5 min article

International trading policy

Listing items for sale internationally is a great way to help increase your sales, but it's important to make sure your items aren't prohibited on our global sites.

Members are responsible for checking that their transactions are lawful in the buyer's country, as well as in their own.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How can I stop people bidding on my listing if the item is prohibited in their country?

When creating a listing, you have several options for limiting the countries where the item will appear. For example, you can set up business policies about postage, remove international postage, specify locations you don't post to, or set buyer requirements. Please see our full policy guidelines below for more details on how to do this.

Is there anything I need to know when buying from an overseas seller?

If you're buying from a seller overseas, you should make sure the items comply with import laws in your country.

Goods and Services Tax applies to goods imported by consumers into Australia. Learn more about paying tax on your eBay purchases.

If you import commercial goods or samples into Australia, you may require a permit, as they may have special entry requirements. It's up to you to make sure you're complying with Australian laws, but you can find out more in the full policy below.

Read our full policy

International trading policy overview

Listing items globally can be a fun and rewarding experience and is one of the unique benefits of using eBay. At the same time, it's important that all listings and transactions comply with applicable laws. Members are responsible for making sure their transactions are lawful in both the country of the seller and the country of the buyer.

We strongly encourage all members to learn about the laws in their own country as well as the countries where they plan to do business.

Items listed on other eBay sites must comply with that site's policies and User Agreement. If you're listing on any eBay site and posting worldwide, please be aware that your item may not appear in the search results in countries where the item is not allowed.

You are responsible for paying all fees and applicable taxes associated with our services such as GST or VAT (depending on your country of residence) in a timely manner with a valid payment method. By listing on other eBay sites you agree that the eBay Money Back Guarantee program (if any) on the eBay site where your item is sold will apply if a buyer makes a successful claim against you; and if eBay makes a payment to the buyer in respect of this claim, then eBay may recoup this money from you.


Make sure your listings follow our guidelines. If they don't, they may be removed, and your buying and selling privileges could be restricted.

There are several ways to specify where you will (and won't) send your items:

Additional information for sellers

Items must comply with export laws

Make sure any items you're selling can be lawfully sent outside of the country where you live. The export of certain items may require special licenses, or may be banned altogether.

For more information, visit the website of the Australian Department of Home Affairs website - opens in new window or tab:

 

Items must comply with import laws

When selling an item, make sure that the item can lawfully be imported into the buyer's country before sending it. Each country has different laws that limit the types of goods that can be imported into their country. For example, the buyer's country might have restrictions on foods, plants, clothing, luggage or even books that might result in the seizure and destruction of the imported item. We recommend that you discuss possible import problems with your potential buyers, and do research to avoid any problems.

 

High value and volume transactions

If you plan to do substantial business with customers in other countries, or if you're dealing in higher dollar or highly regulated items, be sure to do careful research, and hire an expert if necessary, to make sure that all transactions comply with all applicable laws. There's often paperwork that you must fill out when completing these transactions.

The Australian Government has a number of resources to promote international trade and to help businesses of all sizes familiarise themselves with export regulations. For more information, visit:

Your postage provider may also offer special services to businesses who regularly post goods overseas.

 

Here are three good reasons to check applicable laws before trading internationally:

  • Goods may be intercepted by Customs officials. There may also be fines or other liabilities associated with goods impounded or seized by Customs.
  • If you are posting worldwide, your item may not appear in search results in countries where the item is not allowed. We may also remove listings, suspend or terminate a member's account(s), and/or take action to exclude users from our site.
  • You may be sued or prosecuted. Such liability may exist in relation to the owners of trademarks, copyrights, or other rights (for example, if a European trademark owner were to attempt to assert rights in connection with the importation into Europe of legitimately manufactured goods that were intended for another market).

Visit the World Customs Organization - opens in new window or tab for more information about customs regulations around the world. You might also want to contact a specific country's embassy for guidance.

 

Additional information for buyers

Items must comply with import laws

Make sure you can lawfully import the item into your country before ordering it. Each country has different laws that limit the types of goods that can be imported. For example, your country might have restrictions on foods, plants, clothing or even books that might result in the seizure and destruction of the imported item.

As a general rule, if you purchase items on eBay for personal use, you shouldn't have any trouble importing them into Australia. While some items aren't allowed to be imported (like narcotics or child pornography) or are restricted (like alcohol, tobacco or firearms), these items are usually banned on eBay anyway. There are a few exceptions, such as plants, food, automobiles and certain cultural items, where an item might require licenses or special permits.

For more information, visit:

 

Items for commercial use

If you import commercial goods or samples into Australia, you may require a permit. Commercial goods (goods intended for resale) may have special entry requirements, and it's up to you to educate yourself on the laws to ensure you're in compliance. Visit the Australian Department of Home Affairs for more information about importing and buying goods from overseas - opens in new window or tab.

 

Why does eBay have this policy?

We encourage all sellers and buyers to comply with all governmental laws and regulations, both domestic and abroad. Since the import and export of items are highly regulated by law or may cause harm to eBay or our members, members should educate themselves on the laws governing the import and export of items prior to listing those items.

 

Important: This information is not intended to be legal advice. If you have any doubts about whether an item can be sold on eBay, we encourage you to consult a lawyer.

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