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Import duty & taxes when importing into Australia

Overview

Import duty and taxes are due when importing goods into Australia whether by a private individual or a commercial entity.  The valuation method is FOB (Free on Board), which means that the import duty payable is calculated exclusively on the value of the imported goods.  In addition to duty, imports are subject to other taxes and charges such as sales tax (GST) and Customs Service Fee.    

Duty Rates

Duty rates in Australia vary from 0% to 10%, with an average duty rate of 4.6%.  Some goods are not subject to duty (e.g. laptops and other electronic products). 

Sales Tax

GST applies to most imported goods, with a few exemptions. The main exemptions are for certain foodstuffs, some medical aids and imports that qualify for certain duty concessions. GST is applied at 10% of the Value of the Taxable Importation (VoTI), which is the sum of the customs value (CV), any duty payable, the cost of freight and insurance, and any Wine Equalisation Tax (if applicable).

Minimum thresholds

Imports with a product value up to AU$ 1000 are exempt from duty, GST and Import Processing Charge.

Other taxes and customs fees

  • Import Processing Charge is applicable on all imports where the goods' value is higher than AU$1,000.  The amount depends on the mode of entry and the type of import declaration.  The charges are as follows:

    For imports with a FOB value between A$1,000 and 10,000:
    - By air or post and an electronic import declaration - A$40.20
    - By sea and an electronic import declaration - A$50.00
    - By air or post and a documentary import declaration - A$48.85
    - By sea and a documentary import declaration - A$65.75

    For imports with a FOB value greater than A$10,000:
    - By air or post and an electronic/documentary import declaration - A$122.10
    - By sea and an electronic/documentary import declaration - A$152.60
     
  • Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) is a 29% levy on wines and other alcoholic beverages.
  • Luxury Car Tax (LCT) is a 33% levy on certain motor vehicles with a value above a specified threshold.

Local Customs office and contacts

More information on import declaration procedures and import restrictions can be found at Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

Related topics: Australia Bilateral Free Trade Agreements