Country Facts
24 Million *
AUD (A$)

*Source: The CIA World Factbook

Trade Indicators
12th Largest Economy in the World
15th Largest U.S. Export Market (2015)
$18.2 Billion of U.S. Services Exported (2015)
$24.7 Billion of U.S. Goods Exported (2015)
Ranked 13 on World Bank Doing Business (2016)

Top Industry Export Opportunities

Food and Snack Goods

Australian demographics are similar to those in the United States, with a large number of two-income families and the consequent need for more processed and consumer-ready foods. Australian consumers are oriented toward the same factors that many U.S. consumers seek – freshness, wholesomeness and healthy lifestyles. The organic, healthy and natural products market in Australia continues to grow rapidly. Prospects are excellent for organic and natural ingredients as well as consumer ready processed foods and beverages. Examples of growing segments are the nutritious snacks category, non-sweetened waters, still water and coconut water.

Automotive Parts / Aftermarket

Australia’s auto market is mature, with modest growth expected going forward. Australia was the seventh largest destination for U.S. auto parts exports in 2015, and the market has relatively few barriers for U.S. companies. Since auto production in Australia is winding down over the next couple of years, future U.S. parts exports will be for aftermarket use. The Australian aftermarket for replacement parts and accessories is estimated to be worth between $5 and $6 billion and is split fairly evenly between local producers and imports.

Cosmetic and Toiletry Preparations

Australia is the fifth largest market for U.S.-made cosmetics behind Canada, Mexico, U.K and the Netherlands. Australia’s total personal care and cosmetics market is estimated at USD3.4 billion. As a subsector, the market for cosmetic and toiletry preparations in 2016 was valued at USD2.9 billion. Imports satisfy 56 percent with the U.S. holding the largest share (30 percent) of the import market. Prominent product categories in Australia, include mass-market brands, prestige brands, private-label products and professional or salon-only brands. Across most product price segments and sectors there is increasing demand for “natural” products that prominently feature essential oils, organic, and biodynamic ingredients. In the premium market, niche products in terms of new active ingredients and products for sensitive skin are in demand.

Trade Regulations & Customs Information

Import Tariffs: The Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Australia (AUSFTA) that came into effect in 2005 eliminated import tariffs on 99 percent of U.S. manufactured industrial and consumer goods, and 100 percent of U.S. agricultural products. This has continued to create export opportunities for U.S. manufacturers and farmers. Tariffs on non-U.S. products average 5 percent or less, with a few exceptions, such as motor vehicles, clothing, and footwear.

Rules of Origin: Goods are classified according to the Harmonized System (HS) for the purposes of tariff categorization. To be eligible for preferential tariff treatment under AUSFTA, products must originate in the United States, that is, be wholly obtained or produced in the United States, or produced in the United States wholly from other originating materials from either Australia or the United States.

Import Requirements: The Australian Customs and Protection Border Service has sole jurisdiction to clear imports. Customs does not require companies or individuals to hold import licenses, but importers may need to obtain permits to clear the goods.

Import Documentation: 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. AUD, USD), and country of origin.

Goods and Services Tax (GST): Goods entering Australia may incur duty, GST, and/or additional charges. Customs duty rates vary and depend on a number of factors, such as type of goods and country of origin. Because of the preferential tariff arrangement under the AUSFTA, 99 percent of U.S.-origin goods enter Australia duty free. The importer is still responsible for applicable GST payments. The liability to pay a 10 percent GST for imports rests with the importer. Payment of GST may not be required for temporary importation of goods. Imported, second-hand goods are treated the same way as any taxable goods and are therefore subject to GST. Under the GST, the amount paid or payable for international transport and insurance is also added to the taxable importation value.

Quarantine: The Australian government enforces its quarantine measures very seriously. Importers have little recourse once a shipment encounters quarantine issues. The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) is the federal body responsible for enforcing Australia’s quarantine regulations, including issuing permits and inspecting shipments. Australia has stringent prohibitions and quarantines against a number of products. Australia has very strict sanitary and phytosanitary restrictions affecting imports of fresh fruit and vegetables and imports of meat and poultry products.

U.S. Export Controls: When exporting products to other countries, there are a few things that exporters must keep in mind.  To determine whether or not an exporter needs to obtain an export license in order to ship their product, the exporter should look for an Export Control Classification Number (ECCN).

Source: The International Trade Administration (ITA), U.S. Department of Commerce

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