Shipping by Freight or Mail

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Shipping by Freight or Mail

Receiving parcels in the mail from outside of Australia makes you the importer of those goods. Apart from permit and matching approval requirements, they will also be assessed for community protection risks, for instance, electronics that do not meet Australian safety and technical standards, or products for children that may contain toxic compounds such as lead or arsenic. All imports will be assessed for duty, Goods and Services Tax (GST), and other taxes and charges. All imports will also go through the scrutiny of the Department of Agriculture.

Products that are restricted will be withheld until an approval or permit is provided. You will be notified through an information sheet, which will contain details of why the goods have been withheld and what you can do to get an approval.

Goods with a declared or assessed value of AUD 1000 or less can be imported free of duty, taxes and import processing charges, unless they fall under the categories of alcohol and/or tobacco products. They will be cleared and delivered through Australia Post without any processing on your part. However, you may be asked to provide evidence to prove the value of the goods, if needed.

If the goods are worth more than AUD1000, then you will need to submit an import declaration for the goods after receiving first The declaration will be assessed for duty, GST and other taxes (if applicable),import processing charges, etc. You will be required to pay the total amount before the goods are delivered to you.

One parcel can only be claimed by one importer. It cannot be split even if it contains multiple packages for more than one receiver. If the parcel has a total declared or assessed value exceeding AUD1000, then you will need to lodge an import declaration and pay the duty, taxes and charges for all the goods in that consignment.

For Alcohol and tobacco products, you will receive a First Notice regardless of their value, and there will be further charges in addition to what has already been mentioned above. If the charges are not paid within 30 days of the payment advice, then the alcohol products may be returned to the sender. However, the tobacco products will be destroyed. They cannot be returned to the sender.

Please note that the information provided above applies to gifts, donations, loaned items and all items purchased and imported for personal use.

How to claim your consignment:

1: Receive a First Notice from Australia Post

Australia Post will send you a First Notice if it holds a parcel addressed to you that has a declared or an assessed value over AUD1000, or if contains tobacco and/or alcohol products.

2: Lodge an Import Declaration

You can lodge an import declaration in any one of the following ways:

  • You can have a licensed customs broker lodge an import declaration on your behalf.
  • If you wish to do it by yourself, then you must complete the Import Declaration (N10) – Post (Form B374), available on the Australian government’s website, and submit it through email, fax, and courier, or by hand. Declarations can only be lodged in person if you are importing internationally and can be done in certain offices only.
  • If you have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and you intend to defer GST, then you will need to register for GST deferral with the Australian Tax Office. If GST is deferred, import declarations can only be lodged electronically through the Integrated Cargo System.
  • Lodge a full import declaration by completing anImport Declaration (N10) – Form B650. This form is more comprehensive than Form B374, and contains additional options that allow you to specify multiple types of goods, various uses of concessions, exemptions and other instruments not usually associated with goods imported through international mail.

Information Regarding Import Declaration (N10) – Post (Form B374)

Most of the information required to lodge an import declaration, including the completion of the form, is provided on the First Notice (Australia Post Notice), or within the documents regarding your purchase.

The B374 form is in Adobe® PDF format, which can be filled on screen by typing in the required areas. When completed, the form (and other attachments) can be emailed.  This is considered a formal declaration. No signature is required for sending this completed declaration (B374) by email.  However, for an individual, you must mention your full name in a separate document attached to the same email. For an organisation, the name and the ABN of the organisation must be provided in the same email as well as the full name and designation of the individual who is sending the email.

Different types of goods in your parcel/s can be declared on one import declaration. Concessional treatment on your imported goods can also be declared under a Free Trade Agreement or a respective by-law found in Schedule 4 of the Customs Tariff Act 1995.

Complete the import declaration form carefully and do not leave any boxes blank unless they are marked as optional. Follow the instructions as given.

It is a punishable offence to make false declarations.  Always quote the reference number provided on your First Notice for all correspondence regarding your parcel.

Send your import declaration to any one of the following:

  • Email: postimportsnsw@border.gov.au
  • Fax: 02 8339 6708
  • Postal Address: Locked Bag 3000 Sydney

3: Pay the Charges Applicable

Customs duty, GST and other charges applicable to the goods that you are importing will be calculated during processing, based on the information that you will provide on the Import Declaration – Post (N10) Form (B374). You will receive a Postal Import Declaration Payment Advice mentioning these charges.

The Payment Options section at the bottom of the Payment Advice details all options available to you.

Please note that Personal cheques are not accepted for the payment of a Postal Import Declaration Payment Advice.

4: Track Your Parcels

Australia Post is the carrier of international mail and has sole responsibility for the delivery of your postal article. For enquiries regarding the delivery of your parcel, contact Australia Post on 13 13 18.

For enquiries regarding biosecurity matters, contact the Department of Agriculture on 1800 020 504.

Returning goods to sender:

If you take no action within 30 to 45 days of receiving the First Notice, then Australia Post could return the goods to the sender.

If you do not want to receive and pay the duty and GST on the consignment addressed to you, and you want the goods returned to the sender, then you do not need to do anything. They will automatically be sent back to the sender upon expiration of the period for holding the consignment if no claim is made.

As mentioned above, the return to sender option is not available for tobacco products.