When sending a parcel to Australia there are some things worth knowing before you even start looking for a courier quote to avoid disappointment further down the line. In this blog we will look at the important things to know before shipping to Australia.

All luggage shipments imported into Australia are considered as unaccompanied personal effects (UPE’s) and may be subject to duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) – however if you meet certain criteria, you should not have to pay anything at all.

Customs clearance of personal effects may delay the delivery of your courier to Australia. However, if you want to help avoid delays complete the B534 form prior to shipping (attach to your package in a separate documents enclosed pouch), and it will help speed up the process.


What if I don’t qualify for the UPE Duty & Tax concession?

Your personal effects will be subject to duty and GST as calculated by Australian customs.

Sending gifts to Australia are not classed as personal effects, and will therefore go through normal customs clearance in Australia. There is no duty or tax concession for sending gifts to Australia; this means that your receiver will have to pay duties and taxes in order to clear the goods through customs. Unfortunately, this is a regulation imposed by the Australian authorities and it is not subject to dispute.


Customs Invoice, Import Duties and Taxes

All commodities which are considered as “Non-Document” need to be accompanied by an customs invoice and, in some cases, additional customs documentation. Document's on the other hand and only require an AirWaybill to be completed and attached along with the shipment.

Send a parcel to Australia

What is a customs invoice and what is it used for?

The customs invoice is used by custom authorities to assess and inspect the imported goods, and to levy any duties or taxes they may deem applicable to the goods being imported into their country. It is important to understand that it is not the courier who is levying additional charges, it is the Australian authorities. It’s simply a part of the local government’s import regulations and legislations, and if you want to send a parcel to Australia you must comply with these.

To create a shipping invoice you need to know the following information about your parcel:

  • The shipper’s address (collection address)

  • The receiver’s address (delivery address)

  • The goods description for each item you are sending (IT Equipment, clothing, toys, ceramic mugs)

  • The value of each item for customs purposes along with the total shipment value

  • The reason for export (personal effects, samples, promotional items, sold goods, returned for repair, personal effects)


How do Australian customs calculate duties and taxes?

The Australian Customs authorities will use a combination of the value of the goods, the reason for export and the goods description, to decide which category of duties and taxes apply to your parcel. For example; goods that are for re-sale are subject to a higher amount of duties and taxes, than goods that are sent as gifts and personal affects.

When your courier arrives in Australia, customs will need to classify the duty amount payable for each product you’re sending. Different products have different levels of duty and tax. Each product has a ‘tariff classification’ you don’t have to research this, but if your sending high value items it’s recommended, otherwise customs may use the incorrect classification and inadvertently apply the incorrect level of duty and tax, which may cost you more.

As long as you make sure that your items are allowed in the country and all your paperwork is correct, there shouldn't be a problem.


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