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  • Beyond border clearance

    GST-free sales can also be made if travellers collect their purchases after they have passed through the ABF border clearance area, or if you deliver the goods to the traveller on the other side of the ABF border clearance area. These sales do not need to be in sealed bags and they do not need export verification.

    However, your retail outlet must be located beyond the ABF border clearance area at the airport, or you have to have the agreement of the airport or ship operator to make such deliveries.

    If your customer is travelling by sea, you must deliver the goods to the ship's purser or their representative – they will pass the goods to the traveller after they have boarded.

    It is your responsibility to make arrangements with airport owners and ship operators to deliver and collect the goods.

    If you plan to deliver the goods to your customer after they have passed through the ABF border clearance area, much of the procedure is the same as for sales before the ABF area, but you do not need to put the goods in a sealed bag.

    If you don't comply with these rules, the sale is classified as taxable. That means you must pay GST on it and account for the GST on your activity statement – effectively, you end up paying GST on behalf of the customer.

    Sales

    Where the retail outlet is located beyond the ABF border clearance area at the airport, before the purchaser takes possession of the goods you must sight their boarding pass or ticket for travel to a foreign country or an approved document.

    Deliveries

    Find out about:

    Border clearance declaration

    If you are going to deliver goods to your customer after they have crossed the ABF border clearance area, get them to sign an ABF border clearance declaration as you make the sale. This states that the purchase will not be taken until they are beyond the ABF border clearance area.

    You can design your own ABF border clearance declaration, but it must include the following statements:

    • I have purchased the goods on the Australian side of the ABF border clearance area and I will not take possession of the goods until I have passed through the ABF border clearance area
    • I am aware that the Taxation Administration Act 1953 provides for penalties where a person makes a false or misleading statement in this declaration, and that the Customs Act 1901 and the Excise Act 1901 may provide penalties if the goods are not exported.

    The declaration must also include details of the customer, the goods purchased and the journey.

    Alternatively, sometimes the traveller will pay for the goods on the Australian side of the ABF border clearance area but will not collect the goods until beyond the border clearance area (referred to as 'onshore purchase/offshore collection' situations), for example, where goods are purchased onshore and delivered to a ship for collection by a sea passenger.

    The traveller will be required to show the same documents as are listed in Rule 2. The seller must sight such documents at the time of the onshore purchase.

    Making an invoice

    If you are delivering the goods past the ABF border clearance area, you must generate an invoice in duplicate and in such a way that it cannot be altered.

    The two copies are:

    • the customer's copy
    • your copy.
    Approved form of invoice

    The seller must make an invoice or receipt:

    • at the time of the sale
    • in an approved form
    • in English
    • in duplicate
    • containing a full description of the goods.

    Each invoice must be prepared so as to prevent the addition of further items to the invoice (or copies) after the transaction has been completed.

    For example, the invoice may be ruled off manually or electronically immediately below the last item. This requirement does not apply if you are issuing a receipt beyond the ABF border clearance area.

    The invoice must be written in English and contain the following information:

    • a description sufficient to identify the goods (including brand name and model number, if any)
    • quantity (in figures) of each item
    • sale value (in figures) of each item, or quantity of items
    • the total sales value (in figures) of the invoice
    • date
    • name of supplier
    • name of recipient
    • ABN of supplier.

    Evidence that goods were collected

    Keep your copy of the invoice and a copy of the signed declaration together with evidence that the goods were collected beyond the ABF border clearance area. This evidence must be an approved document.

    Approved documents: evidence of collection of goods

    If the goods are delivered to a ship, a copy of a manifest list, signed and stamped by the ship's purser (or other authorised ship's officer) will be required, containing the following details:

    • purchaser's name (whether a passenger or ship's crew member)
    • description of the goods, or the numbers of the invoices relating to the goods concerned
    • the number of packages (either boxes or bags) per purchaser
    • name of the ship and shipping line
    • journey details (that is, wharf number, date and time of departure).

    If the purchaser collects the goods in any other place beyond the ABF border clearance area (for example, at an airport), a receipt must be signed by the purchaser as evidence of collection. The receipt should contain the following information:

    • the invoice number relating to the purchase of the goods to be exported
    • date and time of collection of the goods
    • purchaser's name, residential address and telephone number
    • brief voyage details (that is, flight number/voyage number).

    See also:

      Last modified: 04 Jan 2019QC 16664