Is GST Compulsory For All Goods?

Is GST Compulsory For All Goods?

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As far as importing goods and services in the country is concerned, there’s no escaping the fact that at some point, importers have to deal with Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Before moving any further, keep in mind that the term importer refers to not only large-scale import companies and organizations but to any individual bringing in a service or product into the country, no matter how small.

So while many of the companies who ship in products regularly are already familiar with most things related to GST and customs duty, you might not be so well acquainted with certain things like custom duty GST calculator, the Australian customs GST refund scheme and some other aspects of customs duty and GST.

Therefore, before proceeding any further, the question is, what is customs duty and GST, and is it compulsory on all goods?

We’ll be answering these in detail for you now.

GST and Customs Duty

Here’s a link to one of our previous posts(link to how do I pay import duty and tax in Australia) explaining extensively all you need to know about the term customs duty and GST as it applies to importing in Australia.

However, to recap all that was discussed there briefly, here are some highlights.

As a rule, the Australian Customs Service requires that all taxable goods and services brought into the country be subject to the payment of goods and services tax.

While the price to be paid as GST and customs duty varies from country to country, for Australia, you are expected to pay only 10% of the value of the imported merchandise as GST.

By and large, the “value” of the imported goods in question is generally determined by factors such as,

  • The custom duty and GST value of the imported goods,
  • GST and customs duty levies payable,
  • Estimated transportation costs of the merchandise,
  • Insurance cost and currency adjustments

When do you Have to Pay Goods and Services Tax?

At this point, it is vital to note that not all goods that are brought into the country must pay GST. There are certain goods that are exempted from the payment of this levy, and we shall discuss a few of them briefly.

However, if the goods you plan on bringing into the country does not fall under this category, then by law, you absolutely have to pay the goods and services tax.

Under normal circumstances, the standard procedure is that the GST on these imported goods has to be paid before the products can be released from the custody of Customs operatives. An important detail to note is that GST is paid in tandem with customs duty (paid at the same time, location and manner) in cases where customs duty payment is applicable.

The good thing about importing into Australia is the kinds of benefits you get to enjoy. For example, you could benefit from the Australian customs GST refund scheme, if you’re eligible. You can learn more about that here.

To simplify affairs for you as well, you have the option of using the custom duty GST calculator to help you determine what you’ll pay as levy, if your goods aren’t exempted from paying GST.

However, please keep in mind that you are to only use the custom duty GST calculator as a guide and not consider its values absolute, if you want to get the exact amount you’ll be paying.

Goods Exempt From Paying GST

As was earlier discussed, a few goods are granted GST exempt status upon their entry into the country.

What this means for you is that should you be importing anyone of these products, you wouldn’t have to worry about paying GST!

Here is a list of some imported goods you don’t have to pay GST on;

  • Basic food, certain appliances and medical aids, precious metals and so on. These products are exempt from GST based on the fact that they would not have paid these levies had they been supplied within Australia.

For more information please visit

Keep in mind that even if your import products don’t fall in any of these categories, you can still benefit a lot through the Australian customs GST refund program.

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