Imported goods are prohibited unless they are correctly labelled

Import Labelling

When importing products in to Australia consideration should be given to the correct labelling of your goods as stiff penalties may apply for incorrectly labelled goods.

 The Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act 1905 (CTDA) and the Commerce (Imports) Regulations 1940 (the Regulations) set out the requirements for goods imported into Australia.

The ACT prohibits the importation of certain goods unless they are correctly labelled with the required trade description.

Not all goods require labelling under the ACT or the Regulations.

The Regulations specify which imported goods require labelling with a trade description, and stipulate what trade description requires.

In addition, the CTDA prohibits the import and export of goods that bear a false trade description. A false trade description means any description which by addition, deletion or any other treatment is likely to mislead on matters such as weight, origin, manufacturer, preparation, contents, copyright, etc.

Trade description markings must be:

  • in English
  • in prominent and legible characters
  • on a principal label or brand attached to the goods in a prominent position in a manner as permanent as is practicable
  • where a trade description is required, it must include the name of the country where the goods are made or produced (certain items are also required to bear a true description of the goods).
The act provides that any goods imported in contravention of any condition or regulation may be seized and forfeited to the Crown. 
We suggest that you view the Australian Borders Security web page on as it is the official source of information.