A guide to shipping to Australia from Indonesia

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As Indonesia's economy continues to grow, more and more businesses are looking to expand their reach internationally. One popular market for Indonesian exporters in Australia, with a trade volume totalling AU$5,720 million in 2022, as evidenced by data from the Australia Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

However, when shipping from Indonesia to Australia, customs clearance is an important part of the shipping process. As a business owner, it is important to understand the various facets relating to customs clearance in Australia. These include duty, taxes, and tariffs, the various categories of goods that are taxable and not taxable, policies, laws and regulations, and the documents that need to be prepared. In this blog post, we will guide you through the essential steps for exporting goods to Australia.

1. Duty, taxes & tariffs

Duty, taxes, and tariffs are fees that must be paid to customs when importing goods into Australia. These fees are based on the value of the goods being imported and the specific category of the goods. 

The Australian government sets these import taxes and fees and they can vary depending on the country of origin, the category of the goods, and the value of the shipment. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is 10% of the value of the taxable importation, as stipulated by the Australian Border Force. Goods with a value greater than AU$1,000, as well as goods like tobacco and alcohol, are subject to custom duties.

When shipping goods from Indonesia to Australia, it is important to understand which categories of goods are taxable and which are not. For example, if you are moving to Australia and need to ship personal items such as clothing and footwear, these goods have customs duty exemptions and are non-taxable. 

2. Free trade agreements

When shipping internationally, free trade agreements (FTAs) can have a significant impact on the total amount of duties and customs businesses have to pay. Australia has a number of FTAs in place with countries like Indonesia, which can reduce or eliminate tariffs on certain goods. The Australia-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) is an FTA that was signed between Australia and Indonesia in July 2020. It is designed to promote economic integration and boost trade between the two countries.

Under the IA-CEPA, and alongside the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), tariffs on a wide range of goods and services will be reduced or eliminated, making it easier for businesses in both countries to trade with each other. According to ASEAN Briefing, the IA-CEPA allows greater market access especially for livestock and agricultural products.

3. Policies, laws and regulations

Additionally, there are a number of policies, laws, and regulations in place in Australia that can impact customs clearance. When importing goods into Australia, ensure that you follow the regulations set out by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. For example, glazed ceramic ware, cosmetics containing toxic materials, hazardous items containing asbestos, and counterfeit credit cards are prohibited import items. 

If you plan on shipping food, plant or animal products to Australia, it is important to comply with its strict regulations and ensure that their shipments do not pose a risk to the country's agriculture, horticulture, or environment. The Australian Government’s Department of Fisheries and Forestry regulates the entry of products into Australia, designed to prevent the introduction of pests, diseases, and other harmful organisms into the country. Importers can verify if their product can be imported and whether import permits or supporting documents are required on the Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON).

By understanding these agreements and ensuring that your shipments are compliant, you can protect your business when trading internationally. 

4. Documents to prepare

When shipping goods to Australia, there are a number of documents that need to be prepared, including a commercial invoice, a packing list, and a bill of lading. These documents provide customs officials with important information about the goods being imported, including the value, weight, and category of the goods. 

Working with a logistics provider like DHL Express can help ensure that all of these documents are prepared correctly and that your shipments clear customs smoothly. To successfully break into the Australian market, read our business dealings guide to gain a deeper understanding of Australia.

Partner with DHL Express for a smooth customs clearance process

DHL Express is a leading logistics provider with extensive experience in shipping goods from Indonesia to Australia. We have a deep understanding of the customs clearance process in Australia and can help you navigate the various requirements and regulations. Our team of customs experts can provide guidance on a range of customs matters, from duty and taxes to the documents that need to be prepared. We can also help ensure that your shipments clear customs smoothly and that you comply with all of the necessary requirements.

Open a DHL Express business account now.