Sales in Australia

Overview by

Reaching the Consumers

Marketing Opportunities

Consumer Behavior
Australia has substantial liquid assets, a high standard of living, and a population among which there is a strong demand for high value added products from Asia, North America and Europe. Australia can also be seen as a pilot market. More and more companies who want to penetrate the American market use Australia as a test zone. Their investment is limited and modes of consumption are very similar.
Australians are attracted by wholesome, healthy products, and are prepared to pay more for these goods. As national production does not cover all their needs, consumers are receptive to imported products.
Deciding to buy is principally determined by the price factor in Australia. Nevertheless, at the same time, the Australians' increasing interest in quality, and the growing impact of fashion phenomena fuelled by the media and advertising make "authentic" products, brand names and top of the range goods particularly popular.
Consumer Profile and Purchasing Power
Australian consumers are known for being big spenders. Their purchasing power is particularly high and has grown by more than 43% in 15 years, between 1991 and 2006. Per capita income in 2008 is very high; 15 to 20% higher than in France. Household debt is also high but domestic consumption sustains the country's growth. Consumers are demanding, and more and more sophisticated and aware of European trends. They like new products and alternative ones, and are what is called "early adopters", fond of new technologies. Australians are concerned more and more with their health and the environment. Consequently, the demand for fresh and organic foodstuffs, environmental markets and products linked to energy saving are also on the increase.
Consumers Associations
Choice , The Australian consumer association
ACCC , The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Main Advertising Agencies
Advertising Federation of Australia

Return to top

Distributing a Product

Evolution of the Sector
The Australian market is clearly conditioned by the size of the country. Centers of distribution are concentrated in the cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in the East and Perth in the West. 70% of the population lives on the East coast. These cities are so far from each other that each one constitutes a separate market.
Market Shares
The distribution of foodstuffs is carried out mainly by 4 large chains who share 80% of the market. They are Woolworths, Coles Myer, Franklins and ALDI.
The distribution of consumer goods is more diversified and segmented, although trading groups are beginning to expand. David Jones is a chain of top of the range department stores as is Myer.
There are many smaller retail chains for consumer goods, which operate as franchises, or shops which belong to the franchisees, generally individuals or very small companies such as Harvey Norman, Howards Storage World, The Good Guys, Mitre 10, Retravision.
Bunnings, Target and K-Mart are chains which operate in a more traditional way.
Organizations in the Retail Sector
Australian Retailers Association

Return to top

Market Access Procedures

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Member of OECD
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Wassenaar arrangement on export controls for conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies
Party of the International Coffee Agreement 2001
Main International Economic Cooperation
Non Tariff Barriers
Animals, plants and unprocessed derivatives are subject to complex phytosanitary legislation.
More than 150 agricultural products are subject to import licensing, and to very restrictive quarantine regulations.
Packaging and pallets must be accompanied by a fumigation certificate.
Some goods are subject to quotas: cheese, tobacco.
Antibiotics may only be sold if authorized by the Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Health and Family Services. Pharmaceutical products are subject  to particular conditions.

For further information:
Temporary importation of commercial goods
Information for travellers
Prohibited and restricted imports
Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS)
Food Standards Australia New Zealand
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports

Customs Classification
Australia applies the Harmonized Customs System.
Import Procedures
All goods whose value is over AUD 1 000 must enter the country via an "Import Declaration". These declarations can be done by Internet, via the Integrated Cargo System (ICS), or by a Customs document, form B650. The import declarations may generate fees according to whether they are filled out on-line or on paper.( Schedule of Recovery). The importer must pay GST when the goods are cleared at Customs.
It is advisable for new importers to use the services of a Customs broker, who over and above filling out the Import Declaration document, can take charge of a certain number of tasks concerning the import process on the importer's behalf. He will have better tariffs for the Customs procedures, but will bill you for his services.
You can also take charge of the procedure yourself and get help from the Customs services. You will find all the necessary information in the Documentary Import Declaration Comprehensive Guide.
Importing Samples
The ATA carnet can be used for the import, export or re-export of commercial samples. It must be written on the product that it is a free sample and cannot be sold.
People traveling for business and carrying goods or samples for business purposes may need special authorizations for their goods according to their nature and irrespective of their sale value.
For Further Information
Australian Customs website
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Find Sales and Distribution Service Providers in Australia on

Return to top

Organizing Goods Transport

Main Useful Means of Transport
Australia's situation as a continent/island explains the importance of maritime transport in its international trade; air transport is used principally for perishable or fragile goods. On average each year 350 million tonnes of goods transit through Australian ports.
The road network links the capitals and a number of regional centers. Road transport represents more than 70% of goods traffic.
The Australian rail network is already bringing in its first profits in terms of competitiveness compared to other means of domestic transport.
Port of Melbourne
Sydney ports
Brisbane Ports
Newcastle Port
Melbourne Airport
Sydney Airport
Brisbane Airport
Adelaide Airport
Perth Airport
Sea Transport Organizations
Ministry of Transport
Air Transport Organizations
Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Road Transport Organizations
Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (Roads)
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau.
Rail Transport Organizations
Ministry of infrastructure

Return to top

Identifying a Supplier

Type of Production
As a country which traditionally imported finished goods, it became industrialized in its recent history and its industry is on a modest scale with only 10% of the Australian active population employed by the sector and 20% of GDP (versus 77% for the tertiary sector). The manufacturing industry is built up around the agri-food industry (19.8% of the workforce); machines and equipment (18.9%), processing metals and metal goods (18.2%) and the chemical -petrochemical industry (13.3%).
Sectors such as automobile, building and agri-food equipment frequently use sub-contractors and offer certain opportunities.
Business Directories
Yellow pages
Australian Wholesalers Guide
Aglinks (agricultural equipment)
Healthtrade(medical equipment)
Manufacturers Associations of the Main Industries
Plastics and Chemicals Industry Association
Master Builders Association Australia
Trade Agencies and Their Representations Abroad
Australian Chambers of Commerce
Enterprises Federation
State Department for Regional Development of Small Enterprises
Small Enterprise Association
The Council of Small Business of Australia Ltd
Find Sourcing Service Providers in Australia on

Return to top

Any Comments About This Content? Report It to Us.

Find more on about Selling to Australia.
Read more See less
Experts Views (12)
  • Healthcare Opportunities

    A recent BMI report rated Australia as the best place in the Asia Pacific region to do business in the Healthcare market, based on market size, structure and risk, ahead of Japan, Korea and China (as well as Singapore and India).

    UK Trade & Investment on 12 Apr 2011 related to Sales in Australia

  • Biotechnology Opportunities

    Australia has a thriving biotechnology sector including around 450 companies and a world class scientific, medical and agricultural research base.

    UK Trade & Investment on 12 Apr 2011 related to Sales in Australia

  • Commercial Food Processing Machinery

    This project covers product categories including machinery for food production and food preparation processes.

    U.S. Commercial Service on 23 Mar 2011 related to Sales in Australia

  • IT Distribution Channel

    The geographic size of Australia combined with a population of only 20 million, means that the local ICT distribution channel is very different than what is found in the U.S.

    U.S. Commercial Service Australia on 28 Dec 2010 related to Sales in Australia

  • Stone Fruit Annual

    Post has forecast an increase in production and exports for plums, cherries, peaches and nectarines in CY 2011.

    Foreign Agricultural Service on 28 Nov 2010 related to Sales in Australia

Hot Tips (2) Go Top
  • Visiting a New Market

    With the advent of on-line selling across borders, websites that can provide product information and pricing 24/7, and the busy pace of business, it can be tempting to try and open new markets through the available marketing medium.

    Australian Institute of Export on 19 Apr 2010 related to Sales in Australia

  • Costing Your Export Sales

    Export pricing calls for a high degree of certainty and a clear understanding of the terms and conditions on which the transaction is based.

    Australian Institute of Export on 19 Apr 2010 related to Sales in Australia

Events (1) Go Top
Post your content


Post content about Sales in Australia and you will be listed here to receive requests for offers.

Contact our expert contributors