What Do You Need To Know Before You Import Cyclosporine API Into Australia?

Cyclosporine is one pharmaceutical ingredient used as an immunosuppressant along with tacrolimus for patients with transplants. Many scientists and scholars are also exploring its other therapeutic potentials.

Cyclosporine API chemical structure
Cyclosporine Chemical Structure

As one of the leading Cyclosporine API Exporters in China, we had many experiences shipping it to our customers worldwide.

But if you ask us which is the most unforgettable, below is the one.

Ok now let’s begin.

It happened about one year ago dated Feb. 2023, and we received a message on our website saying:

Would it be possible to get a free sample of Cyclosporine powder to be sent to the Florey Institute at 30 Royal Parade, Parkville Victoria 3052, Australia? Would there be a freight cost?
Thank you.

After several emails back and forth, it turns out that the professor needed more quantities than we could afford for a free sample.

Then our customer decided to take 1 kilo directly after we indicated our offer as he might need about 1 KG for his research project in the next semester.

 The next day we received the PO from the university and we started repacking to get the goods ready for shipping within 2 days, told the documents (COA/Import permit, pay attention to the import permit part) to go with the package and we shipped the goods out on the third day after the PO, our efficiency was pretty impressive, correct?

So far so good, right?

Now came the tricky part.

In about 3 days the cyclosporine package was stuck in Australian Customs for lack of relevant import permit.

We did remember that we tucked 2 copies of the relevant import permit in the package, one copy inside and one copy out.

How did this happen? How could it happen? Why is a university even not allowed to clear and import the chemicals from the Australian Customs?

Below is the screenshot of part of the import permit, and we hope you can see where the problem is.

Cyclosporine API Import Permit

You can see from the import permit that Cyclosporine falls into the category of 27. Purified Laboratory material, laboratory reagents, and venoms, and belongs to 27.7 Laboratory materials derived from a fermentation process.

You see that on the permit it says there is a maximum holding quantity of 20g.

We didn’t read it through till we received the notification from FedEx that our package could not be cleared by the University, it had to be returned to us or destroyed to avoid any return fees.

This did put us in an awkward position: to be frank, there is nothing we can do about the import permit thing, it has to be handled by importers.

This type of problem is not caused by us, but importer’s unfamiliarity of the import laws and regulations.

Maximum import quantities for cyclosporine API

We know it is not our responsibility, but we need to do our part to lower the loss of our customers to the minimum.

How Did We Do It?

We know there will be a long process of returning goods from Australia to China, and also we need to handle this returned shipment in a manner of import so the goods can be released to us.

As it is known to all, Chinese Customs are very strict with goods inspections, especially shipments of imported goods.

So we calculated all the costs of the goods to be returned: 1. shipping cost from Australia to China, 2. Import and VAT duties, VAT is about 13% of the CNF Value, Import Duty is about 10%.

Then we have to discuss the costs with our customers if they are willing to bear them so we can proceed with the goods-returning process.

After deliberation on the costs of destroying goods and returning them to us, our customer quickly agreed to bear the costs of returning 1kg of cyclosporine to us.

Then you may think that we deducted the cost amount from the total value and refunded the rest to our customer right after we had the returned goods, right?

No, we didn’t just do that.

We chose to split the costs of returning the goods with our Customers so they can suffer less loss than expected, and we believed that as an exporter of cyclosporine, we also shoulder the responsibility of knowing their import permit.

Of course, our customer was more than happy to accept our proposal.

The Lessons We Learnt From It

As we all know universities are allowed to import almost any type of chemicals for their scientific research, and the import duties are zero from the government to further push our science to another tier.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be any Customs problems for universities to import chemicals.

We must check clause by clause on the import quantities allowed written on the import permit so there won’t be any unnecessary customs issues.

From that incident on, we would give a heads-up to all our professors and college students, please double check their import regulations before they place the PO to us for the purchase.

To avoid explaining why they need to do this to each of them, we decided to share this cyclosporine API story so all our potential customers can avoid such problems in Customs.

If you think our story is useful, please leave a comment or share it with a friend.

If you have such an unpleasant experience, please leave a comment and share your story too.

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