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Doing business overseas

Importing and exporting your goods or services can provide opportunities for your business to grow or sustain itself.

Managing exports and imports during COVID-19

With COVID-19 disrupting business around the globe, it is crucial companies can access a range of advice to inform decision-making on exports and imports.

For more information see Exports and imports.

Importing and exporting goods and services

There are many benefits to importing and exporting goods or services. It is important to understand that when dealing with organisations overseas, the rules that may apply in Australia, may not in the market you are trading with. There may also be tariffs and laws in Australia or overseas that may impact your decision to trade.

If you would like to meet potential partners in certain overseas markets or see and feel markets you would like to export or move into, join the South Australian Business Missions. Through the business missions, the South Australian government facilitates meeting opportunities both in Australia and overseas.
  • Importing

    Importing can provide you with new product and service ideas to support your business plans.

    A successful importing strategy may help you to access higher quality or cheaper products and raw materials, reduce your manufacturing costs, or enter new domestic or international markets. 
    For example, importing products or raw materials may reduce your costs and boost your profit margin.
    When importing, you should consider the laws, agreements and policies that safeguard local businesses and the environment, including the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service’s quarantine regulations, including prohibited and restricted importing.
    If the goods are prohibited, try and find a local alternative by searching the Industry Capability Network.
    If the goods are restricted, find out about the restrictions and what you need to do to import them. You may need to get a permit and pay a fee.

  • Exporting

    Investigating export markets can help expand your network of potential customers, suppliers and partners. It can help find new ways to promote your business, and discover new ideas, management practices, marketing techniques and ways of competing that you may not be aware of in your local market.  

    A successful export strategy can help cushion your business risk by reducing your dependence on local customers. Your international experience can also increase your resilience and competitiveness within your existing market.
    Before starting an export campaign, you should consider that each overseas market is unique and can be very different to the Australian market. You’ll need to develop a deep understanding of each market’s culture, language and business practices, which often requires a lot more time than you first expect.
    Your strategy should also consider export duties, insurances, finance, payment (including currency conversions) and trading terms, documentation and freight and logistics, distribution channels, market size, growth and your key competitors.
    You may consider seeking professional advice to ensure that your products and services are ready and that you know how to operate and comply with specific government regulations in your target foreign market.
    Austrade has a step-by-step guide to exporting – from getting ready through to common legal issues.

  • Business missions

    If you’re exporting or importing, or looking to build a business relationships in overseas markets, you may consider joining a South Australian Government business mission.

    Business missions are arranged so South Australian businesses can capitalise on new opportunities in key markets. The missions allow you to meet potential business partners and experience first-hand the market conditions in your target area.

    Inbound business missions bring government and business representatives to South Australia, enabling you to meet potential customers, initiate business relationships, and promote your products and services.

    Joining an overseas mission gives you valuable opportunities to participate in events and business matching sessions to help you find new customers or partners who can help you operate successfully in the market.

    Senior ministers lead most of South Australia’s business missions.

    The SA Government business mission calendar includes South East Asia, North Asia, India and Europe.

Our friendly team is here to help

If you need any assistance, please call 1300 142 820 for information relating to small business or visit our contact page for more information.