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Guide on Australia rules of origin

Free Trade Agreement overview

Taking advantage of lower tariffs secured through the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

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Step 1: Find your commodity code

Knowing your commodity code is essential for completing customs declarations and other customs processes. You can use the UK's Trade Tariff tool to help identify your code. You can also use your commodity code to determine what rules you need to comply with to claim preferential tariffs for your goods.

Step 2: determining rules of origin

To benefit from reduced tariffs, products must qualify for originating status. Originating status means a good or material fulfils certain conditions to be classified as originating from either the UK or Australia. This is now granted more simply and with less paperwork involved.

Make sure you check the Product-Specific Rules of the FTA to understand how your product can qualify as originating from the UK and qualify for zero tariffs.

Different goods will have their own product-specific rules which allow a good containing third country materials and inputs to count as originating, but only if those materials or inputs have undergone certain changes. There is guidance available to help you determine the status of your good.

Step 3: proving rules of origin

An importer of goods into Australia may make a claim for preferential tariff treatment based on a proof of origin – either a declaration of origin or importer’s knowledge. The declaration of origin may be completed by the UK exporter or producer and must fulfil the data requirements. By completing the declaration, the exporter or producer is declaring that the good is originating and they possess evidence to demonstrate this.

Declaration of Origin

A declaration of origin can be completed by:

  • the producer if they have information that the good is originating
  • the exporter if (1) they have information that the good is originating or (2) they can reasonably rely on the producer’s information that the good is originating.

A declaration of origin must be in written format (hard copy or electronic) and specify that the good is both originating and meets the requirements of the Rules of Origin Chapter of the FTA; it must be attached to, or provided on, an invoice or any other commercial document that describes the goods in sufficient detail for them to be identified; it can follow any template as long as it fulfils the data requirements (e.g. details of the exporter, producer, importer, etc.) specified in the FTA.

A declaration of origin is valid for one year after the date that it was completed, and it may apply to a single shipment or multiple shipments of identical goods identified in the declaration for any specified period not exceeding 12 months.

Importer’s knowledge may be used by the importer in Australia, removing the need for an origin declaration.

Declaration of Origin

To use this procedure, the importer needs to be in possession of either:

  • documentation that demonstrates the good is originating
  • supporting documentation provided by the exporter or producer that the good is originating upon which the importer can reasonably rely

The requirement to present a proof of origin is waived for low value shipments. Imported goods in Australia do not require a declaration of origin if their customs value does not exceed $1,000 Australian Dollars (AUD), or any higher amount as established by Australia.

Step 4: filing documentation

If a UK exporter or producer provides a declaration of origin, they should keep that and any records demonstrating the good’s originating status. All records can be kept in any medium, including electronic, provided they allow for prompt retrieval.

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Doing business in Australia

Australia shares a common language and culture with the UK, as well as business and legal practices such as intellectual property protection and the rule of law. This makes it easier for UK companies to do business there. With a population of over 25 million, including more than 1 million Britons, Australia is an ideal place to test and develop new products and services. Around three-fifths of the total population live in Australia’s 4 largest cities, making it easy to prioritise where to launch your product or service.

Legal disclaimer

The information provided on this webpage is for guidance only and should not be relied on as a substitute for your own research or independent advice. No investment and/or business decision should be made solely on the basis of information presented in this document. It is recommended that an independent due diligence investigation is conducted before entering into engagement with any individual, firm, company or other organisation mentioned. DBT accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage caused to any person as result of any error, omission, inaccurate or misleading statement in this document. The accuracy, completeness or up-to-dateness of the content of any website mentioned in this document is not guaranteed in any way, implied or explicit.

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