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flag Australia Australia: Selling and Buying

In this page: Market Access Procedures | Reaching the Consumers | Distributing a Product | Organizing Goods Transport | Identifying a Supplier


Market Access Procedures

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Member of OECD
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Party to the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls For Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies
Party of the International Coffee Agreement 2001
Main International Economic Cooperation
Australia has signed seven Free Trade Agreements and is currently negotiating for nine new agreements.
Non Tariff Barriers
Animals, plants and unprocessed derivatives are subject to complex phytosanitary legislation.
More than 150 agricultural products are subject to import licensing, and to very restrictive quarantine regulations.
Packaging and pallets must be accompanied by a fumigation certificate.
Some goods are subject to quotas: cheese, tobacco.
Antibiotics may only be sold if authorized by the Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Health and Family Services. Pharmaceutical products are subject  to particular conditions.
Restricted items include drugs, steroids, weapons/firearms, heritage items, food, plants and animals, and protected wildlife. It is important to note that while some items may be imported, their use may be prohibited under individual State laws.
For further information:
Temporary importation of commercial goods
Information for travellers
Prohibited and restricted imports
Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS)
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (en anglais)Restrictions on importation of agricultural products
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports

Customs Classification
Australia applies the Harmonized Customs System.
Import Procedures
All goods whose value is over AUD 1 000 must enter the country via an "Import Declaration". These declarations can be done by Internet, via the Integrated Cargo System(ICS), or by a Customs document, form B650. The import declarations may generate fees according to whether they are filled out on-line or on paper.(Schedule of Recovery). The importer must pay GST when the goods are cleared at Customs.
It is advisable for new importers to use the services of a Customs broker, who over and above filling out the Import Declaration document, can take charge of a certain number of tasks concerning the import process on the importer's behalf. He will have better tariffs for the Customs procedures, but will bill you for his services.
You can also take charge of the procedure yourself and get help from the Customs services. You will find all the necessary information in the Documentary Import Declaration Comprehensive Guide.
Importing Samples
The ATA carnet can be used for the import, export or re-export of commercial samples. It must be written on the product that it is a free sample and cannot be sold.
People traveling for business and carrying goods or samples for business purposes may need special authorizations for their goods according to their nature and irrespective of their sale value.
For Further Information
Australian Customs website
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Learn more about Traders, Agents in Australia on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Reaching the Consumers

Marketing Opportunities

Consumer Behavior
Australia has substantial liquid assets, a high standard of living, and a population among which there is a strong demand for high value added products from Asia, North America and Europe. Australia can also be seen as a pilot market. More and more companies who want to penetrate the American market use Australia as a test zone. Their investment is limited and modes of consumption are very similar.
Australians are attracted by wholesome, healthy products, and are prepared to pay more for these goods. As national production does not cover all their needs, consumers are receptive to imported products.
Deciding to buy is principally determined by the price factor in Australia. Nevertheless, at the same time, the Australians' increasing interest in quality, and the growing impact of fashion phenomena fuelled by the media and advertising make "authentic" products, brand names and top of the range goods particularly popular.
Consumer Profile and Purchasing Power
Australian consumers are known for being big spenders. Their purchasing power is particularly high and has grown by more than 43% in 15 years. Household debt is also high but domestic consumption sustains the country's growth. Consumers are demanding, and more and more sophisticated and aware of European trends. They like new products and alternative ones, and are what is called "early adopters", fond of new technologies. Australians are concerned more and more with their health and the environment. Consequently, the demand for fresh and organic foodstuffs, environmental markets and products linked to energy saving are also on the increase.
Consumers Associations
Choice , The Australian consumer association
ACCC , The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Main Advertising Agencies
Advertising Federation of Australia

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Distributing a Product

Evolution of the Sector
The Australian market is clearly conditioned by the size of the country. Centers of distribution are concentrated in the cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in the East and Perth in the West. 70% of the population lives on the East coast. These cities are so far from each other that each one constitutes a separate market.
Market Shares
The distribution of foodstuffs is carried out mainly by 4 large chains who share 80% of the market. They are Woolworths, Coles Myer, IGA Supermarket and ALDI.
The distribution of consumer goods is more diversified and segmented, although trading groups are beginning to expand. David Jones is a chain of top of the range department stores as is Myer (en anglais).
There are many smaller retail chains for consumer goods, which operate as franchises, or shops which belong to the franchisees, generally individuals or very small companies such as Harvey Norman, Howards Storage World, The Good Guys, Mitre 10, Retravision.
Bunnings, Target and K-Mart are chains which operate in a more traditional way.
Organizations in the Retail Sector
Australian Retailers Association

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Organizing Goods Transport

Main Useful Means of Transport
Australia's situation as a continent/island explains the importance of maritime transport in its international trade; air transport is used principally for perishable or fragile goods. On average each year 350 million tonnes of goods transit through Australian ports.
The road network links the capitals and a number of regional centers. Road transport represents more than 70% of goods traffic.
The Australian rail network is already bringing in its first profits in terms of competitiveness compared to other means of domestic transport.
Port of Melbourne
Sydney ports
Brisbane Ports
Newcastle Port
Melbourne Airport
Sydney Airport
Brisbane Airport
Adelaide Airport
Perth Airport
Sea Transport Organizations
Ministry of Transport
Air Transport Organizations
Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Road Transport Organizations
Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (Roads)
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau.
Rail Transport Organizations
Ministry of infrastructure

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Identifying a Supplier

Type of Production
As a country which traditionally imported finished goods, it became industrialized in its recent history and its industry is on a modest scale with only 10% of the Australian active population employed by the sector and 20% of GDP (versus 77% for the tertiary sector). The manufacturing industry is built up around the agri-food industry (19.8% of the workforce); machines and equipment (18.9%), processing metals and metal goods (18.2%) and the chemical -petrochemical industry (13.3%).
Sectors such as automobile, building and agri-food equipment frequently use sub-contractors and offer certain opportunities.

Business Directories

Multi-sector Directories
Aglinks (agricultural equipment) - Australian agriculture directory.
Auswholesalers - Australian wholesalers guide.
Ferret - Australia's manufacturing, industrial and mining directory.
Info Link - Australia's architecture, building, construction and design directory.
Members of the NSW Business Chamber - Business directory provided by the New South Wales Business Chamber.
Members of the Textile Distributors Association - Apparel fabric suppliers, furnishing fabric suppliers.
Traders in Australian wine - Wine traders provided by WineDiva.
World port links - Australasia - Links to major ports in Australia and New Zealand provided by - Australia - Directory of companies in Australia.
Australian Exporters Directory - Directory of exporters in Australia provided by Australian Exporters.
Australian Exporters Directory - Business directory provided by the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association.
Australian Planet - A search engine for companies in Australia.
Australian Suppliers Directory - Australian database provided by Austrade. - Australian business online.
Industry Search - Australia & New-Zealand database.
Industry Search - Australia's supplier directory and information resource for manufacturing, mining, engineering, transport, construction, farming, electronics and more.
Nationwide - Business directory of Australia.
Yellow pages - Find a business in Australia.
Zipleaf - Business directory for several countries in the world.
Manufacturers Associations of the Main Industries
75 professional associations listed for Australia.
Trade Agencies and Their Representations Abroad
Australian Chambers of Commerce
Enterprises Federation
State Department for Regional Development of Small Enterprises
Small Enterprise Association
The Council of Small Business of Australia Ltd

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Learn more about Sales in Australia on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: October 2014