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How to Import From China to Australia : Ultimate Guide 2021

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Product Sourcing

find the best Chinese factory

Leeline matches a fully-qualified factory according to your requirements, discusses the appropriate product price, confirms the product duration, and delivers in time.

Factory Audit

ensure that the factory meets your requirements.

It is very necessary to have a further understanding of the cooperating factories, which can greatly solve our time and later communication costs and avoid some hidden product quality risks..

Product Inspection

Check each of our products one by one

Usually there will be some differences between samples and mass-produced products, and quality inspection can ensure that the large-scale products can be consistent with the quality of factory samples.

Amazon FBA Prep

product brand packaging

Leave Amazon FBA Prep to us, you can focus on Amazon promotion, better serve customers, and expand business scale.

Shipping To Amazon FBA

Let leeline help you transport goods from China to the Amazon FBA warehouse, we provide you with the most competitive prices and the most stable shipping time.


dropshipping requirements

We can help you find the best dropship supplier, strive for the best price, product quality inspection, and deliver the product to customers with the best delivery method.

Need leeline to Ship Products from China?

Sea Transportation

ocean freight forwarder

When freight occupies a large profit of the product, the use of shipping can greatly reduce transportation costs and increase product profit margins.

Air Transportation

best air freight forwarder

If you do not know how to import goods from China by air, leeline will be your best logistics partner, tell us your requirements and we will handle everything for you.

Rail Transportation

railway transportation is a more reasonable logistics transportation method

When you plan to ship commodities to Europe or the Middle East, rail transportation is a very good choice, let leeline develop a rail shipment plan for you.

Door to Door

door-to-door transportation

We can provide you with door-to-door transportation services that transport goods directly from the factory to your warehouse, with flexible transportation methods and optimal logistics costs.

How to Import From China to Australia : Ultimate Guide 2021

There is always the easiest way around every venture, and top of them all is knowing the right route to follow. From the first time and at other times.

And to know what an import tax from China to Australia is will make you work the easy lane if you are looking at importing from Alibaba to Australia.

The internet has made global commerce as easy as possible.

Yet, you can still get caught in the web of having to linger around a loop where everything seems to be easy-going.

This will only be clear when you finally get to know how much you are leaving behind. Because you ignore certain details on importing from china to Australia taxes.

If you know about Australian import tax, you would be a step ahead of making your Australian importation business process a smooth one.

There are several Australian import taxes that you should take into consideration. From goods and services tax (GST) to importing tax duty, all need to be in shape before you roll off your Australian importation sleeve.


Import From China to Australia

Import tax from China to Australia

You should ensure that the Australian customs check and clear all imported goods. Besides, this product may be subject to import duties or Amazon seller fees.

There is a process known as an import declaration. This process is backed by the Customs Tariff Act of 1995. It states that importers need to do a tariff classification of the products they import.

Also, if the commodities arrive by sea or air cargo, they must have a Self-Assessed Clearance Declaration. Which should be carried out by the cargo company.

The guidelines of the Australian Department of Home Affairs states that taxes and duties will not be levied on goods that cost less than AUD 1,000.

Yet, alcohol and tobacco products are exempted. Diversely, imported goods that are valued at more than AUD 1,000 will be subject to import tax, fees, and duties.

Also, they may be subject to some indirect taxes. You should visit the official website of the Department of Home Affairs to know about import duties and fees.

Goods and services tax (GST)

The Australian import law requires that you succumb to the Chinese exportation law. And one of them is a Goods and Services tax.  goods and Services Tax, which is equal to 10% of the taxable importation value.

The GST rate does not change regardless of the country in which the products are manufactured.

So how do you calculate the GST you need to pay? You must use the following parameters:

  • Product value
  • Import duties (Calculated from CVAL)
  • Shipping to Australia (but not domestic transportation)
  • Shipping insurance

What Can I Import from China to Australia?

We have been discussing importing from China to Australia, so the big question is, “What can I import to Australia?”

There are products that you could easily sell elsewhere, and those products may probably not be popular in Australia for some reason.

Before you venture into importation, do extensive market research to understand your demography.

And discover the products that are in high demand. You could also compare market trends to find products that have the potential to perform excellently.

Suggested reading:The Profitable Products To Import From China

Top 25 Best-Selling Products on Aliexpress

What Type Product You Can Import from China to Australia

Here are some hot products imported from China:

  • footwear,
  • toys,
  • sports equipment,
  • games,
  • furniture,
  • apparel,
  • machines,
  • electronics, etc.

Picking a niche from a wide range of products is difficult but worthwhile.

Importing clothing from China to Australia

China is globally recognized as one of the best when it comes to textile manufacturing. But with the recent high rate of technological development, most people forget this.

They produce high-end clothing in bulk and sell at a low price.

These products are exported to all parts of the world with Australia inclusive because everyone wears clothes.

Most times, the clothes are shipped in by sea, and no special care is required because they aren’t fragile. Importing clothes from China to Australia has few regulations.

Yet, the country does not allow clothes containing AZO dyes and formaldehyde within its borders. If you import wedding dresses, air freight might be a better idea because this category of clothes needs some extra care during shipping.

Importing clothing from China to Australia

Importing electronics from China to Australia

Many business owners are terrified by the complex processes and endless regulations involved in importing electronics from China.

Most times, they avoid the electronics niche entirely. But doing this means missing out on a big business opportunity.

You would record-high profits by importing wholesale electronics from China, and this could be a significant boost to your business.

Electronics manufactured and coupled in China are used globally. These include televisions, radio, refrigerators, phones, etc. Airfreight is the best means of shipping for electronics because it reduces manhandling.

Importing toys from China to Australia

China is one of the world’s largest exporters on toys. You could use sea freight to import different types of toys like puzzles, games, infant toys, toy guns, and many more in bulk.

There are strict guidelines and standards for these toys since the main consumers are infants and young children. The major problem you may encounter with the importation of toys from China is safety and certificates.

When it comes to choosing the shipping container to use, the volume and size of toys you wish to import will be the major determinant. But air freights should be used for special toys.


Importing boats from China to Australia

Chinese manufacturers build tough boats with many unique designs. The durability of these boats makes them the preferred choice for navigating Australian rivers.

They offer seamless handling, easy cleaning, and maintenance, and they keep their brilliant look for years. The boats vary in price depending on the quality and design you want.

The Australian Quarantine and Customs oversees boat importation, and the regulation involved is quite a few. The type of freight you choose depends on the size of the boat you wish to import.

Importing boats from China to Australia

Labeling Requirements for Importers

While importing goods from China to Australia, you must ensure that products and their packaging are properly labeled.

Australian importers should always be conversant with the various types of labeling requirements. We have made a list of them below.

  • AS/NSZ Labelling Requirements (as part of specific product standards)
  • Country of Origin (Needed for imported goods and food products that need a ‘trade description’)
  • Ingredients Labelling (compulsory for cosmetics and other related products)
  • Care Labelling (for apparel and textiles)
  • RCM Mark (Replaces the A-Tick and C-Tick mark on electronics)

You must note that all products have different sets of labeling requirements; thus, you need to be aware of the labeling requirements applicable to your products.

Also, never presume that the supplier has a knowledge of the applicable labeling need. This means that you must make your labeling files available to them.

Australian Product Safety Standards

It is worthy to note that all consumer products you import must be safe and meet the consumer regulations of the Australian Consumer Law. The sale of banned products is prohibited.

Also, you need to ensure that your imported products follow the applicable mandatory standards before you put them up for sale.

What is an AS/NZS standard?

This is an acronym for Australian/New Zealand Standard. These guidelines are applied in Australia and New Zealand and are alike with US and European Union Standards.

AS/NZS is applied to product safety regulations. For instance, boats are under the Trade Practices Regulations of 2014.

It requires domestic manufacturers and importers of boats to stick to the guidelines of AS/NZS 3004.2:2014.

These standards make technical prerequisites that cut across safety, testing, and performance quality. It is imperative that you understand the applicable AS/NZS standards for your products.

Conversely, not all AS/NZS standards are safety related. For example, textile care labeling guideline only sets standards for clothing labels.

Which products are regulated in Australia?

Many product classes varying from children’s toys to bicycle helmets are meant to conform to a collection of mandatory product standards.

In as much as there are voluntary standards, this article’s focus will be on the mandatory standards. We have provided a list of regulated product categories in Australia and New Zealand.

Read below:

  • Animals & agriculture
  • Bicycles
  • Baby & nursery
  • Boats & marine
  • Clothing & accessories
  • Fire & flammables
  • Food & groceries
  • Furniture, homewares & window furnishings
  • Gas & electrical appliances
  • Hardware & building materials
  • Health & cosmetics
  • Household chemicals
  • Novelties
  • Spas, pools & swimming
  • Sports & recreation
  • Tobacco & smoking accessories
  • Toys
  • Vehicles & accessories
  • Weapons
  • To find all applicable AS/NZS standards and mandatory product safety regulations, visit Product Safety Australia.

How do I know which AS/NZS safety standards apply to my product?

All the details you wish to get about mandatory safety standards are on the website above. The list covers over 30 30 product categories.

After you have identified the category applicable to your imported product, you will find an outline of regulations that includes the AS/NZS standards.

It also contains a list of any exclusions, safety labeling, related recalls, and required documentation.

You should bear in mind that some product regulations are stricter than the others.

For instance, children’s toys have strict guidelines surrounding them, whereas textiles are only covered by mandatory care labeling requirements.

Also, some mandatory safety standards apply to a broad range of products, while others are applicable to specific products.

Selling on Amazon.com.au

To sell your imported products on amazon.com.au, they must be in compliance with the mandatory safety standards and labeling requirements.

There is a better likelihood that Amazon will request for compliance documents than the shipping authorities.

Therefore, you must ensure that your products are not breaking any rules before venturing into selling on Amazon.com.au.

Suggested reading:Best Selling Products On Amazon and Top Selling Categories

How To Sell On Amazon For Free Step By Step Guide 2020

How to find reliable manufacturing companies for importing from China to Australia

So, you’ve finally done your research and figured out the product you desire to sell. The next step is to find a credible supplier.

Starting off your business on a bad foot is the last thing you want. Therefore, you should be wary of the bad suppliers, fakes, and scams out there.

Often, importers fail to make an informed decision while picking a manufacturing company. Their choices are mostly driven by sentiments.

We have seen many cases whereby business owners make supplier decisions based on vague promises, website looks, and unrealistic sales pitch of agents.

In the subsequent sections, we will be discussing the various places where you can find a reliable manufacturing company.

China Wholesale Market Online

These websites offer you the utmost flexibility. You can find the products you want and be able to verify the credibility and capability of the manufacturer.

Further research will help you discover important information like business categories, addresses, business licenses, and so forth.

The websites you could use include:

We are not implying that getting a good supplier on these platforms will be a walk in the park. Product sourcing on online marketplaces is not 100% stress-free.

While you search process, you’ll likely see suppliers within the categories of “Verified,” “Trading Company,” “Manufacturer,” etc.

You must know that the tag “Manufacturer” doesn’t qualify a factory to be real. Some of them do not oversee the production of the goods they are marketing.

Social Networks

It is no brainer that having a company profile can be your ticket to accessing foreign clients, and Chinese manufacturers are tapping into that opportunity.

The best social media platform to get reliable manufacturers are LinkedIn and Facebook Group; this is not to say that other social networks do not offer you that privilege at all.

Searching by “industry + manufacturer” will likely direct you to the profile of a supplier you desire.

By scouting on social media, you are also exposed to reading the company’s reviews.

Now, if they have satisfied clients, you will surely see it.

And if they are not, it is a red light, which means you have to look elsewhere.

On the flip side, you may not get a long list of companies on your search result.

This is because numerous Chinese manufactures have failed to create a social media profile for their businesses.

Facebook group

Search on Google

While Google has a long list of Chinese manufacturers on their database, you should always use the correct keyword.

Marketing keywords differ because of diverse cultural backgrounds; as such, a substantial number of these manufacturers are not English speakers.

This means that they may likely not use the normal keywords a westerner would use.

Alternating your keywords during the search process could be of help; keep interchanging until you get what you need.

Undoubtedly, Google is the most effective search engine, but you may not get enough information while looking up Chinese manufacturers.

Chinese or Global Industry Trade Fair

We have discovered that attending trade events could be a good means of meeting a reliable manufacturer.

Presently, Chinese manufacturers seize every opportunity they can to attend and participate in any famous industry exhibition.

Spending a few days to meet a considerable number of suppliers and communicating with them could be the breakthrough you need.

Direct interaction with them will help you identify the suppliers’ company values, their products, production capacity, and quality control procedures.

Sourcing agents

You could hire a reputable sourcing agent to help out with your business.

Of course, they have to be local since they will have to check the manufacturer’s legitimacy in a local way.

Not only will they discover the best manufacturer to buy from, but they will also make some local business knowledge available to you.

Finding the right agent is quite valuable and saves you plenty of time and money.

Suggested reading:Best Product Sourcing Agents Help You Import From China

Shipping from China to Australia

While importing goods from China to Australia, shipping is an important factor to be considered. Since China has low labor and production costs compared to Australia, companies deem them more attractive.

A 2017 report released by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission reveals that the country exports over AU$110.4 billion to China.

This signifies a first rank export market. The supply chain and freight industry are important to the country because it makes up about 9% of Australia’s GDP.

Necessary Documents You Need to Import Goods from China to Australia

The Certificate of Origin

As far as international trade documents are concerned, the Certificate of Origin is number one on the list. It is an official document issued by a government to confirm that traded goods were manufactured or purchase in a country or a specific region.

A lot of countries like Australia give preferential treatments to some countries, which may lead to striking off import duties for those set of countries.

Incentives like that are often used by developed nations to support the developing ones, and sometimes, they are part of a free trade agreement.

However, you will need to obtain a Certificate of Origin to enjoy such incentives and reduce your import costs from China to Australia.

Details attached to your Certificate of Origin include;

  • The importer (Consignee)
  • Manufacturer/Exporter
  • Transportation method and route
  • Product description
  • Quantity

The import license

The Import License could be handed out by the particular body overseeing the type of goods you wish to import. The total number of government agencies with authority to issue an Import License is 15.

While the Import License provides financial and commercial details about the goods and import process, it also gives information about:

  • The importer
  • The exporter
  • The country of origin
  • The place of arrival and goods’ clearance
  • The supplier or manufacturer
  • The type of taxation and tax classification
  • Net and gross weight and quantity
  • A precise description of the products
  • The total price
  • The Incoterms
  • The payment method

The Bill of Lading (BL) or Airway Bill

As the Certificate of Origin, the Bill of Lading is considered to be essential and is issued by the freight forwarder. It is a document that testifies the reception of cargo by the shipping company.

The receipt comes with a unique number used for tracking shipments online.

The information revealed by the Bill of Lading are:

  • Shipper
  • Consignee
  • Incoterm
  • Product type
  • Notify party
  • Vessel No.
  • Port of loading/discharge
  • Place of receipt/delivery
  • Containers No.
  • Goods description
  • Net weight
  • Dimensions/Volume

Bill of Lading

Commercial Invoice

The Commercial Invoice states that shipment’s custom value and is used to calculate Australian import tax, GST, and other import duties. Details provided by the Commercial invoice include:

This list provides details about products, quantity, and the number of cartons in the shipment. Basically, it is the freight forwarder’s tracking tool when the shipment is in transit.

Proof of import

Proof of import is issued by the customs officials during the final step of the clearing process. It is issued after the necessary import documents have been assessed. This document officially recognizes and grants permission for your items to be sold in Australia.

Importing Tax (duty) from China to Australia

Having a good knowledge about import duties, VAT, post charges, and other applicable taxes are vital if you are an importer.

This is one of the best tools you’ll need presently since trade tensions are high.

Still, every economy has specific CVAL calculation methods and import duty rates. The next six sections will throw more light on import duty rates in Australia.

China to Australia Import Duties Rate

These are taxes imposed on the import and export of goods. In most cases, the value of imported goods determines the duty rate.

Rates range between 0% to 10%, but most Chinese imported products are subject to about 5% tax.

Click here to view a full list of Australian duty rates coupled with HS Code.

HS CodeDescriptionDuty Rate
5204.11.00COTTON SEWING THREAD – – Containing 85% or more by weight of cotton5%
SALE:- – – Other

Import Duty Calculation Example

Here, we will do a quick calculation to find out the import duty using an assumed value of goods. You must note that the customs duty is 5% of the total value of imported goods converted to Aussie.

This implies that it is calculated with the custom value.

Import Duty = X.X% x Customs Value

Let’s assume that the Customs value of goods is AU$20,000 subject to a 5% import duty.

Import Duty = 5% × 20,000 = AU$1,000

Who can make an Import Declaration?

An import declaration could be made by the importer or an agent to provide the Australian Customs with information about the imported goods.

The document contains the importer’s details, products’ means of transportation, custom value, and tariff classification.

Also, if you wish to personally clear goods with a value above AU$1,000. An import declaration will be needed alongside duties, taxes, and other applicable charges.

Who can act on your behalf?

In a scenario whereby you are unable to make the import declaration yourself, you could hire the services of a licensed customs broker to act on your behalf.

Of course, you will have to make every necessary information available to him.

How can I legally reduce the import duty?

The only legal method to lower the import duty is by reducing the customs value. A reduced-order volume will guarantee a lesser importation value, which directly reduces the taxable import duty.

In Australia Customs, duty rates are calculated as 5% of the customs value. The parameters that make up the customs value are:

  • Total product cost
  • Transportation to the Port of Loading
  • Export Clearance Cost
  • Services paid for to the supplier (e.g., product development and design)
  • Product samples, molds, and other tools
  • Shipping costs and shipping insurance are not included.

Cost for shipping from China to Australia

Various factors affect the shipping costs from Australia to China and vice versa. These factors could include size, shipping mode, factory to port transportation, export clearance, freight cost, insurance, port charges, domestic transportation, etc.

While picking the shipping company to use, the major things to look out for are delivery time, affordability, and quality of service.

What is the Pre-Shipment Inspection Cost

Carrier Services from China to Australia

China offers importers in Australia the privilege of low-cost shopping.

However, the affordability of the products will be of no use if you will burn the saved cash on shipping fees. You could use the rising competition in the logistics industry to your advantage.

A lot of high-quality freight forward companies are springing up, so you could easily partner with one. There are various options available to you; sea, air, rail…you name it!

Sea Freight

Most Australian importers prefer this method. Finding a reliable sea freight company will ensure you enjoy efficient services for all your shipping needs.

They are tailored to transport your products, not minding the size, weight, or shape of the cargo. Your goods are delivered with the utmost safety.

Also, your shipping company should be able to handle customs protocols and documentation, which spares you the stress involved in shipping.

Air Freight

You are importing to Australia, and perhaps your supply is behind schedule, or you are encountering certain issues; air freight could be an option to tap into.

This assures you of prompt delivery. Most air freight companies strictly monitor their operations to avoid delays or inconveniences to their clients.

Also, you enjoy better peace of mind with this option because there is close to zero risks of your goods being manhandled.

Rail Freight

This transport mode utilizes trains and railroads to convey cargo. The freight train is pulled by one or more locomotives on the rail line to transport cargo from the shipper to the intended destination.

Trains are used to haul bulk goods. Of course, Australian rail freight guidelines differ from that of other countries.

Door to door shipping from China to Australia

When you opt for door to door shipping, the supplier will ship the goods directly to your home or warehouse. It is by far the best shipping option to go for because it saves you most of the importation stress.

This method is mostly used by online importers.

Most Chinese door-to-door shippers handle import duty, VAT, GST, and other custom protocols.

Suggested reading:Professional Packing & Shipping Service

Shipping Services

Australia GST Guide on Imported Goods from China

What is the Goods and services tax (GST) rate?

The GST in Australia is a taxable 10% on imported goods. Some products like housing, health care, and food items are exempted from this tax.

Just like every other country, Chinese imports to Australia are subject to the same percentage of tax; it is constant regardless of the country of production.

How do I calculate how much GST I need to pay?

You can calculate the GST with the value of using the following information: import duties, product value, shipping cost, and shipping insurance.

Assuming the product value is AU$15,000 with a 5% import duty, and you have to pay AU$1,000 and AU$100 for the shipping cost and shipping insurance respectively, your GST will be 10% of the values.

GST= 10% × (15,000 + 750 + 1,000 + 100) = AU$1,685.

How I reduce the GST I need to pay?

The sole legal means of reducing the GST is by lowering the general taxable importation value. You can pay a lower GST by reducing the number of goods you order, using sea freight instead of air freight, negotiate with the supplier to sell at a lower price, and stacking several LCL shipments into a single FCL shipment.

Some importers ask suppliers to document a value lower than the actual cost of importing; under-declaring the taxable import value is an illegal act.

During a company audit by the Australian Taxation Office, they will unearth your illegal biddings, and this attracts severe sanctions.

When do I pay GST as an importer?

The moment your goods are cleared through customs, the GST becomes due. This means you do not have to make any prepayments to your freight forwarder or supplier.

Some freight forwarding companies offer to handle this properly in order to eliminate the stress for you.

Risks and Problems When Importing from China to Australia

No matter how lucrative a business is, it comes bearing some risks. Importing from China to Australia Customs is not exempted, risks are involved. However, being aware of these risks will give you foresight on how to scale through.

Below are some of the risks involved in importing products to Australia.

Language barrier

Dealing with a supplier whose mother tongue isn’t English could be difficult. While some of the manufacturers understand English, the diversity in the culture and manner of speech could also cause a communication breakdown.

The perfect solution to this is to hire an English-Mandarin sourcing agent or translator who has international trade experience. They can easily relay your messages to the manufacturer.

Supplier Scams

Numerous Australian importers have fallen for supplier scams. This often happens when the importer believes the vague promises made by the ‘supposed’ manufacturers.

To avoid this, we advise that you carry out extensive research on your supplier before paying for the acquisition of goods. Avoid scams all boils down accurate research.

Quality issue

As an importer, delivering quality products to your buyers is paramount. Therefore, receive substandard goods at any point in time could be harmful to your business.

Also, most manufacturers may not grant your request for a refund, so at all costs, you have to try and avoid this situation.

High price & cost

Purchasing a product at a high price does not necessarily mean that it is of high-end quality. You must understand that it takes time to find a good manufacturer who will produce your goods at a reasonable price.

We advised that you employ the services of an agency that has connections with the right manufacturer, they will help you make a good deal.


The business atmosphere of China and Australia are dissimilar. The Chinese take partnerships and relationships very seriously.

If you have the funds, traveling to China to have a personal meeting with your supplier can foster a better business relationship, which keeps you on the profitable side as an importer.

However, you can hire an international trade expert to help you build that relationship in the event you do not have the time and money to spend on traveling.

Your product may be copied

Patents and trademarks wouldn’t protect your products from piracy. If anyone wishes to copy your product, they could do so without any legal consequences.

The only way to avoid this is to work with trusted manufacturers. If you a big client, that will help as well because the supplier wouldn’t want to lose a major client.

LeelineSourcing Help You to Import Goods from China to Australia

Have you been searching for a reliable agent to help you handle your product sourcing?

We are committed to helping you achieve a hassle-free importation and more.

We deliver the best services within the shortest possible time. Feel free to contact us to find out more about our services.


China is a hotspot for Australian importers, but you need the right information to navigate the tides of importation.

This guide is aimed at equipping you with the basic tools you need to walk through any problem you may encounter.

However, the easiest way to avoid these hassles is to hire a China sourcing agent just like LeelineSourcing.

Leave us your inqury

LeelineSourcing will always help you buy cheap and good quality goods from China.

sharline leelinesourcing founder

About the author

Sharline is the founder of LeelineSourcing.com. With 10 years of experience sourcing in China, She loves to share knowledge and ideas in sourcing bussiness.She writes only the truths which others are normally not willing to tell. This makes her posts distinguishable from other import & export articles.

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