Why is my Package Stuck in Australian Customs?
1. Unpaid Duty Payments on Your Item(s)
Duty tax will be payable on almost all items sent to Australia, and this amount is generally based on the commercial value of the item(s) that you are sending.
The recipient can usually expect to pay around 5% of an item’s value for customs duty, and a rate of around 10% for Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Duties and tax are expected to be paid upon collection from the recipient, and they are given up to 30 days in which to pay this fee. Failure to do so will likely result in the package's destruction, abandonment, or return-to-sender for an additional charge.
2. Missing or Incorrect Documentation
Documentation will be required for the shipment of goods, or any restricted items that are included in your package. If you are a supplier sending commercial goods to Australia, then you will require the following:
- Commercial Invoice - A commercial invoice provides details of the price of the goods you are importing to Australia, as well as the amount of items being imported
- Certificate of Origin - this certification states the country of origin for where your goods were manufactured. This type of documentation could even benefit you as the sender if Australia has a free trade agreement with the country of origin.
3. Missing Import Permits
The Australian government’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, places restrictions on particular items that are imported into the country. You will require an import permit if one or all of your items fall into the conditions as stated by the Biosecurity Import Conditions (BICON) database.
It is important that you check your goods on this website before sending, particularly if you are a supplier of agricultural goods, as failure to produce import permits could also result in the package's destruction, abandonment, or return-to-sender for an additional charge.
4. Biosecurity Inspections
Australia’s border forces have measures in place aimed at reducing the introduction of pests, parasites, or diseases into the country. For this reason, your items may be pulled for inspection at any point before release from customs.
If your item is suspected to contain materials that could cause harm to the local ecosystem, then the item may be inspected, and a charge incurred. Specific guidance for this can be found here.