Non-taxable importations

Some goods imported into Australia are not subject to GST.

These are goods that:

  • would have been GST-free or input taxed if supplied within 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.

Subject to any relevant by-laws, goods that qualify for certain customs duty concessions and are also non-taxable for GST include the following items from schedule 4 to the Customs Tariff Act 1995:

  • item 4 Calendars, catalogues, overseas travel literature, overseas price lists or other overseas printed matter.
  • item 10 Goods that are owned by the government of a foreign country, for the official use of that government, and are not to be used for purposes of trade.
  • item 11 Goods that are for use by or for sale to persons who are the subject of a Status of Forces Agreement between the Government of Australia and the government of another country.
  • item 15 Goods  
    • imported by passengers, ship or aircraft crew; goods that are the property of a person who has arrived in Australia on an international flight; goods purchased by persons from an inwards duty free shop
    • brought or sent into Australia by members of the Defence Force stationed outside Australia
    • imported by members of the New Zealand, Canada or United Kingdom forces
    • passengers' personal effects, furniture or household goods.
  • item 18 Goods returned to Australia after repair or replacement, free of charge under warranty or supplied as part of a product safety recall.
  • item 21 Goods imported for repair or alteration then exported.
  • item 21A Goods imported by the holder of a Tradex order under the Tradex Scheme Act 1999.
  • item 23 Certain donated or bequeathed goods by an entity or organisation outside Australia to an organisation established in Australia.
  • item 24 Will or intestacy goods that are not for sale.
  • item 25 Trophies won outside Australia; or decorations, medallions or certificates awarded outside Australia; trophies or prizes sent by donors resident outside Australia for presentation or competition in Australia.
  • item 26 Goods, other than tobacco, alcohol and bulk orders, with a value less than an amount prescribed by by-law (currently at or below $1,000).
  • item 27 Samples of negligible value (value as prescribed by by-law).
    Last modified: 24 Jun 2015QC 16237