Buying over the internet
Things you buy over the internet will have the same rules, duties and screening processes applied as any other import.
You need to know that:
- For goods that are worth equal to or under AUD1,000, there are no duties, taxes or charges to pay.
- For goods that are worth more than AUD1,000, you will need to fill out a special form called an Import Declaration, and pay duties, taxes and charges.
- You will need to pay duties and taxes on some goods (like tobacco or alcohol) regardless of their value
- Certain types of goods are not allowed to be brought into Australia, or else need special permits.
What can I import?
To find out more about what you can and cannot bring into Australia, see Prohibited and restricted imports.
We may screen, x-ray or examine these goods just like any other imported goods to make sure the goods are allowed into Australia. The Department of Agriculture may also need to clear and inspect your goods before they can be delivered to you.
What will it cost?
How much the goods are worth, and how they arrive in Australia, will determine how we clear them for delivery to you and what duty, taxes and charges may apply.
Sometimes goods bought over the internet from an Australian company may be sent to you directly from overseas. You may have to pay duty and taxes when this happens.
Goods with a value of AUD1,000 or less
You do not have to pay duty and taxes on goods (excluding tobacco, tobacco products and alcohol) with a value of under AUD1,000. These are called low value imports.
If these goods arrive in Australia by air or sea cargo, they must have a Self-Assessed Clearance (SAC) Declaration. This will generally be taken care of by the cargo company. There is no charge for this declaration.
Goods arriving by post do not require a SAC declaration.
For more information, see Self-Assessed Clearance (SAC) declarations.
For more information, see Importing goods by post.
Goods with a value of more than AUD1,000
To import goods with a value over AUD1000, you need to make an Import Declaration. The import declaration provides information about the goods you are importing.
There is a processing charge for making an Import Declaration. You will also be required to pay the duty and taxes for your goods.
You may wish to use the services of a licensed customs broker to help you import your goods.
To find out more about how duty and taxes are calculated, visit Calculating duty and taxes.
To find out more about charges and fees, visit Import fees and charges.
To find out more about making an Import Declaration, visit Import Declarations.
I paid Customs duty on goods I imported but I returned them to the supplier because, “I changed my mind”, “they don’t fit”, or “I don’t like them”. Can I get a refund of the duty?
No. Unfortunately, “a change of mind”, “how they fit”, or “simply not liking them”, is not a refund circumstance under the legislation.
However, as an alternative option if you export the imported goods, subject to certain conditions, you may be entitled to a drawback of the duty paid.
For information on Drawbacks, go to the Export Concessions Duty Drawback Scheme fact sheet.
Before you buy online
Gas and electrical goods that do not meet Australian safety and technical standards may be a serious safety risk. Those for sale online from overseas may not meet Australia’s standards. Some goods, like barbeques and personal grooming items, may not be able to be modified to meet the Australian standards.
If you buy pirated or counterfeit items, you are buying a flawed product and supporting an illegal trade that could involve serious criminal activity and harm. You can help to combat copyright piracy and counterfeiting of trade marks by not bringing these goods into Australia.
In some cases, Customs and Border Protection will seize imported pirated and counterfeit goods.
Importing and selling counterfeit goods is illegal and can result in prosecution.
To find out more about pirated and counterfeit goods, visit Counterfeiting and piracy.