Australia’s No. 1 Postal Customs Broker 7yrs running …experience you can trust x

FAQ




Customs Brokerage FAQ’s

How is this service so cheap?
Our service is around 1/3 the price of the general industry standard because we specialise in clearing airfreight consignments. This can be either via Australia Post or direct through ANY Airline (e.g. Qantas, Virgin, AAE etc).
As such we don’t need huge bonded warehouse facilities, quarantine premises, seafreight container trucks or vast numbers of imports and exports staff to administer all these operations.
All this means a Faster, Cheaper and Superior service for you.

Do you clear airfreight consignments Australia-Wide?
Yes. Another benefit of our specialty airfreight focus is that we can clear consignments arriving anywhere in Australia.
Australia Post Consignments: If you have received a Customs Notice from Australia Post, regardless of your location, our customs brokers can clear it through customs and Australia Post will deliver it to your door.
General Airfreight Consignments: Because every clients imported goods and circumstances are different, if you have received an Air Waybill or freight arrival notification from an Airline please contact us via freecall 1800 670 978 to discuss with a Licenced Customs Broker the exact customs clearance processes for your specific consignment.

Do you also clear general Air Freight arriving direct via Airlines?
Yes. However because Airline storage commences very shortly after consignment arrival (usually within 24hrs) and these are more complex entries, we can only offer a 4hr Priority Customs Clearance Service ($165) for this type of cargo.
If you have received an Air Waybill or freight arrival notification from an Airline please contact us via freecall 1800 670 978 to discuss with a Licenced Customs Broker the exact customs clearance processes for your specific goods and circumstances.

Do you also clear general Sea Freight?
No. We only clear consignments arriving via Australia Post or general Air Freight via a commercial Airline, that’s why we can offer such an inexpensive service. You MUST have received EITHER an Customs Notice or an Airlines Air Waybill/freight arrival notification to use our service.
When your goods are shipped from their origin via EMS, USPS (not UPS) or equivalent standard international mail service then you will receive an Customs Notice once your consignment has arrived in Australia.
If you have received a “Bill of Lading” from your shipper then your consignment has been sent via general Sea Freight and you cannot use our service.

Can I have the goods delivered to a different address?


Yes. All you need to do is call Australia Post on 13 13 18, and advise them of your new delivery address. You will need to provide them with your consignment reference number located at the top of your Customs Notice.

Can I pickup my goods from Australia Post?

No. Unfortunately due to Australia Post’s increased security measures they no longer allow consignees to collect their parcels direct from the Australia Post bonded warehouse. You must wait for the goods to be delivered via Australia Post’s regular delivery cycle.

I haven't received your email that my goods are released yet?

At the moment the problem with spam filters blocking mail is prominent. So if you have not received a dispatch notification email from us prior to the expiry of your service timeframe, please take the following steps:

  1. Check ‘Junk’ (or similar) folder in your mailbox collecting spam messages.
  2. Perform a search for this email by clicking Edit > Find > Message (or similar) in your email program, ensuring the “look in” option covers all your email folders. The exact sender e-mail address is service(AT)ecustomsbroker.com.au (Note: You MUST replace the “(AT)” with the “@” symbol first. All email addresses on this website are written with “(AT)” for anit-spam purposes.
  3. If after taking the above action you cannot locate our email please contact our customer service department by emailing service(AT)ecustomsbroker.com.au and include your Customs Notice number in your email.

Who can I call to discuss the calculation of duty and GST?

You won’t need to call anyone. We will always call you to discuss the calculations of all government fees and charges applicable to your consignment before we lodge the entry with Customs. However if you feel it necessary you can contact us prior to clearing your consignment, you can do so via our Free Call 1800 670 978.

What Methods of payment do you accept?

We accept Visa and Master Card, both of which attract a 1.5% processing surcharge. Unfortunately these credit card processing fees are levied by the banks and due to our extremely low professional fees, we are forced to pass them on.

For most clients this fee translates to around $4.00. For a full list of charges you can expect to pay please see What It Costs.

Does Australia Post charge any extra to deliver my goods to my door?

No. The local delivery cost is included in the freight charges you paid originally to send the goods from their origin.

When I email customer service I get an error message?

Please ensure you have entered the correct email address service(AT)ecustomsbroker.com.au – You MUST replace the “(AT)” with the “@” symbol first. All email addresses on this website are written with “(AT)” for anit-spam purposes.

Why use EMS over private companies such as DHL or FedEx?
The Benefits of EMS are many…

It’s the Cheapest. Because EMS utilises the exporting countries Postal Service, they send HUGE volumes of freight and therefore receive large discounts from the airlines carrying this freight. These discounts are passed on to you, the consumer. Get an EMS Quote.

It’s also the Fastest. Freight sent via EMS is transported on the same commercial freighter aircraft (and it sits beside) freight sent via DHL, FedEx or any other private transport company. Therefore the transit time is exactly the same – but the price is not.

How do I know if my goods will arrive via Australia Post?

For your goods to arrive via Australia Post they must have been shipped from your supplier via EMS (Express Mail Service). “EMS” is an internationally recognised term that simply refers to the fastest method of international transport via the exporting countries postal service.

For example: If you instructed your supplier in the USA to send your goods via EMS, they would ship them with USPS (United States Postal Service) on their Express Mail Service. Upon arrival in Australia your goods would be received and processed via Australia Post. Get an EMS Quote.

So why would anyone use a private carrier?

Until recently customs clearance was very expensive and a valuable “free inclusion”. But now with eCustoms Brokers low rates, EMS is fast becoming the preferred international express carrier. All you need to do is upload your documents here and we do the rest. It’s that simple.

Customs Clearance FAQ’s

Australia Post advised that my consignment hasn’t been released.
Once you receive the Customs release documentation from our servers your consignment is clear and has been released in the Integrated Cargo System (ICS), which is Customs’ electronic cargo management platform. From that point it’s in the hands of Customs’ and Australia Post’s internal (electronic and manual) processes to physically start the consignment moving to your door.
This process commences with Customs downloading a release report at midnight on the day of clearance which contains all the Customs references for consignments that have been released in the ICS over the past 24hrs.
Australia Post then manually takes each of these consignments out of the Customs held bond and puts them back into the general delivery cycle. This process can take anywhere up to 3 business days depending on how busy Australia Post is at the time of your consignments release. To give you an appreciation of the reasons for this extended delay, the volumes in question are quite significant – the Sydney gateway alone currently processes around 45,000 articles per day.
Australia Post quotes a delivery window 1-7 business days (after clearance in the ICS) to move the consignment to your door based on the service level that it was posted from the origin under and you will not receive notification of any “released” status or movements via online tracking or through Australia Post’s call centre advice until the consignment has departed from its arrival gateway. Even though it is technically Customs “released” the minute you receive the emailed notification from our servers.
If your consignment was sent from the US, you can find out which service level your consignment was sent under by going to USPS Tracking and entering your 13 digit tracking number. The service level will be listed under “Postal Product” at the top of the tracking results page.
As a guide, express consignments (Priority Mail Express International) are usually delivered within 1-4 business days after clearance and standard (Priority Mail International) consignments typically take 4-7 business days for delivery. However Australia Post technically still has up to 7 business days to deliver all consignments regardless of the service level that they were posted under. If you have not received your consignment within 7 business days you will need to call Australia Post on 13 13 18 and request they instigate a trace on your consignment as you should have received it within this delivery window.
Unfortunately there is no way to “upgrade” the service level of the local delivery leg because it remains under the same international delivery contract that was instigated from the origin by the sender, Customs merely pauses that delivery of your goods to facilitate border compliance requirements.
Likewise we are unable to expedite these internal processes, as once your consignment is released in the ICS all further consignment processing is beyond any external entities control.

Will goods under AUD $1,000 be stopped by Customs?

Customs will stop your goods if they meet ANY of the below criteria:

Note: The above is a guide only. Even if your goods do not meet any of the above criteria, Customs still maintains the right to hold and inspect any goods at their discretion.

How is Duty and GST calculated?

Customs Duty is calculated as a percentage of the Customs Value (CV) of the imported goods. Depending on the product, the applicable duty rate can be anywhere from 0% to 10%, however the majority of goods attract a 5% duty rate.

Customs GST is calculated at 10% of the Value of the Taxable Import (VoTI). The VoTI is calculated by the addition of the Customs Value (CV)
PLUS the Duty PLUS the value of the International Transport and Insurance (T&I).

An example of how the duty and GST is calculated on goods valued at A$1000 which attract a 5% duty rate would be:

Why do I need to pay GST?

The tariff classification is an 8 digit reference number and 2 digit statistical code, obtained from the Australian Customs Tariff that identifies the imported item and the rate of Customs duty that applies.

What is a 'Tariff Classification'?

The tariff classification is an 8 digit reference number and 2 digit statistical code, obtained from the Australian Customs Tariff that identifies the imported item and the rate of Customs duty that applies.

Is Duty and GST payable on used goods?

Yes. The law requires that all goods – whether second hand or new, commercial or private – be subject to the assessment of customs duty and GST and checked for community protection risks.

Duty and/or GST are only collected on imported goods where the value of the goods is above A$1000, OR where the goods include alcohol or tobacco products. Goods valued above A$1000 must be cleared through Customs and Border Protection by completing a formal Customs Entry.

Australia Post Consignments: If you have received a Customs Notice then the shipper has already advised customs that your goods meet this criteria.

General Airfreight Consignments: All goods arriving via general airfreight (i.e. Via ANY Airline – Qantas, Virgin, AAE etc) are required to have a formal customs entry lodged regardless of their value, however if the goods are under the AUD 1,000 threshold then we can apply the relevant legislation on your customs entry to exempt you from payment of any Duty/GST or Government entry fees.

My goods were a gift, why should I pay anything?

The law requires that all goods, even gifts, over the value of AUD$1000 are subject to the assessment of customs duty and GST and checked for community protection risks.

The previous “gift concession” (by-law number 9740019) was revoked on and from 1 October 2008. However importations up to a value of AUD$1,000 are exempt payment of duty and GST (except for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products).

Why has my parcel been stopped by Customs (Border Protection)?

All goods that come into the country are subject to Customs, Border Protection and Quarantine controls. Your parcel is being held by Australia Post awaiting a Customs Entry to be lodged in order to provide more information about these goods to Australian Customs. You may also need to pay customs duty and/or GST before your parcel can be delivered.

My goods are only for private use, do I still have to pay Duty/GST?

Yes. The law requires that all goods – whether second hand or new, commercial or private – be subject to the assessment of customs duty and GST and checked for community protection risks.

Duty and/or GST are only collected on imported goods where the value of the goods is above A$1000, OR where the goods include alcohol or tobacco products. Goods valued above A$1000 must be cleared through Customs and Border Protection by completing a formal Customs Entry.

If you have received a Customs Notice then the shipper has already advised customs that your goods meet this criteria.

Do I need to provide my ABN if the goods are for my personal use?

No. You only need to provide your ABN if the goods are for use by your business and you wish to claim input tax credits on your BAS for the GST you pay upon importation.

What are the duty rates for Alcohol and Tobacco?

The duty rates for alcohol varies depending on its exact specifications, however to give you a general idea most Wines are 5% duty, however Spirits commonly attract a the 5% duty PLUS $76.37 per litre of alcohol content. Beers made from malt usually attracts a duty rate of $45.08 per litre or alcohol content by which it exceeds 1.15%.

Note: In addition to duty and GST, most wines also attract Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) which is calculated at 29% of [the customs value (CV) PLUS the duty PLUS the Transport and Insurance (T&I)].

Tobacco duty rates also vary but again to give you an idea, the most common rate is $663.72/kg of tobacco content.

Wine Calculation Example
The Duty, WET and GST payable on a 700ml bottle of Wine valued at $100 with an alcohol content of 13.5% would be calculated as follows:

  • If the Customs value (CV) of the Wine = $100.00
  • Then the Customs duty @ 5% of the $100 (CV) = $5.00 (Payable)
  • International transport and insurance or postage (T&I) = $50.00
  • Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) @ 29% of (CV + Duty + T&I) = $44.95 (Payable)
  • Value of the Taxable Importation (VoTI) = (CV + Duty + T&I + WET) = $199.95
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST) @ 10% of the VoTI = $19.99 (Payable)
  • Total Payable (Duty + WET + GST) = $69.94

Spirits Calculation Example
The Duty and GST payable on a 700ml bottle of Whiskey valued at $100 with an alcohol content of 37.0% would be calculated as follows:

  • If the Customs value (CV) of the Whiskey = $100.00
  • Then the Customs duty @ 5% of the $100 (CV) = $5.00 (Payable)
  • The Litres of Alcohol (La) content is 0.7L x 37.0% = 0.259 La
  • The La duty rate of $76.37/La x 0.259 La = $19.77 (Payable)
  • International transport and insurance or postage (T&I) = $50.00
  • Value of the Taxable Importation (VoTI) = (CV + 5% Duty + La Duty + T&I) = $174.77
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST) @ 10% of the VoTI = $17.47 (Payable)
  • Total Payable (Duty + GST) = $42.24

Beer Calculation Example
The Duty and GST payable on a Carton of 24 x 375ml bottles of Beer valued at $70 with an alcohol content of 4.9% would be calculated as follows:

  • If the Customs value (CV) of the Beer = $70.00
  • The dutyable Litres of Alcohol (La) is 4.9% – 1.15% = 3.75%
  • The Litres of Alcohol (La) content is 24 x 0.375L x 3.75% = 0.3375 La
  • Therefore the duty rate of $45.08/La x 0.3375 La = $15.21 (Payable)
  • International transport and insurance or postage (T&I) = $50.00
  • Value of the Taxable Importation (VoTI) = (CV + Duty + T&I) = $135.21
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST) @ 10% of the VoTI = $13.52 (Payable)
  • Total Payable (Duty + GST) = $28.73

How is the Customs Value (CV) calculated?

The Customs value of goods imported into Australia is based on the value of the goods as determined by the importers commercial invoice.

When the goods are valued at more than AUD$1000 threshold, or include alcohol or tobacco products of any value, a Customs value will be determined which is used as the basis for calculating the value of any duty and/or GST.

The Customs value is combined with other items (customs duty, international transport and insurance costs and, where applicable, Wine Equalisation Tax) to produce the value of the taxable importation (VoTI). The Customs value is equivalent to the Australian currency purchase price of the goods.

What foreign currency exchange rate is used to calculate the Duty/GST?

We apply one of two possible exchange rates depending on whether the goods have already been paid for or not.

If at the time of importation the importer has not already transferred payment to the overseas supplier for the goods then we use the customs exchange rate, which is the average of the four major banks at the date of exportation of the goods from the origin.

If the goods have already been paid for and you provide the payment remittance (e.g. T/T, Paypal Receipt, Credit Card Statement etc.) then we use the exchange rate that you paid for the goods on hence the Duty/GST is calculated based on the actual AUD amount you paid.

Are you affiliated with Australia Post or Australian Customs?

No. We are an independent Government Licensed Customs Brokerage who specialise in the customs clearance of general airfreight and Australia Post consignments.

Can I lodge online before I receive the Customs Letter?

Yes. However you will need the unique Customs reference for us to clear your consignment. You can call customs on 1300 363 263 (Option 3, then 1) and request they verbally advise you this PPC (parcel post carding) reference for your consignment. Once obtained you can lodge online without the physical notice (just make sure you put in the additional info field “did not receive customs notice”) however you will still need to select “email it to us later” where the form requests the physical document so it will allow you to proceed.

Please note it can take up to 72 hrs after your consignments arrival in Australia for customs to have processed your consignment and generated the above reference number.

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Confirm

By ticking this box you are electronically signing this declaration, therefore it bears the same legal responsibilities (including liability to penalty) as if it were physically signed by yourself.

Note: Making this declaration doesnot immediately result in a duty exemption. The goods still need to be evaluated by our brokers for compliance with all other applicable legislative requirements.