With all this talk of “Trade Wars” and “Tariffs” lately, do you understand what it means?

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If you’ve been following international news lately, you’ve no doubt heard words like “Trade War”, and “Tariffs” being thrown around by world leaders, but what exactly does it all mean if you’re an importer or exporter here in Australia?

It’s important that before you embark on the process of importing or exporting products to and from overseas you have a proper understanding of why we have Tariffs on specific goods and how they work.

‘Austrade’ has a fantastic and clear guide to help you understand it all more clearly (and it can be found here).

“Australian export and import laws

Australia has strong trade ties with the rest of the world. Its location has also allowed Australia to become a major supplier to markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Australian Government has a number of policies that seek to develop and assist Australian businesses involved in international trade. Regulation also exists to protect domestic industries, consumers, and the environment from harmful and dangerous goods imported from overseas.

Further information around exporting and importing, including trade agreements, tariffs and duties, is provided below.

Free trade agreements

Australia has six Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with other countries in force and another eight under negotiation.

The FTAs contain legally binding commitments by each member to liberalise access to their markets for goods and services as well as investment.

For further information on Australia’s Free Trade Agreements, see DFAT: Australia’s Trade Agreements.

Tariffs and duties

Australia has commitments under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on tariffs and tariff quotas, export subsidies and domestic support for agricultural products.

Goods imported in Australia require classification. Declaration procedures are based on self-assessment by importers. Declarations must be made to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, which also enforces import restrictions.

For further information on current tariffs, see Customs: Tariffs.

Import regulations

Businesses in Australia are able to import goods from overseas as part of their activities.

Businesses considering importing should be aware of government regulations, duty taxes, permits, and quarantine and treatments that apply to imported goods. Imports that do not meet these requirements can be seized by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

For more information on import procedures and regulations, see business.gov.au: Guide to importing.”


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