All goods whose value is over AUD 1 000 must enter the country via an "Import Declaration". These declarations can be done by Internet, via the Integrated Cargo System(ICS), or by a Customs document, form B650. The import declarations may generate fees according to whether they are filled out on-line or on paper.(Schedule of Recovery). The importer must pay GST when the goods are cleared at Customs. It is advisable for new importers to use the services of a Customs broker, who over and above filling out the Import Declaration document, can take charge of a certain number of tasks concerning the import process on the importer's behalf. He will have better tariffs for the Customs procedures, but will bill you for his services. You can also take charge of the procedure yourself and get help from the Customs services. You will find all the necessary information in the Documentary Import Declaration Comprehensive Guide.
The ATA carnet can be used for the import, export or re-export of commercial samples. It must be written on the product that it is a free sample and cannot be sold. People traveling for business and carrying goods or samples for business purposes may need special authorizations for their goods according to their nature and irrespective of their sale value.
Australia has substantial liquid assets, a high standard of living, and a population among which there is a strong demand for high value added products from Asia, North America and Europe. Australia can also be seen as a pilot market. More and more companies who want to penetrate the American market use Australia as a test zone. Their investment is limited and modes of consumption are very similar.
Australians are attracted by wholesome, healthy products, and are prepared to pay more for these goods. As national production does not cover all their needs, consumers are receptive to imported products.
Deciding to buy is principally determined by the price factor in Australia. Nevertheless, at the same time, the Australians' increasing interest in quality, and the growing impact of fashion phenomena fuelled by the media and advertising make "authentic" products, brand names and top of the range goods particularly popular.
Consumer Profile and Purchasing Power
Australian consumers are known for being big spenders. Their purchasing power is particularly high and has grown by more than 43% in 15 years. Household debt is also high but domestic consumption sustains the country's growth. Consumers are demanding, and more and more sophisticated and aware of European trends. They like new products and alternative ones, and are what is called "early adopters", fond of new technologies. Australians are concerned more and more with their health and the environment. Consequently, the demand for fresh and organic foodstuffs, environmental markets and products linked to energy saving are also on the increase.
Choice, The Australian consumer association ACCC, The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
The Australian market is clearly conditioned by the size of the country. Centers of distribution are concentrated in the cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in the East and Perth in the West. 70% of the population lives on the East coast. These cities are so far from each other that each one constitutes a separate market.
Australia's situation as a continent/island explains the importance of maritime transport in its international trade; air transport is used principally for perishable or fragile goods. On average each year 350 million tonnes of goods transit through Australian ports.
The road network links the capitals and a number of regional centers. Road transport represents more than 70% of goods traffic.
The Australian rail network is already bringing in its first profits in terms of competitiveness compared to other means of domestic transport.
As a country which traditionally imported finished goods, it became industrialized in its recent history and its industry is on a modest scale with only 10% of the Australian active population employed by the sector and 20% of GDP (versus 77% for the tertiary sector). The manufacturing industry is built up around the agri-food industry (19.8% of the workforce); machines and equipment (18.9%), processing metals and metal goods (18.2%) and the chemical -petrochemical industry (13.3%).
Sectors such as automobile, building and agri-food equipment frequently use sub-contractors and offer certain opportunities.