Customs and Duties When Bringing Items to Australia

Have you been planning private shipping to Australia? Without a doubt, moving can be an excellent opportunity for many people, and with this in mind, you may want to consider the different options and opportunities available to you. Luckily, as a professional moving team, this is something we can help with; as such, today, we’ll be looking at some of the key things you should know about bringing items to Australia (and what this might mean for your move overall).

Will I Be Liable for Customs and Duties When Bringing Items to Australia?

Will you be liable for paying customs and duties when bringing items into Australia? Unfortunately, yes. If you plan to move items from your home in the UK with you during your move, you’ll need to pay a customs duty on them when entering the country. This is known as the Good and Services Tax (GST) and was implemented in 2000, and has remained effective ever since for businesses looking to bring items into Australia, as well as for individuals entering the country with belongings.

Requirements to Bring Items to Australia During Your Move

Customs declarationIf you’ve been looking to bring items with you during your move to Australia, you will need to meet a few requirements initially. Most notably, you will need to have owned your personal belongings for a minimum of one year before your shipping date, and you will need to arrive very shortly, if not already, in Australia for your items to be entered. What’s more, you will need to be either a permanent Australian resident or, failing that, you will need to hold a residency visa from the country.

In addition, to send your belongings to Australia during your house move to Australia, you will also need to include a customs invoice, which should include details of all of the belongings you are importing, their value, and the like.

Luckily, this paperwork doesn’t need to cause a major headache, and your professional moving team should be able to help you fill it out effectively and quickly – allowing you to get on with planning your move, rather than worrying about whether everything has been listed correctly.

Refunds for Tourists Visiting Australia

If you have been planning a visit to Australia and want to bring some of your personal belongings with you during the trip, then you may be eligible for a refund under the Tourist refund scheme. You will need to spend a minimum of $300 during the visit to be eligible for this scheme, and your belongings will need to be checked upon arriving in the country. You must also be able to provide the original tax invoices for the check.

If you meet all of these criteria, you should head to the Tourist Refund Scheme counter at your airport, and they may be able to advise further regarding whether or not you will be eligible for a refund on customs duties as a tourist entering Australia.

How Much Does Customs Duty Cost When Moving to Australia?

At this point, we’ve briefly outlined how customs duty works when moving with your belongings. However, there are actually two fees you will likely need to pay when it comes to importing your belongings into the country; these are:

  • Basic import duty, which is valued at 5% of the value of your belongings
  • Goods and services tax, which is valued at 10% of the value of your belongings.

Predicting the Cost of Importing Belongings into Australia

You will of course need to consider the value in Australian dollars when importing into the country, rather than the value in GBP. As standard, the exchange rate between GBP and AUD is typically around $1.80 to $1.90 AUD per £1; as such, if you are importing a £100 belonging into the country, you will first need to convert this into Australian dollars before continuing. This would be around $185.

For your £100 item, valued at $185AUD, you will need to consider two fees. You will pay 5% of $185 for import duty, which is $9.25. Then, you may also need to pay an additional 10% for goods and services tax, which would be $18.50.

With this in mind, you may expect to pay around $27.75 in import duty and goods and services taxes to bring your belongings. As such, you should absolutely consider this additional charge when importing your belongings into Australia, as it can add quite a hefty price in some cases.

Exemptions to the Goods and Services Tax

GST ratesA handful of products are generally exempt from paying the Goods and Services tax. For example, healthcare items and food will often be ineligible for goods and services tax; however, you should always check that you are legally allowed to import any healthcare items into the country before attempting to do so, as this may influence whether or not you are able to bring your normal medicines into the country.

It’s worth considering that the GST is payable by all individuals, regardless of whether they are a private individual or an organisation. You also don’t need to be registered for GST to be liable to pay it; however, for businesses importing belongings into Australia, there may be the opportunity to claim GST credit on the import costs, which could make importing more affordable for some businesses, in certain scenarios.

Businesses may also be able to use the deferred GST scheme to delay their GST payments. However, this is not available for private individuals , and is only available for enterprises until the first activities have been lodged.

Will the GST Increase?

The GST is currently valued at 10% the value of goods; however, there have been talks regarding this potential to increase. While this currently doesn’t appear to be going ahead, it’s not impossible that the GST rules may change; as such, before travelling abroad (either for a holiday or when relocating to Australia), always check the current government and travel guidelines to ensure you have the relevant paperwork in place and are prepared for the cost of your import – after all, it’s never nice being given a nasty surprise when it comes to the cost of importing goods!

Final Thoughts

Don’t get caught out when moving to Australia; for the best possible solutions for your house move, we recommend you reach out to a professional moving team – such as our own – for further support and advice instead. Whether you need to send excess baggage to Australia or arrange car shipping to Australia we are ready to help with transportation and customs clearance. Contact us now.

Indeed, we understand the importance of professional moving services to Australia better than most, and we work tirelessly to support all of our customers and clients when it comes to their own house move. This is something we won’t compromise on; so, no matter what challenges you might have faced during your house move, we’ll be by your side to help out.