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Old July 4th, 2004, 11:08 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 10
Australian Customs Charges

Hi, not sure if this is the right forum, so feel free to move it if its not.

Anyway, I was wondering if any Australians would be able to tell me how much I could expect to get slapped with if I import a video camera from overseas? I've e-mailed Customs 3 times, and haven't gotten a reply, and searching through the millions of documents they have on their website was no help either. ( Now that I think about it, I bet they make it as confusing as hell on purpose...)

Video cameras are ridiculously overpriced here, and i was wondering if it would still turn out cheaper if I get one from overseas.
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Old July 5th, 2004, 03:53 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Holland
Posts: 12,514
I don't know for sure, but here in Holland it goes like this:

- Our tax is 19%. So if a package comes in and they check it out (they don't always) and see it is a camera for $4000 they will add AT LEAST add 19% (I have seen them add way more somehow) to get $4760

- They add an additional fee for the "work" they had todo to process your package (sigh). Which let's say is $100 or so

So the post guy comes up to my door with a receipt of $860 in this
case and if I pay I get the package. Otherwise it will be send back.

Rob Lohman,
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

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Old July 9th, 2004, 12:45 AM   #3
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Location: Andalucia, Spain
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I think you are referring to the 19% VAT (Value Added Tax), which is levied on all imports from outside the European Union.
If you are a registered VAT entity, this money will be returned to you in your periodical VAT declarations.

Apart from that there are the import duties, which vary from one product to another, and are about 6 % on videocameras here in Spain, if they are manufactured outside the EU. There exist classification tables, issued by the Ministery of Finance (or the equivalent in your country), that clearly state, with examples, what category of goods will be charged with what duty percentage.

Matthew, I'm sure the same thing exists in Australia. Any shipping / forwarding company should be able to tell you this percentage in the blink of an eye.
In some countries the shipping costs are included in the base amount over which the import duties are calculated.

One more thing: your local camera distributor may not be all too enthusiastic providing you with warranty and other support, if you've done your own import. Even though you may have worldwide warranty, a repair may take months to be performed, etc.
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Old July 13th, 2004, 02:26 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Robina Queensland Australia
Posts: 73
Hi Matthew.

I can't help with the camera, however I bought Vegas 4 online, and was hit with the GST and a few charges by customs.

The item was valued at $700, I ended up paying an extra $80 (GST + $10 or so.


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Old July 13th, 2004, 05:36 AM   #5
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Location: Australia
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Thanks for the replies, I kinda know what to expect now. :)
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