What You Need To Know About Importing Clocks and Watches Into Australia

If you are thinking of importing clocks and watches to Australia, you’ve come to the right place. With this guide, you will discover key information about how to import clocks and watches into Australia.

The market for clocks and watches in Australia has certainly been growing rapidly. Sales has increased by 53% since 2014. This industry averages around US $650 million in annual revenue.


If you are thinking of importing clocks and watches to Australia, you’ve come to the right place. Australians appetite for classic time pieces continues to grow and this might be a great opportunity for your business to enter the market.

Understand the rules of importing

When importing clocks and watches into Australia, there aren’t many rules that prohibits the import of these goods. Be aware that tax and tariffs may apply, especially if the value of your products are more than $1000. The Australian Department of Border Protection has detailed on their website.

Learn about any restrictions on the types of products you can import

You can find out if your goods fall under Australia’s import restrictions. Check any possible restrictions for the products you’re interested in, and if you’re not sure, contact the Australian Border Force.

Source clocks and watches you’d like to import

One of the biggest factors in importing clocks and watches is to source items your prospective customers will want to buy. Make sure you carry out some market research and get an idea of the price range, quality, uniqueness, metals, precious stones, and other factors your customers are looking for. Use this insight to help you source items.


There are various places you can find items to sell, these include:

  • Alibaba — A huge online marketplace that provides millions of different types of items, mainly available from China.
  • Amazon — Look through the various marketplaces to find suppliers of watches and approach them directly. You’ll also be able to find luxury brands here.
  • Ebay — Some manufacturers and distributors will list items on the popular auction website.
  • Etsy — Since Etsy is built for craftspeople, you may find a unique time piece here.

Hints and tips on choosing the right clocks and watches

  • Avoid importing products that are already available through the major retailers in Australia. They buy in bulk and you’ll never be able to compete with them on price.
  • Avoid mass-produced, cheap goods — when you’re looking at watches, aim towards the luxury end of the market.
  • Always source items based on what you know about your prospective customers. Base your decisions on your data and research.
  • Read reviews on the quality and customer service others have received from your prospective suppliers. Dig into them as much as you can before placing an order.
  • Always request a sample of any items you’re interested in. When you receive it, check the quality and ask a professional for their opinion. You might want to look into the authenticity and quality of the products.
  • Ask the supplier about their terms for payment, how long it will take them to send the product to you, what protections and guarantees you have, and what their policies are on returns. If you are satisfied and you’ve finished your due diligence, sign a contract with them

Make sure your clocks and watches are labelled accurately

Imported goods must be properly labelled. This includes the country of manufacture and origin, a true description of the goods, a sender’s address, and a recipient’s address. The labels should be in English, attached to the goods in a prominent position and be clear and easy to read. You can find full details of labelling requirements here.

Understand costs to import clocks and watches

Now you know the products you want to buy, you’ll need to understand the total cost to your business.


This includes the following:

  • The cost of buying the clocks and watches in the first place (the wholesale costs).
  • The costs of shipping the clocks and watches from its place of manufacture to Australia (logistics and distribution costs).
  • The tariffs and duties you’ll need to pay when importing into Australia.


You will almost certainly have to pay some taxes and tariffs on your imported goods. Spend some time learning about:


If your goods are valued at over $1,000 AUD, you will almost certainly have to pay import duty and GST on them.

  • Import entry costs and processing charges – Customs will charge you a fee (typically under $200 AUD) for processing your goods.
  • Customs import duty is calculated as a percentage of the price you paid for the goods. The duty rate can range from 0% to 10%, but the rate for most goods is 5%.
  • Goods and services sales tax (GST) will also be charged based on the following:
  1. The valuation of the goods plus;
  2. The customs import duty amount plus;
  3. The cost of insuring the goods and transporting them to Australia.
  4. GST is charged at 10% of the final amount.


This is just intended as a general guide – These charges can be influenced by what you’re bringing in, excise taxes, free trade agreements, and many other factors. Please check with customs for your individual circumstances.


Some types of goods are eligible for concessions (reducing the amount of duty you need to pay). You can find a factsheet about the Tariff Concession System here.

Figuring out your costs

Calculate exactly what each clock or watch would cost you.


This includes:

  • price per item (buying or manufacturing)
  • transport and logistics
  • exchange rates
  • operational costs
  • insurance
  • salaries of people you need to pay
  • duties, tariffs and taxes
  • and everything else that goes into running a business.


Use all of these costs to help you set your selling price.

Paying for your goods in foreign currency

Importing clocks and watches are usually done in US dollars.

Consider using OFX.

They specialise in international payments and receipts for Australian businesses. Each client has a personal manager and access to a range of useful products like Forward Exchange Contracts, Options, Limit Orders and Currency Options.

OFX is a trusted partner of The Currency Shop. Click on this link , sign up and never pay a transfer fee for your international money transfers. Ever.

OFX charges no transaction fees. Minimum transfer A$250. Third party intermediary fees may still apply.

Learn more about OFX

What about receiving money in foreign currency?

Until recently, Australian businesses had 3 options to receive money from overseas customers:


  1. Get paid into a local Australian based, Australian dollar account.
  2. Open a Foreign Currency Account, usually with a bank
  3. Use a payment gateway like PayPal, Braintree or Stripe


Unfortunately, these options are usually filled with fees, balance requirements or massive exchange rate mark-ups.

In October 2017, TransferWise released the Borderless account in Australia and it’s really impressive. It allows you to receive, hold and transfer 27 different currencies.


A unique feature that is particularly useful for businesses, is the ability to have local bank account details in USD, EUR, GBP or AUD. This makes receiving money from overseas customers exceptionally easy.


For the full review of the TransferWise Borderless Account, click here

Learn more about the Borderless Account

Sell your clocks and watches and reap the profits

Phew! After all that, you should have received your clocks and/or watches. You can then put it up for sale in your ecommerce store, brick and mortar shop, or through an online marketplace. Good luck!