Customs - Duty & Taxes
February 06, 2012 08:04AM
Hi,

I'm looking at buying a new guitar through your service.

I don't know if you can help, but the Customs website is a real pain when you're trying to decipher it.

The cost of the guitar is over $1000, so I assume I have to pay customs duty and tax, but can anyone help me out with the amounts and how it is paid to avoid the package being held by customs?

I see the duty is 5% of the item value, then you add the item value, postage and duty together, and pay 10% GST on that figure... Is this correct?

Thanks for your help! smiling smiley
Re: Customs - Duty & Taxes
February 07, 2012 02:00AM
It is a little more complex than this because UPS charges a handling fee as well. Since UPS collects the GST on behalf of Customs I would give them a call and ask them how much they will charge you. I am sorry I can tell you much more than this, but since I almost never import anything myself I am that familiar with the details of GST and duty.

Carolina Tillett
Price USA Support
Re: Customs - Duty & Taxes
February 10, 2012 12:20PM
A detailed example is given on the official customs site

[www.customs.gov.au]
Re: Customs - Duty & Taxes
February 10, 2012 12:34PM
I have another question.

Quoting from a
PriceUSA FAQ item

Quote

Will I be charged GST?

The goods arriving from the USA will be declared accurately so you may also be charged GST on the order item as well, however, Australian customs do not charge GST on personal goods valued under $1000...

The GST limit applies only to the cost of item. For example, if an item cost US$950 with US$200 shipping then it would still be under the A$1000 limit even if the shipping made the total cost more than A$1000 at the current exchange rate.

You are correct not only about the GST but the duty as well. However my question is this:

Is the $950 in your above example the price from the retailer (the invoice being in your Oregon agent's name) or is it the cost that you quote me? (minus shipping/insurance)
Re: Customs - Duty & Taxes
February 11, 2012 01:17AM
As it states in the faq it is on the item price.
Re: Customs - Duty & Taxes
February 11, 2012 09:35AM
> As it states in the faq it is on the item price.

What is the definition of "item price"?

My original question can be now reworded:
Is the "item price" the price from the retailer (the invoice being in your Oregon agent's name) or is it the cost that you quote me? (minus shipping/insurance)
Re: Customs - Duty & Taxes
February 11, 2012 11:08AM
The item price is just the price of the item. It does not include shipping exactly as described in the FAQ. Of course once the item cost more than A$1000 then the shipping is used to calculate the GST and duty that needs to be paid.

Technically unless you get a fixed price quote you are not quoted an actual price. You are quoted an estimated overall price and you pay a deposit of 80% of the item cost. When the shipping cost is known then you pay the remainder for your order.
Re: Customs - Duty & Taxes
February 11, 2012 04:05PM
> The item price is just the price of the item.

Saying "item price" = "price of item"
does not help me understand the term.

If I reword my question as multiple choice,
are you able to please answer either (A) or (cool smiley

It might be neither because there is something fundamental I am not understanding about
how the PriceUSA system works but here goes, anyhow...

Is the "item price"...

(A) the price from the retailer
(the invoice being in your Oregon agent's name)

or

(cool smiley is it the cost that you quote me
(the invoice being in my name)?
Re: Customs - Duty & Taxes
February 12, 2012 01:02AM
When you use my service you are actually buying a range of different things. Some are physical items and others are services. You receive different invoices and are charged separately for the different things you purchase. One of the things you buy is the physical item from my US partner.
Re: Customs - Duty & Taxes
February 16, 2012 05:08PM
So if I bought a computer advertised at (US equivalent of) AUD$1000 on the HP online shop site, will I have an invoice stating (US equivalent of) AUD$1000?

If I understand correctly there will also be an invoice for the service, correct? I am concerned CutomsAustralia will include this in calculations regarding the duty-free threshold.

"inland freight and inland insurance costs incurred by the purchaser before the goods leave the "place of export" are included in the Customs value"
[www.customs.gov.au]

So emailing this service invoice rather than sending a printout might be safer in this regard but I defer to you your experience and await your advice.

PS Sorry about the option B appearing as a smiley in my previous post.
Re: Customs - Duty & Taxes
February 16, 2012 11:15PM
Squiggle you seem rather obsessed by this topic. The invoices you get are all in US$ as they are from my US partners from who you purchase the items, shipping and services. Over the years hundreds of people have paid GST and duty on items to customs without issue on the basis of the information my US partners have supplied. I should mention again that you never purchase an item from a store (in your example HP) - you are always purchase the items from my US partner.

More fundamentally I am not involved in the export or import of goods from the USA so I really have little experience dealing with customs. My experience has been very limited as I have only imported a few items over $1000, but each time has has been without incident. I have been rung by UPS when then goods reach Hawaii, told of the GST and duty I need to pay and have paid this over the phone by credit card. It has never taken me more than a couple of minutes to do and since it is all done before the goods reach Australia, the goods have been delivered without delay.
Re: Customs - Duty & Taxes
February 17, 2012 06:32PM
> Squiggle you seem rather obsessed by this topic.
> The invoices you get are all in US$ as they are
> from my US partners from who you purchase the
> items, shipping and services.
...
> I should
> mention again that you never purchase an item from
> a store (in your example HP) - you are always
> purchase the items from my US partner.

Not obsessed, it just took this long to find out that the answer to my multiple choice question is "B" (which was mis-formatted in my post as "(cool smiley"winking smiley

So the "item price" that Customs will care about will not be the one from HP, but the higher one from your partner. It helps my calculations to have that clear. Thank you for your patience.
Re: Customs - Duty & Taxes
February 17, 2012 11:46PM
squiggle Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> So the "item price" that Customs will care about
> will not be the one from HP, but the higher one
> from your partner. It helps my calculations to
> have that clear. Thank you for your patience.

Yes the price customs normally uses is the price my US partners sell you the item for. It is important to remember that they are selling second hand items and so this affects the value of the goods.

The simplest assumption to make is that if your items total more than $1000 in value you will have to pay GST and possibly duty. If your items are slightly over $1000 limit customs may not charge you GST & duty, but you should not plan on this.
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