Import Agreements

Find out how the right legal documentation can save you from losing money overseas.

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If you are a business owner who plans to buy products from an overseas company, you'll want to get a legally-sound import agreement in place. Find out how this important document can protect your international commercial interests. Plus, where to find legal services online and templates you can download.

What is an import agreement?

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Essentially, an import agreement is a legally binding contract between a buyer and a seller who is based in a different country. It is an important document that protects the rights of both importer and exporter, while laying out the terms and conditions of the commercial transaction.

When should I use an import agreement?

When you import goods from another country to sell in your own country, an import agreement ensures that international trade laws are being met. If you are exporting goods for sale overseas, you will need to use the same agreement before you seal the deal.

Compare online legal templates and services

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Name Product What's offered? Starting price to become a member Annual Fee from Any free legal documents?
Lawpath
Legal documents and templates, Access to lawyers, Legal guides, Legal advice
$79 per month (billed monthly)
Essentials: $288
You can view samples for free and you can create your first document for free.
Choose an annual plan from just $288 and get unlimited revisions to your legal or business documents. Plus, unlock exclusive partner offers.
LawDepot
Legal documents and templates, Access to lawyers, Legal guides, Legal advice
$7.99 per month (prepaid for one year)
$59.88
You can view samples for free and you can create your first document for free.
Get free legal documents in five to ten minutes.
Sprintlaw
Legal documents and templates, Access to lawyers, Legal guides, Legal advice
$699 (or choose a free template)
$699
Some documents are free to download. Get access to all documents with a membership.
Pick between a fixed-fee package from $99 and a 12-month plan that unlocks a host of membership benefits for $699.
Legal123
Legal123
Legal documents and templates, Access to lawyers, Legal guides, Legal advice
Varies per template
N/A
No
Get legal templates for any business type in Australia.
LegalVision
Legal documents and templates, Access to lawyers, Legal guides, Legal advice
$199 per month (bill monthly)
N/A
Some documents are free to download. Get access to all documents with a membership.
Your business can take advantage of unlimited lawyer consultations, fast turnaround times and free legal templates with LegalVision.
Law Central
Law Central
Legal documents and templates, Legal guides, Legal advice
Free for the Silver membership
Gold: $99
You can view samples and create your own document for free with the Silver membership.
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Import agreement vs Distribution agreement

These two documents, though different in name, serve the same purpose with one slight difference. An import agreement deals with the buying of goods overseas, whereas a distribution agreement can be used for international trade as well as domestic.

What does an import agreement include and not include?

An import agreement lays out in plain terms the responsibilities of both parties and details their contractual obligations. It lists the contact details of each party and contains a description of the goods being bought.

Typically included

  • Price and payment terms
  • Tax and duties
  • Compliance
  • Transportation
  • Liabilities
  • Indemnities.

Typically not included

  • Permits
  • Licences
  • Quarantine and treatment papers.

How effective is an import agreement?

Without an import agreement, you could run into trouble if the goods being shipped get lost or damaged, or if payment is withheld or the duties aren’t paid and your shipment is rejected at customs. So, it is really important to have such an agreement in place to secure your commercial transaction.

Do I need to use a lawyer?

That's entirely up to you to decide. One approach to consider would be to use a legal document template to help you draw up your import agreement. You can then customise the document to suit the transaction in question, and then consult with a lawyer to make sure it's up to scratch and is legally-sound.

How do I write an import agreement?

You can find many legal websites online where you can generate your own legal document (see the table above). Some of these sites take you through an automated process to create your document, while others offer template downloads often for free. It can be a good way to familiarise yourself with the layout of the document and the necessary wording.

Where to get free legal documents and templates like an import agreement

  • Sprintlaw. With an expert team of lawyers to help you with business needs, this website also houses an extensive library of legal documents and templates for download. Operates solely online and on a fixed-fee basis.
  • LawDepot. This legal site gives you access to free sample documents and first-time downloads. When you sign up for a monthly subscription, you get unlimited access to legal documents and legal advice.
  • Lawpath. A legal website that contains many legal articles about commercial law, as well as access to free legal template downloads. Exclusive offers and unlimited revisions available with your annual membership.

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