very competitive, your broker and shipping agent will find you the best deal. That is their job, that is what they do.

We are happy to answer any questions and would appreciate any feedback about this page. Our contact page is here.