With the big rise in individuals and families importing their own goods, especially from China, there has also been a big rise in newbie importers being shocked at unexpected import and warehousing costs.

Platinum® Freight’s customs broker Peter McRae says importing costs can escalate significantly if you don’t do your research before buying from overseas.

He cites the example of a family finding an inflatable jumping castle in China that costs $ 800 AUD and $ 20 USD to ship it to Australia for their sons birthday party.

“Because it costs less than $1,000 AUD people are correct in saying that there is no import duty or import GST; but they don’t realise that they cannot go to the wharf in their capital city and just collect the goods once they have arrived.

They soon find this about one week before the goods arrive, they receive an email from a shipping company saying that they need to pay $ 400 AUD for Australian port charges on top of the $ 800 AUD and $ 20 USD…it becomes an expensive jumping castle…and this is just the beginning. ”

Peter McRae says this is where the costs start to mount up…fast


In order to be able to collect the jumping castle from the wharf, the importer needs to employ a customs broker to have the jumping castle processed through Customs and Quarantine. The shipping depot where your cargo has been unpacked from the shipping container gives the importer 3 free days to collect the jumping castle – and if it has not been collected within that time the fees are generally $ 50 per cubic metre per day with a minimum charge of $ 200.

“So how do I pick it up? and where do I pick it up from?” The cargo needs to be collected Monday to Friday; generally between 7am and 3pm and will be at the local port in their capital city.

So what’s the alternative? Is there a cheaper way.

As you can see this family has already incurred these costs :

  •  $ 800 AUD jumping castle
  • $ 20 USD shipping from China to Australia
  • $ 400* AUD port charges Australia [based on 1 cubic metre]
  • $ 221* AUD Australian customs clearance

*subject to GST

Platinum® Freight’s port charges for 1 cubic metre would have been approximately $ 250* instead of $ 400* and they ship between China and Australia for free…

A quick email or phone call to Platinum® Freight before buying the jumping castle could have saved the family at least $ 170.

Platinum® Freight’s customs brokers pre-clear all cargo before it arrives into Australia and actively looks at ways to save their customers money in shipping, duty, GST and Quarantine fees whilst also organising transport between the wharfs and the clients premise.

We can usually get the product out of the depot in 24 hours, because we’re electronically linked to Customs and Quarantine.

Issues to consider

If you have the right customs broker there is the potential to reduce the import duty on your product from 5% to 0%, Platinum® Freight can assess whether an item will be subject to the lower rate of import duty once data sheets and photos have been emailed for assessment.

  • Other factors to consider:
  • The costs of the product
  • The shipping / airfreight costs from overseas to Australia
  • Customs clearance in Australia
  • Port charges / airline terminal fees in Australia
  • Import GST
  • Customs entry ~$ 40.20 – $ 88 (depending on how your goods arrive into Australia)
  • AQIS fees (which are time-based charges)
  • Delivery

Call 1300 882 877 today for an obligation free quote on your imports from China

Media Contacts

David Bateson, NewsBusiness 07 3901 1055 / 0402 332287

Peter McRae, Platinum® Freight Management 1300 882 877 peter@platinumfreight.com.au