1. Why not have your say? To take part in forum conversations Sign In or Join. It’s fast, free and easy!
  2. Golden Rule: Be nice, respectful and avoid self-promotion.
    We pride ourselves on being the friendliest forums around. Check out our full guidelines and tips for new players.

    Login problems? Please update your forum URL bookmarks or saved credentials from HTTP to HTTPS (we have upgraded security)

Importing product from US without manufacturers approval

Discussion in 'Starting your journey' started by TM1, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. TM1

    TM1 Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Hi Guys,

    New to this forum and looking forward to start first hussle.

    I found one unique product in USA (non alcoholic beverage) and see good potential in Australian market.

    I reach out to manufacture and he is not looking to expand geography at this stage.

    What are my options here? Can I buy product from reseller and bring it to Australia for resell?
    If it's allowed do I need to apply for IP or trademarks registration to sell that product in Australia.

    I would appreciate your help.

    TIA.
  2. Paul - FS Concierge

    Paul - FS Concierge Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,054
    Likes Received:
    989
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Hi and welcome to Flying Solo.

    Hopefully some helpful members will be along soon with some advice to point you in the right direction.

    Cheers
  3. JacquiPryor

    JacquiPryor Renowned Member

    Messages:
    2,039
    Likes Received:
    1,556
    Trophy Points:
    143
    Hi @TM1

    This is a tricky thing to answer on a forum like this, as there are many factors involved depending on the particular product/brand and all surrounding circumstances. The following is for information only and is not advice as each case can be different.

    Essentially it sounds like you would be a parallel importer of the goods as you don't have permission from the manufacturer in USA. Parallel importing is legal in Australia, but is not without risk. The ACCC has some good information to consider: https://www.accc.gov.au/business/treating-customers-fairly/selling-parallel-imports

    Putting aside trade mark matters (which I will discuss below), you as the importer would essentially carry the risk of liability in the product if not selling with authorisation - so, for example, if something bad happened with a customer consuming the product you couldn't necessarily go back to the manufacturer for help or compensation. For these reasons, ACCC suggests that if you are a parallel importer it is made clear that's the case when selling the product, and ensuring Australian customers know that any warranties the manufacturer might usually offer won't apply (although, you can of course choose to mirror those some warranties).

    From the trade mark/IP perspective. It gets complex. The rightful owner of a trade mark in Australia is typically the person/company to first use the trade mark in Australia or the first to apply for the trade mark, and, if you were to file a trade mark application and it is approved it then goes through an opposition period where others could object if they think you/your business is not the rightful owner or there is any bad faith in the filing. Without more detail about the product/brand involved it's hard to say whether you would be able to file in your ownership or not from a trade mark law perspective.

    In addition to trade marks, if the brand has graphic logos these would be covered (automatically) by copyright laws. So, even if you did register the trade mark some times original manufacturers overseas might rely on copyright in graphics/logos to try and get you to stop selling a parallel import product. Again, it's very much situation dependent.

    In short, yes it's legal to import without permission but this doesn't mean there are not risks and it doesn't mean the original manufacturer will like it. I hope the above helps, and particularly the ACCC guidance I hope is helpful.
    Paul - FS Concierge likes this.
  4. bb1

    bb1 Renowned Member

    Messages:
    4,340
    Likes Received:
    2,297
    Trophy Points:
    143

    The big risk you run is that buying from another reseller, if the original manufacturer, decides to set of their own supply chain into Australia, because they see how good you are going (assumption), you are left going down the creek without a paddle, or is that up the creek.

    Or if the manufacturer tells the reseller to stop selling to you, because they don't want their product in Australia, you are down yet another creek without the proverbial.

    Yes like @JacquiPryor says it's not against ACCC guidelines, but there are many and varied ways your business model could be slammed into a rapid halt. If I was the manufacturer I would be happy for you to build up the business, then when you have spent the dollars advertising and building the clientele, take over by cutting of supply (technically against the rules, but). They have a ready made business, you have a debt.

    Good luck,
    Paul - FS Concierge likes this.

Share This Page