news_seafreightWith the growth of eBay shops and other online stores, thousands of home-based businesses are becoming significant importers.

Here are eight top tips from Peter McRae, a senior lecturer on customs broking, and one of Australia’s leading customs brokers at Platinum Freight Management – who specialises in small business imports.

Top eight tips for Importers

1. If you import timber products, the items will need to be fumigated before they arrive in Australia otherwise they will need to fumigated Australia [generally at a higher cost].

2. If your pallet, crate or packing case is made from timber, it needs to be treated to DAFF’s standard by an approved provider overseas otherwise you will need to pay to have the pallet, crate or case treated or disposed of in Australia.

3. Before you pay the final amount to your supplier, it is recommended that you allow Platinum Freight to ask your supplier for the paperwork to make sure that it has been issued correctly, as it’s easier to fix the errors early in the piece before the paperwork has been issued.

4. If your supplier has given you a price for the goods and the shipping to Australia, this does not mean that the port charges in Australia have been included. Port charges in Australia can be quite expensive and will be calculated upon the cubic measurements of the cargo.

5. If you haven’t collected your goods from the Australian depot within three days of the goods being unpacked from the container, you will have a hefty storage charge to pay – generally $200 for the first day [depending on the cubic measurements of the shipment].

6. Customs brokers like Platinum Freight Management pre-clear their customers’ cargo before it arrives into Australia as they are electronically linked to the Australian Border Force and the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry.

7. If your imported goods cost less than $1,000 AUD there is no duty or GST [excluding alcohol and tobacco]

8. If your goods are valued over $1000 AUD, then you will pay duty and GST on the whole value.