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GST on low value imported goods

Information from the ATO on Australian goods and services tax (GST) on low value imported goods (A$1,000 or less).

Last updated 7 December 2021

If you are a non-resident business and you sell goods into Australia with a customs value of A$1,000 or less, GST applies and you will have to collect this from your customer and send the GST to us.

The customs value is the price the goods are sold for, minus freight and insurance from the place of export.

Some goods have different rules:

  • GST will not apply to some sales – see GST-free supplies for non-residents.
  • For consignments of goods imported over A$1,000 any GST, customs duty and clearance charges are charged to the importer at the border.
  • If goods are alcohol or tobacco products imported into Australia, other taxes and duties will apply at the border.

Who this applies to

This may apply to:

If more than one of these businesses is involved in a sale, work out how to charge GST.

When this applies

This applied from 1 July 2018 and applies to sales of:

  • individual low value imported goods
  • multiple low value imported goods.
Start of example

Example: Individual low value imported good

Jeans Co in Italy is registered for GST and sells jeans worldwide including delivering to its customers in Australia.

Noel buys one pair of jeans for A$350, including A$50 for shipping to Australia and insurance. The jeans are a low value good because they are less than A$1000. The customs value of the jeans is A$300.

Jeans Co charges Noel GST on the sale of the jeans as they are a sale of low value imported goods. Jeans Co must charge GST on the total price it charges Noel for the delivered jeans, which is A$350.

Jeans Co will need to collect and pay the GST on this sale of low value imported goods to the ATO.

End of example

Exception for multiple goods totalling over A$1,000

This exception applies when a number of low value goods are shipped to Australia as one consignment, with a total customs value over A$1,000. This means they will be taxed at the border.

Start of example

Example: Multiple goods packaged together

Jewellery Co in the United Kingdom is registered for GST and sells jewellery worldwide including delivering to its customers in Australia.

Nancy buys two necklaces for A$750 each, plus A$50 for shipping to Australia and insurance . Each necklace is a low value good.

Under Jewellery Co's standard business processes, it's clear the necklaces will be shipped in the same package to Australia. The necklaces are shipped in one consignment with a customs value over A$1,000. The customs value of the two necklaces consigned together is A$1,400.

Jewellery Co doesn't charge GST on the sale to Nancy because it applies the exception to allow the importation to be taxed at the Australian border.

If Jewellery Co had shipped the necklaces in two consignments, it would have charged Nancy GST on the sale as the exception could not be applied.

End of example

See also LCR 2018/1 GST on low value imported goods.

What to do if this applies to you

You may need to:

  • register for GST
  • charge GST
  • lodge business activity statements (BAS) or GST returns with us
  • pay the GST to us
  • ensure that correct information is given to customers and included on customs documents.

Non-resident businesses and GST explains:

  • how Australian GST works
  • if GST applies
  • GST registration options.