Help for New Importers

Platinum® has the tools and resources help you get started on your importing journey.

Importing Videos


Our useful video series explains the process of sea freight, air freight, and parcel post imports in clear and simple terms.
Importing eBook

Download our FREE eBook

A step by step guide for for individuals and small to medium sized business wishing to import to Australia
Logistics Service

Book an over the Phone Consultation

Talk through your import with one of our qualified Customs Brokers and receive a written response with advice specific to your importing project.

Freight Forwarder


Receive 6 or 12 months of unlimited advice for your importing project from our qualified Customs Brokers via phone and email.
Read our importing blog

Read our Blog

Platinum® CEO Peter McRae shares importing tips, case studies and the latest in importing news and legislation changes on our blog.

First Time Importing?

So you have an idea to either start your own business, supplement your income or you just have found something cheaper overseas. You probably have some questions… 

To get you started, below are answers to our most frequently asked questions. We also have a series of helpful videos explaining the process to first time importers. And don’t forget to check out our Importing blog where you will find a host of articles full of tips and advice for new importers. Still confused? You may like to book a one-on-one over the phone consultation with one of our friendly customs brokers who can offer you customs clearance advice specific to your project. Whatever your reason for importing, the friendly staff are always on hand to assist. Our status as Australia’s premium customs brokerage is important to us, and we look forward to you becoming another of our many satisfied customers.

*Conditions Apply.


Below are answers to some of the most common questions we get from new importers.

What is a Customs Broker?
A Customs Broker is licensed by Australian Border Force to customs clear import and export cargo. A customs broker performs customs clearances electronically in most instances and a response is received from Customs to determine if the goods can be collected from the wharf or airline and delivered to the customer.
What does a customs broker do?
A Customs Brokers role can be very diverse depending on the clients that they retain. A Customs Broker will develop knowledge and skills in performing clearances for clients who they specialise in.



A Customs Broker will receive the initial shipping documents from you then he / she will:

  • Contact the airline / shipping line to request details of the cargos arrival date.
  • Attend to the airline / shipping line to collect a ‘delivery order’ and pay any charges necessary to the airline / shipping line.
  • Attend to Customs for any documentary checks necessary on a Customs clearance file.
  • Attend to DAFF for any documentary checks necessary on a Customs clearance file.
  • Attend to any inspections / examinations in relation to Australian Customs, DAFF, pillage or damage.
  • Organise collection of cargo from the airline / wharf.
  • Organise delivery to your premises.
  • Forward to you a completed Customs Clearance folder which needs to be retained by ‘the owner of the goods’ for a minimum of years.
Do I need a customs broker?

If your parcel arrives by the postal system and if it is less than AUD$1,000 then you will not need a customs broker. If the package is over AUD$1,000 customs will send you a letter asking you to either customs clear the parcel yourself or employ a customs broker like Platinum® to process the clearance on the same day. It is estimated that if you customs clear the package yourself, the process can take up to 10 days, whereas Platinum® will process it on the same day.

If the package arrives by air freight, sea freight LCL or sea freight FCL, whilst you may attend to the Customs and DAFF office and attempt to customs clear the package yourself, we would not recommend this as the airlines give you one day to take the package from their warehouse before they charge storage and the sea freight depots give you three days before they charge storage. As customs brokers we customs clear cargo seven days a week and are connected to Customs and DAFF electronically and receive immediate responses.

What is a Freight Forwarder

An Australian freight forwarder is someone who has agents overseas who can be relied upon to have your goods transported to and from Australia. A freight forwarder can organise to have your boxes, containers collected from your suppliers premises and then shipped to Australia and then customs cleared then delivered to your premises.

Click here to get a Freight Forwarding Quote

What are the costs of using a customs broker?
The costs vary depending on the service requested, however we forward a detailed quote to you before commencing work so that you are able to estimate the costs of having your goods cleared. Click here to get a customs clearance quote.
Why should I choose Platinum®?

Platinum® customs clears cargo in all states of Australia, for example we have customs cleared a helicopter that flew into Darwin from Thailand, excavators that arrived into Fremantle and everything in between.


We operate seven days a week “pre-clearing” cargo before it arrives and at the same time we do not give our customers a “shopping list” of charges for our services as can be the case with some other brokerages.

With over 20 years of experience and testimonials to back us up – hopefully all of these ingredients will lead you to use Platinum® Freight.

What are the duty and GST rates applicable for items entering Australia?
Send us an email on the particular items you would like to import and any technical data sheets that you may have and we will investigate the applicable rates of duty and any GST if applicable.
I have a letter from Australian Customs… how can I get my package?

Platinum® Freight have put together this easy to follow guide for Parcel Post Clearances.

My shipment is less than 25 kilograms. What next?
If the shipment is less than 25 kilograms, ask your supplier overseas to send it by surface mail or by Fedex If the contents of your box are over $ 1000 AUD [excluding shipping] then your items will be assessed for import duty and GST.
My goods will be in the country for less than 12 months – are there any savings?
If you are importing temporary goods which will be in Australia for less than 12 months, ask us how we can assist you with the import costs.
Why do I need a packing declaration for my sea freight shipment?
A packing declaration is required by the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF)  for all sea freight shipments. The packing declaration should be completed by the packer of the goods and by having a packing declaration costs can be saved in inspection fees.
I have a small amount to import by sea freight… what do I need to know?
Who charges the port charges for sea freight cargo?
The Australian port charges are charged by the shipping company that brings your goods to Australia, most suppliers do not make mention of port charges when you purchase the goods. A lot of customers get a shock when they calculate the combined cost of the goods and the Australian port charges as the goods may not be as cheap as first thought.
I have a whole container to import by Sea Freight… what do I need to know?
I want to import food or drink to Australia, how do I find out the requirements?

Food and drink is a technical area and it has many issues; firstly there is Customs, DAFF, Imported Foods and then finally the Australian Food Standards. We have many customers who import food and drink and we consult with them before they ship the goods to make sure that all areas of concern have been covered.

If you wish to import food or drink to Australia, the minimum requirements for the label on the package is that it must :

  •  be in English
  •  state your name or your business name
  •  state your address or your business address
  •  list the ingredients
  •  state the expiry date / batch number / lot code
  •  state the country of manufacture
What other savings can I make?

If you are importing from countries like New Zealand, Brunei, Myanmar (Burma), Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Chile, Canada or the U.S.A then ask us how you may be able to reduce your import duty costs.

Platinum® offers discounted customs clearance for Green products and if you are under 25 and starting a business, we will customs clear the first 3 shipments at no charge.

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