Customs duties & taxes online guide for importing into Australia

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Over the last two decades, the domestic expenditure of Australia spent on imported items has been increasing. Trade agreements improved market access in all areas of trade which have helped to sustain and increase the competitiveness of all businesses. If you’re looking to import overseas goods for your target audience, this customs duties and taxes guide will be helpful.

When importing goods and products into Australia, there is a high chance that you may need to pay customs duties and other taxes. All products imported into Australia are typically subject to costs unless there is a particular concession or exemption.

The amount you have to pay depends on several factors such as the value of the imported goods and the type of products you are shipping. If you are unaware of what duties and taxes apply to your imports, it could cause unexpected hassle and incur additional costs. Hence, having access to such information helps to ensure you enjoy a smooth import process. Here’s a quick overview of the customs duties and taxes that are applicable when importing goods into Australia, and how you can calculate them.

What customs duties and taxes do I pay when importing goods into Australia?

You have to pay customs duties if the value of imported products is above the designated threshold of AU$1,000. However, when importing tobacco and alcohol products, there are no exemptions to duties and taxes. 

In addition, you have to cater to a 10% Goods and Services Tax (GST) of the total cost of goods, insurance, freight and import duty. A few other taxes also apply to particular products, such as the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) and Luxury Car Tax (LCT).

There are also additional charges like dumping and countervailing duties for particular categories of goods, and will still apply even in the presence of free-trade agreements between Australia and other countries.

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Are there any exemptions for import duty and taxes?

If the value of your goods is AU$1,000 and below, as noted above, you can import them duty-free. For consignments worth more, they can benefit from certain concession schemes that exempt import duty. For example, the Tariff Concession Orders (TCOs) lets you import goods into Australia duty-free if there are no Australian manufacturers of the goods. The Tradex Scheme waives import duty and GST on goods that will be re-exported from Australia. Businesses bringing in goods to store in local warehouses and export to overseas customers can benefit from the Tradex Scheme. Certain goods like basic food items and medical products can also be imported without paying GST.

How can I calculate the Australian custom duty for imported goods?

Customs duty is usually calculated from a tariff classification, like the HS Code, or a treatment code. While duties can be tabulated using the various duties calculators online, it is important to note that these are an approximation. Import duty rates are applied based on different classifications and tallied at customs. Yet, you are advised to consider calculating an estimate so you can set aside enough funds.

Do I need any documentation when paying import duty & taxes?

For imported goods valued AU$1,000 or less via air or sea cargo, unless they are tobacco or alcohol products, a completed Self-Assessed Clearance (SAC) Declaration must be presented at customs. Goods imported via post or mail will not require the SAC. No additional charge is pegged to this declaration either. An import declaration is required for all other types of goods imported, alongside an import processing charge, which can range between AU$23 and AU$192. Both the SAC and import declaration can be completed by the cargo company or a licensed customs broker. 

Import and export with DHL Express today

Ensuring that you can prepare the right documentation and calculate customs duties and taxes ahead of time keeps you in control of the import process. Engaging a reliable logistics and express delivery provider in Australia can streamline the experience. DHL Express helps businesses export from and import into Australia with a range of systematic and functional tools available on MyDHL+. From gaining access to preferential business rates to staying on top of regulatory changes, we ensure that you can ship your goods to and fro Australia hassle-free. Whether you’re starting an import or export business based in Australia, you can rest assured that DHL Express can support you through all logistical processes. 

Why not create a business account on DHL Express to get started?



While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained herein has been obtained, produced and processed from sources believed to be reliable, no warranty, express or implied, is made regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of such information.

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