The Australian Border Force has sole jurisdiction to clear imports. Local importers are responsible for obtaining formal customs clearance for goods.
While there are several methods of valuing goods for customs purposes, the method most frequently applied (transaction value) is based on the price actually paid (or payable) for the imported goods subject to certain adjustments. A major condition for using the transaction value is that there is no relationship between the buyer and seller that may influence the price. Valuation of imported goods can be complex, and importers are urged to seek advice from a customs broker or to contact a Customs Information Centre. The International Forwarders and Customs Brokers Association of Australia provides access to a Member Directory on their website..
Customs does not require companies or individuals to hold import licenses, but importers may need to obtain permits to clear the goods. The minimum amount of documentation required for customs clearance comprises a completed Customs Entry or Informal Clearance Document (ICD), an air waybill (AWB) or bill of lading (BLAD), as well as invoices and other documents relating to the importation. Customs does not require the completion of a special form of invoice. Normal commercial invoices, bills of lading, and receipts are acceptable. These documents should contain the following information: invoice terms (e.g., FOB, CIF) name and address of the seller of the goods (Consignor) monetary unit referred to on invoice (e.g., AU$, US$), and country of origin.
Some authorities that issue import permits publish brochures/pamphlets that explain their areas of concern. However, these agency publications may not always reflect current customs legislation and procedures as they are often modified. Import requirements are available on the Australian Border Force website.