Buying an iPhone in Sydney Airport - Will ACCC Consumer Rights & Guarantees Apply to It?

So it looks like I will have a trip overseas soon and my phone is starting to show it's age, so I am thinking to buy a new iPhone in duty-free shop at Sydney's Airport.
This will basically give me a 10% discount as I don't need to pay GST.
However, I wonder, will I get the ACCC's 2 year "reasonable expected lifetime" warranty, since I purchased it in Australia, or will it default to just Apple's 1 year warranty?
What about all other electronics on sale there? Though from my experience everything is already overpriced there.

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  • -2 votes

    2 year for the apple product I believe. I think even with the gst free the prices are inflated. Do you homework first.


    If you buy a $1700 phone ACCC will probably give you 3 years(or more?)
    I wonder if it has been tested on expensive phones….. maybe next year it might be… ?

  • -1 vote

    Is it actually still Australia if it’s after passport control? 😂

    Anyway, I’d buy it before going then claim the GST back at the airport. Then at least you can set it up properly.

  • +4 votes

    Firstly, reasonable expected life doesn’t have a timeframe. So while a low-end iPhone might only have an average lifespan of two years, an iPhone worth nearly $2k is going to have a longer reasonable expected life.

    Secondly, Warranties cannot override consumer law; and you don’t lose any rights under consumer law for products purchased at an airport.

    So, if you purchased it from an Australian company, on Australian soil, consumer law has you covered.

    And that means you’re ok if you purchase it at an airport; or even if you purchased something expensive via in-flight duty free from an Australian airline where the receipt has an ABN. They’re both on Australian soil for legal, taxation, and GST purposes.

    Thirdly, you don’t have to buy at an airport when leaving for an international flight just to avoid the GST in the item cost. The Tourist Refund Scheme allows you to claim back the GST on goods over $300 you purchased up to 60 days before international travel that you take out of the country.

    Claiming is simple after you clear Customs, and things are faster if you use the TRS app to submit your claim ahead of time.

    However, be aware that regardless of if you purchase at the Airport after Customs; or before you travel and you claim the GST refund; when you bring them back into Australia, they are all included in your AUD 900 individual duty free allowance and need to be declared on your arrival card (or when using Smartgate). You may be required to repay the GST value/refund.

    Hope this answer gives you all you need to know, and happy travels.


      Why would someone neg you 🙄
      Buy at the best price you can find and claim GST back using the TRS scheme. Declare on your way back, simples!


        Looking at the posts prior to mine, they may not have liked that someone neg’d them for giving a poor answer, or replies that didn’t come close to actually helping the OP with their question would be my guess.


      So if I don't do a TRS claim, buy a $2000 iPhone on duty-free, and when I come back to Australia they will ask me to pay extra $200?

      • +1 vote

        You don't need to do a TRS claim if you buy an iPhone on duty free. TRS claim is for when bought $300 or more from one shop and GST is paid on this item. Like say for example officeworks. You bought a $300 phone.

        You claim TRS if you brought this phone overseas. Since its below the $900 you don't have to payback the GST. However if you bought over $900 item overseas and claimed TRS. Then you need to payback the GST.

        In the case of an iPhone over $900 worth bought from duty free you should be liable for the GST if you bring it back to australia since it's over the threshold.



        A $2k phone purchased duty free in Australia OR a phone purchased anywhere overseas exceeding AUD 900 in value, would exceed your $900 allowance when returning to Australia; AND you would need to answer Yes to Question 3 on your incoming passenger card.

        From there, a Border Force/Quarantine officer will review the card, ask you questions about the items over your limit, and will either waive you through to baggage screening or direct you to the Red channel for further processing where they’ll decide if you need to pay the GST or not.

        Also - and this is general advice for everyone - DON’T think you can get away with not declaring.

        You’ve all no doubt seen enough episodes of Border Security to know that if you fail to declare, the GST is due on everything and you lose the benefit of the $900 allowance, making things far more expensive for you.


          One can consider themselves lucky if all they cop is to have to payback the gst. They too could get fine on top. Depending on the severity of the breach.

          Case in point some lady bought $10,000 earings. Claimed trs. Wore said earings going back into the country. Made to pay back the gst and fined.


          So if I buy a $2000 phone overseas where I pay VAT (like GST but for UK) in United Kingdom, on return to AU I have to declare it and slap 10% on top?
          Or do i have to declare only when shopping duty-free?


          Thanks for a detailed reply.

          However, it is my understanding that if you exceed your duty free allowance in a particular category, you pay duty on the full value of goods in that category. So, for the general value pool allowance, if you exceed $900 you pay duty on the full value, including the first $900. So, if two people are travelling, their allowance is $1800, and the phone is worth $2000, they pay duty on $2000, not $200.

          BTW, if the phone was used in Australia or overseas, that muddies the water. Because then its value is not the value of an unused phone. I have had an irate customs officer waving me through. They were upset that I bought it back and it was already used and they would have needed to work out a value. I was let off with an admonishment.

  • +1 vote

    Not an expert to answer your question but just heads up that the new iPhone range most likely comes out next month. Might be worth considering if you're dropping coin on the 'latest' year-old XR/XS models that will be superseded already with new models at same price point.

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