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International E-Commerce Shipping Guide from Singapore to Australia

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on expanding your cross-border e-commerce business into Australia!

In this guide, we will delve into essential topics for success in the Australian market. Join us on this insightful journey as we equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to thrive in this dynamic and lucrative environment.

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Max weight: 22kg
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Tracking: End-to-end
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Delivery aim: 2-5 business days*
*In-country delivery for major metro areas

Australia Market Overview



Australia presents a compelling opportunity for businesses looking to expand their global reach. As a highly developed nation with an established global marketplace, Australia benefits from an open trading economy and a strategic geographic location. With strong connections to dynamic Asian markets and thriving trade relationships with fast-growing economies, Australia is an ideal gateway for accessing international markets.

With a population exceeding 26 million, Australia offers a sizeable consumer base receptive to a wide range of products and services. Additionally, the country enjoys a high internet penetration rate and a thriving B2C e-commerce landscape. Further enhancing Australia's appeal, the Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement, which entered into force in December 2020, has set new benchmarks for trade rules and cooperative initiatives. This landmark agreement reduces barriers to digital trade and cultivates a business-friendly environment that is advantageous for companies and consumers.

These factors make Australia an increasingly attractive destination for Singapore-based online sellers and brands seeking to expand their reach and grow their business. With a large, digitally savvy consumer base and a supportive regulatory framework, Australia presents a compelling opportunity for businesses looking to unlock new avenues for growth and success in the global marketplace.

Source: Trade Minister AU | Australia Benchmark Report | Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement | Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (

E-Commerce Market Insights

Australia is the 12th largest market in the world for e-commerce with a predicted compound annual growth rate (CAGR 2024-2028) of 9.1%, and a projected market volume of USD75,184 million by 2028 according to eCommerceDB’s report. It is also one of the rapidly growing retail e-commerce countries, with a sales growth rate of 20% contributing to the global retail e-commerce sales forecast of USD8.1 trillion dollars by 2026.


Factors Driving the E-Commerce Consumption and Growth in Australia

Strong Internet and Mobile Penetration in Australia

The widespread adoption of mobile devices and internet connectivity in Australia has made it easier for consumers to shop online on the go.

A survey showed that around 62% of Australian consumers used their smartphone to shop online due to convenience and exclusive deals.

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The rise of AI and Machine Learning.

With technological advancements, users also experience a more personalised shopping experience through leveraging user data to execute targeted marketing campaigns and provide personalised recommendations.

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The increased cost of living causes shoppers to shop smarter.

According to Statista, people are now spending more time online researching for offers and buying products at lower prices online than in physical stores.

With the need to source for greater value at lower cost, some shoppers have pivoted to shop overseas. 28% of Australians purchased products from international sellers in 2022.

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Digital payment and digital wallet trends.

  • Australia Post research shows that 48.8% of all online payments are made via PayPal. Meanwhile, 39.9% of online payments are made using credit and debit cards.
  • The Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) trend is evident among the Australian shoppers, accounting to 21.5% of the total e-commerce payments in Australia based on a report by Retail Asia.


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Top E-Commerce Categories Segmentation by Popularity

According to We Are Social’s latest 2024 report, the top online shopping categories in Australia are:


Popular Online Shopping Platforms in Australia

The most popular e-commerce platform in Australia is online marketplaces. This is also where Australian consumers research products online. The most popular platforms include eBay (AU), Amazon (AU), Woolworths, JB HiFi, Kmart, Coles,, and Catch.

Below is a quick summary of some of the online marketplace and their popular categories according to the report by Inside Retail Australia:

  • Amazon (AU): books & ebooks, toys & games, sports & outdoors, electronics, and home & kitchen products.
  • eBay (AU): electronics & computer equipment, followed by sports & fitness, and home & garden.
  • Catch: an equal share in clothing, shoes & accessories, toys, kids & baby products, and home & kitchen.
  • Kogan: electronics and home & kitchen products on the platform. 

Other than e-commerce online marketplaces, Australian shoppers also buy online directly from retail brands' own websites. Popular brand.coms in Australia include Cotton On, boohoo, Forever New, and Adairs.


Important Sales Season in Australia

Peak seasons offer fantastic opportunities for boosting sales, however, it is also vital to keep your inventory levels high and ensure timely deliveries, especially during the holiday rush. In general, there are a few peak online sales seasons in Australia that you should take note of:

  1. Australia Day - January 26th
  2. Afterpay Day - occurs twice a year, usually in March & August. An increasingly popular day among e-commerce shoppers who prefer to pay for their purchases in installments.
  3. eBay Plus Weekend - an exclusive event for subscribers that usually happens in May and lasts for a week.
  4. Amazon Prime Day - usually in July, date varies yearly.
  5. Amazon Prime Big Deals Day - usually in October. Similar to Prime Day, but the sales only go on for 65 hours on this day.
  6. Click Frenzy Main Event - Australia's mini version of Cyber Monday that happens in October. Usually tech-focused and offer savings on consumer electronic items.
  7. Black Friday - usually in November.
  8. Cyber Monday - the Monday after Black Friday.
  9. Free Shipping Day - December 14th, offers free shipping and delivery by Christmas Eve. 
  10. Christmas - weeks leading up to Christmas on December 25th
  11. Boxing Day - December 26th, usually spans over till New Year's sales.


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Australia Shipping Information for E-Commerce Business

Expanding your business to Australia can be a smart move, but there are still several challenges, especially when it comes to cost, particularly the import taxes. Read on to find out more about the customs and tax regulations in Australia.

Customs Regulations Overview in Australia

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The Australia Border Force (ABF) is responsible for customs clearance and enforcing import tax laws on imported goods. In general, any goods that are imported into Australia are liable for duties and taxes, with exemption for most personal effects and goods with concession. If your shipment value exceeds Australia’s De Minimis of AUD 1,000, it will be subject to duty, GST, and IPC which must be paid at the point of importation.

However, the de minimis does not apply to items such as alcoholic beverages or tobacco and tobacco-related products, you still must pay duties and taxes for these items regardless of their value. There is also an exemption for most personal effects and goods with concessions.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

All imports in Australia are subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10% unless covered by an exemption. If your business has an annual turnover of AUD 75,000 or more, you must register for GST in Australia. After which you will collect the 10% GST from your customers which you will pay to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). For non-profit organisations, the threshold is AUD 150,000.

There is also GST exemption for certain products, view the extensive list of goods that are exempted on the Australian Taxation Office’s official website.

Source: Australian Government Business


Required Customs Documents

You don’t necessarily need an import license to import goods or shipments into Australia. However, depending on the nature of your shipments and regardless of the value, you may need to obtain permits to clear the goods.

 All your imported shipments or goods must have proper labeling with accurate shipment information (must include country of origin or where it was produced in English). See the full labeling guideline on ABF’s website.  It is also recommended that you obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN) as a non-resident business, which would also expedite the customs clearance process.

At the very minimum, here are the documentations you need and things to take note to clear the goods smoothly at customs:

1. Commercial Invoice

The commercial invoice is usually used to determine the true value of goods when assessing customs duties. Your invoice should include the following information:

  • Destination port
  • Full details of buyer and seller
  • Description of goods (itemised in English)
  • Amount of items
  • Date and terms of sale
  • Country of origin
  • Value (in USD and foreign currency)
  • All charges related to the merchandise (freight, insurance, cost of packing, etc.)
  • Any rebates, drawbacks, or bounties received upon exportation of the merchandise

2. Packing List

A detailed overview confirming the merchandise mentioned in the commercial invoice, including information on how the shipment was packed. This may include invoice number, date of shipment, mode of transport, carrier, type of package, etc.

3. Airway Bill

For air freight shipments, an airway bill is required to provide detailed information about the shipment and enable tracking. For sea freight shipments, you will need a bill of lading (BLAD).

4. Certificate of Origin

To show where the goods were manufactured which can affect the tax and duties applicable to the shipment.

Source: ITA | TGL | Epic Sourcing

Restricted and Prohibited Goods

There are certain commodities that are not allowed to be brought into Australia (prohibited items), while some require special licenses or permits before it can be imported (restricted items).

Restricted Items List

The following outlines a summary of some restricted goods that are prohibited from importation into Australia.  For the full comprehensive list of restricted and prohibited items, please refer to ABF’s official website on what you can and cannot bring into Australia.


You are not allowed to bring the following items:

  • Automatic knives – which includes flick knives, switchblades, parts and items containing parts. The import permit for this type of commodity is generally only issued for police/government use, or ‘specified purposes’ such as movie filming.
  • Blowguns – unless you have state/territory police approval on a B709B form. You may be required to get a state/territory license.
  • Hand-held electric shock devices, except items like cattle prods and novelty or joke shock devices with a very small capacity.
  • Slingshot with arm brace – only allowed if you have state/territory police approval on a B709B form. You may be required to get a state/territory license.
  • Laser pointer – To import laser pointers with a strength of greater than 1mW, you need prior written permission from the Minister for Home Affairs using a B710 Form –  Application for Permission to Import Schedule 13 Weapons.
  • Hormones

Natural and manufactured human growth hormones can be brought in if you:

    • Carry them in your accompanied baggage
    • Carry a letter from your doctor or a copy of your prescription (written in English), and
    • Don't bring in more than 3 months' supply.

You should leave your medicine in its original packaging. You must contact the Office of Drug Control if:

    • You don’t have a prescription
    • You are bringing in more than 3 months’ supply
    • You are an athlete or associated with an athlete

  • Steroids

Anabolic and androgenic substances, also known as steroids can be brought in if you:

    • Carry them in your accompanied baggage,
    • Carry a letter from your doctor or a copy of your prescription (written in English), and 
    • Don’t bring in more than 3 months’ supply.

You should leave your medicine in its original packaging. You must contact the Office of Drug Control if:

    • You are bringing more than 3 months’ supply
    • You are an athlete or associated with an athlete

  • Vaping goods

Vaping goods are controlled for health reasons. Limited vaping goods can be brought in by travellers as long as the goods are for your treatment, and they are in your accompanied baggage. You do not need to carry a prescription or a letter from your doctor to import vaping goods.

There are limits on the quantities each traveller may bring in:​

    • 2 vapes; and
    • 20 vape cartridges, capsules or pods; and
    • 200ml of vape liquid.

If you are bringing disposable cannabis vapes, it must meet the requirements of the traveller exemption for medicines and substances. Read more on Therapeutic Goods Administration.

  • Cats and dogs may be imported into Australia under strict conditions. Find out more about bringing cats and dogs to Australia.

    The following dangerous dog breeds are not allowed into Australia:

    • Dogo Argentino
    • Fila Brasileiro
    • Japanese tosa
    • American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier
    • Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario


If you are interested in importing pet birds, horses, and rabbits, reproductive material, laboratory animals or aquarium fish visit importing live animals and reproductive material.

If you are looking to purchase a unique or exotic animal, such as pet reptile, insect or amphibian from outside Australia, visit unique or exotic pets.

  • Cheese, butter, and other dairy products are permitted into Australia for personal use if the product is:
    • Commercially prepared and packaged.
    • Produced in an approved FMD-free country (the product label must list the country of origin).
    • Imported in an amount up to 10 kilograms or 10 litres.
    • For human consumption only.

Cheese and other dairy products must be declared and inspected on arrival. Products that do not meet import conditions will be exported or destroyed at the importer’s expense.

  • Roasted coffee (excluding Kopi Luwak/Civer Coffee)
    Roasted coffee is permitted into Australia for personal use if it is roasted, ground, or processed into instant coffee (up to 10 kilograms).

  • Honey products
    • Honey products are permitted into most Australian states and territories. Honey products must be inspected by a biosecurity officer on arrival, to confirm the honey items are free from contamination.
    • Items that do not meet these conditions will be exported or destroyed at the importer’s expense.

  • Meat items
    Meat has strict import conditions which can change quickly.

To see the full list, visit ABF’s website on what you can and cannot bring into Australia.

Sedatives include prescription medicines from the benzodiazepines group (eg diazepam, lorazepam). Like any other medicines, you can bring in sedatives so long as:

  • You are arriving in Australia as a passenger on board a ship or aircraft.
  • The medicine is carried in your accompanied baggage.
  • You carry a letter or copy of your prescription (written in English) from your doctor to certify that the medicine has been prescribed to you to treat a medical condition
  • The quantity of the medicine does not exceed three months’ supply
    You should leave your medicine in its original packaging.

For personal medication, you do not need a permit to bring these in even if they contain a controlled substance because such imports are generally covered by a traveller exemption scheme.


However, the following substance are not covered by the Traveller Exemption and require written permission from the Office of Drug Control when travelling to Australia:

  • Abortifacients (e.g. mifepristone - RU486)
  • Yohimbe (Yohimbine)
  • Aminophenazone, amidopyrine, aminopyrine, dipyrone
  • Amygdalin/laetrile (also referred to as ‘Vitamin B17’)
  • Athletes and sporting staff travelling with hormones and peptides​
Prohibited Items List

The following item categories are prohibited from import to Australia. See the full list of items listed in each category directly on the ABF’s website on prohibited goods.

  • Animals and plants
  • Asbestos
  • Certain consumer products such as ceramic wares, cigarette lighters, credit cards, etc.
  • Defence and strategic goods
  • Drugs, medicines, and therapeutic substances
  • Weapons
  • Firearms
  • Hazardous goods
  • Intellectual Property (IP) and cultural items
  • Tobacco
  • Miscellaneous items such as human blood and tissue, pepper spray, etc.


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How to Ship to Australia from Singapore

Shipping Process from Singapore to Australia

Having familiarised yourself with the Australian customs regulations and market dynamics, it is time to understand the shipping process to Australia. Below is a quick illustration of how Asendia ships your products seamlessly from Singapore to Australia.

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Here's how our shipping process typically works once you are onboarded with us:
  1. Print the shipping label and obtain the manifest from Asendia's system
  2. Parcel is processed for export
  3. Export clearance to Australia destination
  4. Customs clearance
  5. Last-mile delivery to shopper


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Introduction to e-PAQ Select International Shipping Solution

At Asendia, we have a specialist range of international packet and parcel services called e-PAQ Select designed for online retailers like yourself.


Why e-PAQ Select is the best solution for your international shipping needs to Australia:
  • Delivery service is available on Monday to Saturday.
  • Delivery Duty Paid (DDP) available.
  • Parcel tracking available for visibility (end-to-end from facility to delivery).
  • Able to ship to the entire of Australia via multiple injection points (SYD/MEL/PER/BNE).
  • Re-delivery attempts available (first attempt and 1 re-delivery attempt).
  • Australia in-country delivery SLA: 2-5 business days*
  • Dimweight limit:
    • Up to 22kg
    • Maximum length: 105cm
    • Maximum girth: 140cm (weight + height x 2)
  • Standard liability of SGD100

*For major metro areas.


Benefits of shipping your parcel with Asendia from Singapore to Australia

Working with Asendia for your international shipping needs ensure your shipping journey is seamless with our team of experts to help you get faster clearance and deliver to end customers on time. Our e-PAQ Select shipping solution has the following advantages:

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Cost Effectiveness
Transparent pricing without fuel surcharge or hidden cost by region/zone.
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Customisable Shipping
The ability to choose specific geographic areas for deliveries.
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Seamless Delivery
Comprehensive delivery network serving the entire of Australia.
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Shipping Efficiency
Maximise shipping efficiency with our favorable volumetric dim factor.
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Undeliverables Handling
Efficient undeliverable handling with flexible re-ship options.
Ease of Scalability
Scalable injection ports as the volume grows.
Ready to reach customers in Australia?

Get in touch with us at or click the button below to find out more!