November 20, 2019
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What things to consider when shipping to Australia from USA?

Shipping Factors to Australia from DGXAustralia’s import restrictions and biosecurity requirements are some of the strictest in the world. Thus, it’s important to have a reliable and competent freight forwarder to guide and support you in shipping to Australia. Here are the important shipping factors you need to know.

Import requirements
Commodities such as food products, pharmaceuticals, animal products, firearms, vehicles and other have to meet certain import requirements and might even require an import permit. To see if your goods have to meet special requirements you can verify the requirements in the Biosecurity Import Conditions System (BICON).

Biosecurity Risks
The goal of biosecurity inspections is to reduce the risk of imported pests and diseases into Australia.

One of the most important biosecurity risks is due to the rapid expansion of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) in Europe and North America in recent years. Because of this, the Australian authorities have imposed mandatory fumigation during the BMSB risk season (September 1 through May 31 inclusive) for certain commodities and depending on the origin of the goods. Read more about BMSB fumigation here. During the stink bug season, it’s important to work closely with an experienced, knowledgeable freight forwarder to avoid delays and extra costs upon arrival of your goods into Australia.

Additionally, some commodities—like goods that are destined for rural areas or personal effects shipments—have a higher risk of being chosen for biosecurity inspections upon arrival into Australia.

Import Documents
To ensure that the import process goes smoothly it’s important that the import paperwork is complete and correctly filled out.
  • All import shipments require a commercial invoice with values for all items listed. Zero values are not accepted by customs. An example would be promotional materials.
  • All Less-than-Container Load (LCL) and Full Container Load (FCL) shipments require the shipper to fill out a packing declaration on company letterhead including address and phone number, and needs to be signed and dated.
  • An Australia Packing Declaration form can be downloaded from DGX - Dependable Global Express.
  • Additional paperwork such as manufacturer’s declarations, asbestos declarations, ingredients lists, etc., might also be required. 
  • The USA and Australia have a free trade agreement, the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA), in place which enables consignees to claim a preferential duty rate if the goods meet the AUSFTA Rules of Origin. In order to claim a preferential duty rate, a supplier has to issue an AUSFTA certificate on company letterhead including address and phone number, and needs to be signed and dated. More information on AUSFTA can be found here.
Australian Shipping Sea PortsAdditional Australia Shipping Information

Main Sea Ports
  • Brisbane
  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Adelaide
  • Fremantle
Major Airports
  • Brisbane
  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Adelaide
  • Perth
Transit Times to Australia Ports
  • Transit time from the West Coast of the USA to Australia is around 20-40 days.
  • Currently there is only one direct weekly service from the West Coast to Australia with Sydney and Melbourne being direct port of calls and a fortnightly call of Adelaide.
  • Currently there is no direct service into Brisbane and Fremantle from the West Coast.
  • The transit time from the East Coast to Australia is around 29-45 days.
  • There are currently multiple services from the East Coast to Australia with direct calls to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Check here for DGX’s sailing schedule to Australia ports.
Packing Material
Packaging material for import shipments must not contain prohibited materials such as:
  • Straw
  • Peat
  • Hay
  • Chaff
  • Used fruit and vegetable cartons
Additionally, all wooden packaging must be heat treated or fumigated before being imported to Australia.

Australia is the country of kangaroos, koalas, beautiful beaches and laid-back people. But being an import nation, Australia is also very protective of their environment and their local industries.

Before shipping any goods to Australia, consult with your trusted freight forwarder, such as DGX, to ensure you understand all import requirements and know what kind paperwork is required. Give us a call toll free at 1-800-488-4888 and we can help you safely and efficiently ship to Australia.

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