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Old 09-02-2011, 10:54 AM
Kitbuqa Kitbuqa is offline
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Default Cost of importing guitars from USA to Australia

Hi guys, I was just wondering if some of you guys are familiar with the charges associated with importing guitars into Australia - particularly Australians with that experience.

I know we have an exemption from duty because of our free trade agreement with the US, so payment of our normal 10% tax is applicable. But I was also wondering if you guys had to pay additional fees as well - ie. AQIS fees for inspection of item because its made out of wood.

THis is assuming that the shipping is done through USPS.

Regards.

Its doing my head in!
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:57 AM
Ilovetaylors Ilovetaylors is offline
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I've heard horrid stories on transporting guitars to aussie.
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:10 AM
Kitbuqa Kitbuqa is offline
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Guitars under $1000 AUD no problems, quite smooth actually, but for guitars over $1000 thats the great unknown. I'd like to commission a build from BK Guitars but the charges may well put me off them. I've already put off commissioning a BK Guitar build earlier in the year which I'm bummed about because I'd love to support Brian's work!!!
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:56 AM
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riorider riorider is offline
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Hopefully one of my OZ buds will pipe up here.. I've sold and shipped a custom GS Taylor 12 there in the past year. But all I saw was this side of the shipping (US side), which was pricey, and a customs form signed by me, but I don't know about on the receiving end.

rr
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:41 PM
tdq tdq is offline
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I haven't actually done it, but I've looked into it - yes, over $1000 there is a 10% duty - but first you have to add on the shipping (around $300) before you do the calculation - and there are numerous other charges and fees on the Oz end too, it is prohibitive. Wonder why top-end guitars are so expensive in Oz? The dealers aren't *******s, they have to cover all these expenses as well as making a profit. It does make me wonder why Cole Clarkes and Matons are the price they are, since they don't have to cover those expenses....

Anyway, I solved it by moving to the US.
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:54 PM
dberkowitz dberkowitz is offline
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I have a client in Victoria Point to whom I'll be shipping a guitar, actually two guitars one now and one the beginning of the year. My interaction with the Aussie AQIS and Wildlife and Trade was significantly better than my own interaction with their US equivalents. The Australian Agencies knew the international regulations and knew them well, and their answers were consistent both within agency and across agencies.

Shipments going into Australia in value exceeding $1000 are subject to duty and GST at 10% on customs value+duty+freight+insurance.

Shipments out of the US are complicated by the Lacey Act, and of course CITES (which Australia also follows).
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:41 PM
fongie fongie is offline
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Hello Kit, okay hypothetically lets work this out, say a Martin OM-28V -

US street price on a OM-28V - $2500 USD
+ shipping - 250-300
+ Import duty/tax etc - 500-600 AUD
Total - $3250 USD or more

Not sure where the Aussie dollar stands right now against the USD, you will need to check it out.
Also the risk of purchasing overseas and sending item back if item is not up to your satisfaction can also add up.
I on the other hand, got a fantastic deal on my OM-28V brand new for $3530AUD, free postage here in Australia. By comparing to the inuendo of purchasing a git overseas, I decided to add a little more $$$ and purchased here. Plus it's safer and also helps our local business. Hope this helps?

Last edited by fongie; 09-02-2011 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:42 PM
Berf Berf is offline
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Hi Kitbuqa,

Check out this thread for a bit more info on the topic...

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...light=adelaide

There appear to be some inconsistencies depending on how it's brought it... although things seem to have tightened up over the last year or so.

All the best, berf
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Old 09-02-2011, 06:58 PM
Jamie9 Jamie9 is offline
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I bought a used Lowden a few years ago from Dave's Guitars in Wisconsin. It was a good deal and the postage was only $200. The shop were excellent in every way. It turned up at customs in Australia less than a week later. Then the process really slowed down and the good deal got way more expensive than I expected. Admittedly the exchange rate is good at the moment but I have noticed that guitar prices here especially on Ebay are really starting to fall in line with US. prices.
I'm in the repair business and regularly see peoples nightmare imports, paying out a lot of money for an instrument that arrives really smashed up with inadequate insurance or no insurance. If I was doing it I'd only buy from a bricks and mortar shop who ship internationally on a regular basis and have the goods insured for the total cost.
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Old 09-02-2011, 07:32 PM
Kitbuqa Kitbuqa is offline
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Thanks for all the replies guys!

My early estimates is that the total upcharges/fees could possibly add up to 40% on top of the original price - which is a massive deterrent.
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:49 PM
TomCat08 TomCat08 is offline
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I have shipped a number of vintage amps from the US to Oz with absolutely no hassles whatsoever - five amps over the last couple of years.

The most time any amp has been in customs for is about a day and I've paid considerably less each time than I would have in Australia for the equivalent items, except to say that many of the items are simply not available in austalia at all.

I have heard one horror story about some straw in packaging which held up an item in customs for over a month, however ...
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:20 AM
pandaroo pandaroo is offline
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I had no troubles with my 2 brunners from swiss. Approx 15% for customs and gst plus approx $50 of fees i paid. I have taylor coming soon from MFG. After special price from mfg, even after the shipping and custom charges i still save at least aud600 from buying locally. Fingerscross this should be alright like my brunners.
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:43 AM
psynackerz psynackerz is offline
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I lived in Sydney a while back with my family and I remember my Dad ordered a home theater system from the U.S. and it was taxed a good 15% for it.

Right now I live in Korea... And the import duties here are ridiculous as well. Anything over a $150 value is taxed.

And they calculate it like the following.
Guitar cost * 10% = VAT
(Guitar cost + Shipping cost) * 8% + VAT = Total import tax

ends up being approximately 20% usually...which downright sucks. But it is actually cheaper than buying imported guitars locally so I prefer to go with this route.
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Old 09-03-2011, 06:18 AM
dberkowitz dberkowitz is offline
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I should add that whomever you are purchasing the guitar from, should send you copies of the paperwork -- commercial invoice, shipping invoice, declarations, etc. in advance of its being shipped so that you can have a copy of the paperwork before it arrives. If there's any question, you have the documentation in front of you.
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  #15  
Old 09-03-2011, 06:25 AM
pandaroo pandaroo is offline
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It does depends on what guitar you want to get. For example, prices of Martin guitars in Australia are pretty good, you usually end up a little more than when imported, then you start to think why bother all the hassle through customs. Another example is Rainsong gutars, Big Music in Sydney is the only authorised dealer and distributor, hence cutting all the middle chains, the prices they offer there are cheaper than when you actually get it imported from US on your own. On the other hand, for all Taylor fans from Aussie, I find substantial savings is possible if you are interested in getting 300 series and above. Another is Mcilroy guitars, here in Aussie they go for at least AUD5k for a standard model. I bet you can get one Mcilroy with customs and GST included for like AUD3.8k, and that is at least AUD1k savings.

For those of you Aussies who does a bit of travelling to Singapore, check out BGW Guitars, lots of good 2nd hand taylors and other good value new guitars like Furch/Stonebridge, lakewood, Rainsong, Collings. They also ship to Australia.

I guess our AUD has played a big advantage in our overseas purchase.
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