Let’s say you plan to work with Amazon Global and import some goods you have ordered through the discount operating service, you will be surprised at the limits that you have to meet. For instance, if your import meets the following requirements:
- It is under AUD 1000
- It is being by post
- The GST plus the import fee is less than AUD 1000
then you do not have to pay any import duty.
So, let’s say you purchase a new Kindle DX from Amazon. At the moment, the price is about $379 (using the list price) and you’ll be charged $20.98 for USA to Australia shipping, your whole fee for the Kindle will be $399.98 as you don’t have to pay any import duty on it.
Further, since the 10 percent GST (Goods and Services Tax) keeps the price below under AUD 1000, there is no 10 percent GST due, either.
Depending on how you ship it to Australia – some folks may want to ship it via air freight because it may speed things up and even with this type of shipping the Kindle 3G still qualifies for Amazon’s super-saver, you will still find that about all you have to do is fill out an import declaration for the Custom Service’s records and you can then download books and magazines you may have purchased through Amazon Global. Since the book or other download costs about $9.99, it will take many downloads to reach any customs limits, especially if you order several books separately, pay for them and read them and then you place a large order, you still won’t be required to pay a duty.
If, on the other hand, you order an item from Amazon Global or another site in the US whose total costs is AUD 1001, then you will be required to pay a duty. The figure not only includes the duty but also the GST, plus transportation insurance and cost and that determines the Value of the Taxable Import (VoTI).
To find the total VoTI on your AUD 1001, your first must find the Customs Value. You can find this from a list available at www.custom.gov.au. In this case, let’s just use an AUD figure of 200 for the Customs Value.
Once you now the Customs Value (CV) you can then determine the duty at 5 percent the CV, so it will be A$ 10 for the import duty.
Next, you have to add the international transport or insurance and postage which we will will put at $50.
So adding things together, we come up with a Customs Value of AUD 200 plus a duty of A$10 plus shipping, insurance or postage of $50.
This makes the VoTI at A$200 plus A$10 plus A$50 or A$260.
Next you have to determine GST at 10 percent of VoTI which is A$26. Two payable figures here are the A$10 plus the A$26 or A$36 total which is the total duty due.
Granted this is a simplistic approach, but it does show you the way the import system works.
To sum up, if your import is less than $A1000, there is no duty. You must file a declaration with the Customs Department if you ship via air freight or ship, if the price remains lower than A$1000. Once you hit the A$1001 barrier,you have to pay a duty.