The answer is: sooner than you think.
People get involved in importing either because they feel that they can get something cheaper from overseas for their personal use or because they want to supplement their income or want to be full time self-employed doing what they believe in. On a daily basis Australian Customs Broker Platinum Freight receives dozens of calls and emails from all three types.
The answer is simple: all the planning, great offshore product sourcing, market analysis and selling skills all fall over if you end up spending all your potential profit on customs and quarantine issues or if you were not aware that every shipment that arrives into Australia has an extra burden of terminal fees (for air freight shipments) and port charges (for sea freight shipments).
In regards to Customs, there are rules about the labelling requirements, for DAFF they have rules in regards to products which are made of or contain plant material or food.
On Friday mornings Platinum Freight is prepared for an influx of calls from importers whose items have arrived into Australia and need to be processed expeditiously through DAFF and Customs. We are conscious that DAFF and Customs will be closed at 3.50pm and 5.00pm respectively until Monday. The storage clock is already ticking at the airline terminal and the sea freight depot. The sooner you call an Australian custom broker, the sooner you will get your imported goods out of the airline terminal or sea freight depot, these warehouses have a minimum storage charge of $48 for air freight shipments and in some instances $200 for the first day for sea freight less a container load shipments. And it can quickly increase.
Where importers come undone is that many have the assumption that they will receive a call from the airline or shipping company to say that there shipment has arrived and to please come and collect it. It’s at this point they first hear the word ‘you need a customs broker’ so inevitably this is when we get the call so that we can run them through the stages.
As Customs Brokers, we get all the paperwork done as the products leave the foreign port. We have direct electronic links to Customs and DAFF and it takes less than 24 hours to process the shipment.
Over the years we’ve seen importers come and go (in and out of business) and we have identified eight top tips:
Top Tips for Importers
- Understand your product and its market
- Identify an overseas supplier or agent that you get along with well. If they are extremely important to you – then go and meet them
- Have a backup supplier (just in case)
- Do a full costing for the project: the costs of the goods, overseas customs clearance, freight to Australia, insurance, customs clearance in Australia, duty, GST, DAFF, airline terminal fees, sea freight port fees and finally delivery to your premises
- Ensure your goods arrive for the projected date that you promised your customer
- Always under promise and overdeliver
- Understand when your market has matured and whether you need to provide a new product
- Befriend your Australian customs broker – they assist you in having your goods processed through Australia then on to your site – they are the cheapest investment for the greatest return in the cycle.
Whether you need a customs broker in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra or Brisbane – we have a customs clearance agent ready to help. Call us 7 days a week on 1300 882 877 or click here for your obligation free Customs Clearance quote.