A customs broker is an entity who holds a customs broker's licence granted in accordance with Part XI of the Customs Act 1901 (the Act). Under the Act an owner of goods may authorise an agent to act on his or her behalf for the importation of goods into Australia.
There are three categories of customs brokers:
- Sole trader
A corporate customs broker is a company or a partnership that is licensed to act on behalf of owners of imported goods. A corporate customs broker must employ nominee customs brokers to lodge customs declarations.
A sole trader is an individual that is licensed to act on behalf of owners of imported goods. A sole trader may also employ nominee customs brokers. A sole trader cannot be employed by a corporate customs broker.
A nominee is a natural person that is licensed to act as a customs broker but only as an employee of a corporate or a sole trader customs brokerage. A nominee may be employed by more than one corporate or sole trader brokerage at any one time.
The Act allows for the licensing of a natural person, company or partnership. A trust entity is not eligible to be licensed as a customs broker. A trustee may be licensed if the nominated entity in the Trust Deed is a natural person, company or partnership.
See: Customs Brokerages by State/Territory.
To apply for a customs broker licence refer to the Customs Broker Application Process page.
Linking Nominees to Corporate or Sole Traders
In order for a nominee to be able to lodge import declarations in the ICS for a corporate or sole trader brokerage they must be linked in the ICS to that brokerage. A nominee may be linked to multiple brokerages.
The process for linking or delinking nominees from brokerages is outlined
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Scheme
Customs and Border Protection introduced a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme for all customs brokers in July 2012. The scheme commenced operation on 1 April 2013. Details on the operation of the scheme and available courses can be found
Broker Licensing Contact
Any enquiries concerning customs broker licensing matters should be directed to the following email address or telephone 02 6275 5784.