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?

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.

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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.

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.

Get access to customisable import agreement templates online

Name Product Legal document services available Free legal documents available? Other legal services offered Price Document library size
Customisable document templates
You can view samples for free and you can create your first document for free.
Online document eSignatures, lawyer marketplace, on-demand legal advice, business setup services
$288 per year for unlimited documents
Customise and download up to 300 legal documents for business or personal matters. Plus register a company, business name or ABN.
Customisable document templates
Free one week trial available which gives access to hundreds of documents.
Free legal articles and resources
$59.88 per year for unlimited documents or one-off documents available for $9.50 - $49
Customise and download legal documents in as little as five minutes. Plus, LawDepot offers peace of mind with two service guarantees.
Professionally drafted documents
Some documents are free to download. Get access to all documents with a membership.
Business, consumer law, E-commerce, data and privacy, finance, consumer law
Price varies per document.
Enjoy free custom quotes and fixed-fees on legal documents and services for startups and small businesses.
Customisable document templates
Custom legal services available, free law change updates via email, legal packages for various professions
Individual templates start from $59 + GST
Legal123 offers a range of individual templates or document packages for consultants, app developers, personal trainers and more.
Customisable document templates & professionally drafted documents
Legal advice phone consultations, contract reviewing and amendments, trade mark applications, business structure assistance.
From $49 + GST per week for access to 40+ legal templates
Take advantage of unlimited legal advice consultations, free legal templates and fast turnaround times for legal projects with LegalVision membership.

Compare up to 4 providers

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.

  • 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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