Moving country can become an expensive exercise if you don't carefully research and plan your move. As someone who is looking for advice regarding moving their personal effects from the United States to Australia, you want to take as much as you can because many of your belongings cost more to buy in Australia than they do in the US. However, before you start shoving everything you own into moving boxes, there are certain items you need to pay duty on if you bring them to the land down under. Here are two common items that will attract attention from the Customs agency, so leaving them behind is often the cheaper option:
Alcohol in the United States is cheaper than what is sold in Australia, and part of the reason is the excise tax which is levied on alcohol products. Interestingly, there is not a one-size fits all tax amount, which is charged on alcohol. Instead, the amount charged depends on what type of alcohol it is, and how much alcohol percentage it contains.
When you arrive in Australia on a plane, and you carry alcohol with you, it is not charged the excise tax, provided it is less than the stated allowance of 2.25 litres of alcohol per adult. However, this concession does not carry over to alcohol shipped as an unaccompanied personal effect. Therefore, if you do include it in your shipment, you will be charged the full excise tax on it. Because you are now paying shipping space for something that is no longer cheaper than buying it in Australia, leaving the alcohol behind is the better option.
The other point you need to consider is that goods which are less than 12 months old are subject to GST (Goods and Services Tax) and duty assessment. This means that if you load up your shipping container with brand new electronics and furniture, you could be charged duty and tax on these items because of their age. However, the exception to this rule is personal clothing, shoes and items you use for grooming, such as perfumes and cosmetics. These items can be less than 12 months old without attracting government attention. Just be sure that you only bring enough of these items to justify personal use. If you bring 100 mascaras, for example, these will be deemed as being imported in commercial quantities and you will then be charged tax and duty on them as it is determined you are bringing these in to sell rather than to use personally.
A customs clearance service is your best source of information if you are concerned about a particular item you want to pack. Give them a call and save yourself from tax or duty charges once your personal effects arrive in Australia.
Contact a customs clearance service for more information and assistance.