Goods Below AUD1000 are GST Free

Another thing which you have to consider when importing goods outside of Australia is the duty and taxes imposed on such imported goods.

Australian Customs

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service checks, screens and examines all goods coming into the shores of Australia including the goods you buy over the internet whether for your own use or for someone else,

or for personal consumption or for reselling and distribution in Australia. As a standard operating procedure, these goods are required to be cleared from Customs control as soon as they arrive in the country. Duties, taxes and other charges may be imposed by the Government upon said goods depending on its value and the manner by which it has arrived in Australia. Most online stores do not include in their international delivery service, the process of customs clearance. Hence, online shoppers should take care of paying the duties and taxes that may be imposed. There are, however, some online stores that take care of this process such as Amazon Global.

When Taxes and Duty are Payable

All goods imported into Australia have to be assessed for duty, Goods and Service Tax (GST), as well as other taxes and charges regardless of the fact that the are marked as “gifts” or that they will be exclusively for personal use. The Customs Tariff Act of 1995 provides, among others, the classification of goods for purposes of taxation.

Majority of the imported goods are generally assessed with GST at a rate of 10%. However, for imported goods which are valued at or less than AUD1,000, there is generally no GST that will be imposed. The exception, however, does not apply in case of alcohol and tobacco products.

If your goods landed Australia by air or sea cargo, a Self Assessment Clearance (SAC) must be furnished with the Customs and Border Protection. You will not incur any charge for this SAC declaration. Moreover, this requirement does not apply to goods that arrived by post.

If the goods you are importing is valued above AUD1,000, you surely have to pay taxes. In such case, an Import Declaration will be required of you and consequently, you have to pay the taxes and duty that will be imposed.

How to Compute Taxes and Duty

When you make your Import Declaration for the taxable goods you have imported, duty, GST and other taxes and charges will be calculated. The Customs and Border Protection, after processing your declaration will give you a payment advice showing the amounts that you have to pay by reason of the importation of goods. These amounts will be electronically forwarded to you by your broker if you have hired the services of one.

Here is how your liabilities will be computed:

For example, you bought six (6) video cameras valued at AUD200 each. The computation will be as follows:

Australia Import Tax

If you imported several bottles of wine with a total value of AUD400 (which is below AUD1,000), the computation will be as follows:

Australia Tax

Prohibited Goods

Not every item can be imported into Australia. Some goods are absolutely prohibited from being imported into Australia. There are also certain goods that require prior import permit or approval. Failure to secure one will cause your goods to be seized or confiscated by authorities.

The following items may be seized or detained by the Customs and Border Protection:

  • performance and image enhancing drugs containing restricted substances
  • laser pointers
  • medications, including herbal preparations
  • videos, DVDs, CDs and books/publications with objectionable or offensive content
  • protrusion dog collars
  • tablet presses
  • animal products made from protected species or with cat or dog fur.

If you want to see the list of prohibited items, check out this link.

To Sum Up

To sum up, if you bought an item valued at or below AUD1000, you will not be assessed with GST but you have to submit a Self Assessment Declaration unless the item is shipped via post. However, if the item is an alcohol or tobacco product, you have to pay GST notwithstanding the fact the its value is AUD1000 or below. If your item’s value is above AUD1000, be ready for the Import Declaration and your payment.

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One Response to Goods Below AUD1000 are GST Free

  1. […] Yes. Amazon, through its agents, provides no hassle shopping by taking care of everything including customs duties. When you check out an item from Amazon store, Amazon give you an estimate for customs duties and handling fee. The courier clears the items from customs upon landing in Australia and thereafter, delivers them to purchasers. Luckily for Australians, you don’t pay customs duties for items below AUD1,000. (See article on Australia customs for online shoppers) […]

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