- Market entry
- Forms and conditions of operation on the market
- Marketing and Communications
- Issues of intellectual property protection
- Public procurement market
- Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
- Visas, fees, specific conditions of travel to the territory
- Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
- Fairs and events
For the export of products, a quality distributor is a basic prerequisite, for more complex units it is more appropriate to choose the path of direct presence on the market.
According to cheeroutdoor.com, a key element in successfully exporting products to the Australian market is a suitable wholesale level importer and distributor. Own sales techniques and marketing practices in the internal market are mostly left to local retail entities. Due to relatively high business costs, importers/distributors usually require an exclusive agency agreement. A more significant and permanent turnover is achieved only for those items that are implemented by an established local representative. When choosing a partner, it is necessary to consider in particular the position of the importer on the market, its customer network and contacts and representation in other Australian states. Due to the geographical size of the country and the relative independence of the individual states, it is necessary to choose an importer with representation in most Australian states and preferably also in New Zealand.
An insufficiently secured service network, inflexible and irregular deliveries of spare parts and insufficient references from developed world markets are the main limiting factors of Czech companies in the export of engineering production. For the most important Australian companies in the processing or mining industry, only supplies from pre-qualified companies with global references are considered. Engineering firms will include only proven and investor-approved suppliers of equipment and components in the shortlist of potential suppliers.
Australia is among the countries with the friendliest business environment and the least demanding regulations. It only takes two days, two administrative procedures and 1% of average annual income per person to start your own limited liability company business. Imports are not quantitatively limited. Import restrictions apply only to goods threatening the health, safety or moral level of the population. The import of medical devices, medicines, pharmaceutical products and preparations is subject to the approval of the Ministry of Health. A special permit is also required for the import of weapons, radioactive materials, goods containing lead and products made from materials from endangered species of animals or plants.
Australians protect their food market. From 2018, the country of origin food labeling information standard 2016 is mandatory for food sold in Australia. A number of products require approval of the product’s suitability for general consumption under the Consumer Protection Act before it can be imported into the country itself. In addition, certificates of consumer goods are required, which must correspond to local consumer standards. Ensuring these tests when introducing the import of the product is very demanding in terms of time and money. For consumer goods, the name and brief description of the goods, the country of origin and the contact details of the Australian import company must be marked on the packaging in English.
Exchange controls were abolished in 1983. Transfers of foreign exchange funds are free. When importing and exporting currencies above AUD 10,000 in tourism, there is a duty to notify the customs authorities. Also, cash transactions above AUD 10,000 and all suspicious transactions must be reported by financial institutions to the Financial Transaction Reports Agency.
Australia applies anti-dumping measures when there is a threat of material injury to a local producer or a threat to the establishment of a local industry in a given field for products whose import price is lower than the normal price in the country of origin. An Australian business can report its complaint to the Anti-Dumping Commission, which has 155 days to investigate, then submit its recommendation to the Minister for Industry and Innovation.
The Customs Administration deals with the supervision of the observance of copyrights and the protection of registered trademarks. Intellectual property is protected in Australia by several laws (Patents Act 1952, Designs Act 1906) and international conventions of which Australia is a member (World Intellectual Property Organization, Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property, Patent Cooperation Treaty and others).
Australia controls the export of strategic goods, especially weapons and dual-use raw materials. The inspection is managed by the Federal Ministry of Defense based on the so-called Customs Prohibited Exports Regulation system. Export licenses are issued by the department’s Strategic Policy and Operations Branch, and final compliance with these rules is the responsibility of Australian Customs.
Forms and conditions of operation on the market
In practice, several forms of business are used in Australia:
- limited liability companies (owners’ company – Pty. Ltd. or public company – Ltd.),
· partnership, limited partnership,
· sole proprietors,
· joint ventures.
The conditions for establishment and obligations (especially tax) differ according to individual types of companies. The legal framework for establishing companies is determined by the Corporations Law. Registration of economic entities is generally carried out with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (www.asic.gov.au). Companies are required to use a tax and registration number called an Australian Business Number (ABN – i.e. similar to the Czech IČO and DIČ), which is issued by ASIC, for all official company documentation. In the case of a branch registered as a foreign company, the branch receives an ARBN – Australian Registered Body Number. The cost of registering a company is AUD 463. The requirements for the establishment of a company by a foreign entity are the same in all states of the Australian federation and are identical to the requirements placed on local companies.
Subsidiary or branch forms can be used for the business of a foreign company, and representative offices can also be used for non-commercial activities. However, foreign companies usually prefer to establish a subsidiary, which has the advantage of a local legal entity. The establishment of a branch as a foreign entity is, from a practical point of view, disadvantageous for a Czech entity due to the formal requirements for submitting all accounting documentation of the parent company in English. On the contrary, a certain advantage of this form is the fact that the branch does not have to employ an Australian resident as a company executive. Joint ventures, as a form of joint business between several entities, including foreign ones, are the usual form of participation in a joint project for a certain period of time.
Marketing and communication
After the end of the COVID-19 pandemic and the opening of the country, we recommend taking advantage of participation in specialized exhibitions, ideally repeatedly. We consider participation in large professional fairs to be a suitable form of promotion and contact with distributors when entering the Australian market, although the cost of renting an exhibition space in Australia is very high. A detailed calendar of trade fairs and conferences is available on the website of the Consulate General in Sydney.
We recommend paying maximum attention to the formal aspect of all promotional materials, especially the linguistic correctness verified by a native speaker. Great emphasis must be placed on the precision of the processing, the correct use of professional English expressions and the regular updating of published data on the website.
Leading Australian PR agencies include oOh!media, Archetype, Eleven, Ogilvy PR, Sling & Stone and WE Communications, HR agencies include Hays, Randstad, Halcyon Knights, Davidson Technology, Austcorp Executive, PRA, Oceans Group Search & Selection, Design & Build Recruitment, Ethos BeathChapman, Talent International, Marshall McAdam.
Australian businesses use a whole range of advertising channels. In 2020/21, due to pandemic restrictions and less frequent movement of people on roads/streets, interest in billboards has decreased. In addition to social networks and print (including online print), radio and TV stations are used for advertising activity.
As part of marketing and promotional activities, false or misleading statements may not be made through any media. Consumer protection laws that prohibit companies from making false, misleading or deceptive claims about their products or services have been in place for decades.
Issues of intellectual property protection
Australia is among the countries that carefully guard and observe the protection of intellectual property rights. The Intellectual Property Office is responsible for the protection of intellectual property rights in Australia, an overview of current legislation is available on its website (www.ipaustralia.gov.au). The risks of non-compliance with the protection of intellectual property rights can be avoided in Australia, for example, by registering a patent in time with the Intellectual Property Office or by using a non-disclosure agreement when sharing your idea with another party. Intellectual property rights are regulated in Australia by the Copyright Act, Patents Act, Trade Marks Act, Designs Act, Plant Breeder’s Act and Circuit Layouts Act. In the event that rights are violated at the international level,
Australia has been a member of the WTO since 1 January 1995. The Permanent Mission of Australia to the WTO represents Australia in all WTO committees and councils to promote Australia’s interests and to monitor compliance by other members. Australia supports liberalization within the WTO, which it sees as a path to economic reform, better market performance and significant sustainable growth in the world economy. Australia is involved in the WTO mainly in the sectors of agricultural exports and intellectual property protection, supports the participation of developing countries in the WTO and the dispute settlement system.
Public procurement market
Within the framework of the WTO, Australia acceded to the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) in 2019. The agreement entered into force for Australia on 5 May 2019. The agreement allows for better access to public procurement. The direct participation of a foreign company in a tender has so far been very complex and almost impossible without the involvement of a local partner. Australian and New Zealand companies have preference when choosing, or goods made in Australia or New Zealand. It is often possible to participate in government tenders in Australia more or less only through local importers and distributors, rarely directly. With the application of the GPA agreement, the situation on the public procurement market can be expected to improve.
From 1 March 2017, other more stringent rules for the awarding of public contracts at the federal level (Commonwealth Procurement Rules) also apply. These rules further tighten regulatory mechanisms regarding working conditions, health, safety and environmental impact. Compliance with Australian standards is also required, and there are also new sections that require the assessment of participants in tenders with a value higher than 4/7.5 (for construction) million AUD in terms of “broader economic benefit”, i.e. a contribution to the AU economy beyond the scope of the awarded tender.
All federal government contracts administered by the Department of Finance are published online at www.tenders.gov.au. State and territory tenders are advertised by local governments on the respective state and territory websites. The correctness of the tender procedure is determined by the internal regulation of the federal government (Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines). Australia is one of the countries with the lowest corruption in the world. This is probably why government officials have relatively high decision-making power. The main criterion is to achieve the delivery of services or goods from a capable supplier who guarantees delivery in the appropriate quality at an acceptable price (value for money policy). Therefore, the lowest price may not yet be a guarantee of obtaining a government contract. Emphasis is placed on mutual cooperation between domestic industry and government institutions, especially in key contracts, such as the field of military supplies. Federal Department of Defense procurement is driven by the long-term involvement of Australian firms in the research, development and production of equipment for a particular project.
Overview of basic Internet addresses for tenders:
New South Wales
Commonwealth Electronic Tender System – Austender
Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
In Australia, payment terms are part of every purchase agreement. Payment terms usually include information on possible payment methods, if and how much a deposit is made, and debt collection rules. Business disputes are not a very common phenomenon in Australia, which results from the relatively high fairness and solidity of business relations. In order to avoid later misunderstandings, it is a good idea when concluding business contracts not to forget the clause according to the commercial law of the country with which any dispute will be resolved. However, Australian entities require Australian law to govern the contract in the vast majority of cases. For commercial litigants in Australia, out-of-court settlement of commercial disputes is preferred over court.
The average maturity period for invoices is 30 days, for suppliers of public contracts 20 days.
Visas, fees, specific conditions for traveling to the territory
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic (as of May 2021), in addition to Australian citizens and permanent resident permit holders, only holders of special exemptions – such as those recruited under the government’s Seasonal Worker Program or Pacific Labor Scheme, or holders of a Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188). We recommend monitoring changes in travel conditions on the website of the Australian Department of Home Affairs (https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/). The opening of the country is announced in 2022 at the earliest.
PLEASE NOTE: The information below is general information that does not take into account extraordinary measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To travel to Australia, citizens of the Czech Republic are required to have a passport of the Czech Republic valid for at least 6 months from the planned date of departure from Australia and a valid Australian visa. The only exception to the visa requirement is transit through Australian airports, in which citizens of the Czech Republic do not need a visa, as long as they do not leave the transit area of the airport, have a secured ticket for departure from Australia, their departure takes place within eight hours of arrival and they have the documents required for entry into the destination country. The ticket must be purchased as a whole, not for each flight individually. Most types of visas and their possible extensions during your stay in Australia can be processed online. All types of Australian visas and how to obtain them can be found on the website of the Australian Department of Home Affairs. Visas are granted according to the intended length of stay and its purpose.
The most common type of visa for short-term tourist/business non-profit trips is the so-called eVisitor visa, which holders of Czech travel documents can apply for online. The applicant fills out the relevant electronic questionnaire and waits for the approval, which is delivered to him by email. The process takes only a few minutes/hours in most cases. Please note that Australian immigration authorities may in some cases require additional documents to be sent, which may increase the processing time of the application. We therefore recommend securing an entry visa well in advance of departure and possibly securing a ticket only after the applicant has received the visa. For stays for the purpose of tourism and business longer than 3 months (up to one year), it is necessary to apply for a so-called Visitor Visa. The fee varies according to the required length of stay.
Student and work visas
Student and work visa issues depend on the individual aspects of the application, and for this reason we recommend handling these applications through specialist travel agencies or migration agents in Australia. All information is available at: immi.homeaffairs.gov.au
On 1 March 2018, the Youth Work and Holiday Pilot Program was launched in Australia. The program allows young people from the Czech Republic to travel and work legally in Australia and vice versa for a period not exceeding 12 months. Czech citizens between the ages of 18 and 30 and Australians between the ages of 18 and 26 can join the program. The annual quota for the number of participants in the pilot program was set at 500 people from each country. Applications for the Australian working holiday program can be made at the Commonwealth of Australia Embassy in Berlin. Czech applicants must meet, among others, the following conditions: age limit 18 to 30 years, citizenship of the Czech Republic, the purpose of the stay in Australia is a holiday with the possibility of occasional employment in order to secure additional financing for the trip, proof of sufficient funds to cover living expenses during the first three months of stay in Australia, proof of health insurance as required by Australia, knowledge of English is assumed. More information about the application process can be found at homeaffairs.gov.au.
Entry into the country, registration, registration obligation
There is no general registration obligation. Registration of tourists entering the territory of Australia takes place after arrival at the airport. An official of the Department of Immigration registers visitors after filling out the “Incoming Passenger Card” form, in which each tourist indicates, in addition to personal information, the place of residence in Australia and the expected length of stay. The form must be filled in truthfully and all imported items must be declared. Passengers are required to declare all food (both raw and canned); this also applies to food that was served on board the aircraft. We emphasize that the quarantine control is very strict and uncompromising, and the contents of the luggage are thoroughly checked. Fines from AUD 200 to several thousand are levied for attempting to breach customs, quarantine and phytosanitary regulations. Quarantine searches with the threat of sanctions are also carried out when crossing borders between Australian states, or when entering some fruit growing areas.
During air transport, passengers may only carry a very small amount of liquids, gels and aerosol substances in hand luggage. Toothpastes, perfumes, creams, cosmetics, etc. can only be transported in containers with a maximum volume of 100 ml, sealed in a transparent plastic bag with a maximum volume of 1 liter (approx. 20×20 cm). Exceptions apply only to the transport of medicines necessary for the trip and products for small children.
Drive on the left in road traffic. In order to drive a motor vehicle on the territory of Australia, Czech citizens can use both an international driver’s license and a Czech driver’s license with a translation for the entire duration of their tourist stay. The speed limit on roads is 50 km/h – 60 km/h in the village, 100 km/h outside the village and 110 km/h on specially marked expressways. Limits vary by state and city. Seat belts are also mandatory on the back seats of the car. Offenses by foreigners are not tolerated by the traffic police and are enforced even remotely. Australia is a vast country where motor vehicles are an essential part of household equipment. The term shorter distance in Australia means 100 to 200 km.
In most cases, air transport is used between large and medium-sized Australian cities, both interstate and domestically, while passengers use bus or train transport mainly for domestic transport over shorter distances, if they do not use a personal vehicle. Public transport usually only works in the main and larger cities. Taxis are reliable, a taximeter must be used. Uber and the like also work. In Australia, in addition to international companies, there are also local (e.g. No Birds) car rental companies.
Foreigners leaving Australia are entitled to a Goods and Services Tax (GST) refund of 10%. The condition is that the goods must have a total value of more than AUD 300 and must be purchased within 60 days before departure from Australia. In addition, the purchased goods must be packed as hand luggage, as the GST refund counters are located at international airports just beyond the baggage claim area. When processing the application, it is necessary to present the tax document and own goods for inspection.
Australia is not one of the countries with high crime rates. However, it is necessary to pay attention to your personal documents and valuables and, as a rule, do not leave them in the car or unattended. When staying in big cities, it is advisable to be extra careful in certain districts, especially at night (eg Redfern or Kings Cross in Sydney).
From the point of view of planning business trips, it is good to remember the fact that the seasons in Australia are exactly opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere (summer is in the months of December – February, winter in the months of June – August). Australians usually take their vacations during the main school holidays, i.e. between 15 December and 31 January. For this reason, the period December/January is not recommended for business trips, when most companies have holiday operations and it is very difficult to arrange a business meeting.
Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
Students who are in Australia on a student visa can arrange a work permit for 40 hours for 14 days. Furthermore, a work permit can be obtained through a so-called sponsorship visa or through special categories of the currently required workforce – please note that the Australian government has canceled since March 2018 the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa category (subclass 457 visa) and replaced it with an entirely new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) category. At the same time, it tightened the conditions for issuing this type of visa and also increased the fees. Information on visas is available on the website of the Australian Department of Home Affairs
Healthcare in Australia is at a high level, and the prices for healthcare correspond to this. General practitioner visits are approximately AUD 60-100, specialist visits are approximately AUD 150-200, antibiotics are approximately AUD 20 per pack, 1-day hospital stay is AUD 500 and up, X-rays are AUD 120 and up. Taking out travel health insurance before the trip is a must. Health insurance for foreigners in Australia can only be taken out with a private health insurance company. These are increased costs for a foreign worker and it is recommended to discuss the issue of health insurance with the employer as part of negotiating the employment contract.
Australia is not one of the health risk territories, special vaccination is not necessary. Australia is a country with a high incidence of skin cancer, increased protection of the skin and eyes from sunlight is recommended.
Fairs and events
Major trade fairs and exhibitions in Australia in 2021/2022:
Australasian Oil & Gas Exhibition & Conference (gas): March 2021, Perth
· Ozwater’ (water): May 2021, Adelaide
· Australian Tourism Exchange (tourism): June 2021, Sydney
· Australian Energy Storage Conference & Exhibition (renewables ): June 2021, Adelaide
· WA Mining Conference (mining industry): July 2021, Perth
· Australasian Gaming Expo (gaming industry): August 2021, Sydney
· Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo (recycling): August 2021, Sydney
· Fine Food Australia (food): September 2021, Sydney
· All-Energy Australia (energy): October 2021, Melbourne
· AusBiotech (Biotechnology): October 2021, Melbourne
· Asia-Pacific’s International Mining Exhibition (Mining Industry): November 2021, Sydney
· Avalon Airshow (Aerospace): December 2021, Melbourne
· Australian Manufacturing Week/Austech (Manufacturing & Processing): March 2022, Melbourne