Australian Government - Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

To protect Australia's borders and foster lawful trade and travel.

Clearing goods through Customs and Border Protection that arrived by international mail (the post)

If you are importing goods by post, your goods will be cleared by the Department of Agriculture and Customs and Border Protection and delivered by Australia Post.

You will not need to clear the goods or pay customs duty, taxes and Customs and Border Protection charges unless the goods:

  • have a declared or assessed value of more than A$1,000; or
  • are alcohol products or tobacco products.

This section provides information on the clearance process for goods imported by post, which have a declared or assessed value of more than A$1000.

Here you will find answers to the following questions:

What is the process when imported goods arrive?

Why have I received a First Notice?

How do I make an import declaration?

How do I value my goods?

What is the tariff classification of my goods?

How long will it take to clear my goods?

What if my goods do not have a value of more than A$1000?

For more information

  • If you believe your consignment (parcel) is not valued at over A$1,000 please click here.
  • If you have not received a First Notice or would like more information on importing goods by international mail click here.
  • For information about parcels carried by express couriers (which is air cargo) and not by Australia Post, click here.

What is the process when imported goods arrive?

  • Some postal articles may be opened by Australia Post on behalf of Customs and Border Protection or the Department of Agriculture for assessment of value or the presence of prohibited or restricted goods.
  • Where goods are of no interest to Customs and Border Protection or the Department of Agriculture, they will be delivered by Australia Post to the relevant postal office for delivery to the address on the postal article.
  • Where goods are declared or assessed as being valued at A$1,000 or more (excluding alcohol and tobacco), Australia Post will maintain control of the postal article. Australia Post will forward a "Notice to Importers" on behalf of Customs and Border Protection to you (the importer/receiver) which provides advice about what you must do to obtain clearance of the goods.
  • If the goods are tobacco or alcohol, regardless of value, you will receive an invoice for payment from Customs and Border Protection.
  • If you have not received any notification from Australia Post and you believe that your package should have arrived, contact Australia Post on telephone 13 13 18, and quote your postal tracking number (overseas postal tracking number).
  • Only when you have obtained the relevant notification from Australia Post containing a Q, N, V or W reference number (located next to the barcode) should you call Customs and Border Protection on telephone 1300 363 263 to make further enquiries.

Please note: Australia Post has sole responsibility for delivery of your postal article, so any enquiries about location of postal articles, deliveries, or requests to return to sender must be directed to Australia Post on telephone 13 13 18.

Why have I received a First Notice?

You have received a First Notice from Australia Post because an international mail article (parcel) is addressed to you and it has a declared or assessed value of over A$1,000.Importers of goods with a value exceeding A$1,000 must make an import declaration to Customs and Border Protection to clear the goods for delivery. The declaration will be assessed for duty, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Wine Equalisation Tax (if applicable).  An import processing charge will also apply. You will need to lodge an import declaration and pay the amount as advised before your parcel will be delivered to you.

How do I make an import declaration?

You can lodge an import declaration in the following ways:

  1. Engage the services of a licensed Customs broker to lodge an import declaration on your behalf. Customs brokers can be located in the local phone directories or by searching the internet; or
  2. Complete an import declaration yourself using Import Declaration - Post (N10) Form B374 and email, mail, fax or lodge the form in person with Customs and Border Protection
  3. For complex import declarations use an Import Declaration (N10) B650 – e.g. multiple items, multiple concessions, multiple permits – complex importations are not common with international mail.

It is an offence to make false declarations to Customs and Border Protection

Import Declaration (N10) – Post (Form B374)

The B374 form may only be used for making a declaration for goods imported by international mail (by post).

The B374 form cannot be used by:

  • licensed customs brokers acting for an owner; or
  • ABN holders registered for GST deferral – you should contact a licensed Customs broker.

The B374 form is in an Adobe PDF® format which can be completed on screen by typing your responses into the appropriate text fields. You should complete and save the form in one session, otherwise the text fields will lock and you will need to begin again.

When completed, the form (and other attachments) can be sent by email as a formal declaration to Customs and Border Protection. Note the requirements below for sending this completed declaration (B374) by email — no signature is required however:

  • For an individual you must include your full name separately in the same email.
  • For an organisation, the name of the organisation and the ABN of the organisation must be included separately in the same email as well as the full name of the individual sending the email. 

If you prefer, you can print the completed form with your typed responses or the form can be printed and filled out by hand. Then you can lodge the form by mail, fax or in person with Customs and Border Protection. You must ensure you sign the declaration if you chose any of these lodgement options.

Most of the information required to complete an import declaration (Form B374) is provided on the First Notice (Australia Post notice) you have received or within the records you hold regarding your purchase.

You can declare different types of goods in your parcel/s on the one import declaration (B374 form).

You can also claim a GST exemption if you know the Schedule 4 of the Customs Tariff Act 1995 (or a by-law) that applies or any Free Trade Agreement that may apply.

Follow the instructions (B374 Form Instructions) carefully when completing the import declaration form. Do not leave any boxes blank unless those boxes are marked as optional.

How do I value my goods?

If you paid for the goods in a foreign currency make sure you show the amount and the currency in which you paid for the goods.

What is the tariff classification of my goods?

All import declarations require a tariff classification for your goods (Customs Tariff Act 1995). For help working out the tariff classification/s for your goods, click here.

Lodge your import declaration with Customs and Border Protection

You can lodge your completed import declaration with Customs and Border Protection by email, fax, post or in person. Import declarations may only be lodged in person at selected Customs and Border Protection offices – please call 1300 363 263 to locate the nearest office where you can lodge an import declaration.

All mail regarding import declarations should be addressed to:

            Client Services

            Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

Below are the contact details for lodging your import declaration:

Reference Number (see the First Notice)

Email

Fax

Postal Address

N

(NSW)

V

(VIC)

Q

(QLD)

W

(WA)

 

 

 

 

postimportsnsw@customs.gov.au

 

 

 

 

(02) 8339 6708

 

 

 

 

Locked Bag 3000
Sydney International Airport
NSW  2020

How long will it take to clear my goods?

Please allow up to five working days from receipt of completed documents for Customs and Border Protection to process your import declaration. It may also take up to three working days to process any payments you make. When your goods are cleared from Customs control, your parcel will be delivered to you by Australia Post. For more information on our Client Service Standards, click here.

What if my goods do not have a value of more than A$1000?

To show your consignment is not valued at over A$1000 you will need to provide evidence of the value to Customs and Border Protection.

Acceptable evidence may include an invoice (or other sales document) together with a credit card transaction record of payment or a PayPal® money transfer receipt. Send your evidence of value to the appropriate contact listed in the table above. Make sure you include your Customs and Border Protection reference number (from the First Notice) in your correspondence.

If your evidence is accepted, Customs and Border Protection will notify Australia Post that your parcel/s are cleared for delivery and you will not have to complete an import declaration or pay duty, GST and other taxes and charges.

It is an offence to make false declarations to Customs and Border Protection