3 Useful Tips That First-Time Importers Must Bear in Mind When Shipping Items

3 Useful Tips That First-Time Importers Must Bear in Mind When Shipping Items

11 December 2017
 Categories: , Blog

If you are in the business of importing goods into Australia, you have to deal with customs clearance on a regular basis. Shrewd importers will leave the customs legwork to agencies to deal with the paperwork, tax and duty obligations on their behalf. By understanding the import system better, importers can get value for money by reducing the cost and time of importation. This article reviews some tips that first-time importers must bear in mind during shipping and customs clearance process.

Repairs and Returns -- Assume that some of your goods have defects and need to send them back to the original country of manufacture. One question that will linger in your mind is whether you need to pay taxes or import duty. Notably, if the faulty goods are under warranty, then you will not pay taxes or duties on such products as an importer. However, you must have clear documentation detailing 'repair' or 'warranty replacement.' Furthermore, the value of damaged items should be recorded as 'No Charge.' In the documentation, remember to state how much you paid for the goods originally. Note that you would be subjected to import duty if the supplier charges you for the repairs or replacements.

Port Charges -- During the sale process, it is highly likely that port charges will not be revealed to the importer because third-party fees are incorporated in the shipping cost. Furthermore, when such costs are disclosed at the onset, the substantial overall cost might be prohibitive to prospective importers. Port charges vary from one forwarding agency to another, and they are based on cubic meters or kilograms of goods imported. If you want to get a fair price, your customs broker can negotiate the charges with the shipping company. If this option fails, then the importer can opt to change the supplier's preferred logistics partner. The broker will assess the quoted charges against the market rates to find out if there are any excessive fees. 

Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) -- FTAs apply to importers and exporters in specific countries that have entered into a duty-free agreement with Australia on certain goods. Your customs broker will advise you on the types of FTAs available and restrictions if any. For example, some FTAs will require you to provide a certificate of free trade supplied by the manufacturer or a government authority to accompany the shipment. Besides, some free trade agreements prohibit importer from shipping their products through some countries. Industry experts recommend that irrespective of the type of FTA, importers must have their paperwork in case Australian authorities seek verification.