What are the challenges?

Challenges when doing business with Australia

Certain products and packaging, when imported into Australia, have strict biosecurity regulations. 

Australia has some unique challenges due to its sheer size and shipping distance between the UK and Australian markets. These challenges include:

  • by plane, it can take you around 24 hours to reach Australia from the UK

  • it can take a long period of time to ship or send your products to Australia

  • due to the distance, the cost to send your products is increased

  • arranging a time for business calls can be difficult due the time difference, as Australia is 7-11 hours ahead of the UK

  • there is vast distance between the different states and cities in Australia

[Source – DIT: Exporting to Australia]

Intellectual Property (IP)          

For UK businesses looking to do business in Australia, the country’s IP protection is a strong and important consideration. The principal forms of Intellectual Property protection that are available under the Australian common law are for trademarks, designs, patents, plant breeder’s rights and copyright. Legislation governs all of these forms of protection. This common law also provides protection against those that pass off the goods and services of another as their own, and protects a company’s/business’s confidential information and trade secrets.

Australia is party to the World Trade Organization’s Agreement of Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, as well as a signatory to a number of multilateral treaties that have been administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization. If you require further information regarding the protection of Intellectual Property in Australia, see the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) website at:, and also the IP Australia website at:

The UK Government’s ‘Intellectual Property and your work’ webpage also provides information on protecting your Intellectual Property. See:

[Source – FCDO Overseas Business Risk: Australia]

Bribery and corruption

Bribery is illegal. It is an offence for British nationals or someone who is ordinarily resident in the UK, a body incorporated in the UK or a Scottish partnership, to bribe anywhere in the world.

In addition, a commercial organisation carrying on a business in the UK can be liable for the conduct of a person who is neither a UK national or resident in the UK or a body incorporated or formed in the UK. In this case it does not matter whether the acts or omissions which form part of the offence take place in the UK or elsewhere.

In Transparency International's latest 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (announced January 2020) Australia is ranked 12th out of 180 countries, the UK is equally ranked 12th In previous years Australia’s corruption level was recorded as higher than that of the UK, meaning that, as of 2020, the corruption level has lowered in Australia.

The Business Anti-Corruption portal can provide advice and guidance on how to protect your company from corruption using basic effective procedures:

The UK Government’s ‘Anti-bribery policy’ page also has information regarding corruption:

[Source – FCDO Overseas Business Risk: Australia]

Protective security advice

When doing business in Australia, take sensible precautions for individual or business security, like you would in any country. When compared to the UK, Australia’s threat, on the whole, is very similar.

The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) provides protective security advice to businesses:

For further advice see the UK Government’s safety and security advice for Australia at:

[Source – FCDO Overseas Business Risk: Australia]

Organised crime

In Australia, like most major countries, organised crime takes place. This crime is usually linked to drugs, people smuggling and people trafficking.

For further information see the UK Government’s organised crime page at:

[Source – FCDO Overseas Business Risk: Australia]


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