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Australia - Selling and buying

Contents extracted from the comprehensive atlas of international trade by Export Entreprises

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: Australian consumers are known for being big spenders. Their purchasing power is particularly high and has grown by more than 43% in 15 years. 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.
Main advertising agencies:

Distribution network

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.
Types of outlet: The distribution of foodstuffs is carried out mainly by 4 large chains who share 80% of the market. They are Woolworths, Coles Myer, IGA Supermarket 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 (en anglais).
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 sectors:

Market access procedures

Economic Cooperation: Australia has signed seven Free Trade Agreements and is currently negotiating for nine new agreements.
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.
Restricted items include drugs, steroids, weapons/firearms, heritage items, food, plants and animals, and protected wildlife. It is important to note that while some items may be imported, their use may be prohibited under individual State laws.
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 (en anglais)Restrictions on importation of agricultural products
Average Customs Duty (excluding agricultural products): 5%
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.

Organizing goods transport

Organizing goods transport to and from: 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.
Sea transport organizations:
Air transport organizations:
Rail transport organizations:

Domestic business directories

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