Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS)

Hey guys,

I am just reading into the TRS and I have a few questions.
So I'm going to buy OzBargain's favourite headphone (SONY WH-1000XM3). I read that the TRS is only for items that you don't return with? How do you guys bypass this? Also when I present the item with the tax invoice, does it have to still be in the box? Or can it be around my neck (unpackaged).

Related Stores


  • +10

    Do my goods need to be in the original packaging?

    You can remove your goods from the packaging and use the goods before you depart. You can choose to leave the container/packaging behind as long as the officer can verify the goods to the corresponding tax invoice when the TRS claim is processed.

    Bringing goods back into Australia for which you have already claimed a TRS refund

    If you are aged 18 years or over, you can bring up to AUD 900 worth of goods into Australia duty-free, or AUD 450 if you are younger than 18. Families travelling together can pool this allowance (a couple with one child can bring in a total of AUD 900 + AUD 900 + AUD 450 = AUD 2250 worth of goods into Australia without paying duty or GST). This is called your passenger concession.

    If the total value of the goods you are bringing into Australia that you purchased overseas or for which you have claimed a refund under TRS is greater than your passenger concession:

    • you must declare all of their goods
    • you will need to repay the GST refund back on the goods you claimed under the TRS
    • duty and GST will apply to all items purchased, not just goods over the limit of your passenger concession.

    Penalties can apply if you don't declare that you have goods in excess of your passenger concession.

    • +2

      Wish I could thank you directly but you don't seem to have a……nvm
      Thanks though, appreciate it

  • It doesn't have to be packaged at all. In fact you could using it already. They just need the invoice with required information and to sight the goods.

    In my case, I really did gift my items when I travelled. However, like @No_Username has mentioned, you do have a duty free allowance of goods when you come back.

  • +1

    Also, if there is more than one of you, then you can add the allowances to buy a larger item. EG I bought an iphone X for $1367, but my partner bought nothing. I claimed back the GST and because our combined limits are 1800 this is perfectly acceptable.

    FYI at Melbourne the TRS queue was absolutely nuts and moving slowly. Staff came out and handed out forms and envelopes. We filled out the forms and put it and our receipt in the envelope, and wrote our own address on the front of the envelope. The money was in my account a couple of days later, and the receipt was waiting for me in my letterbox when I returned to Australia two weeks later. So don't fret if there's a large queue and you don't have time to wait before your flight.

    • I think you can also make a TRS claim online as well.

  • Flew out 2 years back with my iPad air just in my bag.

    I read that the TRS is only for items that you don't return with? How do you guys bypass this?

    It's meant to be for TOURISTS. Hence TOURIST REFUND SCHEME. But…. you can bring them back.

    @mitty is right

    Allow an extra 1.5 hours for the TRS. Otherwise, you're going to be deciding between missing a flight or claiming back $40 on a pair of headphones.

    Never seen envelopes being handed out.

  • if you are going to claim a refund, install the TRS app. saves a lot of time at the airport.

  • Can i depreciate the value of the goods when i bring them back if I have used them? Is the $900 based on the price incl. GST or price before GST?

    • The passenger concession is excluding GST.

      Depreciation is not taken into account but if you're over the passenger concession the officer can use their discretion and let you through, particularly if you're not over by much.

  • -2

    I flew out with my now wife and an engagement ring I had just purchased, I tried to claim TRS on the way out they refused as I said we were coming back. I waited a bit went back and saw a different person and told them I was taking the engagement ring for my girlfriend who lives in Thailand that I met on the internet and was proposing to. I got the refund, it was a bit. Nothing happened on the way back in.

    • I wonder how many of those they've heard as I did the same, just with different details! haha

    • -1

      I dare you to try it again and lie on the Incoming Passenger Card:

      • It would be kinda hard with an engagement ring unless they took a photo of it or something, we were prepared on the way back in to say it was just one of my wifes rings (she wears a few)