import-storyThe cost of that lovely big stone statue or that ornate teak desk you bought for a song in Indonesia or Thailand can blow out significantly, if you don’t handle the customs clearance of the adventure back here in Australia.

People are being hit with charges of $1,000 or more to have their cargo processed through the various stages of importing; these costs include the shipping line handling fees in Australia, customs clearance and quarantine processing, and if all of this done in a timely manner there shouldn’t be any need for the depot where your goods are to charge you storage.

If you don’t pick up your goods within three days of the container being unpacked, for an item the size of a desk, you could begin to be hit by charges usually in the figure of $200 for the fourth day and $100 a day thereafter, just for depot storage.

If you live in a regional area, you also have to take into account the costs of driving down to collect the goods and then work out where the depot is that is holding the goods as well.

All too often, people travel overseas and find something special that they wish to have shipped back to their home; the person buys the item and they are told that the goods will be shipped to their home, maybe there is a “lost in translation” but the importer certainly doesn’t expect to be paying all of these fees; they receive a telephone call one week before the goods are about to arrive at the port and they are informed that the shipping handling fees for the company in Australia is approximately $350 (as a minimum), then they are advised that they need a customs broker, who then advises them that since the the goods were not fumigated prior to shipping quarantine, do they wish to have the goods fumigated? (which will incur further costs)

Duty kicks in for goods over $1,000. If the goods are valued at $1,001, importers are up for duty and GST on the whole value, not just the excess of $1,000. The standard duty rate for homewares is 5% and the GST is 10% , but a good customs broker looks at ways to reduce the duty to zero, depending on whether Australia has a Free Trade Agreement in place with the country where the goods were manufactured.

You can learn more about importing goods from overseas with our handy Sea Freight info-graphic. Or why not call our friendly team on 1300 882 877 and we would be only too happy to help save you money on your next import.

Platinum Freight™ handles overseas imports for clients in Sydney, Darwin, Fremantle, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Australia wide, so why not allow us to make your project smooth and hassle free?