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FAQ

Exporting goods

Laws and Government policies to control the export of goods from Australia. These prohibit the export of certain goods either absolutely or conditionally and adequately record Australia's international trade.

Total prohibition applies to the export of protected wildlife, some heritage items, selected weapons and other dangerous goods.

Documentation for Exporting

Other than the mandatory export documents required by Australian authorities, the following documentation are also required .

Commercial Documents

Commercial Invoice
Describes the goods which are the subject of the transaction between the buyer and the seller. Banks, customs or an insurance company will usually require such documentation.
Packing List/Weight List
Will list the precise contents for shipment. Facilitates customs clearance.

Transport Documents

Bill of Lading

Issued by shipping companies, this acts as evidence of a contract of a freightment setting out the conditions of carriage, a receipt for goods and a document of title. Air Waybill

Issued by the airline company acknowledging receipt of the goods for despatch by air. This document, however, does not convey title to the goods and is not necessarily required to be produced for delivery of the goods.

Insurance Documents

Due to the risks of damage or theft in international trade, marine cargo insurance is an important consideration. It is the overseas importers responsibility to ensure that the shipment is on a Free On Board (FOB) or Cost and Freight (CFR) basis. It is the exporter's obligation to arrange insurance in CIF/CIP contracts. Banks providing documentary credit will usually want insurance on at least the CFR value of the goods.

Other Documents

Certificate of Origin and Value

A Certificate of Origin for goods is required for duty and import control purposes. The information on value is required for customs duty purposes in the country of importation. This information is required by certain overseas buyers and customs authorities, especially in areas of preferential trade agreements. Chambers of Commerce in Perth, Fremantle and Bunbury issues the Certificate of Origin and Value.

Certified Commercial Invoices

Certified Commercial Invoices are invoices certified by a Chamber of Commerce. Some overseas customs authorities may require them.

Consular Invoice

An invoice that is certified by the Consul of the country to which the goods are to be exported. Other documents mentioned above may also be required to be "legalised" by consular authorities. If you are unsure of what documentation is required for a particular transaction or country, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry can advise you. The Chamber and the Australian Institute of Export provide courses on documentation.

About Customs and Quarantine

Australian Customs and Quarantine import and export entry procedures are based on self-assessment by importers and exporters who should be aware of their obligations. Penalties may be imposed for the submission of incorrect or misleading information or for omitting information with the intention to mislead.

The Australia Customs Act requires importers and exporters to retain commercial documents relating to a transaction for five years from the date of entry. These documents may be required for Customs audit purposes.
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