Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find a supplier?

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Western Australia can assist in establishing contact with foreign suppliers. Large chambers have extensive trade libraries that hold or have access to directories and catalogues, both in hard copy and electronic formats.

Other sources of assistance are public libraries, foreign consulates and trade offices, shipping agents and banks. Visiting trade fairs, particularly abroad, can also be a very effective way of meeting suppliers. For more information email

What is an ATA Carnet and how can I obtain one?

It is an international customs document issued by Chambers of Commerce in over 60 countries. It facilitates the temporary duty free admission of goods by eliminating the difficulties encountered in completing a customs declaration at the time of importation into each country, and in providing adequate, on-the-spot security for the payment of any customs duties, and other taxes chargeable, should the goods not subsequently be re‑exported.

The issuing Chamber becomes guarantor for the goods under the Carnet. In effect, the Carnet acts as a passport for your goods as they transit customs’ boundaries out of Australia, into and out of overseas countries and back into Australia.

Find out more about how CCIWA can help here.

What documentation is required to import goods into Australia?

  • Bill of Lading or Air Waybill
  • Commercial Invoice: no special form
  • Packing List: no special requirement but will facilitate clearance of goods
  • Certificate of Origin: no official requirement but may be requested by the importer; and
  • Insurance Certificate: no special requirements

Note: The Customs Act 1901 requires importers to retain commercial documents relating to a transaction for five years from the date of entry. These may be required by Customs for audit purposes. Visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website for further information or email

Do I have to pay Goods and Services Tax (GST) on imported goods?

Imported goods may be subject to a 10 per cent GST and, if so, the tax will be payable at the time of importation. A Deferred GST Scheme provides for GST to be deferred until the first Business Activity Statement is due, after the goods are entered for home consumption. Importers must apply for approval from the Australian Taxation Office to defer payment of GST.

For advice about GST liability and rates applicable, call the GST Help Line on 13 28 66.

Where can I obtain a Certificate of Origin?

CCIWA is authorised to issue documentary evidence of origin for the export of goods from Australia.

Find out more about Certificates of Origin here or email

Do I have to register a business to import into Australia?

No. Sole proprietors and partnerships, whether trading in their own name/s or under a registered business name, are legally able to engage in importing goods into Australia.

Do I need a licence to import goods into Australia?

No. However, a permit may be required for certain goods to facilitate customs clearance e.g. drugs, animals, firearms and motor vehicles.

What are Incoterms?

Incoterms are internationally accepted rules, formulated by the International Chamber of Commerce, for the interpretation of 11 trade terms used in international merchandise trade.

Incoterms define the division of costs, risks and responsibilities between seller and buyer in respect of the transport of the goods from seller to buyer.

Copies of Incoterms 2010 are available for purchase from the International Trade Centre at CCIWA.

For further information email

Who is the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC)?

EFIC is Australia's official credit agency. It is 100 per cent self-funded, providing financial and insurance services to Australian companies exporting and investing overseas.

As an agency of the Australian Government, EFIC is committed to supporting small, medium and large Australian companies expand overseas through financing export opportunities or international projects which meet our criteria for the minimum amount of Australian content.

Companies have to pay for EFIC’s services.

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