Help for New Importers
Platinum Freight has the tools and resources help you get started on your importing journey.
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.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Below are answers to some of the most common questions we get from new importers.
What is a Customs Broker?
What does a customs broker do?
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 $ 1000 AUD, then you will not need a customs broker. If the package is over $ 1000 AUD, Customs will sent you a letter asking you to either customs clear the parcel yourself or employ a customs broker like Platinum Freight® 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 Freight® 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?
Why should I choose Platinum Freight®?
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.
Over 14 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?
I have a letter from Australian Customs… how can I get my package?
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 www.fedex.com.au. 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 www.customs.gov.au, DAFF www.agriculture.gov.au, 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.
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