Preparing to export

What export documentation do I need?

The documents you will need for exporting will vary depending on which country you are exporting to, and how you are transporting the cargo. It’s important to investigate which export documents apply to your business before getting started.

Documents for new exporters

As a new exporter, your first step is to register with Australian Customs for their Integrated Cargo System (ICS). From here, there are a number of documents you’ll need, such as:

  • bills of lading: documents issued by you to the shipper confirming goods are in an acceptable condition and ready to be shipped.
  • bills of exchange: written orders binding one party (such as the importer) to pay a fixed sum of money to another party (such as you, the exporter)
  • insurance certificates
  • international contracts of sale
  • Certificates of Origin: documents certifying that goods are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country
  • export permits.

The exact documents you will need depends on the goods or services you plan on exporting, and where you will be exporting to. It’s a good idea to seek guidance on doing business in international markets before you start exporting.

Depending on which markets you plan on exporting to, you may need to provide special documentation requested by different countries. The Austrade website has up-to-date information on international markets and the import documents required for each market.  

Benefits for Australian exporters

Before you start selling to overseas markets, you’ll need to:

Are you preparing to export?

Whether you are an experienced exporter or exploring export opportunities for the first time, it's critical to understand what is required and to stay up to date. Our friendly team can guide you through the process of obtaining the right export documents you require to ensure smooth customs clearance and facilitate duty exemptions.

How can Business Australia help?

Business Australia can assist with identifying the export documents required and are authorised to issue many forms of documentation.

We can issue:

  • Certificates of Australian Origin
  • Certified Declarations of Origin
  • TAFTA Certificates of Origin
  • AANZFTA Certificates of Origin
  • ChAFTA Certificates of Origin
  • KAFTA Certificates of Origin
  •  JAEPA Certificates of Origin
  • CPTPP Certificates of Origin
  • IA-CEPA Certificates of Origin
  • ATA Carnets

We can also authorise a variety of export documents. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Certificates of Free Sale
  • Health Certificates
  • Commercial Invoices
  • Certificates of Analysis
  • Certificates of Manufacture
  • Supplier Declarations of Conformity
  • Visa Letters.

How can we help?

Business Australia has a range of resources for your business. Get support managing your employees, reducing your business costs, accessing business funding, and marketing your business. 

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