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About the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) - Duty Free

About the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) - Duty Free

The TRS enables you to claim a refund, subject to certain conditions, of the goods and services tax (GST) and wine equalisation tax (WET) that you pay on goods you buy in Australia.

To claim a refund you must:

  • Spend $300 (GST inclusive) or more in the one store and retain your invoices.
  • Have purchased the goods no more than 60 days before your departure from Australia.
  • Wear or carry the goods on board the aircraft or ship and present them along with your original tax invoice, passport and international boarding pass to a Customs and Border Protection Officer at a TRS facility.

The refund only applies to goods you take with you as hand luggage or wear (unless aviation security measures, in regard to liquids, aerosols and gels prevent you from doing so) onto the aircraft or ship when you leave Australia. It does not apply to services or goods consumed or partly consumed in Australia, such as wine, chocolate or perfume. However, unlike other tourist shopping schemes, most of the goods, such as clothing and cameras, can be used in Australia before departure.

The TRS is open to all overseas visitors and Australian residents, except operating air and sea crew.

The GST refund is calculated by dividing the total amount of the purchase by 11. The WET refund is 14.5 percent of the price paid for wine. For example, if you buy goods for a GST-inclusive price of $660 you will receive a refund of $60. If the $660 is made up of a camera ($460) and wine ($200), you will receive a total refund of $89 (total GST refund of $60 plus $29 WET refund on the wine).

The aviation security measures, introduced on 31 March 2007, affect the amount of liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) that can be taken as hand luggage on flights into and out of Australia. Further information in regard to the new measures is available from the Department of Infrastructure and Transport.

In case of air departures, goods that cannot be taken on board as hand luggage due to liquid, aerosol and gel restrictions, should be packed in your hold luggage. However, if those goods are oversized, for example a case of wine, they must be sighted prior to check-in at the Customs and Border Protection Client Services counter.

 

THE WAY TRS WORKS:

The refund will be paid on goods totalling $300 (GST inclusive) or more, bought from the same store, no more than 60 days before you leave Australia.

You may purchase several lower-priced items from the one store, either at the one time or over several occasions within the 60-day period, provided the total purchase amounts to $300 (GST inclusive) or more.

You may buy goods from several stores, provided each store's tax invoice totals at least $300 (GST inclusive).

You can collect your refund through one of the following methods:

  • cheque
  • credit to an Australian bank account
  • payment to a credit card

Customs and Border Protection will aim to post cheque refunds within 15 business days. Bank and credit card refunds will be issued by Customs and Border Protection within 5 business days, however, payment will be subject to processing by your bank or card issuer.

 

TRS FACILITY LOCATIONS:

Claims can be made after you have passed through Customs and Immigration outward processing.

The TRS facilities are located past Customs and Immigration outwards processing at international airports at Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Cairns, Adelaide, Darwin and Gold Coast.

Maps provided are for the locations of the TRS booth after immigration control, where your claim is to be lodged. Special conditions apply for oversized goods such as surf boards and golf clubs. These items can be sighted by a Customs and Border Protection officer prior to your check in. Directions for Client Services are listed below.



They are also available at cruise liner terminals at Circular Quay and Darling Harbour in Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Fremantle and Hobart.
If you are leaving Australia from the above seaports or any other seaport you should contact Customs and Border Protection to find out if and where you can make a claim.

For full details you can read at the customs.gov.au website: http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page4263.asp