Complying with Customs and Border Protection

Australia’s customs regulations are amongst the strictest in the world. Non compliance with these regulations can result in penalties including monetary fines, cargo delays, storage charges, reduced service levels, extra cost and the risk of losing business.
Clearly non compliance is not good for business or your bottom line.
Photo of a customs shedSo how can you ensure compliance?
Using the services of an experienced and reputable freight forwarder to guide you through the complexities of required documentation, quarantine controls and other legalities will certainly prove useful. However, it’s important to recognise that you are legally responsible for the accuracy of information supplied to Customs and Border Protection. It is therefore advisable to familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations for import and export transactions. Be sure to contact either your freight forwarder or the Customs Information and Support Centre if you are unsure about any of the requirements that might apply to you.
Some common errors that are made by importers and exporters when trying to comply with customs regulations include:
  • Inadequate records: relevant commercial documents must be retained for five years.
  • Imports entered incorrectly: using the correct form, imports must be classified correctly. Items not ordered, samples and promotional merchandise must also be entered.
  • All associated costs not included in customs value: these may include advertising costs, commissions, credits, escalation charges, royalties, rebates and indirect payments. Customs and Border Protection provides a valuation advice service for importers.
  • Incorrect identification of origin
  • Incorrect GST exemption
  • Trade mark infringements
  • Incorrectly quoting Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) or Luxury Car Tax (LCT)
  • Incomplete information provided to broker or consultant
  • Lack of knowledge regarding new reporting requirements: the threshold for the reporting of an export is now $2000; all export goods are subject to Customs control when they are received at the place of export (wharf, airport or depot).
  • Alignment of export declaration thresholds: the threshold applies to a consignment as a whole rather than to each line of goods in the consignment.
  • Goods that require a permit: all goods requiring a permit must be reported to Customs and Border Protection using an export declaration, irrespective of the value of the goods.
  • Exports incorrectly entered
  • Inaccurate data declared
  • Failure to retain adequate records
Go to for more information about common errors made by importers and exporters and how to ensure you comply with customs regulations.
International Cargo Express has 25 years experience in managing customs declarations, packing declarations and standard customs procedures between international borders. For more information visit our Customs Clearance information.