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FAQs

Need some help or have a burning question that you need answered pronto? Just click on one of the sections below to find the answer…

if you still can’t find an answer to your question, please give the PFS team a call on 07 3207 9537 or drop us an email on operations@my-pfs.com


A freight forwarder is a company that organises the transport of goods for individuals or businesses internationally. Their role is to move goods from one part of the world to another. On top of organising the physical movement of the goods, they also help with all the paperwork required, they arrange the local customs and quarantine clearance of the cargo. A good freight forwarder will also ensure the goods travel in the most economical and efficient way to reduce lead times and costs.
Yes, kick off by contacting our team now. 07 3207 9537 or operations@my-pfs.com
Put simply, Incoterms® are the selling terms that the buyer and seller of goods both agree to during international transactions. These rules are accepted by governments and legal authorities around the world. Understanding Incoterms® is a vital part of International Trade because they clearly state which tasks, costs and risks are connected with the buyer and the seller. Incoterms® are normally shown as a 3-letter abbreviation on your quote or commercial invoice from the seller or supplier. Check out these useful links:   Video   Quick reference chart
No, if you have an ABN (Australian Business Number), it will be used as an Identifier. If you do not have an ABN, you will need to supply 100 points of identification. You will then be allocated a CCID (Customs Client Identifier) which will be used to identify you as the importer.
Less than Container Load (LCL): Cargo travelling which does not require the entire shipping container – enabling the shipment to be consolidated with various other cargo shipments. These share the same container as well as the container shipping costs. LCL Sea freight is typically charged per CBM.
Full Container Load (FCL) is a container shipping option where a container is exclusively used for a single shipment and is not shared with other cargo. Typically charged on a per container basis. Containers come various sizes, the most common being 20' & 40' .
HS stands for Harmonised System or, in its long form, the 'Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System'. Developed in 1988 by the World Customs Organisation (WCO), HS Codes are typically 6- to 10-digit figures that all goods require for international transport. The Harmonised System is used to ease global trade by creating unified categories to classify different types of goods.
Short answer, No - It can be tempting when the supplier offers free or cheap freight, however the reality is that someone has to pay the freight costs at some stage. To know all the shipping costs upfront its best to purchase on FOB or EXW terms. The person that arranges the International Freight is in control of the routing and costs therefore for you to gain visibility on routing / transit options and more importantly control of your costs, we’d suggest buying goods from your supplier on FOB or Ex Works terms. This will allow PFS to act on your behalf to ensure your shipment is moved on a service that is specific to your requirements and delivery deadlines and provides transparency on all associated costs.
In a contract of carriage, the consignor, is the person sending the shipment to be delivered whether that be via land, sea or air freight. The Consignor can also be referred to as the “shipper” or “sender”
In a contract of carriage, the consignee is the entity who is financially responsible for the receipt of the shipment. The consignee can also be referred to as the “buyer” or “receiver” of the shipment.
General Purpose shipping containers are the most well-known and recognised containers in use today. They are used to transport goods and cargo by sea and land, they're strong, watertight, and incredibly durable. Standard height containers are 8'6″H on the exterior. Products are usually packed inside cartons, then cartons stacked and wrapped onto pallets and loaded inside the container for transport.    
  • A 20’GP is known as a 'Twenty-Footer' and indicates the overall length of 20 feet. A 20’GP has a maximum capacity to load 33 cbm and will generally hold approximately 27 to 28 cbm depending on how the cargo is packaged and loaded into the container.
  • A 40’GP is known as a ‘Forty-Footer' and indicates the overall length of 40 feet. A 40’GP has a maximum capacity to load 67 cbm and will generally hold approximately 55 to 60 cbm depending on how the cargo is packaged and loaded into the container.
  • A 40’HC / 40’HQ is known as a ‘Forty-Foot High Cube', the High Cube means it is 1 ft taller than a standard height or GP (general purpose) container. ‘40’ indicates the overall length of 40 feet. A 40’HC / 40’HQ has a maximum capacity to load 76 cbm and will generally hold approximately 65 to 70 cbm depending on how the cargo is packaged and loaded into the container.
LCL Sea Freight shipments are charged on a one to one basis. This means that 1 cbm is equal to 1,000 kgs For example if your shipment is 1 cbm and weighs 2,000 kgs the volumetric measurement is 2,000 kgs Please note that minimum charges may also apply for LCL shipments if your shipment is less than 1 cbm.
Air freight is based on whichever weight is higher. Volumetric weight (which is the size of your cargo) vs Gross weight (the actual weight of your goods). As a result, you will always need to calculate both weights and the higher will be considered as the chargeable weight.   International Couriers differ slightly in how they calculate their chargeable weight. Using centimetres;
  • Multiply the parcel's three dimensions (length x height x width)
  • then divide the result by 5000 (or 4000 for EU economy services)
  • The resulting figure represents the volumetric weight of your parcel.
  • Is this bigger than the actual weight of your goods?
  Airlines calculate their chargeable weight of cargo by
  • dividing the length x width x height (In cms) by 6000.
  • When the figure you get is higher than the actual weight,
  • the cargo will be based on its volumetric weight and the air freight rates will be based on the higher figure.
  Another way of working out the chargeable weight is;   1 kg is equal to 6,000 cubic centimetres of volume which is equivalent to 167 kgs per cubic meter (cbm).   For example if your shipment is 100 kgs and 1 cbm the volumetric measurement would be 167 kgs (1 x 167 = 167 kgs)
Majority of Air Freight shipments move on passenger planes, therefore as a guide your cargo should be no greater 3m (L) x 2m (W) x 1.5m (H). With that said, should you have any shipments that are greater than these dimensions, please contact our PFS Team so we can provide available options to uplift your cargo.
The following documentation is required for Air Freight shipments.
  • Airway Bill (AWB or HAWB)
  • Commercial Invoice – must be in English, include a description and price of each item, state the currency, total invoice amount and origin of products.
  • Packing List
The following documentation is required for Sea Freight shipments.
  • Bill of Lading (OBL or HBL)
  • Commercial Invoice – must be in English, include a description and price of each item, state the currency, total invoice amount and origin of products
  • Packing List
  • Packing Declaration
  • In addition to the above, you may also require a Fumigation Certificate from an approved Fumigation Company, a Phytosanitary Certificate, an Import Permit, a Certificate of Origin or an Import Licence depending on the nature of your products.
The value of the taxable importation is the sum of:
  • the commercial value (CV) of the imported goods (What you paid for the goods)
  • any duty payable
  • the amount paid or payable to transport the goods to Australia and to insure the goods for that transport (T&I), and
  • any Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) payable, if applicable.
Import Duty is calculated as a percentage of the goods value or Customs Value (CV) of your consignment. 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). Here is a simple example of how the import duty and GST is calculated on goods valued at AUD$1000 with a 5% duty rate:
  • Duty @ 5% of the AUD$1,000 (CV) = $ 50.00
  • International transport and insurance (T&I) = $ 150.00
  • Then the VoTI = (CV) + Duty + (T&I) = $1200.00
  • GST is 10% of the VoTI = 10% x $1200 = $120.00
  • Total Duty and GST Payable $170.00
If the above seems confusing, don't worry - The PFS team can include an estimate of your import taxes in our quote.
Import Duty Rates vary on the commodity being imported and the country your goods are being imported from, it can range between 5% - 10%.
Import GST is payable on most goods imported into Australia. Import GST is payable by businesses, organisations and private individuals, whether they are registered for GST or not. Import GST is calculated on the CIF value plus any Import Duty paid, multiplied by 10%.
If you are a GST registered business or organisation and you import goods, you may be able to claim a GST credit for any GST you have paid on your imported goods. To claim the Import GST back that you have paid on your imported goods, please speak to your preferred accountant.
YES, the Australian Taxation Office operates a deferred GST (DGST) scheme that allows you, as an importer, to defer payment of the GST on all taxable importations into Australia. Approval is required which, you can obtain by using the below link. Application for approval to defer GST on imported goods To be eligible to participate in the deferred GST scheme, you must
  • Have an ABN
  • Be registered for GST (you can register for GST and apply for an ABN on the one form if you don’t already have an ABN)
  • Lodge your activity statements online
  • Lodge your activity statements monthly (if you are lodging quarterly, you can elect to lodge monthly)
  • Make your activity statement payments electronically
Additionally, you may not be eligible if;
  • You are not up to date with your tax returns or payments – this includes members of GST groups, branches and joint ventures
  • You or anyone relevant on the application has, in the past three years, been convicted or penalised by a court for specific offences.
Transit insurance is optional, however recommended. When your goods are travelling across the globe, much of what happens is outside of your control. Loss and damages do occur and without the right protection you can be left significantly out of pocket. That’s why we’re committed to making it easier than ever for you to arrange quality Marine Cargo insurance cover. Personalised Freight Solutions Pty Ltd are authorised distributors of Coverfreight Cargo Insurance.
Simple, just email us at operations@my-pfs.com or call on 07 3207 9537   We require the following in order to put together a comprehensive quote:
  • Pick up address if EXW
  • Port of loading if FOB
  • Delivery address & unloading facilities
  • Commodity
  • Number of items & size/weight of each OR total CBM & weight
  • Commercial value & currency ( to estimate the import taxes )
A bill of lading is a document issued by a carrier (or their agent) to acknowledge receipt of cargo for shipment. Although the term historically related only to carriage by sea, a bill of lading may today be used for any type of carriage of goods. Bills of lading are crucial documents used in international trade to ensure that exporters receive payment and importers receive the merchandise.
FTA - Free Trade Agreement, A free trade agreement (FTA) is an international treaty between two or more economies that reduces or eliminates certain barriers to trade in goods and services, as well as investment. FTAs benefit Australian exporters, importers, producers and investors by reducing and eliminating certain barriers to international trade. Check out the current FTAs in force here.
The China–Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) entered into force on 20 December 2015. ChAFTA is an historic agreement that is delivering enormous benefits to Australia, enhancing our competitive position in the Chinese market, boosting economic growth and creating jobs. Goods seeking preferential treatment under ChAFTA must be accompanied by appropriate documentation. This can be done by using a ChAFTA Certificate of Origin (COO)
The Certificate of Origin (COO) is a document to certify the place of growth, production or manufacture of goods. It is required when exporting to specific countries, when requested by the consignee for customs clearance. A COO applies to a single shipment only.