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What Is Customs Clearance in Australia?

Even those who haven’t had any business importing or exporting goods would have heard a thing or two about customs clearance. What exactly is customs clearance, and why is it so important?

Well, anyone who has had any experience or business shipping goods in and out of a country will tell you that the entire process can be a bit cumbersome and stressful. This is more so the case, if the importer doesn’t have a working knowledge of how things work in the country they’re importing to.

The first thing you need to remember when dealing with importation is that the rules, regulations and restrictions employed in this area can vary significantly from country to country. However, on the whole, many countries operate the same basic principles where importation is concerned.

Understanding how customs clearance works in Australia can help you avoid a lot of unnecessary hassles and stress that may adversely affect the timing and operation of your business.

What is Customs clearance?

What are the various tools and personnel you need to make customs clearance easier?

You’ll find out all of that and more shortly.

What Is Customs Clearance?

For individuals who are in uncharted waters here, your first thoughts are likely to be;

  • How does customs clearance work here in Australia?
  • What regulatory bodies are in charge of this process?
  • How likely am I to encounter problems with the formalities and technicalities involved in the process of customs clearance?
  • How does cargo clearance work in Australia?

To start with, all things related to customs clearance affairs within the country are under the direct authority of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.(link to This is the regulatory body that oversees the movement of legal cargo and individuals into and out of the country. The purview of this organization also extents to ensuring the security as well as economy of the entire country.

To that end, every single product or service that’s to be brought into the country must first be cleared before it can be allowed through the border.

To get accurate and actionable information on things like,

  • Import permits,
  • Import clearance requirements, and
  • Prohibited goods,

You need to consult the Department of Home Affairs.(link to

One reason accessing the information that the Department of Home Affairs has to offer is important is because in Australia, certain goods carry varying levels of restrictions. In some cases, these goods might even be completely denied entry into the country.

To avoid importing products like these, knowing what the Department of Home Affairs has to say on these goods is vital.

Also, in some cases, your imported cargo may fall under quarantine regulations.

In the event that this happens, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources(link to would be required to step in. Depending on the nature of the products, they would need to inspect or even treat them.

Do I Need a Customs Broker?

This is an especially common inquiry amongst first time importers in the country.

To begin with, all customs agents in operation within the country today must carry a license issued by the Department of Home Affairs. This is what gives them the legal authority to handle your imported goods in your stead.

By extension, you should do well to ensure that whoever you’ll be using as your customs broker is fully licensed to carry out this activity.

There’s no doubt that having a proficient customs agent on board can do a lot to relieve the pressure of handling the finer details of your importing operation.

However, when you employ the services of a top-tier freight shipping agent like TSL Australia, you don’t need to make the extra effort of hiring a customs broker.

This is because our logistics team comes completely fitted with all the personnel you could possibly need to make importing your cargo a smooth and effortless process.

Using our services, we are able to handle,

  • Properly classifying and sorting your cargo in line with the directives of Customs and Quarantine,
  • Sorting your taxes,
  • Border security for your shipment, and
  • Interact with the necessary quarters to ensure that your goods undergo the necessary processes and obtain the needed permits and documents to grant it easy access into the country.

With an efficient partner like TSL Australia, you have one less worry when importing cargo into the country.