Reading time: 3 minutes

Australia and the United States have historically strong trade relations. In 2014-15 Australia exported $13.4 billion worth of goods to the US. That same year, the US imported $44.1 billion worth of goods into Australia. The Australian Trade and Investment Commission’s (ATIC) research shows a business that exports goods is more profitable as it can open your business to new markets, ideas and marketing techniques.

Below, we set out what steps you will take to export your goods to the US. 

Who Will Receive the Goods?

You will need to consider who will receive the goods once they reach the US. In this situation, you should draft an “export agreement” in place to clarify any ambiguities. Your other option is to set-up a business in the US, and there are various Visa options available should you wish to do this.

Export Declaration Documents

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the DIBP) will need to approve your goods before they head off to the US – usually by way of reviewing your completed Export Declaration Form.

When your goods exceed $2,000 AUD, you must declare them on your Export Declaration (form: B957) and lodge it with the DIBP. You must complete the same form when you want to export goods that exceed $2,000 AUD via Australia Post.

Permits to Export Goods

Unless exempt, products usually require a permit before you can export. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is a good starting point. When you do require a permit, you will need to obtain it from the relevant Australian authority.

For example, for the export of wine, brandy, grape spirit and wine products that are over 100 litres you will need a permit, licence and product registrations. These requirements are obtained and approved by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority.

Agricultural Products

Some agricultural products will have strict legal and administrative requirements for export such as licensing requirements and health certificates. The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources can provide more information about the requirements.

What You Can’t Do

Australia does not allow the export of protected wildlife, some heritage items, selected weapons and other dangerous goods. The US does not allow imports of bush meat, cars that don’t protect passengers in a crash, or illegal substances like absinthe and Rohypnol.

The Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA)

The AUSFTA supports the value of harmonious trade between Australia and the US. For many products exported from Australia to the US, the taxes and tariffs have been lifted. You can check to see whether your products are free from any tax burdens by viewing this full list. Any claim for preferential tax treatment of exported goods must be supported by a “Certificate of Origin” confirming that the product came from Australia.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

As an Australian business, you are more likely than not registered for GST. Fortunately, goods exported outside of Australia are GST-free, if within 60-days you:

  1. Received payment for the goods; or
  2. Issued an invoice for the goods.

Key Takeaways

Depending on what kind of products you are looking to export to the US, you will need to comply with certain regulations. It’s then prudent to familarise yourself with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website and research beforehand.


If you have any questions about exporting goods to the US, get in touch with our business lawyers on 1300 544 755.


Redundancies and Restructuring: Understanding Your Employer Obligations

Thursday 7 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

If you plan on making a role redundant, it is crucial that you understand your employer obligations. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Sponsor Foreign Workers For Your Tech Business

Wednesday 13 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Need web3 talent for your tech business? Consider sponsoring workers from overseas. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Advertising 101: Social Media, Influencers and the Law

Thursday 21 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how to promote your business on social media without breaking the law. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Structuring for Certainty in Uncertain Times

Tuesday 26 July | 12:00 - 12:45pm

Learn how to structure to weather storm and ensure you can take advantage of the “green shoots” opportunities arising on the other side of a recession.
Register Now

Playing for the Prize: How to Run Trade Promotions

Thursday 28 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Running a promotion with a prize? Your business has specific trade promotion obligations. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Web3 Essentials: Understanding SAFT Agreements

Tuesday 2 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how SAFT Agreements can help your Web3 business when raising capital. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

Understanding Your Annual Franchise Update Obligations

Wednesday 3 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Franchisors must meet annual reporting obligations each October. Understand your legal requirements by registering for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Legal Essentials for Product Manufacturers

Thursday 11 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

As a product manufacturer, do you know your legal obligations if there is a product recall? Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Innovation Award 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Award 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Financial Times Award 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year Award 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2022 Law Firm of the Year Winner 2022 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards