As your freight forwarder we will liaise with your supplier to ensure documentation for importing your goods is correct leading up to departure from the port of loading and prior to arrival to Australia. We do however like our clients to have a working knowledge of requirements when it comes to documentation.
There is a few reasons for this:
1. These are your goods and ultimately your responsibility. A customs declaration (which is created through the information provided on the shipping documents) is a legal document that through the information provided will provide the amount of duty and GST that is payable to Australian Customs on arrival. The shipping documents along with the corresponding customs declaration is to be kept on record by the importer for a minimum of 5 years. Treat it as you do your tax return!
2. Some required documentation such as import permits can only be applied for by the importer (not the freight agent), guidance will be given but again it is the importers responsibility to ensure these are in place prior to arrival.
3. When negotiating terms of sale with your supplier, ensure they are prepared to provide all necessary documentation. Treatment certificates and packing declarations are the most common that a supplier would need to provide in addition to a commercial invoice. Getting into a position where by you have purchased the goods and engaged a freight forwarder to move the goods to then find out the supplier will not provide a crucial document for clearance may result in costs that have not been planned for or time delays on arrival.
Some Important links to provide further guidance and information on your documentation requirements:
We are also always available to discuss requirements specific to your business, contact us anytime!