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Important tips when shipping to Australia

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Are you considering shipping to Australia from Vietnam but need help figuring out where to start? Australia is one of the top international markets for imports, exemplified by the remarkable increase in exports from Vietnam to Australia. In 2021, exports surged to an impressive US$4.92 billion, reflecting a substantial growth from US$4.07 billion in 2020, as reported by the Observatory of Economic Complexity. Furthermore, Free Trade Agreements like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and favourable trade policies, such as the Australia-Vietnam Strategic Partnership, have created immense opportunities for Vietnamese companies to expand their exports of top commodities including electronic equipment and mineral fuels alongside other attractive investments. However, with so many facets of trading internationally – from finding a reliable logistics partner and preparing the shipping documents needed, to assessing customs charges and regulatory requirements – it can be slightly overwhelming for businesses unfamiliar with exporting or international trade to ship to Australia. In order to help make your next shipment as successful and seamless as possible, DHL Express will provide some key tips and best practices when sending goods from Vietnam to Australia.

1. Research shipping options

When shipping to Australia, it's important to consider your shipping options carefully. This is especially true when trying to meet tight delivery schedules. For businesses sending important, time-sensitive shipments, international express shipping by air is often the preferred choice. Delivery times can vary widely depending on the shipping mode you select. For example, an express courier service could get your shipment to its destination in just two to four working days by air on average, while shipping by sea could take as long as three weeks. It's worth doing your homework to choose the shipping method that best meets your needs while also considering the costs involved. When you choose door-to-door shipping, your shipment is handled from origin to destination, and picked up from the consignor and delivered to the consignee, ensuring it is delivered safely and securely without the need for additional transfers or handling. This mode of shipping provides convenience, reliability, and peace of mind, allowing you to focus on your business while your trusted logistics partner takes care of the entire shipping process. For other options such as freight forwarding, door-to-door service and all-in-one pricing are not available, so there may be additional costs in arranging pickup, airport handling, customs clearance, and delivery. It pays to take the time to make an informed decision.

2. Restricted and prohibited items

When shipping goods to Australia, it is vital to be aware of the restrictions and prohibitions in place to ensure compliance with Australian customs regulations. Items such as weapons, certain drugs, and endangered plants are prohibited from entering the country. Additionally, food items such as fresh fruit and vegetables, meat products, and rice are restricted and require special permits. It is crucial to understand these regulations as shipping restricted or prohibited items could result in fines, confiscation of goods, or even legal consequences. To ensure a seamless international shipping experience, double-check the list of restricted and prohibited items before sending any goods to Australia. You can also check against DHL Express’ list of standard prohibited and restricted commodities before shipping with us for further peace of mind.

3. Shipping documentation

If you're planning on shipping to Australia, it is crucial to ensure that all necessary documentation is in order for a smooth and hassle-free process. The documents needed to ship to Australia may vary depending on the nature of the shipment and the Australian authorities' import regulations. However, standard documents such as the air waybill and commercial invoice should not be overlooked. An accurate and complete air waybill provides details of the shipment's origin, destination, weight, dimensions and contents along with the shipper’s and receiver’s contact information and address. The commercial invoice is a document that is used for declaring relevant information such as the reason for export, tax ID for the shipper and receiver, and a detailed breakdown of transaction costs that include the goods value, insurance, freight, and packaging among others, for clearance purposes. Any missing, unclear or incorrect information on these documents can lead to delays in customs clearance and possibly even fines or penalties. Other documentation, licences, and permits may also be required based on the shipment's contents. For example, sending food can necessitate additional documents like a food safety management certificate, while transporting medicine may require import permits and health certificates. 

4. Duties and taxes

As a global exporter, it's essential to understand the customs regulations and procedures for shipping to Australia. The Australian government imposes strict guidelines on importing goods, including the assessment of duties and taxes, and failure to comply can result in hefty fines or even the seizure of your shipment. Upon entry into Australia, all imported goods are subject to import duties and taxes. The amount of tax levied on your shipment is determined by various factors. Dutiable goods are assigned a classification code called the Harmonized System (HS) code, which plays a crucial role in determining the applicable duty rate. By accurately declaring the value and HS code of your imported items, you can ensure a fair and transparent assessment of duties and taxes by the customs authorities. In addition to the classification of the goods, the duty amount is also dependent on the presence of preference schemes such as free-trade agreements, which could significantly influence the final payable duty on your imported items. To ensure a seamless customs clearance process, it's advisable to adhere to these regulations and make sure you are aware of the de minimis threshold amount. The threshold amount refers to the value of imported goods that are exempted from import duties and taxes, which currently stands at US$1000. In cases where the total value of the shipment exceeds the allowed threshold, it is necessary to pay taxes on the entire shipment value. It is important to be aware of these tax implications and factor them into your shipping considerations. 

Typically, the payment of duties, taxes, and other fiscal charges rests with the importer when shipping to Australia. However, DHL Express Vietnam offers the opportunity for DHL account holders to assume the responsibility of paying these charges. Keeping up with the customs regulations and procedures regarding duties and taxes will save time, money and ensure the shipment arrives smoothly in Australia.

5. Packaging and labelling

Proper packaging and labelling play a crucial role in ensuring the safe and efficient delivery of your items when shipping to Australia. It is essential to assess your packing needs and determine what’s best for the type of goods you wish to export before you can package your goods securely, using appropriate materials that can withstand the rigours of transportation. This includes using sturdy boxes, padding, and cushioning materials like bubble wrap or packing peanuts to protect fragile items. Additionally, ensure that your packages are properly sealed to prevent any damage or loss during transit. Labelling is equally important as it helps in accurate identification and handling of the shipment. Make sure to clearly label the packages with the recipient's address, your return address, and any relevant tracking numbers or barcodes. Complying with packaging and labelling requirements not only ensures the safety of your goods but also helps in the smooth customs clearance process. When selecting an international express shipping service provider, opt for a reputable and dependable company that delivers exceptional service. They should also stand out as a trusted industry leader with extensive expertise in logistics and cross-border shipping. 

Ship goods to Australia with DHL Express today

For those shipping to Australia, DHL Express Vietnam is your reliable and efficient logistics partner. With decades of experience in the global shipping industry and an extensive international network, we ensure smooth and timely deliveries from Vietnam to Australia. Our tailored logistics solutions are designed to meet your specific needs, whether you're sending food items or shipping product offerings overseas. Benefit from our comprehensive express courier services, which provide fast and secure deliveries to Australia. Say goodbye to customs complexities and delays, and experience the convenience and peace of mind of shipping with DHL Express. Open a DHL Express business account today and enjoy seamless delivery solutions to Australia.