Market Reports/Tariffs
Textiles, Apparel, Footwear and Travel Goods

Australia

Import Tariffs
Documentation/Procedures
Restrictions
Standards
Labeling
Intellectual Property Rights
Market Information

Last updated on 04/10/2012

If you have any questions about the following information, please contact Linda Martinich at the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Textiles and Apparel at 202-482-4058 or click here for e-mail access.

**The following information is provided only as a guide and should be confirmed with the proper authorities before embarking on any export activities.**


Import Tariffs - Australia
Australian import tariffs are assessed on an ad valorem basis, i.e., as a percentage of the FOB (free on board) value of the imported merchandise. On January 1, 2005, Australia and the United States entered into the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement (USAFTA), which provides for the removal of import tariffs on goods traded between the two countries. Under this agreement, certain U.S. textile and apparel goods, which meet the required rules of origin, receive preferential tariff rates in Australia and vice versa. For more information, see the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement in the FTA section.

The following table provides a summary of Australia's non-preferential ad valorem textile and apparel tariffs.

Australia: Tariffs (percent ad valorem) on Textiles, Apparel, Footwear and Travel Goods
HS Chapter/Subheading
2010-15
Non-preferential
Tariff Rates (%)*
Yarn
-silk
5003-5006
0
-wool
5105-5110
0 - 5
-cotton
5204-5207
5
-other vegetable fiber
5306-5308
0 - 5
-man-made fiber
5401-5406/5501-5511
0 - 5
Woven Fabric
-silk
5007
0 - 5
-wool
5111-5113
5
-cotton
5208-5212
5
-other vegetable fiber
5309-5311
0
-man-made fiber
5407-5408/5512-5516
5
Knit Fabric
60
5 - 10
Non Woven Fabric
5603
5
Industrial Fabric
59
0 - 5
Apparel
61-62
0 - 10
Home Furnishings
including: bed, bath,
kitchen linens, etc.
63
0 - 10
Carpet

Footwear

Travel Goods
57

64

4202
0 - 5

0 - 5

0 - 5
*Under the Australian Customs Tariff Amendment (Textile, Clothing and Footwear post-2005 Arrangements) Act 2004, tariffs on fabrics and footwear were reduced to no higher than 5% in 2010 and will remain at those rates until 2015. Tariffs on apparel and certain finished textile goods were reduced to no higher than 10% and will be reduced further to 5 percent in 2015.

The complete harmonized tariff schedule and more detailed information may be found on the Australian Customs Service Website--Click on "Working Tariff Page", use "Schedule 3" for General (non-preferential) rates or “Schedule 5 - U.S. Originating Goods" for preferential rates applied to US-origin goods under the US-Australia FTA. See also the Current Situation of Schedules of Members.

Taxes and Other Import Fees--The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a 10-percent broad-based tax on the sale or provision of most goods and services in Australia, including imports. The GST is applied on the f.o.b. value plus duty. The first step in calculating GST is the calculation of duty against the Customs value. The duty is then added to the Customs value. Under the GST, the amount paid or payable for international transport and insurance is then also added to arrive at the value of the taxable importation (VOTI). GST, at a rate of 10 percent, is then calculated against that figure. Imported second-hand goods are treated the same way as any taxable goods and are therefore subject to GST. There is no GST on apparel items. Further information on GST can be found on the Australian Tax Office Website.

Samples/Temporary Entry--Goods may be brought into Australia on a temporary basis without the payment of duty or taxes for a period of up to twelve months. Australia accepts two types of carnets, ATA Carnets and CPD carnets (more commonly known as FIA/AIT carnets).

ATA Carnet--An ATA Carnet or "Merchandise Passport" is a document that facilitates the temporary importation of products into foreign countries by eliminating tariffs and other import taxes or charges normally required at the time of importation. For more information or to apply for an ATA Carnet, see the United States Council for International Business website.

For information on how to determine tariff rates, see the Export.gov webpage on Tariffs and Import Fees.

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Import Documentation/Procedures (Australia)

Importing Goods section of the Australian Customs Service website. Information on permits can be found on the Prohibited and Restricted Imports page of the Customs Service website.

For more information on local customs rules and regulations:
Australian Customs Service
For information on common export documents, such as transportation documents, export compliance documents, certificates of origin, certificates for shipments of specific goods, temporary shipment documents, and other export-related documents, see the Export.gov webpage on Common Export Documents.

For more information on import procedures and documentation requirements, see the Country Commercial Guides (CCG) in the U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library (enter your country of interest in the "country" field, and enter "Country Commercial Guide (CCG)" in the "Report Type" field. Some market research reports are available only to U.S. companies and U.S. students/researchers that are registered with Export.gov.

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Import Restrictions (Australia)
No information is currently available on any bans, quotas, or other restrictions.

U.S. Export Restrictions:

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in the U.S. Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, and international narcotics traffickers and their agents in accordance with U.S. foreign policy and national security goals. The OFAC website includes summaries of sanctions programs for various countries and the “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” (SDNs) list of entities and individuals with whom U.S. persons may not conduct business and whose property must be blocked if under the control of a U.S. person.

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in the U.S. Department of Commerce is responsible for implementing and enforcing the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which regulate the export and re-export of most commercial items. BIS maintains the Denied Persons List, which consists of individuals, and companies that have been denied export and re-export privileges by BIS, and the Entity List, which consists of foreign end users who pose an unacceptable risk of diverting U.S. exports and the technology they contain to alternate destinations for the development of weapons of mass destruction
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Standards - Australia
Mandatory consumer product safety and information standards are enforced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission - ACCC. At the state and territory level, such regulations are enforced by government departments or agencies with portfolio responsibility for consumer affairs and fair trading. Australia has two types of standard: voluntary and regulatory. The majority of voluntary standards are developed and published by Standards Australia.

Relevant standards for textile and apparel products include the following:
Children’s nightwear & other daywear:
  • AS/NZS1249
  • Product Safety Standards (Children’s Nightwear and Limited Daywear Having Reduced Fire Hazard) Regulations
  • AS/NZS1182
Protective clothing:
  • AS/NZS 4502 - Method for evaluating clothing for protection against heat and fire
  • AN/NZS 4501 - Occupational protective clothing
  • AS/NZS 4503 - Protective clothing - Protection against liquid chemicals
  • AS/NZS 4543.3:2000 - Protective clothing and protective devices for gonads
  • AS/NZS 4453 - Protective clothing for users of hand-held chainsaws
  • AS/NZS 4399:1996 and 1996A1 - Sun protective clothing - Evaluation and classification
Home furnishings:
  • AS 2663-1983 Textiles - Curtain fabrics for domestic use
  • AS 2663.1-1997 Textiles - Woven and knitted fabrics for window furnishings
  • AS 2687-1997 Textiles - Upholstery fabrics for domestic and commercial use
Textile test method:
  • AS 2001.2.22-1986 Method of test for textiles
The mandatory standard - Nightwear for Children came into effect on 1 March 2007. It covers safety and labelling requirements for children's nightwear and paper patterns for making children's nightwear. This mandatory safety standard applies to garments sized 00-14, includes a limited range of daywear items and stipulates two flammability labels. Four categories of labeling of children's nightclothes are specified, depending on the degree of fire protection the garment provides. The fire hazard information label must be permanent and conspicuous. Garments must be flammability tested to Australian Standard AS 2755.2-1985 - Measurement of flame spread properties of vertically oriented specimens, before being labeled. A warning label against the use of some flammable fabrics is required on paper patterns for children's nightwear. For more detailed information, see the Nightwear for Children page on the Product Safety Australia website. Guides to the product safety mandatory standards for children's nightwear and limited day wear and for paper patterns for children’s nightwear and limited day wear follow.
Children's nightwear.doc paper patterns.pdf

All medical devices and health-related products must receive approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) prior to use.

For more Information on product safety and standards, see the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission - ACCC website, which contains news on mandatory standards, bans and recalls

Local standards organization and other resources:
Standards Australia

The National Center for Standards and Certification Information (NCSCI) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of Commerce provides information on U.S. and foreign standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures for non-agricultural products. NCSCI staff responds to requests for information by identifying relevant standards and regulations, and by referral to the appropriate standards-developers or private-sector organizations. Under copyright restrictions, NCSCI cannot provide copies of standards, but NCSCI does provide sources for accessing standards.

U.S. companies can register for the Notify U.S. service to learn about and comment on proposed changes to foreign standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures that may affect U.S. access to global markets.

Additional resources:

Examples of voluntary formaldehyde labeling programs

American Apparel and Footwear Association's Restricted Substances List

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)


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Labeling - Australia
Labeling of fiber content, country of origin and care instructions are required on most textile and apparel products sold in Australia. The information on the labels must be written in English. Signs or symbols are not acceptable.

Fiber Content: In Australia, textile and apparel suppliers must ensure their product labeling is accurate and true. All companies have a responsibility to ensure that they label their products with the correct fiber content labeling. Australian/New Zealand Standard, AS/NZS 2622:1996 (Textile products - Fiber content labeling) sets out two methods for designating the fiber content of textile products and for supplying this information on made-up products, piece goods and yarns. It also specifies the method to be used for determining the fiber content of a product. The Standard is to be used in conjunction with Australian textile labeling legislation, which lists products exempted from fiber content labeling. See also AS/NZS 2450:1994 (Textiles - Natural and man-made fibres - Generic names).

Care Labeling: Care labeling standards apply to textile products to ensure that consumers, dry cleaners, and launderers have information about care procedures and warnings. The latest revision of the mandatory standard, based on Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1957:1998, Textiles-Care labelling, came into effect on September 1, 2010. For more details on the standard, see the Care Labelling for Clothing & Textiles page on the Product Safety Australia website. The attached guide provides an overview of the mandatory requirements for the care labeling of clothing and textile products in Australia. The guide is of a general nature and aims to increase supplier understanding of the coverage and application of the mandatory standard.
Australia care labelling.pdf

Country of Origin: The importation of all articles that are labeled or marked in a language other than that ordinarily used in the country of origin is prohibited in Australia, unless there is also applied in conspicuous characters a definite statement in the English language indicating the country in which the articles were made or produced. Foreign goods bearing the name of an Australian dealer or importer or of some place or indication that might cause the goods to be regarded as Australian also must be labeled to show the country of origin, e.g., with the words "Made in U.S.A." See the following country of origin guidelines for textiles, apparel and footwear and for household and commercial textile furnishings.
textile and apparel country of origin.pdf furnishings country of origin.pdf

Flammability labels: Children's nightwear and limited daywear must comply with Australian/New Zealand Standard, AS/NZS 1249-1999 - Children's nightwear and limited daywear having reduced fire hazard. This mandatory safety standard, which applies to garments sized 00-14, includes a limited range of daywear items and stipulates two flammability labels. AS/NZS 1249-1999 specifies four categories of labeling of children's nightclothes, depending on the degree of fire protection the garment provides. The fire hazard information label must be permanent and conspicuous. Garments must be flammability tested to Australian Standard AS 2755.2-1985 - Measurement of flame spread properties of vertically oriented specimens, before being labeled. In addition, a warning label against the use of some flammable fabrics is required on paper patterns for children's nightwear. Guides to the product safety mandatory standards for children's nightwear and limited daywear and for paper patterns for children’s nightwear and limited daywear follow.
Children's nightwear.doc paper patterns.pdf

Wool Products: Wool products may also be subject to special marking requirements.

Labels should be affixed to the product in a position that is readily accessible to the purchaser and in as permanent manner as practicable. Labels in shirts should be located in the collar and not obscured by any other label. Skirts, trousers and shorts should have the label in the waistband. Labels for coats and jackets should be in the inner chest area.

In general, goods imported in the packages in which they are customarily sold or offered for sale need to be marked with a true description of the goods and the country in which the goods were made. The trade description (in the English language) needs to be applied to the packages in prominent and legible characters. Any additional information applied and/or labeled on the packages must be true and may not contradict or obscure the information required as part of the trade description. The quantity of a commodity sold in a package must be truly stated on the main display panel of the package, in the units of the metric system. The word "net" should always be used when expressing quantity in mass.

U.S. exporters should ask their Australian importers to ensure that products comply with Australian Federal and State Government labeling regulations. Importers uncertain of any aspect of Customs requirements on labelling/trade description should contact:

Consumer Affairs Division
Department of Treasury
Parkes ACT 2600
Tel: 02 6263 3997

Imports that do not adhere to labeling standards (e.g., country of origin, fiber content, care instructions) face the possibility of seizure by Australian Customs.

Information on product safety and standards is available on the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission - ACCC website. The ACCC website contains news on mandatory standards, bans and recalls.

With regard to labeling, the following standards are relevant:
Care labeling:
  • AS/NZS1957
  • AS/NZS2621
Sun protective labeling:
  • AS/NZS4399
Fiber content labeling:
  • AS/NZS2622
  • AS/NZS2450
  • AS 2392
Country of origin labeling:
  • Australian Customs Notice – ACN 92/194
U.S. exporters should also be aware of the following general regulations:
  • Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Act 1905
  • Trade Practices Act

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Intellectual Property Rights - Australia
IP Australia is responsible for the administration of patents, trademarks, and designs. U.S. exporters can apply to register a trademark in Australia directly through IP Australia.

For information on protecting your trademarks, patents and copyrights:

Export.gov --Protecting Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Abroad

StopFakes.gov


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Market Information - Australia

The attached report was developed to provide a comprehensive view of the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear industry in Australia by the Council of Textile & Fashion Industries of Australia Ltd.
Australian TCF industry profile.pdf

Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP)--On November 14, 2009, President Obama announced that the United States would engage in Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations, which currently includes the United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, Canada, Mexico and Japan. For further information about TPP, see the Trans-Pacific Partnership page on the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative website.


Government Procurement-- See Global Procurement Opportunities for U.S. exporters.

The Procurement Coordinator provides external parties with an understanding of the Commonwealth procurement framework, reviews and advises on procurement practices across government on an ongoing basis, handles complaints from suppliers and interested external parties, and aggregates information about Commonwealth procurement across all procurement categories. AusTender provides a single portal to advertise business opportunities and to report the award of government procurement contracts.

The Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Australia commits Australia to open its federal and state government procurement market to U.S. suppliers at all levels and eliminate discriminatory preferences for most domestic suppliers.

U.S. companies may contact the U.S. Commercial Service for information and personalized counseling at every step of the exporting process. Find a U.S. Export Assistance Centers near you or contact an international office.

Other sources for market information and data:

The U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library contains more than 100,000 industry and country-specific market reports, authored by specialists working in overseas posts. Some market research reports are available only to U.S. companies and U.S. students/researchers that are registered with Export.gov. Available reports are listed below.

  • Australia: Fashion Accessories (06/2008)
OTEXA Export Market Report (U.S. export data for textiles, apparel, footwear and travel goods)

Export.gov Trade Data & Analysis webpage

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service

U.S. Department of State - U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions and
U.S. Department of State Country Background Notes

U.S. Office of the Trade Representative

Local Industry and Trade Associations

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Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA)
U.S. Department of Commerce
Washington, DC 20230
Phone: (202) 482-5078  |  Fax: (202) 482-2331
OTEXA@trade.gov