9. IMPORTING COUNTRY PORT
Custom duties are paid on arrival in the destination market, and are often accompanied by additional taxes and currency controls.
Customs duties on most imports are primarily ‘ad valorem', meaning that they are assessed on the transaction value of the goods, including packing charges, freight, insurance premiums and other service charges incurred prior to the unloading of the goods at the place of destination.
Some markets may apply Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs), which is when there is a two-stage tariff and the right to pay a lower tariff is granted to import up to a certain total quantity of goods (or quota). Exporters need to check with the importing country on how to access the quota. Some countries might operate Special Trade Zones in some geographic regions which provide exceptions to the usual customs procedures and allow for preferential tariff and tax treatment.
The Certificate of Origin (CoO) is produced on arrival to verify the goods as originating from Australia, which may assist in gaining a preferential tariff (or no tariff) under a free trade agreement.
Additional taxes such as value added tax and consumption tax may also be assessed at the point of importation depending on the importing country.
Currency controls are operated by some countries, where importers may freely convert local currency to foreign currency for purchasing goods for import, but must complete the necessary formalities to demonstrate that all of the foreign currency is being used to fund imports and is not being transferred abroad for other purposes.
What you need to do
- Pay customs duties, if required.
- Provide the CoO, if required.
- Pay additional taxes, if required.
- Ensure currency conversion is appropriately declared.
For information on Australia’s free trade agreements, including how to use them and their benefits, visit DFAT's Free Trade Agreement Portal.