Welcome to TSL. We’re here to guide you through the process of how to import goods from China to Australia. TSL can help you with every step of the procedure, from picking up your consignment right through to delivery – and everything else in between. We look forward to working with your business and hope you will enjoy using our services.

What Is TSL?

TSL is a freight forwarder operating from Melbourne in Australia. Freight forwarding is the foundation of our business and the area in which we excel. We offer the full package to ensure your goods arrive at their destination – no matter where that may be – with the utmost care and as quickly as possible. TSL provides the following services to businesses operating in and out of Australia:

  • Exporting from China to Australia
  • Freight forwarding
  • Sea freight
  • Air freight
  • Customs clearance
  • Packing
  • Distribution
  • Warehousing

Step-By-Step Guide: How To Import From China to Australia

1. Collect information: Carry out market research on the types of items you are planning to import into Australia. Find out whether there is a current market for them
2. Find suppliers: Explore Chinese manufacturers of the goods you are hoping to bring into Australia. You could source goods through websites such as made-in-china.com, Joybuy and Ali Baba or use an overseas trading company. Some importers attend trade fairs themselves. Please note, it is always advised to check your supplier thoroughly before entering into an agreement
3. Seal a deal: Having fully vetted your chosen supplier, make a deal and sign a contract
4. Research: Do some number crunching and look into the regulations, licences, tariffs and exemptions that apply to the importation of your products so you can calculate your costs
5. Market your goods: Locate outlets within Australia for the produce or items you are planning to sell.
6. Organise shipping: Use TSL’s fantastic freight forwarding service to organise your import operation. We will deliver all services in the chain from pick-up right through to delivery, as well as related services such as packing, storage and distribution.

Tariffs: How Much Does It Cost To Import Goods From China?

Anyone exporting from China to Australia is liable for certain taxes and duties, although there are exemptions and concessions that may apply. Thanks to the ChAFTA (the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement), which came into force in 2015, customs duty is often zero for products being brought in from China.

Anyone exporting from China (or from any other country) to Australia is required to pay GST (goods and services tax). This was set at a rate of 10% at the time of writing. Other taxes may apply, such as for wine and luxury cars exports. For more information on exemptions that may apply to your business, see the Australian Border Force website or get in touch with TSL so we can discuss your needs with you.

What Can’t I Import From China To Australia?

Not all goods can be brought into Australia freely. Some need permits and others are banned completely. Examples of restricted items are: antibiotics, cigarette lighters, pornography, pesticides and certain cosmetics. For more information, please click here.

Import Goods From China: Air Or Sea?

Whether you choose to send your goods via the air or the ocean depends on a number of factors:
What is your budget? If you’re limited for cash, it makes sense to opt for sea transportation over air, because it is generally cheaper – though naturally this takes longer.
What is your timescale? Air freight from China will usually take between one and five days, to reach Australia, whereas shipping by sea takes between 12 and 30 days.
How big is your consignment? If you are shipping large quantities of goods, or if they are particularly heavy or bulky, sea freight may be your best bet. Smaller, more compact packages can be sent more easily by air.

For more information on how to import from China to Australia, see Austrade’s market profile on China.

TSL’s Quick Tips For Doing Business In China

  • Digital communication is very important for carrying out business in China. WeChat is the main platform, with over 1 billion users.
  • The Chinese Yuan is expressed in two ways: CNH and CNY. CNH is used when trading on the offshore market, so is the one you’ll see most as an Australian company.
  • Chinese names are expressed with the family name first.
  • It takes a while to build up a business relationship with the Chinese. To get started, using a neutral intermediary is a good idea.

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