Tariff Concession System (TCS)

The Australian Border Force, the operational arm of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (formerly the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service) manages a range of programs to support local industry. One in particular, the Tariff Concession System (TCS), might affect an Australian importer or manufacturer.

What is Tariff Concession System?

  • The TCS is designed to help industry become more internationally competitive.

  • The system reduces costs to the general community by allowing duty-free entry for certain goods where there is no local industry that produces those goods.

  • Certain classes of goods including foodstuffs, clothing and passenger motor vehicles are ineligible (‘excluded goods’).

How the Tariff Concession System Works?


A Tariff Concession Order (TCO) will be granted on imported goods if substitutable goods are not produced in Australia. Substitutable goods are Australian-made goods which have a use corresponding to a use of the imported goods.

Applicants for TCOs are reminded that all applications must be accompanied by clear illustrative descriptive material (IDM).  Such IDM may be in the form of brochures, technical drawings, photographs, samples, industry standards or schematics.  The IDM must enable a full and accurate identification of the goods to be made.  The application will be rejected if the IDM does not allow an accurate tariff classification to be made for the goods.  A TCO cannot be made for goods that fall to multiple tariff classifications.

It is important to note that, in determining whether substitutable goods are available, the assessment does not consider whether the Australian goods compete with the imported goods in any market.

For complex applications, it is strongly recommended that importers contact the National Trade Advice Centre (tariffclassification@border.gov.au) for a Tariff Advice, which will confirm the tariff classification against which the goods should be entered. A local manufacturer may object to the making of a TCO and can request an existing TCO be revoked by following procedure as defined in TCS policy


What we can do for you 

Under the Tariff Concession System (TCS), cost saving tariff relief is granted if substitutable goods are not produced in Australia at the time a Tariff Concession Order (TCO) application is lodged.

ICN is the only prescribed organisation recognised by the Australian Customs Service to ascertain whether such goods are produced in Australia. To limit your cost exposure to tariffs and duties, it is recommended that you contact ICN early in the procurement process.

ICN provides its clients with assistance in dealing with Australian Customs Service processes.

ICN assists in determining whether or not specific industry capabilities exist in Australia.

For more information contact ICN on:

P +61 7 3364 0621/3364 0670

F +61 7 3364 0786

Email  TCO@icnqld.org.au  

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