Although importing can be considered easier than exporting, there are numerous potential pitfalls for those who lack experience. It would be best if you comprehended the basic procedures involved.
When placing an order with an overseas supplier, remember that you don’t need expertise in every aspect of importing. For professional advice, seek help from a Customs Broker, Forwarding Agent, or the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Attending the International Trade (Import/Export) Course offered by the College of International Business periodically is a helpful way to understand the processes involved in importing.
How To Import Into Australia
There are several reasons to import goods. You might need to import capital machinery to use in your company’s operations, or you might import components or inputs for a manufacturing process.
We will concentrate on importing goods for resale, which is the most common reason for importing. It is crucial to accurately determine the landed cost of the goods before placing an order, regardless of the reason for importing. Import entry costs should be calculated before you order imported goods.
Before importing products from Taiwan or Argentina, it’s essential to consider additional costs such as freight, insurance, import duty, GST tax, bank charges, and interest, which may not make the product as cheap as it appears. This is particularly important when competing in the Australian market and determining your profit margin. It’s crucial to research and ensure a viable market for the type of products you wish to import to Australia.
How Do I Deal With Overseas Suppliers?
Request a catalogue, samples, and price information from the supplier. Initial exposure to a product can happen through personal experience during an international trip or by contacting a supplier at a trade fair or trade mission.
There are other sources of help, such as foreign consulates, overseas banks, Chambers of Commerce and shipping agents, that you can reach out to for assistance. Getting bank or commercial references before placing an order may be wise to ensure the supplier is trustworthy and legitimate.
Getting Quotes From Overseas
After finding a good supplier, the next step is to ask for a specific quote. Make sure to ask about discounts for larger orders. Additionally, some suppliers might offer help with initial marketing costs, especially if you are entering a new market.
To make the price clear, please include a reference to Incoterms (ICC publication – available). For example, you could list a price as US$100 FOB Hong Kong 2015 Incoterms or A$500 CIF Melbourne 2015 Incoterms. This will help avoid any confusion.
To avoid confusion when transporting goods to Australia, including Incoterms in the contract price is advisable. Make sure you understand the technicalities of Incoterms.
When requesting a CIF price from the supplier, be sure to ask for the FOB price as well. This information will be required to calculate the import duties and GST tax you must pay.
To compare freight/insurance rates against those of the supplier, having both prices quoted in Australian Dollars or another major currency is helpful. This eliminates exchange risks.
Make an Application to Your Customs Broker
You can request a classification opinion, import duty rates, GST tax rates, import restrictions, tariff concessions (if available), and quarantine requirements (if applicable) from your customs broker. It is likely that imported food will need Australian Quarantine certification, and wooden items may require fumigation certificates. Please note that there are no longer import quotas when bringing goods into Australia.
Please obtain the freight rate from a freight forwarder, shipping company, or airline and the insurance rate from a marine cargo insurance company. Your freight forwarder may also be able to arrange the insurance rate for you.
If you have received a CIF or CIP price, make sure to compare the insurance and freight costs with the ones you have already obtained. Remember that claiming with your marine insurer may be simpler than going through the Australian agent of the exporter’s insurer.