SAC (SELF ASSESSED CLEARANCE) goods under AUD $1000 A SAC (Self Assessed Clearance) is a declaration made to Customs to clear goods that you have or are going to import by air or sea that have a Customs value at or below AUD$1000.
Why do you need a SAC
Once goods arrive at the depot (Air or Sea) even if they are under $1000, customs will not release your goods until a SAC has been completed as per section 71 of the Customs Act 1901.
This must be lodged electronically through the ICS (Integrated Cargo System) although you should not be liable for duty, GST or customs fees they still require a declaration to be made.
What do you need to do;
- Contact your supplier/ seller and get a copy of your invoice (or evidence of price paid) and the airway bill (Airfreight) or house bill and Packing declaration (LCL Seafreight)
- Fill out the SAC lodgement form which you can get a copy of by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org along with Evidence of identity.
- Send to us via email or fax and we will assess paperwork and send invoice for clearance.
- Pay the clearance FEE (as per below) via EFT or Credit card
- Once payment is finalised we will lodge your SAC declaration with Customs and Department of agriculture (Quarantine).
- Once the goods have been cleared by Customs and Quarantine* have no interest you will be able to pick up your goods from the depot. (depot fees may be applicable and payable directly to the depot when picking up your goods)
* If your goods are subject to Quarantine, paperwork will need to be lodged to Quarantine which they will assess, they will either release on documents or require an inspection.
Some depots for airfreight only give you 24hours to pick up cargo before storage starts and can give up to 3 days, so it is important to contact us as soon as possible, if you are unsure or don’t know what you need just email or phone us.
Clearance can be facilitated within 4 normal business hours or an express/afterhours clearance can be requested.
Quarantine require 24 hours to assess paperwork if your shipment is subject to this. Please follow the BICON link below to see if your goods have any Quarantine concerns
Evidence of Identity (EOI)
For security reasons you must provide Evidence of Identity to prove you are the importer of the goods.
This can be a copy of your drivers licence or passport.
Take the stress out of the SAC clearance and contact us so all you need to do is pick up the goods.
Standard SAC - $85*
Standard SAC with Quarantine lodgement required- $115*
Express SAC - $110*
Express SAC with Quarantine lodgement required $140*
* Plus GST (Quarantine may take up to 24 Hrs to process document assessment and issue direction, there may be additional fees payable to them)
LCL CARGO - steps
1. Goods will be sent by supplier in a container consigned with other items to Australia.
2. Prior to arrival the forwarder will send you an arrival notice & and invoice with the local charges here in Australia for the container to be picked up from the wharf and unpacked at the depot.
3. Once you get this you can contact us for a SAC form to complete and return along with the * Bill of lading (If originals have been sent you will need to send this to the forwarder) *Packing declaration for the department of Agriculture completed by the packer/supplier - Template is available HERE *Commercial invoice/ proof of price paid for the goods if under AUD $1000* Arrival notice (from the forwarder) * Packing list * Proof of ID.
4. Pay for your Customs Clearance and if Quarantine lodgement is required documents will be forwarded to Quarantine along with the lodgement of the SAC entry in the ICS.
5. When the goods arrive and you have paid the local charges to the forwarder and original bills have been surrendered/ telex release they will forward you a copy of the EDO (Electronic delivery order) you will NEED to take this with you in order to collect your goods from the depot.
6. The container with your goods will be taken back to the depot for unpack and be made available for you to collect, I usually allow 3-7 days for the container to be unpacked and track by container number on most depot's websites for availability (you can ask the forwarder which depot your container will be taken to).
7. Once goods are available (you will be notified by the forwarder by an outturn report) , you will have 3 days to collect from the depot so making sure you take the EDO with you, have a CLEAR status with customs from the SAC entry (if Quarantine inspection in required this can be completed at the depot and you will need a copy of the Quarantine direction) depending on the depot you will need to have appropriate PPE for collection, it is best to check prior to heading in.
Some examples of the depots most commonly used are ACFS, QUBE, Trojan, ANJ, Chalmers, Stockwells, please click to take you directly to their tracking page.
*If goods are machines - please ensure supplier puts a declaration on the invoice that the goods are new, unused and not factory trailed/ field tested and are free from biosecurity risk material
AIRFREIGHT CARGO - steps
1. Goods will be booked in through a forwarder/agent or directly with the airline you will either get a Master Airway bill or a House Airway bill and goods will be sent to Australia.
2. You will need to get a copy the SAC form to complete and send back to us along with a copy of your ID, Commercial invoice, packing list, and Airway bill along with payment for the Clearance.
3. Once the goods arrive, you will receive notification from the depot that the cargo is available, but it is best to track your cargo with the airline and check which ground handling agent the cargo is going to as storage can commence as soon as 24hours after arrival. Please click here for all the airline tracking pages.
4. Once you have a CLEAR status with Customs and Quarantine, you will need to ensure you have paid for the ITF (terminal Handling) charges with the airline/ forwarder - if directly with the airline you can pay these on collection of your cargo.
Some of the ground handling agents most commonly used are, QANTAS, Toll Dnata, Menzies Aviation, AMI ect.
- If using a forwarder, the cargo will be collected from the ground handling agent and made available at the forwarder's Depot.
* A packing declaration is not needed for Air cargo, however if timber is used in the packaging this must be treated, Timber will still need to be inspected by Quarantine along with other risk materials which you can check with the departments BICON search tool
Please click on the heading below for the link to the customs fact sheet
SELF-ASSESSED CLEARANCE (SAC)
Imported goods valued at or below A$1000* that arrive in
Australia by sea or air cargo must be declared to the Australian
Customs and Border Protection Service (Customs and Border
Protection) on a self-assessed clearance (SAC) declaration.
SAC declarations are not required for the clearance of goods
with a value at or below A$1000 that arrive by international mail
When you make a SAC declaration you are required to declare
• the value of the goods does not exceed A$1000, or
• you want to refer the goods to Customs and Border
Protection or Australian Quarantine and Inspection (AQIS).
Generally, there is no requirement to pay duty and Goods and
Services Tax (GST) on imported goods valued at or below
A$1000 except for alcohol and/or tobacco products.
There is no documentary (paper) option for the lodgement of a
CARGO REPORT SAC DECLARATION
Cargo reporters are responsible for reporting cargo to Customs
and Border Protection.
The majority of SAC declarations lodged with Customs and
Border Protection are made when a cargo reporter completes a
cargo report for air cargo. When SAC declarations are made in
this way you do not have to do anything.
Not all cargo reporters make SAC declarations when they make
If a cargo reporter does not make a SAC declaration on your
behalf, you will need to make a SAC declaration. Your carrier
or Freight Forwarder will usually notify you when your imported
goods arrive and if you need to make a SAC declaration. Check
this with your carrier or Freight Forwarder.
HOW TO LODGE A SAC DECLARATION
SAC declarations must be lodged electronically. You have two
1. You may use a Customs broker or other service provider to
lodge SAC declarations. Fees may be charged.
2. Lodge a SAC declaration yourself by using the Integrated
Cargo System (ICS). You need to hold a digital certificate to
Further information on communicating electronically with
Customs and Border Protection is available at:
There are no Customs and Border Protection charges for making
a SAC declaration.
TYPES OF SAC DECLARATIONS
There are two types of SAC declarations you can make:
• SAC declaration (Full Format)
• SAC declaration (Short Form).
SAC DECLARATION (FULL FORMAT)
In the following instances, goods that require a SAC declaration
are cleared more quickly if a SAC declaration (Full Format) is
1. an exemption or other concession applies
2. a permit or approval is required
3. duty and GST is payable because:
–– the goods include alcohol and/or tobacco products
–– the goods are part of a larger consignment or
–– of commercial reasons.
A SAC declaration (Full Format) can be made by the importer
(you) or a licensed Customs Broker.
SAC declaration service providers can be found through an
internet search or in your local telephone directory.
Customs brokers can be found through an internet search, in
your local telephone directory or online at:
SAC DECLARATION (SHORT FORM)
A SAC declaration (Short Form) is made where only minimal
information is required.
A SAC declaration (Short Form) can be used to pay duty and
GST for imported goods that include alcohol and/or tobacco
Anyone who has a digital certificate and is registered in the ICS
can make a SAC declaration (Short Form). SAC declaration
service providers and Customs brokers can make this type of
PROHIBITED AND RESTRICTED GOODS
If you import prohibited and restricted goods, you will need
to obtain permission from the government agency that issues
permits or approvals for those goods.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information on any importation matter, contact the
Customs Information and Support Centre on 1300 363 263,
email email@example.com or visit our website
For information on quarantine matters, contact AQIS on
1800 020 504 or visit the AQIS website www.aqis.gov.au
AQIS is a part of the Biosecurity Services Group within the
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
Self-Assessed Clearance (SAC)
Imported goods valued at or below AUD$1000 that arrive in Australia by sea or air cargo must be
declared to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the Department) on a selfassessed
SAC declarations are not required for the clearance of goods with a value at or below AUD$1000
that arrive by international mail (post).
When you make a SAC declaration you are required to declare that:
* The value of the goods does not exceed AUD$1000; or
* You want to refer the goods to the Department or the Department of Agriculture
* Generally, there is no requirement to pay duty and Goods and Services Tax
(GST) on imported goods valued at or below AUD$1000 except for alcohol and/or
A SAC declaration must be lodged electronically. There is no option for paper lodgement.
Cargo report SAC declaration
Cargo reporters are responsible for reporting cargo to the Department.
The majority of SAC declarations lodged with the Department are made when a cargo reporter
completes a cargo report for air cargo. When SAC declarations are made in this way you do not
have to do anything.
However, not all cargo reporters make SAC declarations when they make cargo reports. If a
cargo reporter does not make a SAC declaration on your behalf, you will need to make a SAC
declaration. Your carrier or Freight Forwarder will usually notify you when your imported goods
arrive and advise if you need to make a SAC declaration. Check this with your carrier or Freight
Type in document title | 1
How to lodge a SAC declaration
SAC declarations must be lodged electronically. You have two options:
* you may use a licensed customs broker or other service provider to lodge SAC
declarations, and fees may be charged, or
* lodge a SAC declaration yourself by using the Integrated Cargo System (ICS).
You need to hold a digital certificate to do this.
Further information on communicating electronically with the Department is available in the Cargo
Support section of our website.
There are no charges for making a SAC declaration.
Types of SAC declarations
There are two types of SAC declarations you can make:
* SAC declaration (Full Format)
* SAC declaration (Short Form).
SAC declaration (Full Format)
Goods that require a SAC declaration are cleared more quickly if a SAC declaration (Full Format)
is used in the following instances:
* An exemption or other concession applies
* A permit or approval is required, or
* Duty and GST is payable because:
o The goods include alcohol and/or tobacco products;
o The goods are part of a larger consignment; or
o Of commercial reasons.
A SAC declaration (Full Format) can be made by the importer (you) or a licensed Customs broker.
SAC declaration service providers / licensed Customs brokers can be found through an internet
search or in the local telephone directory.
SAC declaration (Short Form)
A SAC declaration (Short Form) is made where only minimal information is required.
A SAC declaration (Short Form) can be used to pay duty and GST for imported goods that include
alcohol and/or tobacco products.
Anyone who has a digital certificate and is registered in the ICS can make a SAC declaration
(Short Form). SAC declaration service providers and licensed Customs brokers can make this
type of SAC declaration.
Self-Assessed Clearance (SAC) Declarations
July 2015 | 2
Prohibited and restricted goods
If you import prohibited and restricted goods, you will need to obtain permission from the
government agency that issues permits or approvals for those goods.
For more information
For further information please visit our website at www.border.gov.au
For information on biosecurity matters, go to the Department of Agriculture website.
* SAC declarations can only be lodged electronically.
* Your carrier or Freight Forwarder should notify you of the arrival of your imported
goods and if you need to make a SAC declaration. Check this with the
* If you choose to lodge a SAC declaration yourself you will need a digital
* An officer of Customs cannot make a SAC declaration on your behalf.
SELF ASSESSED CLEARANCE (SAC) DECLARATIONS
(AS OF 10/09/07)
A self assessed clearance (SAC) declaration is an electronic declaration that Customs requires to clear goods imported by air and sea that have a value at or below the AUD$1000 import entry threshold. Goods valued above the import entry threshold need to be cleared on an import declaration (FID).
SAC declarations must be made electronically through Customs Integrated Cargo System (ICS). There is no documentary or paper version available for an importer to submit to Customs.
Each SAC declaration requires basic information including the identity of the importer, details of the consignment, and a description of the goods. Clients lodging a SAC declaration are required to declare:
- that the value of the goods does not exceed the AUD$1000 import entry threshold
- information to help determine if the goods require further assessment by Customs
- if they wish to refer the goods to the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS).
SAC declarations reported in the ICS and of AQIS interest are processed in the AQIS system. This system enables status messages, including the ultimate release notification, to be communicated to the ICS, the client, and other interested parties.
LODGING SAC DECLARATIONS
SAC declarations can only be submitted to Customs electronically. There are no manual or documentary lodgement options available.
SAC declarations must be made through Customs Integrated Cargo System (ICS). There are several options for importers wishing to communicate directly with the ICS, including the Customs Interactive (web-based) facility and electronic data interchange (EDI) software packages.
Alternatively, importers may choose to use a service provider such as a broker or bureau to communicate on their behalf. For further information about communicating electronically with Customs, see the Communicating Electronically with Customs fact sheet.
TYPES OF SAC DECLARATIONS
There are three different types of SAC declarations. The two most common types include the cargo report SAC declaration and the SAC (short form) declaration. A third type, SAC (full declaration format) declaration is also available, however its use is optional and at the discretion of the client. The SAC (full declaration format) allows users to pay duties, GST and taxes against all types of goods where circumstances warrant.
The type of SAC declaration to be used depends on the nature of the goods being imported.
WHO CAN LODGE A SAC DECLARATION?
Cargo report SAC declaration
A SAC declaration can be communicated as part of a cargo report (on behalf of an importer), but only by a cargo reporter.
Goods subject to quarantine conditions may be lodged as cargo report SACs, and are directed to AQIS systems via profiles based on goods descriptions and client details. This means clients do not need to make a declaration about the quarantine status of goods that appear on a cargo report SAC.
SAC (short form) declaration
The importer of the goods, or anyone acting on the importer's behalf, can communicate a SAC (short form) declaration to Customs. The person acting on the importer's behalf does not need to be a licensed broker. This means that cargo reporters, freight forwarders, or similar parties are able to lodge SAC declarations on behalf of an importer.
SAC (short form) declarations also provide an opportunity for the communicator to indicate to AQIS if there are quarantine considerations with the consignment.
The communicator of the SAC (short form) declaration must have a digital certificate and be registered in the ICS. If a SAC (short form) declaration is lodged by someone on behalf of an importer, it is not necessary for the importer to be registered. For further information on registration in the ICS see Preparing for CMR imports booklet.
SAC (full declaration format) declaration
Where a SAC (full declaration format) declaration is used, it can be communicated only by the importer or a licensed broker. This can be accessed through the Import Declaration (N10) create screen and checking the SAC indicator on the Header Create screen. Where a licensed broker is lodging the SAC (full declaration format) declaration, the importer needs to be registered in the ICS.
Circumstances exist where, at times, importers are required to pay duties, GST and taxes even though the declaration value may be under the entry threshold. In these circumstances the importer, or licensed customs broker, must use the SAC (full declaration format), via the Import Declaration (N10) create screen to enter the goods.
Brokers wishing to use their AQIS accreditation to address packing concerns and nominate inspection/treatment actions under the terms of their Compliance Agreement with AQIS, need to do so using a SAC (full declaration format) declaration.
In all other cases, the use of the SAC (full declaration format) declaration is optional.
HOW TO DECLARE IMPORTS USING A SAC DECLARATION
Cargo report SAC
The cargo report SAC declaration is made when a cargo reporter lodges the cargo report. The cargo report SAC declaration is completed by checking an indicator on the cargo report.
To declare low value consignments through the cargo report, the cargo reporter must be able to agree to statements about the goods. These statements are shown in the following screen.
If the cargo reporter cannot agree with certainty with these statements, the goods cannot be declared on a cargo report SAC declaration and must be declared on a separately lodged SAC declaration or an import declaration if the value of the consignment exceeds the AUD$1000 import entry threshold.
The SAC thesaurus refers to a list of words that is generated by Customs. This list is available to industry as a reference file for cargo report SAC declaration purposes.
Customs has also provided the information to software developers and the service provider industry. The reference file includes a list of words, terms, and descriptions that will need to be cross-checked against the description of any goods contained in a low-value consignment. The SAC Thesaurus is available on the Customs website at http://www.customs.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/SACThesaurus_050725.pdf
If there is any uncertainty about the statements a separate SAC declaration must be completed.
SEPARATELY LODGED SAC DECLARATIONS
There are two formats available for separately lodged SAC declarations; short form and full declaration format. The choice of declaration is for the importer to decide. The difference between the declarations is the amount of information required.
SAC (SHORT FORM) DECLARATION
The SAC (short form) declaration enables the importer, or someone acting on the importer's behalf, to provide additional information to Customs or AQIS about goods being imported. This declaration is required prior to goods being released.
The need for additional information on the SAC (short form) declaration is determined by the responses to the SAC declaration questions. Additional information is required if:
- a consignment contains alcohol or tobacco products
- an importer (or agent) wishes to refer the goods to AQIS
- importation of the goods is subject to a restriction or condition under a Commonwealth law.
If the value of the goods does not exceed the import entry threshold, and the consignment does not contain alcohol or tobacco, is not being referred to AQIS and has no community protection concerns, only minimal data is required to identify the importer, describe the goods, and allow linking to the cargo report before release of the goods.
ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO PRODUCTS
If the SAC declaration includes alcohol and tobacco products, duty and taxes are payable. These goods cannot be released without payment of the duty and taxes.
When a shipment contains alcohol and tobacco products, additional information needs to be provided to enable calculation of duty and taxes. This includes:
- tariff classification
- transport and insurance costs.
PROHIBITIONS, RESTRICTIONS, AND QUARANTINE
Extra information must be provided for shipments where the value of the imported goods does not exceed the entry threshold, but:
- the goods are prohibited or restricted imports or you wish to refer the goods to Customs for assessment of prohibited or restricted status and/or
- the goods are being referred to AQIS.
If one or both of the above apply to a shipment, the SAC communicator has to provide additional information including:
- importer details, goods description and cargo linking data
- a reason for referral
- an AQIS inspection location (only when there are quarantine considerations).
Where the importation of the goods is subject to an import restriction or condition, importers need to provide to Customs a permission that authorises the importation of the goods. For more information on prohibited and restricted goods refer to the prohibited imports page of the Customs website.
SAC (FULL DECLARATION FORMAT) DECLARATION
A SAC (full declaration format) declaration is used to clear goods where an importer or broker chooses to provide more detailed information.
The advantage of using the SAC (full declaration format) declaration is that it allows a broker or importer to:
- provide more information electronically to Customs and AQIS to facilitate clearance of goods;
- input information such as tariff concessions and preference conditions against certain commodities; and
- pay duties, GST (or calculation for deferral) and taxes on all of the goods entered where circumstances warrant.
The SAC (full declaration format) declaration is accessed through the Import Declaration (N10) create screen with the exception of the additional SAC threshold question.
EXEMPTIONS FROM SAC REQUIREMENTS
Certain goods, such as personal effects, are exempt from the requirement to communicate a SAC declaration. Unaccompanied personal effects (UPE) must be declared to Customs and AQIS on the approved form - B534 Unaccompanied Personal Effects Statement.
Customs screening and release of low-value postal imports will continue and there is no requirement to lodge a SAC declaration for postal imports.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I SEND MY SAC DECLARATION?
On receipt of an electronic SAC declaration Customs will send a SAC advice to the communicator's email address provided with registration.
The SAC advice contains details of any messages, duty and taxes that may apply. A SAC 'authority to deal' is also provided if applicable.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SHORT FORM AND FULL DECLARATION FORMAT SACS SAC (short form)
SAC (full declaration format)
Fewer input fields, minimal data needs to be supplied.
Uses the Import Declaration (N10) create screen. The input data, edit and validation rules are the same as the import declaration (N10). Additional indicators allow the user to declare as a SAC declaration and pay revenue where circumstances warrant.
Importer is not required to be registered as a client in the ICS (the communicator of the SAC however, must be registered).
The importer must be registered as a client in the ICS.
Tariff and valuation information is only required when alcohol and tobacco has been declared.
For consignments at or below the import entry threshold, unless otherwise indicated, the ICS will only calculate duty and taxes on alcohol and tobacco products. No dumping duty calculations are performed.
Concessional rates of duty cannot be claimed.
Concessional rates of duty can be claimed.
No facility for supplying AQIS with an AQIS Processing Type (Automatic Entry Processing Code) for the purposes of an AQIS Compliance Agreement.
Provides a facility for AQIS Compliance Agreement holders to use AQIS Processing Types for automated entry processing (sea cargo only).
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