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Additional Information on Refund eligibility can be found at;
Under certain circumstances, you may be entitled to a refund of some, or all, of the customs and/or indirect duty that you have paid on imported goods.
The Australian Border Force (ABF) provides refunds of customs duty and indirect taxes collected through the Integrated Cargo System (ICS) on either a:
Under the Customs Regulation 2015 and the Customs (International Obligations) Regulation 2015, you may be eligible for a refund if you meet all of the following requirements:
Under the Customs Regulation, you are not entitled to a refund of customs duty if you have received a duty drawback for the same goods.
Under A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999, you are not entitled to a refund of Goods and Services Tax (GST) if you intend to or have already claimed GST as a credit on your Business Activity Statement (BAS).
It is not possible to amend your FID and quote WET liability after importation – this can only be applied at the time of importation. Please refer to the Australian Taxation Office Wet Ruling WETR2009/1.
Even if you receive a refund from your supplier, the Customs Regulation and Customs (International Obligations) Regulation do not allow a refund of customs duty and/or indirect taxes on imported goods if you return them to the supplier because:
Import Processing Charges are not refundable.
You are the owner of the goods if you hold yourself out to be the owner, importer, consignee, agent or person possessed of, or beneficially interested in, or having any control of, or power of disposition over, the goods.
In some cases, we are unable to process a refund application because the applicant is not the importer and owner of the goods who paid the duty and/or indirect tax at the time of importation.
For example, an Australian consumer purchases goods from an overseas supplier. The price paid to the overseas supplier includes importation costs (including payment of customs duty and taxes) and delivery of the goods to the consumer.
In this example, the overseas supplier lodges the FID. They are the owner of the goods at the time of importation and therefore the owner who can seek a refund of customs duty and/or indirect tax.
When your refund is lodged electronically in the ICS or in the approved form, you must quote the appropriate reason code that indicates the refund circumstance that applies to you, and provide payment details to receive your refund if approved.
For a list of reason codes and lodgement options, see the Refund circumstances tables below.
Depending on the type of refund you are applying for, you will need to provide evidence such as:
Under section 240 of the Customs Act 1901 (Customs Act), you must keep all documentation for a minimum of 5 years from the date the goods are entered for home consumption.
For the majority of refunds, the period for lodging a refund is within 4 years after the date on which the customs duty was first paid. Shorter time frames apply for other refunds.
If you are applying for a refund of duty for goods, you must claim a refund within 14 days after the goods were released from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment control or customs control. This may apply where the goods:
For refund claims that relate to Free Trade Agreements listed under regulation 23 of the Customs (International Obligations) Regulation, there are some circumstances where a certificate of origin must be in force at the time the application is made.
Refer to section 109 of the Customs Regulation and section 28 of the Customs (International Obligations) Regulation for further information about lodgement timeframes for a refund application.
The ABF conducts reviews of refunds claims. As part of this process, you may need to provide commercial documents supporting your refund claim. You have 30 calendar days to provide the information requested.
The ABF aims to assess your refund within 30 calendar days upon receipt of all necessary information. The ABF will make a decision to either approve or reject the refund based on the supporting documentation provided.
If approved, payment of your refund will be processed through electronic funds transfer (EFT) to your nominated bank account, or your customs broker’s bank account within three to five working days.
The ABF conducts audits and other compliance activities to uphold the integrity of the refunds process. This may result in demands for unpaid duty and penalties where the refund claim contains false or misleading statements.
You might be eligible for a refund of duty and/or indirect taxes in other circumstances.
The ABF administers refunds of indirect taxes on goods bought in Australia under the Tourist Refund Scheme.
Duty drawbacks enable exporters to obtain a refund of customs duty paid on imported goods where those goods are exported from Australia unused since importation, or are treated, processed, or incorporated into other goods for export.