Customs Clearance Sydney

Are you looking for an effective Customs Broker in Sydney?

If you’re a business or individual looking to import goods into Sydney, a Customs Broker can manage the entire process and facilitate hassle-free customs clearances.

Worldwide Customs and Forwarding Agents (WWCF) allows clients to access an integrated air, sea, and road network spanning the entire globe. Combined with the most up-to-date industry knowledge, this network ensures the safe and timely transportation of goods across borders, in line with the Australian Customs Act 1901.


Customs clearance in Sydney

The WWCF team of Customs Clearance Brokers and Agents has more than four decades of experience supporting clients to transport goods in and out of Australia. Our value lies in an ability to help clients avoid unnecessary delays and costs.

The processes involved when dealing with the Australian Border Force (ABF), Department of Home Affairs, Department of Agriculture, and other government agencies, can be complex. For most businesses and individuals, customs clearance will not be a particular area of interest or expertise. When working to ensure you fulfill obligations, processes, and legalities, errors can result in unwanted hold-ups.

Thanks to our comprehensive understanding of the process, we work with officials towards achieving the fastest clearances and manage specific considerations associated with your items, including licenses and permits relating to biosecurity risks and cultural heritage.

Our industry knowledge of Australia’s fast-changing international trade agreements, and available concessions, exemptions, discounts, and reductions, helps us minimise the costs associated with your particular shipment.

If you’re looking for Sydney’s most trusted and cost-effective customs clearance services, look no further than WWCF!

Top reasons to consider using the services of a Customs Broker

A licensed and experienced customs brokerage will provide the most reliable information and advice on regulations and quarantine requirements to support the speediest, most hassle-free means of getting your goods into the country.

By making sure you meet all clearance obligations, you will gain peace of mind in knowing you won’t fall foul of costly financial penalties or the extra costs associated with storing your goods at the port in the event of a delay.

Your expert Customs Broker can calculate and explain the import taxes associated with your shipment, minimising the overall tax you pay, and saving you money.

Delays that mean you or your customers do not receive imported goods promptly can result in reputational damage, risk to customer relationships, and an adverse impact on productivity.

What timeframes are usually involved with shipment clearance?

The time necessary to clear goods at customs can vary with each case, based on several variables. 

If any of the details in your documentation are incorrect or incomplete, your shipment could spend an indefinite period in an expensive port-side storage facility. In such cases, a good Customs Broker will be able to step in and resolve the issues quickly.

Assuming all the correct documentation is filled out with adequate information, our team can often ensure items are cleared in as little as 24 or 48 hours.

Who should use a Customs Clearance Broker?

If you’re importing items into Australia, it’s a good idea to consider using the services of an expert.

Regular importers of goods tend to establish ongoing relationships with a Customs Clearance Broker like WWCF. That way, our people can quickly offer support whatever the scenario, with the often heavy administration burden taken off internal staff, giving back time in their day to focus on core business activities.

Less frequent importers might include small businesses that bring the occasional shipment into Australia and individuals transporting personal items during relocations or purchasing goods online. 

Smaller operations and individuals are unlikely to have detailed knowledge of the import and clearance process. Attempts to manage the process without advice can result in errors and lead to shipments held at customs. For that reason, consider engaging a Customs Broker early in the process.

Working with WWCF - The customs clearance process

The various stages of the customs clearance process can vary depending on the client relationship, business, and nature of the import. However, it can generally be broken down into three distinct steps:

Step 1 - Let us know when you receive your shipping documents, and we’ll ensure they are completed correctly. This will circumvent any delays that occur because of incorrect or incomplete paperwork.

Step 2 - Once your items land in their destination country, our people will liaise with all customs and quarantine officials to guarantee all taxes are paid.

Step 3 - So what next? WWCF offers a freight forwarding and logistics service. That means as soon as your items are cleared, they will be safely delivered into your hands.

Every WWCF client enjoys the highest levels of customer service, every time. You will be connected with a single point of contact who will guide you throughout the process and make sure you remain updated at every turn.

Get a Customs Clearance Quote

    Access to the most up-to-date government clearance rates, concessions, and requirements

    Our systems are linked electronically to the ABF, Australian Customs Service, Australian Quarantine Service, and all other relevant government bodies. We can therefore offer clients the surety of access to current duty rates and concessions and guaranteed adherence to the latest customs and quarantine clearance requirements.

    Leveraging the power of relationships

    We live and breathe imports and customs, all day, every day, and have done for the past fourty years. As a result, we have developed trusted relationships with government officials, the world’s best shipping companies, and airlines. These relationships place us in the strongest position to offer a fast and streamlined customs clearance process.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    The team at WWCF has pulled together a list of the most commonly asked questions about the customs clearance process in Sydney and provided answers below. However, we understand every case is different. There may be additional complexities associated with your particular goods. 

    We’re here to help! If your question is not addressed below, don’t hesitate to drop us a line using the contact page, and we will endeavor to clear up any uncertainties you might have.

    Basically, a ‘Customs Broker’ is a ‘Clearance Broker’ under a different name. Both serve the same purpose and perform the same services, whatever their title.

    Under Australian law - specifically The Australian Customs Act 1901 - the owner of imported goods is responsible for the preparation and submission of all related declarations, or a licensed Customs Broker with approval from the CEO of the ABF acting on their behalf.

    The regulations covering imports in Australia are complex, and any inaccuracies in a declaration can have significant implications, namely delays and additional expenses. For that reason, most importers opt to work with an experienced, licensed Customs Broker to ensure appropriate and effective management of the clearance process.

    Customs Brokers support companies and individuals in Australia by helping them to classify their goods, correctly complete all clearance documents and submit them to the appropriate government agencies, and liaise with officials.

    Anyone planning to import any item into Australia should seriously consider using the services of an expert, fully-licensed Customs Broker. Their thorough understanding of legislation and processes will save you from grappling with what can be a complicated process. They will communicate with the relevant officials on your behalf, and make sure you meet all your legal obligations. Ultimately, this will mean avoiding any expensive and unwanted delays.

    The ABF requires all goods arriving into the country - whether by sea, air, or post - to be appropriately classified, and all tax and border security obligations must be met before they are released to the importer.

    Essentially, WWCF is here to make sure this happens in the fastest and most cost-effective way by navigating the often complex processes on your behalf, ensuring frustrating and expensive delays are avoided, and all taxes are paid / concessions applied for.

    In a word, yes! We have specialist clearance agents in this area who will walk you through what you need to do to transport your personal items in or out of Australia.

    While most goods will successfully receive clearance, it goes without saying that people can’t bring illegal or prohibited items into Australia, including narcotics, firearms, and some rare animal products. There are also occasions where certain items will need a special permit. Your Customs Broker can offer advice on eligibility and applications.

    Normally you won’t need to obtain a license, permit, or official permission to import your goods. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, where imported goods are perceived to pose a biosecurity risk, there may be additional stipulations.

    There is a standard set of documents that any importer will need to complete before their goods arrive in Australia. This includes:

    Packing lists
    - Packing declarations (Sea freight)
    - Commercial invoices
    - Bills of lading / Air waybills
    - Letters of authority

    For some items, the government may require extra documentation that demonstrates extra steps have been taken. This might include treatments and fumigation if the goods are believed to pose a biosecurity threat. Some examples of the extra documentation you may be asked for include:

    - Treatment certificates
    - Marine insurance certificates
    - Certificates of Origin (Free Trade certificates)
    - Product specific documents

    Import taxes in Australia vary greatly, depending on the nature of the goods you’re bringing in.

    If you’re importing goods by air or sea at a value under AU$1,000, these are easily cleared by the ABF with a user-friendly self-assessment form, officially known as an ‘SAC declaration.’

    Goods with a value exceeding AU$1,000 need to be granted legal clearance by customs officials. This can be done by filling out an official declaration form which should be accompanied by payment of the relevant taxes, duties, and charges.

    Import duty currently sits at a standard 5 percent, with import GST at 10 percent. However, once the various free trade agreements and concessions have been applied, this may be reduced. Your experienced Customs Broker will utilise the latest knowledge to guarantee all legal concessions are applied to your final import tax amount.

    Over and above the taxes, an additional AU$50 processing / Government entry fee is required. In some cases, additional fees might also be due. Your Customs Broker will offer advice on this, based on their understanding of your specific shipment.

    Over and above the appropriate import taxes, a Customs Broker will usually charge two different fees. The first is a flat service fee, ranging from AU$75 for support with clearing items arriving by post, to AU$139 for goods arriving by sea, and AU$178 for shipments arriving as air freight. In addition, your broker will likely pass on the standard AU$50 processing / Government entry fee.

    Technically, the answer to this question is no. But while the involvement of a licensed Customs Broker is not a legal requirement for importing goods into Australia, doing so will ensure you are equipped to navigate this complex process. This will ensure you don’t fail to comply with obligations, or risk penalty fees, hold-ups, and overpaying on import duties.

    Although both support the import and export of goods, Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders serve entirely different purposes in the context of the import supply chain.

    Freight Forwarders oversee the actual transportation of goods from A to B. They use their expertise to recommend solutions that utilise carriers known to be suitable for moving their distinct types of goods. In addition, their strong relationships with carriers will allow them to negotiate the most competitive rates.

    Meanwhile, a Customs Broker is there to enable the legal entry of your goods into the country by guaranteeing compliance with all related laws and regulations and ensuring the appropriate fees and taxes have been paid.

    Customs clearances at Sydney Airport

    Our strong relationship with Sydney Airport officials means we are known and trusted to clear imported goods at the highest standard. This means WWCF customers can expect to receive imported goods faster than if they were managing the process independently.

    We are committed to providing the highest levels of service in everything we do. You will be assigned a single point of contact at the beginning of the process who will be responsible for keeping you updated throughout the journey.

    About Sydney

    As the bustling and metropolitan capital of New South Wales, Sydney is one of the world’s most famous and instantly recognisable cities. Who could ever mistake the view of its distinct harbor, with the iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House front and center?

    Australia’s largest city takes its name from Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney. Today, it is home to almost 5.5 million people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Before 1788 and the beginning of European settlement, the land upon which modern Sydney is built was home to the Indigenous people of Australia for a staggering 30,000 years!

    In 1981 New South Wales became the site of one of the largest gold rushes the world has ever seen, with an influx of diggers from the UK, Europe, and the USA. This catalyst led to Sydney becoming the major cultural and economic hub it is today.