Parallel imports

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If a business buys genuine products from overseas and imports and sells them in Australia without authorisation from the manufacturer, it is selling parallel imports (also known as grey importing or direct importing).

A business selling or supplying parallel imports must:

  • make sure the products comply with Australian product safety and labelling requirements
  • provide clear and accurate information to consumers about the products
  • ensure it does not mislead consumers about their refund, repair, return, or warranty rights
  • understand the obligations under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) when selling these products.

Setting up a formal record keeping system can help a business meet its obligations and appropriately address any consumer concerns or complaints. For tips on how to do this, view our Complaint handling page.

Consumer rights

Selling parallel imports is an accepted method of sale in the Australian market; however, while consumers have the same consumer rights as with purchasing other products in Australia, it may be more difficult to get a remedy if something goes wrong with a parallel import.

Identifying parallel imports

Parallel imports include many different products such as groceries, alcohol, personal care products and electronics, and can be bought online or in-store.

Common indicators of a parallel import include products that are:

  • genuine and made overseas, but you cannot identify a relationship or any association between the seller and the manufacturer
  • cheaper than you would normally expect to pay for that product in Australia
  • not otherwise available in the Australian market
  • refurbished rather than brand new.