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  #1  
Old 08-14-2013, 02:13 PM
rroodd rroodd is offline
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Default USA to Australia shipping - Customs FTA

Any of you other Aussies done the 'Free Trade Agreement' thing when importing a guitar from the 'States ?

Just been doing some research and from what I read there is a significant discount on the Import Duty/tax to be had, if you can be bothered filling out all the paperwork. ( I can definitely be bothered when it comes to not giving the government any un-necessary extras..)

The Customs website has a huge amount of jargon to sort through...thought it might be quicker if I can find someone who's done it before, and can do some 'dot points' to step me through.

Anyone..?
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  #2  
Old 08-14-2013, 03:01 PM
billybillly
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I import all the time and I personally, only import if it's less than $1000 so I don't have to pay fees. I forget now the exact figures but if it's over $1000 Australian, you pay between 15% and 20% from memory, so, a $2000 piece of gear will cost you $2300 to $2400. It's not really worth it to purchase overseas over $1000 to me as gear down here has got somewhat competitive in the last couple of years. However, there are anomalies where some gear is outrageously expensive down here, as I am sure you are aware.

They have the facts and figures on the Australian Customs website. http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page5549.asp

PS Remember it's under $1000 Aust, not US and shipping does not factor into the equation.
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  #3  
Old 08-14-2013, 03:15 PM
Brucebubs Brucebubs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billybillly View Post
I import all the time and I personally, only import if it's less than $1000 so I don't have to pay fees. I forget now the exact figures but if it's over $1000 Australian, you pay between 15% and 20% from memory, so, a $2000 piece of gear will cost you $2300 to $2400. It's not really worth it to purchase overseas over $1000 to me as gear down here has got somewhat competitive in the last couple of years. However, there are anomalies where some gear is outrageously expensive down here, as I am sure you are aware.

They have the facts and figures on the Australian Customs website. http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page5549.asp

PS Remember it's under $1000 Aust, not US and shipping does not factor into the equation.
I`ve mentioned the AUSFTA twice before and got zero response.I bought in a guitar early this year and got Import Duty Exempt because the US seller provided the paperwork, only paid 10% Sales Tax on item value AND SHIPPING! So shipping cost IS included with items valued over $1000.
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:32 PM
billybillly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucebubs View Post
I`ve mentioned the AUSFTA twice before and got zero response.I bought in a guitar early this year and got Import Duty Exempt because the US seller provided the paperwork, only paid 10% Sales Tax on item value AND SHIPPING! So shipping cost IS included with items valued over $1000.
Sorry, that's wrong. You don't pay duty or tax on shipping costs, you might want to contact them to get some money back.

From website as previously mentioned...

Example 3: An importation of goods (other than tobacco products or alcoholic beverages) valued above A$1000

A$ Customs value (Cval) 2000.00
Customs duty (Duty) @ 5% of Cval 100.00
(Payable)
International transport and insurance or postage (T&I)
150.00

Value of the Taxable Importation (VoTI) (Cval+Duty+T&I)
2250.00

Goods and Services Tax (GST) @ 10% of the VoTI
225.00

(Payable)
Total payable Duty + GST
325.00
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  #5  
Old 08-14-2013, 05:59 PM
peter.coombe peter.coombe is offline
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The USA-Australia FTA is a long and complicated document so this gets complicated. I have sent instruments to the USA and have done the FTA paperwork, but have not done the paperwork when importing into Australia because I never buy anything above $1000. According to the FTA there is no import duty payable if the item has been manufactured in the USA or Australia. However, you will still have to pay GST if the value is over $1000. The FTA is one of the most complicated and long winded documents I have ever had the displeasure of needing to wade through. The complications occur in the definition of what is meant by made in USA or Australia. There is a different rule for each customs duty code, and in many cases there is more than one rule for one code, and you need to work out what is the relevant rule. There is no such thing as a certificate of origin that applies in other FTA, so you need to write up a document that quotes the relevant sections in the FTA, and itemise every thing with country of origin and value so you can prove that it conforms to the relevant rule in the FTA. If it is a one off, it is easier to just pay the duty! It took me around 8 hrs of work to figure it all out and write up the document, but now I have a template I can use for the next time. The document needs to be done by the manufacturer, in my case that was me. In my case, from memory, the rule in the FTA stipulated a USA or Australian content of a minimum of 35%, but I worked out the content was actually 93%, and that did the trick, my USA customer did not need to pay import duty. I don't think the rules apply to vintage insrtruments, they need to be manufactured recently.

If it was me I would just pay the duty, unless the item was worth a lot of money. A saving of $100 in import duty for 8 hrs of work is not worth it.
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:33 PM
Brucebubs Brucebubs is offline
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I bought my new Martin guitar for US$2500.00 from Elderly Instruments in Feb this year.( remember when our dollar was high?) They charged me US$270.00 to ship FedEx. Total US$2770.00. They provided AUSFTA paperwork, just a single, Elderly header, one page declaration stating the nominated goods meet the requirements of the AUSFTA legislation and claim preferential duty rate using rule type;
Section 153YE rule type P.S.- goods (except clothing and textiles) produced entirely in the US from non-originating materials-relates to goods made in the US from US materials and materials from other countries.
The shipper gives their name and address.
The product is described in detail.
The US$ purchase price.
Peter, I have a copy if you want to see it sometime, I live in Eden.
Australia Customs charged me 10% GST only on the valuation with shipping, despite what BillyBilly posted and Rod, the seller provides the paperwork, not the buyer. So it costs you nothing and saves you money, what`s wrong with that? Why pay $325.00 tax when it could be $200.00? That`s a lot of strings!

Last edited by Brucebubs; 08-14-2013 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:15 PM
pandaroo pandaroo is online now
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I got the same exemption when I bought my Santa Cruz Otis Taylor Signature last year. But in terms of paper work, it was done the other way round. I paid a customs broker to have my SCGC released quickly and the FTA paperwork was included as part of the service. Eventhough I paid about AUD55 for the service, I still saved about AUD150 (but that only works out better if the instrument is of high value).
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  #8  
Old 08-15-2013, 02:09 AM
peter.coombe peter.coombe is offline
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Well if Elderly do the paperwork all is well and good, but individual US based Luthiers or businesses that don't normally export to Australia won't have a clue what to do. Sounds like what they provided for you is similar to what I had to do. Once you do it once it is easy.
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  #9  
Old 08-15-2013, 02:41 AM
rroodd rroodd is offline
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Thanks for all the info so far guys - much appreciated.

Yes, I can certainly see merits for not worrying about doing all the paper work if it's only gonna save you maybe $80, but I'm actually talking about importing a high end, pre-owned guitar, in the $3k-$4k dollar bracket, where last time I did this I got stung almost $500 at customs.

The problem here is, it's not coming from the original manufactur direct, or even from a authorised dealer, etc so gets a bit messy when trying to provide a 'country of origin' certificate as such.

I figure I've got nothing to lose ( besides my time and maybe $50) in filling out the paperwork as best as I can and submitting.
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Maton EBG808 Bluegrass
Taylor 412CE
Goodall RP-14 Parlor
'Wayne' Australian made Resonator
Fender 1992 Strat
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  #10  
Old 08-15-2013, 04:48 PM
peter.coombe peter.coombe is offline
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Mmm, that is messy. The paperwork needs to come from the sender, not the receiver, so if you prepare the paperwork and submit it to Aussie Customs they probably won't accept it. A certificate of origin is not part of the USA-Australia FTA so does not exist. What you need is a letter, preferably with an official letterhead, from the sender stating that the item was manufactured in the USA so according to section blah blah and rule blah blah of the FTA it conforms to the FTA. If there are items that were not manufactured in the USA then these need to be itemised and costed and the percentage USA content stated in the letter. The FTA is really meant to encourage manufacture and export of new goods from both countries, and hence encourage more employment, so pre owned items can be problematic.
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