Learning Centre: Export Restrictions
You can save yourself a lot of time, energy and money if you run a few checks before you dive into exporting. Number one: check that your product is allowed to be exported and also allowed to be imported into your country of choice before doing the hard yards of working out your costing, market, product standard, cash flow, investment needs, servicing capability and so on.
Restrictions on exporting your product from Australia
A business can export almost anything out of Australia. Products that are not allowed to be exported, or need an export permit or have restrictions placed on their export include: certain primary products, dangerous goods, military equipment, aboriginal artefacts, hazardous waste, cultural products, chemicals, animals, primary products, drugs, plants, gemstones, and metals. So before exporting you should check with Australian Customs.
The Australian Export Control Act of 1982, divides products into ‘prescribed’ and ‘non-prescribed’ goods. Depending on what you want to export, the requirements you must meet will vary. Examples of prescribed goods are: dairy, live animals, fish, plants, plant products, eggs, meat and meat products, grain, animal food (frozen raw meat), organic produce, fresh fruit and vegetables, dried fruit, pharmaceuticals (raw animal material) . Non-prescribed goods are all other goods.
Some prescribed goods intended for export must be prepared at registered premises. This means that your premises must be constructed, equipped and operate in an effective and hygienic manner, and be approved by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS). You can begin export operations when you receive notification of approval by AQIS and (where required) overseas government authorities. Check AQIS for more information.
Restrictions on the import of your product overseas
Every country can have either absolute prohibition, (which means that you are not allowed to export the goods to them under any circumstances,) or a restriction, where you need to have written permission, usually in the form of a permit, in order to have your goods allowed in their country.
The import can be restricted because of Sanctions. Trade sanctions are trade penalties imposed by a country (or group of countries) on another country (or group of countries). Typically the sanctions take the form of import tariffs (duties), licensing schemes or a permit. They tend to be imposed because of unresolved trade or policy dispute. For example, one country may find that another is unfairly subsidising exports of one or more products, or unfairly protecting some industry sectors from competition. The first country may retaliate by imposing import duties, or some other sanction, on goods or services from the second country. Check the import tarriff in the country of import; your freight forwarder or the importer should be able to help you.
Economic sanctions are not always imposed because of economic circumstances. Sometimes they are political. For example, the United States has imposed economic sanctions against Iran for years, on the basis that the Iranian government sponsors groups who work against US interests. The United Nations imposed stringent economic sanctions on Iraq after the first Gulf War, as an attempt to make the Iraqi government co-operate with the UN weapons inspectors’ monitoring of Iraq’s weapons and weapons programs. These sanctions were unusually strict in that very little in the way of trade goods were allowed into or out of Iraq during the sanction period. If you think your chosen destination country might be subject to a sanction, check with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.