Guide to determine Duties and Taxes for shipments imported / exported into Australia

Published on September 4, 2015 by Maria J

Image courtesy of Troy Faulder / FreeDigitalPhotos

When shipping packages or goods from the United States into Australia, the biggest unknown is typically the cost associated with the duties and the taxes. Every country has different regulations and policies to follow, Australia is no different. But as a general rule, most goods imported into Australia are required to pay for:

  • 1) Duties
  • 2) Taxes (called GST: Goods and Services Tax)
  • 3) Import Processing Charge

  • Duties

    Import duties in Australia are exclusively based on the value of the imported goods.

    All imports with a value below AU$ 1000 are exempt from duties.

    The Duty rates typically range between 0% and 10%, with an average duty rate of 5%. Some goods like laptops and other electronic devices are not subject to duty.

    The table below summarizes the duty rate for the most common commodities:


    Duty Rate

    Laptops 0%
    Mobile  phones 0%
    Digital cameras 0%
    Video Game Consoles 0%
    Musical Instruments 5%
    Clothing and Apparel 5%
    Food Products 5%

    Taxes (GST:Goods and Services Tax)

    All shipments with a value below AU$ 1000 are exempt from taxes (GST).

    For shipments valued above AU$ 1000 the standard rate of GST is 10% of the combined value of the goods, duties, freight and insurance.

    Some goods imported into Australia, such as basic food, certain medical aids and appliances, cars for use by certain people with disabilities and precious metals qualify for certain customs duty concessions, are exempt from GST.

    Import Processing Charge

    All shipments with a value below AU$ 1000 are exempt from Import Processing Charges.The Import processing charge fee depends on the mode of entry and the type of import declaration. The charges are as follows:


    FOB value between A$1,000 and 10,000:

    FOB value greater than A$10,000

    By air or post (electronic import declaration) AU$40.20
    By sea (electronic import declaration) AU$50.00
    By air or post (documentary import declaration) A$48.85
    By sea (documentary import declaration) A$65.75
    By air or post (electronic/documentary import declaration) A$122.10
    By sea and an (electronic/documentary import declaration) A$152.60

    Other taxes and customs fees
    A Wine Equalisation Tax or WET of 29%, is payable on wines and other alcoholic beverages, as well as a Luxury Car Tax or LCT which is a 33% on certain motor vehicles with a value above a specified threshold.


    1) Product: Jacket, value AU$200 ($147.19)
    –Duties: AU$ 0
    –GST: AU$ 0
    – Import Processing Charge: AU$ 0
    – Total Cost: AU$200 ($147.19)


    2) Product: Mobile Phone, value AU$1500.00 ($1 103.93)
    –Duties: AU$ 0
    –GST: (1200*.10) = AU$150.00 ($110.39)
    – Import Processing Charge: AU$48.85 ($35.95)
    – Total Cost: AU$1698.85 ($1 250.86)


    3) Product: Chocolates value AU$1200.00 ($883.14)
    -Duties: (1200*.05) = AU$60.00 ($44.16)
    -GST: (1200+60)*.10 = AU$126.00 ($92.72)
    -Import Processing Charge: AU$48.85 ($35.95)
    -Total Cost: AU$1434.85 ($1055.98)


    Additional Tips:

  • Discounted shipping rates of up to 60% can be obtained via

  • Australia users can take advantage of services such as to buy or import commodities from the United States.

  • *AUD: Australian dollar
    *Exchange rate used: AUD 1 = 0.73595 USD

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