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Tourist Refund Scheme - Aus

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Tourist Refund Scheme - Aus 2009/8/14 10:23
Australia
Hi all,
I'm waiting for a reply from Customs but still waiting...

Thought I'd ask here for those of you familiar with the Australian Tourst Refund Scheme.

I wish to claim $100 back (Value $1100) on a camera lens I purchased (within 30 days, tax invoice etc) before I leave.

I'm trying to figure out how and if I am going to be effected in any way when I bring it back in? There was some mention in a customs brochure that I could have to pay tax/duty, which doesn't make sense since thats the whole idea of claiming it back....

Also wondering how claiming that back before I leave effects what other things I can buy in Japan and bring back (referring here to the $900 worth + alcohol + ciggies).

Am I correct in assuming that this lens is included in the $900 worth I'm allowed to bring back, so I can't bring anything else back duty free?

by meandher  

Confused 2009/8/14 13:28
I'm confused. You're going from where to where, and you want to refund what that you bought where? Who? What? :)
by confused (guest) rate this post as useful

AU 2009/8/14 14:00

Am I correct in assuming that this lens is included in the $900 worth I'm allowed to bring back, so I can't bring anything else back duty free?

That's correct.
Also, aren't there other restrictions on the amount of alcohol and tobacco products you can bring back into Australia? I thought there were actual volume limitations as well.


I don't know anything about the refund scheme though so not able to assist there.

by Kevin (guest) rate this post as useful

Thanks 2009/8/14 14:08
Kevin - Thanks for that, yes, its 2.25L alcohol and 250 ciggies, which I'm under the impression is in addition to the $900 worth of general goods. No problem there, not a big drinker and I'm not sure smokes will be much cheaper anyway. We may not buy that much stuff, and the misses can bring anything in her luggage since its $900 each.

To Confused: I guess you need to be aware of the TRS in Australia to know what I'm talking about, but I did think it was obvious I was travelling between Australia and Japan!!! Whats the name of this web site again? :)

by meandher rate this post as useful

... 2009/8/14 14:21
To meandher,

Many countries have tourist refund scheme, but still it would have been simply easier to follow your question had you only written:

I wish to claim $100 back (Value $1100) on a camera lens I purchased (within 30 days, tax invoice etc) before I leave JAPAN.

I'm trying to figure out how and if I am going to be effected in any way when I bring it back into Australia?

For a moment I thought you were talking about once again coming back to Japan with something that you bought on a previous trip to Japan :)

by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

AU 2009/8/14 14:26
Ah smokes are a LOT cheaper in Japan than they are in Australia. If you were a smoker I'd be stocking up :)
Japan doesn't have a government that is consistently raising taxes on tobacco like Australia likes to do.

Then again, many liquors are a lot cheaper too. So much stuff to buy for yourself but such little space I guess.
I never thought about claiming anything back though. That's an interesting thought. I'm Australian myself and I am constantly bringing stuff back for friends. Might look into it a bit deeper myself.

by Kevin (guest) rate this post as useful

Thanks Kevin 2009/8/14 15:53
I might have to consider that Kevin afterall. You're right about the taxes here!
by meandher rate this post as useful

still slightly confused 2009/8/14 16:04
To Confused: I guess you need to be aware of the TRS in Australia to know what I'm talking about, but I did think it was obvious I was travelling between Australia and Japan!!! Whats the name of this web site again? :)

I am aware of Australia's TRS, and the fact that this is JAPAN-guide made it more confusing. This post has nothing to do with Japan at all.

I did think it was obvious I was travelling between Australia and Japan!!!

Wait, I'm still confused? What direction are you travelling?

Also, I was under the impression that the alcohol and cigarette were part of the general goods limit.

Maybe this site can provide a more official answer:

http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page.cfm

by confused (guest) rate this post as useful

are you sure? 2009/8/14 16:53
We claimed tax refund at Sydney Airport on items bought within 30 days of before we left, but used them continuously while we were away, and so did not have to declare them as they were "personal use". Same as when you buy duty free items (perfume etc) that you use and bring back in.
by fmj rate this post as useful

Thanks to some. :) 2009/8/14 17:19
Confused: as a matter of fact it does since it involved my trip to JAPAN, and also SHOPPING (which is the section its relating to). Thanks for your input though, its appreciated.

FMJ: Did you also buy $900 worth of other goods though, that was the concern, if I claim the gst on my item I bought here before I go It looks like I cannot buy anything else over there (electronics etc) to bring back without having to pay duty/gst on it as the lense I'm claiming back is actually included in my $900 worth of goods.

Thanks again to those of you with useful input, rather than those who aren't familiar with the Australian scheme and hence don't understand the initial post and what I was asking :)

by meandher rate this post as useful

Confused 2009/8/14 17:23
Thanks for the link too, I have seen it, however its a little ambiguous in parts, including using the words 'may' attract GST etc etc. I'll keep waiting for a human from customs to reply, otherwise chase them up.

I'll also confirm whether the alcohol/tobacco value is included in the $900 - I read it as $900 PLUS 2.25L and 250 ciggies, but will see. Thanks again.

by meandher rate this post as useful

Without reading all the detail 2009/8/14 18:19
If you buy in Oz and claim the TRS on the way out you still have to declare on the way back in. The original tax that was refunded is then recalculated for the fact that the goods are used and they will ask you to repay something. I know because I was stupid enough to declare on return being afraid that they would have me on the computer from on the way out. They looked at me in disbelief and it took about 30' for someone to figure out what to do. The moral of this story is to say nothing on the way back and plead ignorance and lack of understanding in the one in ten million chances of being found out.
by RodW rate this post as useful

trs 2009/8/15 08:41
Confused: as a matter of fact it does since it involved my trip to JAPAN, and also SHOPPING (which is the section its relating to). Thanks for your input though, its appreciated.

Does this vary depending on the country that you visit or is there some specific agreement with Japan involved here? I mean would your question be the same, say if you were travelling to North America?

by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Same deal 2009/8/15 11:06
Same deal no matter where you travel from OZ. But in this case its related to JAPAN. :)

Customs have confirmed that yes, the value is included in what I bring back, meaning I can't buy other electronics without being hit with duty etc, however the alcohol and smokes are IN ADDITION to the $900 in general goods. So at least they are allowing us to get drunk and lung cancer. :)

Thinking I might just forego claiming it back in case I end up buying up big in Japan.

by meandher rate this post as useful

... 2009/8/15 17:49
I am confused about the $900 you are referring to. So if you bring more than $900 worth of souvenirs you have to pay tax? What type of souvenirs and how do they know what you bought there and what you already own? Sorry if this is a stupid question!
by AusEz rate this post as useful

Correct 2009/8/15 18:06
Thats correct.

We can bring in $900 worth of general goods (electronics, nic nacs etc) plus 2.25 L alcohol plus 250 grams tobacco or 200 cigs without paying duty.

If we bring in more than that, we pay duty on the whole lot (not just the amount over the $900).

Theres a chance that one can get away with it, but its pretty risky since the duty to be paid if caught can be more than its worth (and more than the savings you possibly make buying cheap overseas). Especially with electronics etc.

There is a 'Goods Exported in Passenger Baggage' form we should fill in prior to departure to show the things we take out (for instance my camera body), so we can prove that we already owned those and didn't buy them over there. If its not on that form AND you get checked on the way back, whammo, they assume you purchased it over there.

How they can work out the value of cheaper souvenirs, thats difficult to tell. I think its only going to be a problem if its higher priced goods. I may purchase another lens or flash over there since Nikon have international warranty on those goods (but not cameras themselves). Having said that, at BIC or Yodobashi, its no cheaper than buying locally off Ebay! But I want to keep my options open, just in case. Its not like I can just pop over there again!

by meandher rate this post as useful

$900 2009/8/17 09:00
You last post is incorrect.

The duty/GST limit is $900, but:

Let's say you buy a camera $700 in Australia, plus(separately), a lens which is $400. The total exceeds $900(total=$1100, exceeding the limit by $200), so you would have to pay the FULL duty/GST on the item that falls above the limit.
So, you DO NOT pay for the camera ($700) but you do pay for the lens, not on the amount above $900 (which is $200), but on the whole $400 amount.
I'm not sure, but I think if you purchased both on the same receipt($700+$400) as a single pruchase, a pedantic customs officer MAY view that as one purchase, and charge duty/GST on the whole $1100, but I couldn't be sure.


Anyway, in addition, let's say you buy something in Japan for $200.
The total is $700 + $400 + $200. You can group the $700 + $200 together (total =$900), and still just pay the duty/GST on $400.

For alcohol, if you exceed the allowance, you pay duty/GST on ALL of the alcohol. Same applies to cigarettes.

Realistically, if you declare what you have, they will often be lenient.

by Sandy (guest) rate this post as useful

Not the way I read it 2009/8/17 12:43
Thats not the way I read this statement from Customs web site:

Be aware that if you exceed Australia's duty-free concession limits you will be charged duty and tax on all items of that type (general goods, alcohol or tobacco), not just the items which exceed the limits.

by meandher rate this post as useful

no 2009/8/17 17:10
FMJ: Did you also buy $900 worth of other goods
Actually, we didn't have anywhere near $900 all up, so had nothing to declare other than a wooden item,(carved owl) which was not a problem
by fmj rate this post as useful

one other thing 2009/8/19 16:24
The $1100 lens you bought, what is it??

It is most proably cheaper in Japan, in which case you could avoid the $900 limit altogether!!

by Sandy (guest) rate this post as useful

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