Shipping from China to Australia

We have focused on the Australian market for many years, so we can handle every shipment from China to Australia very well. Including door to port, door to door, port to port, and port to door service.

Whether you ship FCL from China on 20GP container, 40 GP container, or LCL shipping goods from China to Sydney/Brisbane/Melbourne, Bansar will always provide you cheapest shipping freight to save your shipping cost.

Bansar is an expert on both sea freight from China to Australia and air freight from China to Australia, you can rely on us and we will be your best freight forwarder and partner in China.

sea freight shipping from China 3
We can make sure there is space in the carrier even during peak season with a competitive price.
air freiht shipping from China 3
We will choose the best air route and rate based on your budget and schedule.
Door to Door Shipping from China 3
We can provide a fast customs clearance service in Australia, and deliver your goods to your warehouse or home.

FCL Shipping from China to Australia

Besides the good price, we can provide container loading supervision and ensure the safety of your goods in the container.

LCL Shipping from China to Australia

We make sure your goods are safe in the container and there is a lower destination cost in Australian ports.

More Services When Shipping from China to Australia

Pickup and Delivery
Pick up your goods in any city in China.
Warehousing Distribution
We provide free warehousing services for your goods.
Cargo Insurrance
Cargo insurance protects your goods all the way to Australia
Custom Clearance
We handle all paperwork and other details for you.
Loading Inspection
Ensure safe packaging and loading of goods in your suppliers factory.

Your Best Freight Forwarder from China to Australia

  • We can quote lower freight rates than the market average because of our contract rates with carriers.
  • Shipping service from any port in China.
  • Paperwork in China and Australia.
  • Warehouse and distribution service.

Time of Shipping from China to Australia

Port of Loading

Port of Arrive

Transmit Time











Shipping from China to Australia: The Complete Guide for Importers

Are you looking for the most comprehensive guide for shipping from China to Australia?

Or, you’re planning to import from China.

Well, I have made this guide for you.

Because I am going to cover everything you need to know when shipping from China to Australia.

From sea freight, air freight, Australia import customs, products to best freight forwarders, just to mention a few.

The best part?

This guide will help you reduce shipping cost and time from China to Australia.

Chapter 1: BanSar Freight Forward Services to Australia

With the rising competition in logistic industry, freight forwarding companies have cropped up with the majority giving substandard services.

At BanSar, we offer some of the best freight forwarding services to Australia.

When importing from China to Australia, you can benefit from our ever-growing partnerships and networks.

We not only help you find high quality products, but also ensure you receive them within the shortest time possible.

You can always benefit from our 10 years’ experience in the logistics industry.

BanSar is continuously growing to support its ever increasing clients importing from China to Australia. By 2015, we had got the NVOCC.

I can tell you this for free:

BanSar team will help you at every stage.

From custom clearance, packaging, loading to inspection, BanSar ensures all your cargo reaches Australia without delays.

We always update you on every single movement of the shipment.

Whether you need:

    i. Air freight from China to Australia

   ii. Sea freight from China to Australia or,

  iii. Door to door shipping from China to Australia

From LCL shipping from China to Australia to FCL shipping from China to Australia, BanSar offers the best freight forwarding service.

What’s more?

BanSar is one of the leading freight forwarder from China to Australia that offers:

i. Pick-up and delivery

    ii. Warehousing and distribution

   iii. Cargo insurance

iv. Customs clearance

v. Loading supervision, among other services

And by the way, at BanSar, our main focus is you – we want you to import from China to Australia without any hurdles.

Can you imagine this?

With BanSar freight forwarding to Australia, you are guaranteed of 20 to 30 days free warehousing.

You can also use our containers for a maximum of 28 days.

We do all these to save on shipping cost from China to Australia.

During our logistics process, when shipping from China to Australia, we send pictures and videos of your goods.

Why am I telling all these?

Because BanSar freight forwarder is a company you can trust for all your shipping needs from China to Australia.

But, that’s not everything you need to know about shipping from China to Australia.

Here are even more critical things you must know:

Chapter 2: Ways of Shipping from China to Australia

Whenever you’re looking for the best ways to ship from China to Australia, you need to consider a number of factors.

Basically, there are only two main ways to ensure that your goods reaches the destination in time.

Shipping from China to Australia

Shipping from China to Australia

The two main modes of transportation include:

Whether to choose an air freight from China to Australia or ocean freight from China to Australia will depend on:

 i. Nature of goods you’re shipping

ii. How urgently do you need to the goods?

On this, once the product reaches the destination port, BanSar will always ensure the door to door delivery even if it means road transport.

BanSar has priority to satisfy the customer within the shortest time possible.

Now, let’s explore on ways of shipping from China to Australia:

2.1. Sea Freight from China to Australia

China is approximately 7470 kilometers from Australia.

Sea/ocean freight is very effective in ensuring commodities reach Australia from China.


Evergreen shipping

Evergreen shipping

Ocean freight is basically the transportation of the commodities via the sea from one port location to the other.

During this mode of transportation, the cargo can be put on the shipping vessel directly or put on the shipping containers first.

To ensure your cargo arrives safely in Australia, the freight forwarder handles all logistics work.

From cargo clearance, verifying documents to supervising the loading process.

But, even before you think of ocean freight from China to Australia, you need to know both the port of origin and destination.

That’s where I want to take you next.

2.1.1. Main Sea Ports in China

China has so many sea ports in China and they include:

  • Port of Shanghai
  • Port of Tianjin
  • Port of Guangzhou
  • Port of Qingdao
  • Port of Shenzhen
  • Port of Ningbo
  • Port of Dalian
  • Port of Xiamen
  • Port of Lianyungang
  • Port of Yingkou
  • Port of Qingdao
  • Fang Chenggang, and many others.

Port of Qingdao

Port of Qingdao

The bottom, you need to know the sea port where you want to ship from in China.

This way, you will know how long goods will take to reach the sea port in China.

2.1.2. Main Sea Ports in Australia

Australia also has a number of the receiving sea ports which can handle millions of tonnes of cargo in a year.

Port of Melbourne

Port of Melbourne

Australian busiest ports include:

· Seaport of Brisbane

It is the third busiest port in Australia located on the East Coast of the state of the Queensland.

It can handle more than 2600 ships in a year and can transport 28 million tons of cargo within a year.

· Seaport of Fremantle

Is one of the biggest ports located in West Australia and can handle a vessel size of over 500 feet in length.

· Seaport of Melbourne

Situated in the city of Melbourne and handles around 2.6 million TEU and with ship capacity of 3000 ships annually.

· Port of Darwin

It is situated in the northern part of Australia.

Darwin, Northern Territory has operated in locations such as Stokes Hill Wharf, Cullen Bay and East Arm Wharf.

· Seaport of Sydney

Situated in Botany Bay next to the Sydney airport in Sydney, New South Wales.

Has a capacity of 300 thousand TEUs per year.

Has ship capacity of over 1700 ships annually.

You can learn more about these ports here: List of Ports in Australia.

 2.1.3. How Long it Takes to Ship from China to Australia

Let me tell you the truth:

The shipping time can range from 3 days to even a month when one ship from China to Australia.

Normally the time it takes to ship from China to Australia will depend on the:

i. Location of the port

 ii. Time it takes for custom clearance in China

There are so many tools you can use to calculate this.

Here is a useful resource from Sea Route & Distance:

Sea route from China to Australia

Sea route from China to Australia

The table below shows the time it takes to ship from a port in China to Australia.

Sea port in China

Sea port in Australia

Shipping time (days)



















As the number of days varies depending on the port of origin and destination.

2.1.4. Shipping Companies from China to Australia

There are many shipping companies which can promptly facilitate movement of your consignment from China to Australia.

Depending on the reputation and services of the company, one can easily choose the best amongst the well-known ones.

The companies which have operated on that route include;

   i. CMA/CGM

   ii. ANL

     iii. APL

iv. Canmar/Contship

v. Contship

    vi. Hapag Lloyd

   vii. Hual

viii. Marfret

     ix. MISC

 x. MOL

xi. NYK Line

xii. OOCL

    xiii. OWL

 xiv. Spliethoff’s

xv. WalleniusWilhelmsen

xvi. Ecru-Line MSC

xvii. Hamburg Sud

2.2. Air Freight from China to Australia

When time is a constraint to ship any cargo, it is important to know the fastest way of having your commodity reach Australia.

Air freight is considered the fastest means of transportation.

In air freight, the services include:

  • Domestic air freight forwarding
  • Oversize air freight forwarding
  • Real-time shipment tracking and tracing
  • Specialized export services which may include export compliance
  • Export documentation
  • Coordination with banks for banking compliance
  • Crating and packaging, just to mention a few

All these ensure the arrival of the shipment in time to give the customer satisfaction.

2.2.1. Advantages of Air freight

Some of the main advantages of air freight over sea freight include:

        a. Faster delivery time since the flight have higher speeds compared to the ships. Normally, air freight companies know the shortest routes to be used depending on the agency of the cargo

        b. Cost effective since there will be minimal point of contact since one freight broker can easily handle all the logistics

        c. Consignment will as well be safe as it will always be insured for risk reduction and tracking

When it comes to air freight services, the customers will always be concerned about time to ensure he receives his consignment in time.

The customer’s expectation can be met by giving additional specialized export services such as:

  • Export documentation
  • Coordination with banks for banking compliance
  • Export compliance and more are offered.

All these aim to ensure faster delivery of goods as per the wish of the customer.

Before using air freight from China to Australia, it is important to be well versed with the airports in China and their locations.

China as a country has so many airports which aid movement of different commodities from different locations.

Air China Cargo

Air China Cargo

Depending on different places where goods are sourced, the airports will always be busy on a cargo basis to export the goods out of the country.

Some of the main airports in china include:

  • Beijing Capital International Airport
  • Shanghai Pudong International Airport
  • Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
  • Hong Kong International Airport
  • Xian Xianyang International Airport
  • Kunming Changshui International Airport
  • Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport
  • Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport
  • Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport
  • Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport
  • Changsha Huanghua International Airport
  • Qingdao Liuting International Airport
  • Wuhan Tianhe International Airport
  • Haikou Meilan International Airport
  • ÜrümqiDiwopu International Airport
  • Tianjin Binhai International Airport
  • Phoenix International Airport
  • Harbin Taiping International Airport
  • Guiyang Longdongbao International Airport
  • Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport
  • Taiyuan Wusu International Airport
  • Lanzhou Zhongchuan International Airport
  • Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport
  • XishuangbannaGasa Airport

Since the cargo leaves from China to Australia, it is important to know the locations of each and every airport in Australia.

This will help you to plan accordingly when importing from China to Australia.

Qantas freight

Qantas freight

 The busiest airports in Australia include:

  • Sydney Airport in New South Wales
  • Melbourne Airport in Victoria
  • Brisbane Airport in Queensland
  • Perth Airport in Western Australia
  • Adelaide Airport in Adelaide, South Australia
  • Gold Coast Airport in Gold Coast, Queensland
  • Cairns Airport in Cairns, Queensland
  • Canberra Airport in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
  • Hobart International Airport in Hobart
  • Darwin International Airport in Darwin, Northern Territory
  • Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne, Victoria
  • Parafield Airport in Adelaide, South Australia
  • Jandakot Airport in Perth, Western Australia
  • Bankstown Airport in Sydney, New South Wales
  • Archerfield Airport in Brisbane, Queensland

And some of the main cargo airlines you can consider when shipping from China to Australia include:

  • Sichuan Airline
  • Air China
  • China Airlines
  • Cathay Airline
  • China Southern Airline
  • AirAsia X
  • Etihad Airline
  • Garuda Airline
  • Hong Kong Airline
  • Capital Airlines
  • Xiamen Airline
  • China Eastern Airline
  • Singapore Airline
  • Thai Airline

2.3. Door to Door Shipping from China to Australia

Depending on the need of the customer, Bansar can offer door to door shipping from China to Australia.

The commodity can easily be sourced from the markets in China and taken to the port of departure.

All the necessary documentation is done by the competent forwarding agent and goods packed inside the container safely for shipping.

When your goods arrive in Australia, we do the customs clearance and transport goods to your door step.

door to door delivery

Door to door delivery – Photo Credits: Barbara Hartwell News

This system ensures the customer gets the goods on his/her own doorstep without going through so many hustles.

This door to door delivery normally comes with some charges.

2.4. Courier from China to Australia

When one has to move parcels from China to Australia, different courier companies are used.

Some of the courier companies instrumental for the route include;

  • Australian express
  • DHL
  • TNT
  • China courier express
  • FedEx

Courier shipping from China to Australia

Courier from China to Australia

With BanSar experience in the industry, we will choose a reliable courier from China to Australia.

It is a fast and convenient way of whipping from China to Australia.

2.5. Modes of Shipping from China to Australia

Many questions have been asked on the most cost effective modes of shipping from China to Australia.

Depending on the type and quantities of goods one has, different modes to choose from.

The commodities can be packaged differently to maximize on the space available to ensure one pays for what is worth.

This therefore calls for better packing and handling exercise.

DHL packaging

DHL Packaging

When one decides to use sea/ocean as transportation mode, one can choose among the so many flexible methods such as:

 i. Reefer Container Shipping

ii. Roll-on/ Roll-off shipping

   iii. Less than Container Load (LCL) Shipping

iv. Full Container Load (FCL) Shipping

2.5.1. Reefer Container Shipping from China to Australia

A Reefer Container refers to as a refrigerated container used to ship most of the perishable goods or those goods which require controlled temperatures.

Simply put:

These are just big refrigerators which as effectively used in transporting the temperature sensitive commodities such as meat, fish, fruits, dairy products, flowers, pharmaceutical products among others across many kilometers.

Reefer container shipping

Reefer container shipping

The beauty of these types of the cargo is that they have the ability to maintain the temperatures within a given range that is required.

In Reefer containers, there are bottom air delivery units which are designed to distribute chilled air from the floor through the designed T-shaped decks.

These decks have the advantage of producing a uniform flow of air across the whole shipment with a lot of consistency.

This air flow is powerful enough and ensures good air exchange with all the goods in the consignment.

Even in the most difficult situations during the shipment, the refrigerated unit can still maintain or regulate the temperature as per the need.

For the shipment requiring high temperatures, Reefer containers have warm ups.

It can warm the reefer compartment to the desired temperature.

I know you’re wondering whether Reefer container is designed to reduce the cargo temperature.

The answer is, NO.

Refer only maintains the pre-cooled cargo temperature to the destination, allowing the state of goods to remain the same when shipping from China to Australia.

Since the air flow requirement of each commodity varies, there is always no one size fit all in reefer cargo movement.

Good examples are chilled and frozen cargoes.

In case of chilled cargo, air will flow through the cargo to ensure heat and gases are removed.

This is only possible if cartons with ventilations are provided.

In the case of frozen cargo, the cargo has to be block stowed by ensuring that air flows around the cargo.

This ensures there are no gaps between the cargo and the walls and the cargo itself.

We can guarantee better stowage of reefer cargo by ensuring:

i. No stuffing of the cargo beyond the T-floor end

 ii. No stuffing the cargo beyond the red load line

iii. The cargo must be made stable on the floor to avoid possible shifting during the passage

iv. There should be proper setting of the carrying temperature

v. Check the dehumidification controls

vi. In case where pre- cooling is required, the cargo must be pre- cooled first, but not the container unless the containers are placed in air locked cold storage tunnel.

vii. Ventilation must not have any resistance and it must be set correctly as this system depends so much on it.

2.5.2. Less than Container Load Shipping from China to Australia

Less than Container Load (LCL) is consignment shared by many other customers with small amounts of goods to export.

In one container, different types of goods are packed inside till the container is full.

LCL Shipping

LCL Shipping

All the goods packed in the same container will be consolidated until the shipping thresh hold is met.

These goods must have the same destination port.

The shipping cost of the whole consignment will be shared by the individuals whose goods are inside the container as per the individual space (volume in cubic meters) occupied.

This type of sea/ocean shipping is considered cheaper when one is shipping very small quantities from China to Australia.

Though very cheap, it takes longer as the handling and consolidation takes time.


Consolidating goods at the port of departure is long and can be tedious.

Moreover, at the port of destination, you need to separate goods to their respective owners.

Again, each package will be cleared independently.

So basically, you require a lot of manpower and time.

It is important to handle these goods carefully in China and Australia to prevent possible damaging of goods.

2.5.3. Full Container Load Shipping from China to Australia

Full Container Load (FCL) is suitable where one is importing goods which can fill one container.

This will give easy handling since every this is treated as one entity and can be cleared as one.

FCL Shipping


Tracking of such a consignment is therefore straightforward.

This makes it safer than LCL where many other packages are mixed in one container.

Once the consignment departs, the shipping container/booking number can be used to estimate the container duration in the sea/ocean.

When FCL is used, the charges are on flat rate as compared to LCL where the charges are levied on every individual package.

Normally, the maximum load permitted for every container during shipping is 28 tones with the 3 commonly used types of the containers being 20 feet, 40 feet and 40 feet high cube container.

At the port of departure and at the port of destination, LCL and FCL have different ways of handling due to the nature of goods available in each and every container.

Their difference in handling is such that:

a) FCL has very minimal handling. This is because the supplier takes the responsibility of sealing, loading and transporting cargo to the port in China.

Once it is loaded to the ship, there will be no need of opening it again at the destination port till the customer gets its procession.

LCL has taken a lot of time since every package has to be handled independently during consolidation at the departure port. You will go through a similar process at the port of destination when segregating individual packages.

 b) The Freight forwarder will always issue a bill of Lading directly when one used FCL. For LCL, the bill of lading will be issued by the official shipping line.

c) Due to less handling activities in FCL, its charges are less compared to the LCL. The difference in the charges is due to high charges levied on the handling of the LCL both at the destination port and the departure port.

d) In FCL, the container number will just be one while when using LCL, every package inside the container has to be marked with the shipping mark to differentiate it with other packages. Normally, this mark must be visible with bold, black and water proof color which cannot be erased easily.

It should be written in English and if possible in the language of the destination port. Cargos carrying dangerous substances/chemicals must be marked using orange or red colors.

2.5.4. Roll-on Roll-off Shipping from China to Australia

When one wants to ship auto mobiles or any wheeled machine, Roll-on/ Roll-off method of shipping (Ro Ro) is advisable.

These are simply vessels which can comfortably and safely carry wheeled cargo such as forklifts, tractors, trailers, vehicles among others.

Ro-Ro Shipping

 Ro-Ro Shipping

The machine to be transported must be in a working condition.

This makes it easy to drive into and out of the vessel.

Even though the container can still be used to ship wheeled goods, Roll-on/Roll-off still stands to be cheaper than a container.

In the container shipment, the wheeled good may not be in good working condition.

While for Ro/Ro shipping, the wheeled good must be in working condition.

Normally, it is placed in a closed consignment as opposed to the container where the goods may be placed in open condition.

Remember this always:

In Ro/Ro shipping, personal belongings are not allowed alongside the shipment except for the wheeled goods’ accessories.

These may include spares and in some cases furniture which stands as a very big contrast.

Roll-on Roll-off shipping from China to Australia guarantees the departure and arrival dates of the consignment.

This makes it a better shipping method than the container type of shipping.

This shipping method is therefore applicable in cases where an assembled wheeled machine is required urgently.

As you can see, shipping from China to Australia is simple and straightforward.

Besides, you have many options available to choose from.

Now, back to another serious aspect – Australia custom clearance.

Chapter 3: A Complete Guide to Australia Import Customs

Customs clearance is an important process when importing from China to Australia.

Failure to comply with various rules and regulation in either Chana or Australia may lead to unnecessary delays.

I am sure you don’t want that.

That’s why I want you to pay close attention when it comes to this:

Importing from China to Australia

Importing from China to Australia

3.1. Australian Product Safety Standards

Before importing any product from China to Australia, it is important to know the regulations surrounding the importation of every product.

There is safety standard set by the Australian government to protect her Citizens from importing counterfeit products.

These Safety standards are applicable for the products being imported into the Australian border.

Therefore, suppliers must ensure that they have a good understanding of the standards.

Otherwise, whatever they supply will be rejected during clearance at the ports in Australia.

Some of the products regulated by the Australia include:

  • Children’s products
  • Chemicals in consumer products
  • Furniture
  • Vehicles and many others

A buyer importing from China to Australia has the responsibility to ensure compliance with the import procedures and safety standards.

Australian custom

Australian border protection

Therefore, before making a move to do the importation, the buyer must ensure he/she keep track of the following;

  • Substance restriction such as AZO dyes
  • Product Safety Standards such as AS/NZS standards.

Many of these products are outlined on the Australian government website.

I will give you some links at the end of this section.

And by the way, this is just a quick reminder:

Very few suppliers to the Australia are able to access such documents proving compliance to the Australian standards and regulations.

So, you need to work closely with them.

Take this, for example:

An example is in the apparel industry whereby if you need to assess the supplier’s ability to give AZO free fabrics, then you will only need to get the EU REACH test report.

Also, when importing motorcycle helmet, the compliance will be with AS/NZS 2063:2008.

Of course, in this case, it corresponds to the ISO, ASTM or EN standards.

Mostly, the Australian standards are based on the United States and European Union standards.

FAustralia customs and border protection

Australia customs and border protection

The Australian government has a list of mandatory standards covering so many goods.

This ensures products are safe and have appropriate features.

Away from that, let me take you a step further to another important aspect – product labelling.

Product Labeling Regulations in Australia

Before the importation of any product, one has to ensure that the products are well labelled as per the Australian product regulations.

products labeling

Sample of product labeling – Image source: Chem Safety Pro

Product labeling is a legal requirement in most countries including Australia.

The labelling informs the customer about the product:

  • Manufacturing date
  • Compliance mark
  • Warning labels
  • User instruction
  • Size
  • Type of material
  • Other information

Labeling is one of the requirements that an importer must comply with.

This is like a visual inspection mark which show some set standards have been met.

They may apply to some specific products such as electronics, toys, and textiles.

It is therefore mandatory to have these marks on the products under the list of the customs authority.

When importing from China to Australia, you should consider the following:

  • Technical Compliance: This shows that the product has been manufactured as per the technical standards or substance restrictions. It therefore means that the product can pass some essential test.
  • Documents Requirements: The list of the necessary documents are to be kept by the importer. Such documents may include component lists, design drawings, circuit diagrams, design drawings, risk assessments. The Importer is required to create and store a set of documents.

3.2. Shipping from China to Australia Paperwork and Documentation

In the international logistics and customs clearance, accurate documentation is key to ensure the consignment reaches its destination on time.

Custom clearance

Customs clearance

When all the documents are provided and well filled, the shipment will reach its destination without any delay.

Normally, there will be only two sets of documentations needed during shipment;

     i. Set is presented at the departure port

  ii. The other at the destination port

Since the importer uses the agent, he/she will buy FOB (the suppliers, processes the documents and makes the process of exportation smooth).

Implying, he/she will deal with the goods once they reach the destination port.

Some of the most critical documents here include:

  • Carrier’s bill of Lading
  • Packing list
  • Commercial invoice

Of course, you may have other documents too, depending on the mode of shipping from China to Australia.

Let me walk you through some essential aspects of these documents:

Packing list; it will give a clear picture of what is contained in the consignment. It gives the specifications such as; quantity per type of the products, volume, al, the different types of the products.

This is used by the recipient in verifying the goods received if they conform to the items identified on the bill of lading.

A Commercial Invoice; it is used by the authorities to determine the custom duties. It gives the actual types of the products, their order values and the consignee.

This is simply a custom declaration document.

Other contents in this document are:

  • Signature and names certifying the correctness of commodities you’re importing
  • Information regarding goods to be shipped, such as country of origin, weight, currency, pieces, name and signature of the sender and the specification of the goods
  • All the information about the invoice such as invoice date, order number, invoice number
  • Shipper Information such as the information about the one sending the goods, i.e. name, contact, VAT number, Country.

Other important documents may include:

Bill of Entry: This is a clearance document to be presented at the port of entry. The importer will fill and sign it. The timeline for filling it is within the thirty days when the goods arrive at the customs location. After filling this form, the customs officials will assess and give a ‘pass out order’.

Such document is given under such a bill of entry. The moment this order document is issued by the customs official to the importer or the authorized custom agent; the consignment will then be moved to its final intended destination.

Insurance certificate: This is needed as part of the import customs clearance procedure upon the arrival of the goods at the destination port. Insurance certificate will assist the customs authority in establishing whether the selling price of the imported good is part of the insurance or not.

It is an important document in calculating the import duty. Remember, this is critical in calculating the real value of the goods you’re shipping from China to Australia.

Technical write up: When one imports machineries, this document will be very vital. This helps the customs official in coming up with up to date market value of the imported machinery during assessment.

This document explains the functions, parts, technical performance and the working principle. Of course, you’ll need this for specific goods.

Test report: Some commodities require conformation to some standards and hence they may require internal tests for verification. The customs official has the authority to take a specific commodity and send it to any authorized government laboratory for tests.

Of course, this is to ensure that it meets the necessary safety standards.

Bill of Lading/ Airway bill: This is required before shipment is moved from one port to the other. It is a receipt linking the freight forwarder and the shipper showing the services being offered.

It helps in giving accurate details required by the driver and the carrier to process the invoice and the freight shipment. In most cases, bill of lading is given to the carrier at the point of the collection as one copy is attached to the package.

This acts as a proof of ownership and may be required anytime claims of compensation are made in case of damage or loss.

Its contents may include;

  • Names and addresses
  • Special reference numbers or purchase orders
  • Department of transportation hazardous material designation
  • Special instructions
  • Date
  • Description of items
  • Packaging type.

3.3. Import Duty and Taxes Payable in Australia

When one makes an importation into Australia, there are some charges to incur in the form of taxes.

Import Tax

Custom tax

Some of these may include;

Goods and Service tax (GST)-Even though one may have Good and Services Tax registered company in Australia, this tax is a must for any commodity imported into the Australia. The value of GST will be 10% of the total bill of customs value, shipping and insurance, custom duty. This is calculated as GST = 10 % of (Shipping to Australia +FOB Price + Customs Duty + Shipping Insurance)

Customs Duties: Every commodity imported into the Australian government will attract varying custom duty. The duty varies between 0 -10%. Normally, when one imports from China, the custom duty is levied

Import Processing Charge: All the services rendered when importing will always be charged. This is normally charged on the fixed cost of the product.

Goods cleared at the border have two categories depending on the amount worth of the good.

They include:

For Goods worth $1000.00 and Below

These goods will require a Self Assessed Clearance (SAC) declarations during clearance by the Customs and Border Protection.

It is the freight forwarders who prepare the SAC declaration or customs broker on behalf of the customer at some fee.

For Goods Valued $1000.00 and Above

Here, the clearance can only be possible upon submitting duly completed import declaration form (B650).

At this stage, it is important to settle all the necessary dues such as duty, goods and services tax or any other charge which may apply.

At the customs office, the owner of the imported good is required to make the declaration.

However, in most cases the owner may choose a qualified customs clearance broker to act on his/her behalf.

. China-Australia Free Trade (ChAFTA)

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), came into force to help improve the trade between China and Australia. It gives viable access to the large trading partners in China.

Out of the many developed countries, Australia is one of the handful countries who have joined the league of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China.

This puts them in the arena of high trade competitiveness.

ChAFTA improves the urge of trade between Australia and China since it eliminates the tariffs on most of the trade goods between China and Australia.

Of course, this is during both import and export.

The tariffs or custom duties here refer to tax levied on the goods from overseas.

This has made more than 85% of commodities entering both the Australian and China border be duty free.

And at times, they are given preferential tariff rates.

This is benefitting to the importers as they don’t pay much in taxes.

Further reading:

Chapter 4: Main Products Australia Imports from China

With the strict Australian safety standards, every good entering into the Australian market must pass through strict standards.

Honestly, China and Australia have a good trading relationship.

And, to profit make money by importing from China to Australia, you must source the right goods.

In this section, I am going to share with you some of the main products that you can consider.

More importantly, I will guide you where to find them.

Australia imports from China

Australia imports from China – Image source: ibisworld

Having said that, let’s get to it:

  • Construction machinery in Shanghai
  • Medical equipment in TsimShaTsui
  • Clothing from China town
  • Metals such as aluminum in Beijing and Hong Kong
  • Iron and steel in Anhui and Shanxi
  • Copper in Linfen, Yuncheng, Shanxi and Sichuan Sheng
  • Plastics from Guangzhou
  • Electronics from Shenzen, HuairouQu and Wan Chai
  • Furniture from Heze Shi, Foshan Shi and Wanchai, Guanxi
  • Machine spares from Suzhou Shi,Shanxi, Chongqing or Tianjin
  • Automobiles from Guangzhou, Changping or Beijing
  • Shoes, hats and handbags from Dongguan Shi, Wulanchabu Shi or Dezhou Shi
  • Children clothing in TsimShaTsui
  • Organic chemicals from Chengdu Shi
  • Paper products from Sichuan
  • Copper Nickel Pipe from Shihang in Shanghai

Please don’t get me wrong – there are many other products you can import from China to Australia.

But as I said, you must ensure they meet the recommended quality standards.

Chapter 5: How to choose best Freight Forwarder from China to Australia

I don’t want you to be among those who import from China to Australia and end up making losses.

Not because that’s what you want, but it’s due to unprofessional freight forwarders to Australia.

That’s why I want to walk you through a few things to consider when importing from China to Australia.

From experience, I know choosing a freight forwarder is the most challenging process.

I mean one who will ensure your consignment reaches Australia safely and on time.

Figure 22 BanSar a freight forwarder

Some of the key steps in choosing best freight forwarder are numerated below;-

ü  Choose the most Reputable Freight Forwarder in China

With the rise in the current technology, there are so many brief case companies which are fraudulently claiming to offer better services.

Most of them are not professional companies and so, you can’t trust them.

Also, brokerage companies rely on other well established companies for services.

Therefore, they may take a lot of time to give the right service.

The reality.

When money is paid for the value of time, one may not achieve the urgency of his/her consignment to the destination port.

To cut the story short – do a random search on the internet.

You can use relevant search terms such as:

  i. Best freight forwarders in China

 ii.  “Top 10 freight forwarders in China”

 iii. “Local China forwarder”

And more importantly, you need to be more specific even as you do your search.

You remember in chapter 4, you’re likely to find some products in specific areas.

So, depending on the products you want to buy and the area, go for:

i.Shanghai freight forwarders”

ii. “Freight forwarders in Ningbo”

iii. “Shenzhen freight forwarder”

Searching for a freight forwarder

 Searching for a freight forwarder

I tell you what?

This way, you will get a reliable freight forwarder in China.

And, as you go about this process, please make a list of at least 10 freight forwarders.

From here, you can analyze the companies further.

ü  Consider Experience and the Service they Offer

This is one critical aspect you want to ensure there is no delays when importing from China to Australia.

I want to do this in point form to make it clear for you:

i. Visit each company’s official website

ii. Review the company’s about section to know how long they have been in the industry

iii. Check the services they offer when it comes to shipping from China to Australia

iv. Find out if they can customize a shipping from China to Australia for you

At this point, you will eliminate some companies that do not meet your unique shipping criteria.

But, you should stop here – proceed to the next step.

ü  Is the Freight Forwarder in China Legally Registered?

Now, I want you to take this seriously.

You should consider the following:

i. It must have a physical location within the city you want to ship your products from China

ii. Ensure the company is duly registered with the relevant authorities

iii. Consider if they are members of any international or local organizations

iv. Find out what other clients are saying about them

After evaluating all these, it is now time to:

  • Contact the freight forwarder
  • Request for a quote

And, there you are.

Compare the rates and finalize your deal.

I will not lie to you about this:

This is a process that can take you days or even weeks.

But it is critical in ensuring seamless importing from China to Australia.

By the way, do you have any questions about importing from China to Australia?

Great, keep reading.

That’s what I am going to handle shortly.

Chapter 6: FAQs on Shipping from China to Australia

In this section, I am going to answer some of the most commonly asked questions by those importing from China to Australia.

Just as I promised from the beginning of this guide, I want to make the whole process simple for you to understand.

Q: How can I package a parcel to safely reach Australia from China?

A: When you send a fragile parcel, it is very important to invest in packaging as well.

For outside packaging, use double-corrugated cardboard box.

Packaging carton

Packaging carton

For very special items, triple-corrugated box can be used.

The internal packaging can use bubble wrap and ensure care is taken to handle the items.

Take care to fill any space in the box with the remaining bubble-wrap or newspaper or foam.

Q: What are the requirements for one to import machinery from China to Australia?

A:  Important to know is that Australia has very keen quarantine measures on the importation of machinery especially the used machinery.

A permit is mandatory to import used machinery and also, an inspection of quarantine risk material by an AQIS officer before the release is mandatory.

SaintyCo capsule filling machine

SaintyCo capsule filling machine

The cleanliness of the machine is mandatory as if it arrives in a dirty state which is not accepted by the required standards.

AQIS will have the power order for cleaning, but in an event that the machinery is highly contaminated.

Moreover, the AQIS will re-export it from Australia at the expense of the importer.

The machinery must be imported in a clean condition.

Q: What is the typical container cost when one ships from China to Australia?

A: Depending on the quantity of the goods one intends to ship, a container can be decided easily.

When the quantities are too less and not too heavy/bulky, then consider air flight.

When you are buying very bulky commodities then you will consider sea/ocean transport.

Depending on the container type, the costs are such that 20 ft container may cost $1,700 USD while 40 ft container may cost around $2,200 USD.

Important to note is that the shipping cost varies depending on a number of factors such as seasons, currency, fuel prices etc..

Also renting the part of the container will come with some cost of between $150 and $250 AUD per cubic meter.

These costs are only for shipping from China to Australia.

Additional costs will also apply such as the cost of handling, warehouse, insurance, duties and any other which may be levied.

Q: What forms the overall cost of importing from China to Australia?

A: Importation cost will cover:

  • Cost of buying the product
  • Cost of shipping
  • Logistics
  • Distribution of the good
  • Duties and tariff charges in China due to export and those in Australia on import.
  • Taxes will also be levied depending on the good imported.
  • If one imports goods more than $1,000 AUD, one will have to pay GST and import duty on them as well.

NYK Line

 NYK Line

Q: How do I pay for the shipping charges for a freight forwarding company located in China?

A: Majority of the freight forwarding companies will have a bank account with the world’s reputable banks such as HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation).

They use to receive customer’s payments promptly and swiftly.



Some customers also make payments into the company’s bank account in China through money transfers.

Q:  What can I do to ensure that whatever I order from China arrive in Australia successfully?

A: Ensure you research well on the partners to deal with i.e. the supplier and the freight forwarder company.

Also, you have to ensure that you read well the Chinese and Australian custom laws and ensure you do not breach any of them.

Air freight to Australia

Air freight to Australia

If all these are done, your order will arrive safely to your doorstep.

Q: How do I pay for GST on my import?

A: The Australian Customs Service (Customs) levies the GST on taxable goods imported into the Australian port.

GST is simply 10% of the total value of all the goods imported.



The total value is the sum of:

  • Customs value of the goods
  • Customs Duty amounts
  • Transport cost (paid or payable) to the port, airport or final destination of the goods within Australia
  • Cost of insurance and Wine equalization tax payable

Q: What is meant by chargeable weight in air flight?

A: This is the measurable weight that can be used to calculate the air flight cost.

Usually, its unit of measure is taken as kilograms (Kg).

Measurement unit of a cargo is normally Point one kilogram.

The chargeable weight of the cargo will always be the highest value between the gross weight and the dimensions.

Ocean freight to Australia

Ocean freight to Australia

For instance, in an event that the weight is more than twenty-one kilograms; one kilogram will be the minimum chargeable weight.

On the other hand, in an event whereby the weight is less than twenty one kilograms, then the minimum chargeable unit will be point five kilograms.

Q: What is the mode of Payment of customs duty/taxes?

A: The payment of the duty or taxes can be made in:

  • Cash
  • Travelers cheque in Australian dollars
  • Credit card (Diners card, Bank card, Visa, American express or Master card)
  • Personal cheque drawn on an Australian Bank

Q: How long can it take to ship from China to Australia?

A: The time taken to ship from China to Australia depends on the transportation mode to be used and the distance of the port of departure to the destination port.

Shipment via the sea/ocean may take up to 30 days. On the other hand, air freight may take 2 to 3 days.

If one chooses to use air flight, the duration will be shorter, but the cost will be higher.

Q: How much information should I give before booking for my shipment?

A: Always ensure you give as much information as possible and work with the freight company to fill their quote form.

Normally, if the client is not very clear, the freight forwarder in China will contact the client’s supplier directly.

Depending on what you want to ship, you need to know how the cargo is to be packed, suggested mode of transport with the cost analysis, time of expected arrival and the documentation required from your side.

Once all are in place, there will be no chance of delay.

Q: What do M3 mean in shipping?

A: M3 / CBM stands for “cubic meter” when shipping.

This relationship is calculated by multiplying the width x height x length, which makes one carton.

Most shipment will charge as per the volume occupied by the consignment.

Q: Is it possible that Chinese New Year can affect my shipping schedule to Australia?

A: Absolutely, it does affect!

Majority of the Chinese ports will always go on a holiday during Chinese New Year and therefore your consignment can only be shipped once operations resumes.

It is important to plan early enough to do your shipping before the Chinese New Year.

The shipping prices may also get inflated during run up to the New Year hence it is cheaper to wait and ship after the New Year holiday.

Q: I find it challenging to differentiate between B/L and AWB during shipping of a cargo?

A:  B/L, in full means Bill of Lading and which is a transport document issued when using sea/ocean freight.

It is presented at the destination port to before releasing the cargo.

The B/L may be telex released instead of the original.

Bill of lading

Bill of lading

AWB stands for Airway Bill and is a transport document which is used in Air freight.

The Air Waybill number and flight information helps in cargo tracking.

The moment the cargo plane departs the cargo right changes from the supplier to the consignee.

Q: How will I know if what I import will be subjected to duties?

A When you place an order via the internet, when the goods arrive in the Australia, they will have to be cleared at the custom control.

The duties, taxes, other levies and method of clearance will be determined by the value of goods and the method of the arrival of goods.

In Australia, even if one imports goods for own use, all the imported goods will be subject to Good & Services Tax (GST) ,assessment of duty and other taxes & other charges.

No requirement is in place to pay duty and GST on goods worth below AUD$1000.

Q: Will I incur other charges at the port of Australia when I import from China?

A:  Of course, yes.

There will be other additional charges.

If one requires door to door delivery, pre – paid charges will be needed.

Port of Brisbane

Port of Brisbane

Normally, this may include port/airport loading and unloading, transport delivery charges to the residence of the customer and lastly the customs clearance charges.

If the cargo has to be picked from the airport, then only the local unloading charges may apply.

Q: Is it possible to defer payment of GST on imported goods?

A: Yes, it is very possible to do a deferment of the payment of GST on the imported good.

If you are an importer registered with GST, you have the legibility to defer GST payment by being in the deferred GST scheme.

This scheme gives the ability of deferring of GST levied on taxable importations up until the first activity lodged after importing the goods.

These are some of the main questions importers from Australia ask me every day.

In case you have any other question, please feel free to contact me.


It is very important to note that shipping can only be easy when there is a clear understanding on what is required during the whole process.

To avoid wastage of time and money, you must hire a reputable freight forwarding company.

And, when it comes to shipping from China to Australia, BanSar is here to make your business profitable.

What matters to us most is your success.

We make importing from China to Australia seamless, cost-effective and easy.

Contact us today, and we’ll tailor a suitable shipping solution for your needs.

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