The import industry is expanding at an unprecedented pace, and for good reason. Importing goods can be highly profitable when done correctly, but only a small percentage of importers experience success. The key to successful importing is proper planning and execution. To help anyone who is starting or growing an import business, this article highlights 5 key tips for success.

Tip 1:  Know the Hold-Up Policies for Import

Understanding Demurrage Charges

Leaving containers at the airport beyond the free storage time can result in significant fees known as demurrage charges. These charges vary based on the size of the container or on a daily basis and can quickly add up, resulting in a significant loss for the business. To prevent costs from spiralling out of control, it’s important for businesses to stay informed about these charges and be aware of when they will be imposed.

Fortunately, finding information about demurrage fees is relatively easy. A simple internet search will reveal a wealth of information, and the fees are often available on government websites. Demurrage charges are imposed by ports and railways to ensure the efficient use of containers and compensate shipping lines for overtime. Additionally, these charges encourage importers to remove their goods in a timely manner. To maintain profitability and minimize costs, businesses should aim to remove their containers as soon as possible.

Tip 2: Make Sure You Are Working With the Right People

Choosing the Right Clearing Agent and Commercial Team

Importing is a collaborative process that requires all parties involved to work efficiently. A delay by any member of the team can impede the success of the import. To ensure a successful import, a clearing agent must obtain import clearance on behalf of the business. It is crucial to choose a clearing agent who is competent and well-versed in the industry. In addition, a commercial team is necessary to prepare the necessary documents, such as the commercial invoice.

Having highly skilled and qualified individuals for both the clearing agent and the commercial team is crucial for a successful import. Moreover, it’s important for all parties involved to communicate effectively and efficiently. The importer should provide the clearing agent with all necessary information, such as the type of product being imported and its origin. The clearing agent should keep the importer informed about the progress of the import clearance and any potential issues that may arise. The commercial team should work closely with the clearing agent to ensure that all necessary documentation is complete and accurate.

Having a good understanding of the import regulations and requirements is also crucial for a successful import. Every country has its own set of rules and regulations, and it’s important to be familiar with them before starting the import process. This includes knowledge of tariffs, duties, and taxes that may be levied on imported goods. In conclusion, a successful import requires a well-coordinated effort from all parties involved. By working together and ensuring that everyone is qualified, efficient, and knowledgeable, businesses can import their goods smoothly and successfully.

Tip 3: Make Sure There Are No Banned Goods on your Import

Compliance with Restrictions and Regulations

When importing goods into Australia, it is important to be aware of the country’s restrictions on certain goods. For example, there are strict laws on importing firearms, hazardous materials, and certain animal products. Some items, such as protected wildlife and their products, cannot be imported into Australia under any circumstances.

In addition, the Australian government regulates the import of goods such as food and medicines to ensure public health and safety. Importers must provide evidence of compliance with the relevant standards and regulations. It’s essential to research the restrictions and regulations regarding the specific goods you plan to import into Australia before starting the import process.

Tip 4: Import – Proper Packaging is Essential

Proper packaging of imported goods is crucial in ensuring that they arrive at their destination in good condition. Long journeys and exposure to harsh weather conditions during transportation can cause damage to goods that are not packaged properly. As an importer, it’s essential to stay informed about the packaging requirements of the country you’re importing from, to ensure that your goods are safely and securely packaged for their journey.

To guarantee a successful import, businesses should have a clear understanding of the packaging requirements and follow them closely. Any failure to properly package goods can result in costly damages and delays, negatively impacting the bottom line. For this reason, it’s important for businesses to be proactive and take the necessary measures to prevent any potential issues.

Tip 5: Import – Choose the Right Shipping Route

The shipping route between countries can have a significant impact on the delivery timeline of a shipment. A direct route may guarantee timely arrival, while an indirect route may result in delays. As such, it’s crucial for businesses to research the route beforehand to ensure smooth and on-time delivery. If a delay is expected, businesses can alter the route or even cancel the shipment.

During the journey, the shipment may pass through different countries that may require a check, even if the goods are not intended for that specific country. It’s vital for businesses to familiarise themselves with the laws of these countries to avoid any unwanted delays or issues. The world’s largest shipping route is the Asia-Europe trade route, with over 140 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) transported annually. By being mindful of the shipping route and having a clear understanding of the laws and regulations of the countries that the shipment will pass through, businesses can minimize the risk of potential issues and ensure a successful import.




In conclusion, importing goods can be a highly profitable business opportunity if done correctly. However, a small percentage of importers experience success, due to the lack of proper planning and execution. To help anyone who is starting or growing an import business, the 5 key tips for success discussed in this article include knowing the hold-up policies, working with the right people, ensuring there are no banned goods, finding out the packing rules, and being aware of the route. By following these tips and ensuring that all parties involved are qualified, efficient, and knowledgeable, businesses can import their goods smoothly and successfully. Importing can be a complex process, but with the right tools and preparation, it can be a rewarding and profitable endeavour. Whether you are a seasoned importer or just starting out, these tips can help you navigate the import process.