• CMI Legal

Introduction to GST on Australian Import

The importation of international products into the Australian market is subject to the Australian Taxation Office's (ATO) goods and services tax (GST) regime. GST on taxable importation is payable by businesses as well as individuals, regardless of whether they are registered for GST.

Photograph by Nataliya Vaitkevich

For products sold in Australia, the ATO will impose a GST 10% of the value of taxable importation. The value of taxable importation is the total of the customs value of goods, any customs duty, the sum paid or payable to transport the goods to their consignment destination in Australia, the insurance cost and any wine tax payable.

According to current regulations, the following importations are also subject to GST:

  • From 1st July 2017, imported services and intellectual property targeted towards Australian consumers, including online media such as streamed or downloaded movies, music, digital applications, games and e-books, as well as other services such as construction and legal;

  • From 1st July 2018, imported goods with a value of no more than AUD$1000, including clothing, electronic products and cosmetic, except tobacco and alcoholic beverages.

Despite the fact that most international entities would have already made GST payments in their local jurisdictions, the 10% GST is still payable to the ATO.

To ensure that you adhere to GST law in Australia, you must:

  • Be registered for GST with the ATO and have obtained a tax file number (TFN);

  • Include the 10% GST amount in products and services sold (this may be included or added on top of the selling price);

  • Produce financial reports including GST to the ATO during the financial year; and

  • Make GST payments to the ATO before the end of the financial year.