Australian import tax on goods valued up to AUD 1000 as of 1 July 2018

Effective July 1, 2018, a tax will be levied on the sale of low-value goods imported by consumers into Australia. This was decided by the Australian Parliament on 21 June 2017 through the Treasury Laws Amendment (GST Low Value Goods) Bill 2017.
This change may affect companies exporting to Australia. Businesses generating more than AUD 75,000 gross annual sales on B2C sales to Australian consumers will be required to register for the Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST) and will be subject to the tax at the time of sale. The tax applies to B2C shipments with a value of AUD 1,000 or less. This amendment to the law applies, among other things, to online shopping platforms, independent sellers and service providers (PO box re-senders).

Companies exceeding the AUD 75,000 limit must take the following steps:

  • Registration with Australian Tax Office (ATO) via this link. After registration, the company will receive an ATO Reference Number (ARN).
  • Charging and collecting the GST tax on sales of low value goods to Australian consumers
  • Periodic submission of GST remittance to the ATO
  • If a company has been assigned an ARN number, the company is obliged to enter this number in the 'VAT number recipient' field in the DHL electronic booking system when booking a shipment.

The low value exemption of AUD 1,000 still applies with respect to import duties and shipments with a value above this exemption will be subject to standard declaration processes and payment of import duties and taxes. B2B shipments under the value of AUD 1,000 will still be exempt from import duties and taxes upon import.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the  ATO website. You can also contact ATO by email (AustraliaGST[at]ato[dot]gov[dot]au (AustraliaGST[at]ato[dot]gov[dot]au)) or by telephone on +61 2 6216 1111 on weekdays between 08:00 and 17:00 (UTC +10:00).

We would like to point out the following documentation:

  • LVT Technical Document: this document explains how the ARN number should be entered in DHL's booking systems and provides further advice on the procedure to follow when sending B2B shipments to Australia.
  • LVT FAQ Document: This document contains the most frequently asked questions and their answers.

No further changes to customs procedures or delays are foreseen at this time. DHL will of course continue to monitor developments closely.