Many goods and services can be exported from Australia without a licence. However, there are certain products still subject to controls, and can take the form of absolute prohibitions or restrictions. Absolute prohibitions apply to protected wildlife, heritage items, certain weapons and other dangerous goods, and in cases where Australia has a trade embargo in place.
According to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, the following goods may not be exported until all necessary permits are obtained from the relevant authorities:
- primary products including meat, wheat and wine
- materials covered by international agreements
- defence-related goods
- dual-use technologies
- items of cultural significance
- certain minerals
- merino sheep.
Customs regulations stipulate that goods may not be exported without the granting of approval by means of a cleared Export Declaration Number. A Certificate of Clearance must also be obtained before the goods on a ship or aircraft can depart Australia.
The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service administers schemes that can benefit exporters by lowering or deferring duties on some imported goods.
Three schemes are available:
- Duty drawback – enables exporters to obtain a refund of customs duty paid on imports that will be incorporated into other goods for export, or are re-exported unused.
- Customs warehouses – hold goods 'in bond' with duty deferred or not imposed if goods are re-exported
- Manufacturing in Bond (MiB) – allows goods to be manufactured using imported parts and components on which duty has not been paid, where there is a clear intention for these goods to be exported.
Export assistance schemes
Additional export assistance schemes are available through state and federal-level government departments, including:
- AusIndustry's Tradex Scheme – the scheme provides up-front exemptions from customs duty and GST on imported goods that are intended for direct export, or inputs used to manufacture other goods intended for export.
- Access Program – the program offers facilities, export-related assistance and in-country expertise to Victorian company representatives visiting overseas markets.