Many Importers have been enjoying a saving of 5% on their import duties since the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement took affect 20th December, 2015.
For importers, both experienced and new who still think “My goods ship from China, therefore they are Duty Free” please take time to completely understand the implications of the Free Trade Agreement and specifically how the goods you are importing are affected.
It is not correct to make the assumption that because your goods ship from China they are automatically duty free and if your representation who handle your border clearances are declaring them as such with out the correct documentation, it is you as the importer who will be held liable for the 5% duty not paid at the time of importation. 5% of your total imports for the year would certainly add up, in additional to interest and fines.
A good starting point is asking the following questions of your representation:
- Are my suppliers providing a certificate of origin for each shipment?
- If they are, does the certificate of origin state a HS code for each item in each shipment?
- If they are, does the certificate correctly link to all the other commercial documentation for the shipment?
If any of these answers are no, but your duty rate has dropped on your customs declaration. Work with your freight agent and your suppliers to get this right for past and future shipments.
It may be that your items have not dropped to 0% duty at all and will not do so until 2019, in fact if you are importing items that fall under the likes of HS Code 62304300 Boys Shorts, and provide a Certificate of Origin you will end up paying 6% duty!
see http://www.chinaaustraliafta.com.au for further guidance.