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
Non Woven Fabric
5603
5
Industrial Fabric
59
0 - 5
Apparel
61-62
0 - 5
Home Furnishings
including: bed, bath,
kitchen linens, etc.
63
0 - 5
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 -- From main Australian Customs Service Website page, hold curser over “Businesses” at the top > click on “Tariff Classification of Goods” in the table > click on “Working Tariff” in the list. > Use "Schedule 3" for General (non-preferential) rates (used for above table) or “Schedule 5 - U.S. Originating Goods" for preferential rates applied to US-origin goods under the US-Australia FTA or go to the tariff page. See also the Current Situation of Schedules of Members.

To obtain information about tariffs on individual U.S.-origin products exported to FTA member countries, you may use the FTA Tariff Tool.

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).

Copies of normal commercial import documents such as invoices, packing lists, bills of lading or airway bills, quarantine certificates, and other shipping papers should be included with the application for temporary entry, in addition to evidence of intended use of the goods in accordance with the relevant Customs Convention(s).

If goods are not exported within the approved time limit, Customs will charge duty and taxes that would have been due had the goods not been temporary imports.

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.

The U.S. shipper should declare on the commercial invoice “the goods are of U.S. manufacture and comply with AUSFTA.”

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.

Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Importing prohibited and restricted goods.
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.

See Australia’s current mandatory standards on the Product Safety Australia website. More information on mandatory care labeling and children's nightwear flammability labeling can be found in the labeling section below.

Some 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
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
Product Safety 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)

Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) 2014 global guidebook on Understanding Chemical and Physical Requirements for Footwear

ASTM International


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Labeling - Australia
In Australia, the Commerce (Trade Descriptions) Regulation 2016 sets out the labeling requirements for imported goods (Labelling for Textiles fact sheet). Textile products, articles of apparel and footwear require a "trade description" with the name of the country in which the goods were made or produced, and a true description of the goods (e.g., 100% cotton). Products, such as travel goods, handbags, wallets, leggings, gloves and belts, with more than half the outside area of the following also must be labeled:
  • leather or a material resembling leather
  • textile fiber or a material resembling textile fiber
These products must be correctly labelled before they are imported into Australia. Goods imported that do not comply with the labeling regulation may be seized by the Australian Border Force, therefore it is recommended that you ensure your goods are in compliance prior to importation. See the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection website for details of Australia’s labeling requirements for imported products.

The trade description must be in the English language, in prominent and legible characters, and on a principal label or brand affixed in a prominent position and in as permanent a manner as practicable to the goods.

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. 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. See standard AS/NZS 2392:1999 - Textiles - Labelling of clothing, household textiles and furnishings, which specifies positions of attachment for permanent labels carrying the brand name, size or dimensions, care instructions, fiber content, country of origin and, for children's nightwear and some daywear garments, the fire hazard classification. The way in which this information is to be combined if there is more than one label is detailed.

Fiber Content: Currently, there is no national mandatory information standard in place for fiber content labeling in Australia. Most of the standards in operation in various States prior to 2010 lapsed with the introduction of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) in January 2011. Reportedly, a national mandatory information standard for fiber content labeling may be considered in the future as part of the harmonization of information standards across Australia.

In the interim it is recommended to show percentage of each fiber and list them in descending order (highest to lowest).

New South Wales still requires fiber content labelling of textile products. Further information on the NSW regulations can be found at the NSW Office of Fair Trading website.

The standard, AS/NZS 2622:1996 (Textile products - Fibre content labelling), specifies methods of labeling textile products with fiber content information. The Standard is to be used in conjunction with Australian Commonwealth and State textile labeling legislation. See also AS/NZS 2450:1994 (Textiles - Natural and man-made fibres - Generic names), specifies lists and defines natural and man-made fibers (based on ISO 2076:1989).

Care Labeling: Care labeling standards apply to textile products to ensure that consumers, dry cleaners, and launderers have information about care procedures and warnings. Consumer Protection Notice No. 25 of 2010 sets out the mandatory requirements that textile products (i.e., clothing, textiles, furnishing and suede skins, leathers and furs) have adequate care labelling instructions in English attached. This mandatory standard is based on certain sections of the standard AS/NZS 1957:1998 Textiles - Care labelling, which sets out words, phrases and symbols to be used for giving care instructions and specifies methods by which goods may be labelled. AS/NZS 2621:1998 - Textiles - Guide to the selection of correct care labelling instructions from AS/NZS 1957 assists manufacturers in the selection of appropriate care labeling instructions and specifies basic performance requirements and test methods for colorfastness and dimensional stability.

Care symbols alone do not meet the requirement; however, care symbols or instructions in other languages may be provided. For more details, see the Care Labelling for Clothing & Textiles page on the Product Safety Australia website. See the Care Labelling for Clothing and Textiles Products: Supplier Guide for an overview of the mandatory requirements for the care labeling.

Country of Origin: Country of Origin requirements vary depending on whether the product is made wholly or partially in Australia or is imported. For more information, see the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) [refer Volume 3, Schedule 2, Chapter 5, Part 5-3 Country of origin representations]. The following country of origin guidelines for textiles, apparel and footwear and for household and commercial textile furnishings may provide some additional guidance.
textile and apparel country of origin.pdf furnishings country of origin.pdf

Footwear: Additional rules that apply to footwear can be found in section 20 of Regulation 2016. In general, the material of which the sole, uppers and quarter linings are made must be marked in letters not less than 2.5mm in height and the marking must be positioned in one of the following places:
  • on the waist of the outer sole of the shoe
  • on the inside of the upper above the waist of the shoe
  • on the heel seat or waist area of the sock lining or, if there is no sock lining, on the heel seat or waist area of the inner sole
  • on the tongue of the shoe
Flammability labels: The Consumer Goods (Children’s Nightwear and limited daywear and Paper Patterns for Children’s Nightwear) Safety Standard 2017 sets out the mandatory requirements for certain children’s garments sized 00–14.
The mandatory standard is based on AS/NZS 1249- 2014/Amdt 1:2014 - Children's nightwear and limited daywear having reduced fire hazard.

AS/NZS 1249 specifies four categories for labeling children's nightclothes, depending on the degree of fire protection the garment provides. Categories 1–3 require a low fire hazard label and category 4 requires a high fire hazard warning label. The fire hazard information label must be permanent and conspicuous. Garments found to be too flammable and that do not meet any of the four categories’ criteria cannot be sold in Australia.

Garments must be tested to standard AS 2755.2-1985 - Measurement of flame spread properties of vertically oriented specimens, which specifies testing to ensure that nightwear for children meet requirements for fire hazards.

The new mandatory standard currently includes a transition period. Until December 31, 2019, suppliers have the option to comply with the requirements from either the Consumer Goods (Children’s Nightwear and limited daywear and Paper Patterns for Children’s Nightwear) Safety Standard 2017 or the Trade Practices (Consumer Product Safety Standards (Children’s Nightwear and Paper Patterns for Children’s Nightwear) Regulations 2007. From January 1, 2020 suppliers must only comply with the requirements in Consumer Goods (Children’s Nightwear and limited daywear and Paper Patterns for Children’s Nightwear) Safety Standard 2017.

Note that work is underway to update AS/NZS 1249, see DR AS/NZS 1249:2014 Amd 2:2017.

See the Product Safety Australia nightwear for Children webpage for more information or contact Product Safety Australia.

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

Packed Goods: For goods imported as prepacked articles, the information must be marked on:
  • the packaged in which the goods are packed; or
  • a label attached to the package.
Packages of goods that may be imported without the information applied include:
--Packages of textile products, other similar articles, wearing apparel or hardware that:
(a) are not packed for sale and are not ordinarily sold by weight, measure or number; or
(b) are packed for sale as a single item, one of a pair, a pair or a set
-- Packages of textile products that are packed for sale by:
(a) weight in packages of more than 4 kg; or
(b) length in packages of more than 25 m; or
(c) area in packages of more than 25 m2

Sun Protection Labeling: Voluntary standard is currently being updated, see draft standard update, DR AS/NZS 4399:2017 CP - Sun protective clothing - Evaluation and classification.

For information and assistance regarding labeling, contact:

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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

For industry information, see the Australian Department of Industry, Innovations and Science.

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


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 Center near you or contact an international office.

Other sources for market information and data:

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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