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Exporting can be a great way to grow your business. A good starting point is to develop a solid export plan and to research the risks associated with exporting.

Getting ready

Successful exporting takes careful planning and commitment. You'll need to make sure you meet exporting requirements and regulations and that you have a solid export plan in place.

Understanding and preparing for risks associated with exporting before you get started can be crucial. These risks include foreign exchange, political, shipping, quarantine and legal issues. Integrating risks into your business or export plan can help you mitigate them.

Austrade can help you determine whether your business is ready for export with the International Readiness Indicator tool.  

As an exporter, you can also access a range of support services through Austrade, as well as financial assistance through state and territory governments.

Export plan

If you decide to export products, it is important to develop an export plan to help you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses when entering the market.

Your plan should include:

  • the products that you'll export
  • your target markets
  • the timeframe
  • Customs duties
  • marketing strategies

Find out more about exporting, and download the guide to developing an export strategy.

Customs requirements

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service will need to clear your goods for export. You also need to know what restrictions and export regulations apply.

Find out more about customs requirements for exports.

Quarantine controls

If you're an exporter, it's vital you find out about the quarantine controls that apply to your exports by searching the Department of Agriculture's Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR) Live Animals or MICoR Plants.

The exporting of food, live animals, animal products, fish, aquatic products, plants and grains is regulated by the Department of Agriculture. You should seek advice from export facilitation officers and export food inspectors about Australia's export regulations.

Before you export meat, dairy, fish, horticulture, grain, wool, skin or hide products, you need to register as an exporter with the Department of Agriculture's EXport DOCumentation (EXDOC) system.

Promoting your business

You can promote your business overseas by registering on Austrade's Australian Suppliers Directory. This directory contains a list of Australian companies, products and services targeted at overseas buyers.

If you're interested in exploring overseas markets or identifying international business partners, you can express your interest in a Ministerial-led business mission run by Austrade.

Exporting online

Exporting online can be a cost-effective way of entering the overseas market. Online tools commonly used to market internationally include websites, e-mail, e-marketplaces and collaboration tools.

Intellectual property (IP)

As well as registering in Australia, you can apply to register a trade mark, patent or design in overseas countries. This is particularly important when you export goods or sell goods and services over the internet. You should also ensure that your export goods will not infringe the IP of others in the overseas market.

Read more about more about protecting your IP overseas.

Free trade agreements (FTAs)

Australia has a number of FTAs with overseas countries that give businesses better access to those markets. There are currently six FTAs in place, with others in the process of being negotiated. Read more about Australia's Free Trade Agreements.

Financial assistance

Like all business ventures, there are costs involved with selling and promoting your products overseas. There are a range of options available for financial assistance through the federal and state and territory governments.

Freight and logistics

For goods exports, transporting your product to an overseas market efficiently and competitively is crucial. Using a good freight forwarder is very effective, but it is also essential to understand the basics of shipping terms, pricing and documentation.

Find out about freight and logistics on the Austrade website.

Legal issues

There are a number of legal issues you need to be aware of before you start exporting. These include:

  • compliance with government sanctions and regulations
  • protecting your intellectual property
  • dealings with terrorists
  • differences between legal systems
  • laws that apply in disputes
  • product liability
  • frauds, scams and dishonest conduct

Find out more about these issues on the Austrade website.

Help and assistance

There are a number of Australian Government resources available and information in your state or territory to help you get started with exporting.