How do I claim something duty free?

Hi all,

I posted a couple of weeks ago about buying a Canon 5D MK III body either local or grey import, so this is a follow up on that topic.

I've never claimed something duty free before, and I wouldn't even have a clue where to start. I want to buy the Canon 5D, and the tax on that will be $340. Wondering if I should book a cheap flight somewhere to claim the GST…but then, do I buy the stock here before I go (where I have found a reputable seller for a great price), or am I subjected to buying it in the country I fly to (and then, being at the mercy of their prices)??

Like I said, I have absolutely NO CLUE how to do this.

I'm considering it as an option, since the item is so expensive.

Also, any cheap flights going around (apart from NZ? ?? Hehe :)

Cheers, Cryssie


  • +1

    claim gst:

    -within 60 days of departing internationally
    - valid australian tax invoice with GST.
    - mus be more then $300+ to claim
    - over $1000AUD must have name on tax invoice.
    - claimed easily at airport with a bank/credit card where the money goes for quick claim.

  • Buy Australian stock item with GST included.
    Bring receipt and show to guy in the customs area.

    The limit is $900 per person but sometimes they are lenient and let you go over a bit. I doubt they would let you claim the GST back on that camera.

    • Ah okay, thanks OzHunter…this is good to know before trying :)

      I'll save myself a flight overseas…not that I had the money anyway. Not after buying this camera!!

      • I personal would just buy it cheep as u can here. if u want to clam back GST u need to have 3 people with u used all there limits. i clame back stuff all time i personal find them very lenient.

    • This is wrong.

      There is no limit per person.

      • +1

        Sorry I should have put that I wasn't 100% sure about that. Last couple times I went I was told $900 by the GST guy .

        General goods
        If you are aged 18 years or over, you can bring up to A$900 worth of general goods into Australia duty-free. If you are under 18 years of age there is a A$450 limit. General goods include gifts, souvenirs, cameras, electronic equipment, leather goods, perfume concentrates, jewellery, watches and sporting equipment.

        • so? That fact is irrelevant to OP's question.
          There is no limit on the amount that one can claim gst while leaving the country.

        • +1

          No limit if you don't plan on bringing it back to Australia, but if he plans to bring it back he should declare it and should have to pay GST. From reading his post, it doesn't seem like he intends to give it away.

        • Nope, SHE is going to keep the camera :)

        • It really depends on how you feel about lying. My wife's claim on her new iphone was rejected the first time she did it because she said she was coming back. Nowadays, she just tell the guy that the item is a gift for a "nephew" overseas. :)

        • Not that one should lie to the government and the GST is part of the 'cost of living in Australia' blah blah blah and all that, but hypothetically, if one were to lie to Mr Abbott, one would make sure they travelled with someone else who would carry said items back into the country and when they approached customs to re-enter Australia pretended not to know each other.
          Customs have been known to check serial numbers when coming back though.

  • The limit without showing the goods is $1,000. If you show the representative the good and receipts there is no limit. We done this for my wife weeding ring when going on our honeymoon, paid for our accommodation.

  • Firstly, if you want to save money, find the item at a cheaper price. Claiming $340 back on GST would mean that you're getting the 5DMk3 for $3740. So the net is $3400

    I can get it here and still be ahead of you without claiming GST back

    Yes, you buy the stock here and claim it as you leave the country. It needs to be in your carry on baggage because you might be asked to show the goods as you leave the country.

    • No, I've found it for $3400 too, but elsewhere. Thanks though :)

  • +1

    If you're paying $3400 including GST, then the GST is $309, not $340.

    Whenever I've gone through the airport (Perth) the GST claim area is right after immigration and they tend to ask you if you have any tax refund claims as you're walking through, so it's hard to miss.

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