If you’ve been researching shipping cargo in Australia, you’re very likely to have come across terms like import duty and goods and services tax (GST) a lot.
You might also be wondering whether payment of these levies apply to all incoming goods to the country.
Well, payment of import duty applies to quite a broad spectrum of items. However, there are a few products you can bring into the country duty-free. We’ll be discussing these in detail now.
As an example, with the exception of specific items such as fur and perfume concentrates, you can bring in almost any personal clothing item duty and tax-free, provided it is contained within your accompanied baggage.
As a rule, you can bring in personal goods at zero import duty and tax cost, if they meet the following criteria;
- The personal goods have been owned, used and in your possession for at least a full year or more.
- The personal items are only being brought into the country temporarily. You may need to tender a security based on request by Customs operatives.
In the Case of Others Goods
Keep in mind that once you’re importing commercial items you are no longer eligible for any duty-free concessions.
When Importing Tobacco
In the case of importing tobacco, you may be able to obtain duty-free concession based on factors such as age, condition and size of the tobacco product being imported into the country.
Travels aged 18 years and above are given leave to bring in one unopened pack of cigarettes as well as an opened pack (provided it contains no more than 25 cigarette pieces). Alternatively, you are granted duty-free concession when shipping in no more than 25 grams (25g) of tobacco products other than cigarettes.
The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS)
Although not considered as great a deal as duty-free concession, leveraging the opportunities that the Tourist Refund Scheme offers can be quite beneficial for you when importing goods.
We provide more thorough information on all the TRS entails here.
However, it’s important to mention that not all importers are automatically eligible to receive this benefit.
What Happens When You Import in Excess of Duty-Free Limits?
In the event that you find yourself importing in excess of the established limit of items such as,
- General goods, and
The next step you have to take is to get your proof of purchase ready and promptly declare the goods.
This is because once you’ve exceeded the set duty-free limit, it becomes mandatory that you pay the duties and GST that apply to the item(s) in question.
Declaring that you’re importing in excess of the limits is very crucial as failure to do so could result in facing penalties.
When Temporarily Importing Certain Goods
Under certain conditions, you could get a duty-free concession when importing even commercial goods into the country.
More specifically, if you’re importing merchandise such as,
- Jewellery items,
- Samples obtained for commercial purposes,
- Goods and items which will be used for international shows and exhibitions, or
- Certain equipment that will be used in activities like, sporting competitions and occasions, filming or cinematography and so on,
You could be eligible to benefit carnets which may allow your goods duty-free entry into the country.
However, this entry is only temporary.
As there is a lot that goes into this particular process, it is always advisable to get in touch with your International Chamber of Commerce. By so doing, you will be able to get all the necessary information and help you might need to successfully handle the application process.
In the Case of Unaccompanied Personal Items
Things change slightly where unaccompanied personal effects are concerned. The only premise under which these will enjoy duty-free concession is if you have not only owned but used these items for nothing less than a full year or more.
Please note that the same premise applies to items that were posted into the country.
In the absence of this, you would have to pay the required fees for import duty and goods and services tax.