The FTA ensures that customs procedures in both the UK and Australia are transparent and efficient and that the UK and Australia’s ability to maintain effective customs control is maintained.

This guidance is an explanation of  Chapter 5: Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation

Simplifying data, documentation, and automation requirements

The UK and Australia have committed to simplifying data and documentation requirements to aid the rapid release of goods and to reduce the time and cost of compliance for traders and operators.

This includes:

  • allowing customs declarations to be submitted electronically
  • using electronic/automated systems for risk analysis and targeting
  • developing a single trade window
  • endeavouring to implement common standards for import/export data such as the WCO data model.

Customs release times for goods

Both the UK and Australia have committed to releasing all goods from customs within 48 hours of arrival, provided:

  • all required documentation has been submitted on or prior to the arrival of the goods
  • the goods are not subject to any physical examination or inspection
  • the goods comply with each country’s laws and regulations

Perishable goods and expedited shipments will, under normal circumstances, be released within 6 hours if the requirements listed above have been met.

Temporary admission of goods

Duty and tax-free temporary admission of goods will be allowed if those goods are brought in for a specific purpose; do not undergo any change; and are intended to be re-exported within a specific period. This includes goods in the following categories:

  • exhibition goods intended for display
  • professional equipment
  • samples, advertising, films, and recordings
  • packing materials, pallets, containers, etc
  • goods imported for sports

Advance rulings

Before exporting their goods, businesses can request a legally binding, written decision from the relevant customs authority on the tariff classification and origin of their product. The UK and Australia will ensure

  • a business receives the ruling within 90 days after receiving the request
  • rulings will take effect on the date they are issued and remain in effect for at least 3 years provided the law, facts and circumstances remain the same

Either the exporter or importer may apply for an advance ruling.

Advance ruling will be available for:

Tariff Classification


Further simplification of customs procedures

The UK and Australia have committed to ensuring that customs procedures are simple, efficient, and transparent to best support businesses to trade and reduce administrative burdens at the border.

The UK and Australia have agreed that eligible traders in both countries can benefit from measures that further simplify customs procedures. For example, this could include

  • reducing the data requirements for traders fulfilling certain defined criteria
  • deferring the payment of customs duties and taxes until after the release of those imported goods, for example Australia’s Duty Deferral Plus benefit

Something went wrong. Please try again.

Was this page useful?

Thanks for letting us know

Can you tell us why this page was useful?

Do not share any personal or commercially sensitive information.


Thanks for letting us know

Can you tell us more about your feedback?

Do not share any personal or commercially sensitive information.


Thanks for your feedback