Australian-USA Free Trade Agreement


The following is a text excerpt sent to us by a customer regarding duty-free shipping to Australia. It has to do with duty free shipping. You are still responsible for paying your local sales tax:

"Under the Australian-USA free trade agreement, if the ring was actually manufactured in the USA, the person importing the ring can claim preferential duty (duty-free) under the free trade agreement (AUSFTA).

The burden of knowledge in this case rests on the person importing the goods. Customs will charge duty unless the person importing requests preferential duty. If UPS knows the ring is to be duty free under AUSFTA, their brokers will claim it when it arrives.

This agreement applies basically to any article of jewelry manufactured in the USA from raw materials. For items to be classified as originating from the USA, they have to meet certain rules of origin.

For example, if an existing ring has a stone added, that does not count; the ring must be made in the USA from raw materials. The origin of the raw materials does not matter, as long as the ring was manufactured in the USA.

Basically, this means that you (Leon Mege) could advertise that every article of jewelry you manufacture qualifies as duty-free under AUSFTA.

As long as UPS is notified that the item is duty free, the importer can avoid the extra charge if they follow a simple procedure when it arrives in Australia.

Generally this is a small UPS brokerage fee and a GST fee. (In the past customers paid 10% GST fee). No duty."

Article 5.12

Claims for Preferential Treatment

  • Each Party shall provide that an importer may make a claim for preferential treatment under this Agreement based on the importer’s knowledge or on information in the importer’s possession that the good qualifies as an originating good.
  • Each Party may require that an importer be prepared to submit, on request, a statement setting forth the reasons that the good qualifies as an originating good, including pertinent cost and manufacturing information. The statement need not be in a prescribed format, and may be submitted electronically, where feasible.

Article 5.12 of AUSFTA does not require a certificate of origin.

The information can be in any form that the manufacturer wishes to provide, so long as it shows that the imported good meets the rules of origin requirements of AUSFTA.

"Customs operates in a self-assessment environment, where information provided to it is treated in the first instance as true and correct.
When a customs entry states that a US preference rate of duty applies, this will be taken to indicate that the importer of the goods possesses information, or knowledge, as required in Article 5.12, paragraph 1, above, that this declaration is correct."

Claiming Preferential Treatment

Exporting to the United States

Under the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement, the onus for making a claim for a preferential tariff rate for a product rests with the importer.

The Agreement does not require a Certificate of Origin in support of a claim for preference. However, importers claiming preference for a good must be prepared to submit, upon request by Customs authorities, a statement setting out the reasons why that particular Rule of Origin applies. The Agreement does not specify a particular format for such a statement.

Customs officials can require importers to maintain documents relating to purchases and costs for up to five years after importation should investigation and verification of preference claims be required. Customs officials can also seek information from exporters in verifying claims.

Period for Lodging a Refund Application

An application for refund of duty paid on goods imported on or after 12 October 2005 must be lodged within a four (4) year period after the date on which the duty was paid. An application for refund of duty on goods imported prior to 12 October 2005 can now only be considered in specified exceptional circumstances – please contact Customs for advice if you think they may apply.


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