e-Customs Broker | What It Costs

How is Duty and GST calculated?

Customs Duty is calculated as a percentage of the Customs Value (CV) of the imported goods. Depending on the product, the applicable duty rate can be anywhere from 0% to 10%, however the majority of goods attract a 5% duty rate.

Customs GST is calculated at 10% of the Value of the Taxable Import (VoTI). The VoTI is calculated by the addition of the Customs Value (CV) PLUS the Duty PLUS the value of the International Transport and Insurance (T&I).

Is Duty and GST payable on used goods?

Yes. The law requires that all goods – whether second hand or new, commercial or private – be subject to the assessment of customs duty and GST and checked for community protection risks.

Do goods for private use need to pay Duty/GST?

Yes. The law requires that all goods – whether second hand or new, commercial or private – be subject to the assessment of customs duty and GST and checked for community protection risks.

Duty and/or GST is only collected on imported goods where the value of the goods is above A$1000, OR where the goods include alcohol, tobacco or are prohibited/restricted products. Goods valued above A$1000 must be cleared through Customs by completion of a formal Customs Entry.

If you have received a Customs Notice then the shipper has already advised customs that your goods meet these criteria.

How is the Customs Value (CV) calculated?

The Customs value of goods imported into Australia is based on the value of the goods as determined by the importers commercial invoice and is typically equivalent to the Australian currency purchase price of the goods.

When the goods are valued at more than AUD$1000 threshold (or if they include alcohol or tobacco products of any value), a Customs value will be determined which is used as the basis for calculating the value of any duty and/or GST.

The Customs value is combined with other items such as customs duty, international transport and insurance costs and, where applicable, Wine Equalisation Tax to produce the value of the taxable importation (VoTI) which is what the GST calculation is based upon.

How do I pay the Duty/GST on my goods?

Once we finalise your clearance, all Customs/Government charges are automatically billed to the same credit card you used online to submit your clearance request.

What is the duty rate for Molasses Tobacco?

Tobacco duty rates vary, but the most common rate is $1,076.35*/kg of tobacco content. Molasses Tobacco is deemed to be 100% tobacco by weight, hence if you have 1kg of molasses tobacco that contains only 20% actual tobacco, you will pay $1,076.35 in duty based on a 1kg calculation of tobacco content.

*Quoted rates are indicative and subject to change.

Why use a Customs Broker?

A good customs broker will save you time and money, typically more than you pay them. While it’s not mandatory to use a customs broker to clear your imported goods, in most cases it’s certainly beneficial as outlined below.

SAVINGS: Customs brokers work to ensure you’re paying the least amount of duty/GST that’s legislatively permitted for the specific circumstances of your importation. And there’s many avenues available for us to do this.

For example, over 83% (avg.) of our postal import clients pay less to use us than self-lodgement of a B374 – Import Declaration (N10) – Post form.

TIME: Through electronic customs clearance processing, we facilitate significantly faster customs release timeframes than via manual self-lodgement of an import declaration.

To give you an example, we clear postal consignments in just 3hrs, whereas customs takes 8-10 business days to process self-lodgement documentation.

SIMPLICITY: With a customs broker, you provide your import documentation and they do the rest. With e-customs broker it’s even easier because you can submit all via our online portal in under 5 mins.

Self-lodgement requires you to complete the import declaration yourself, including applying the correct classifications and valuation of the transport/goods based on your particular importing situation.

LIABILITY: Using a customs broker also protects you from the risk of liability for lodging an incorrect N10 import declaration, which can be anything up to a $12,600 strict liability fine.

The bottom line is that if you’re not 100% confident that you clearly understand the legislation and the declaration your making in this regards, then you should use a customs broker.

What exchange rate is used to calculate Duty/GST?

We apply one of two possible exchange rates depending on whether the goods have already been paid for or not.

At the time of importation, if the importer has not already transferred payment to the overseas supplier for the goods then we use the customs exchange rate, which is the average of the four major banks at the date of valuation (usually exportation date) of the goods from the origin.

If the goods have already been paid for and you provide the payment remittance (e.g. T/T, Paypal Receipt, Credit Card Statement etc.) then we use the exchange rate that you paid for the goods on hence the Duty/GST is calculated based on the actual AUD amount you paid.

What happens after Customs Clearance?

Air Freight: Once cleared, you’ll receive a release email including full collection instructions. You simply follow the instructions in the email to collect your goods from the nominated airline bond.

Australia Post: Once you receive the release emails from us, your consignment is “Customs Cleared” and our servers automatically notify Customs of the release. Customs then generates a release report at midnight on the day of clearance and Australia Post is notified on the next business day to deliver your goods.

FedEx: Upon completion of your customs clearance, our servers immediately notify FedEx to dispatch your goods for delivery, which typically occurs on the next business day, providing you’re located within FedEx’s same day delivery zones.


Leave a Reply