I've done a lot of work and want to share my experience and knowledge.
Imports and exports are a great way to build your business especially if you are catering to a specific niche. However, before you start, it is important that you familiarise yourself with Australia's import and export law since this is a highly regulated field into the country. The last thing you need is to hear that your cargo has been confiscated or confined because you did not take the time to study and understand the rules and regulations involved. Here are a few important facts you need to know if you are new in the import and export business.
First of all, make sure you know and understand quarantine regulations. It is no secret that quarantine regulations in Australia are quite stringent but this is because the country is fighting to keep pests and diseases at bay that could threaten the country's bio-security for industries such as fishing and agriculture. You can search the government database to familiarise yourself with quarantine regulations. This research will also help you acquire permits in case you require clearance and calculate feels and charges. However, all these could be avoided by employing the use of a customs broker who could do all these while you concentrated on other vital parts of your business.
Secondly, use your common sense. One of the biggest mistakes newbies make is going at it alone which is something you want to avoid in this business. There are a lot of people involved in importing anything. Importing requires a team effort. There is a lot of complex paperwork associated with international shipping and it takes years to become a professional customs broker. This is because you need to study and understand all the rules and regulations related to imports to Australia as well as other countries or origins and destinations. For this reason, even for freight forwarding in Australia, you need to work with multiple people and find a freight forwarder like the one found here if you want to do this the easy way. I'm not trying to overstate the complexities, importing and freight forwarding is complex.
Finally, understand Australian customs requirements for imports. The first major mistake people make is thinking that quarantine and customs clearance are one and the same thing. However, the two are very different and both need to be meticulously completed in order to get your goods to your warehouse. Quarantine applies to most foodstuff and chemicals which includes industrial cleaners, plastic, solvents among others. Custom clearance applies only after your goods have received the all clear from quarantine.
You may also need to employ an accountant who will look after your business affairs as they are familiar with the Australian Taxation Office regulations ensuring that they will not only look after you interests but also ensure compliance.
In the event that you are playing for the other side of the import export trade, then you have to understand the rules in this as well. Another mistake people make is assuming that since they already know import laws then that automatically qualifies them as experts in exports as well. So, be sure to study export regulations as well and also prepare and understand the risks associated with exporting. These risks include foreign exchange, political environments, shipping and legal issues. You need to integrate these risks into your business decisions before you move forward.