Do You Know Your Duty Free Allowance?

Overseas travelers are allowed to bring into Australia the following goods duty/tax free. (Note Goods bought overseas or bought duty/tax free before leaving Australia are included when determining your duty free allowance.)
From 1 February 2005, travelers are allowed to bring into Australia the following goods duty/tax free:


A$900 worth of goods (A$450 for people under 18) including gifts (given to you or intended for others), souvenirs, cameras, electronic equipment, leather goods, perfume concentrates, jewellery, watches and sporting equipment. Alcohol and tobacco products cannot be included in this allowance.

These goods can be:

  • obtained overseas
  • purchased in Australia duty or tax free before departure
  • goods for which a tax refund has been approved through the Tourist Refund Scheme
  • purchased from an inwards duty free shop on arrival.


  • 2.25 litres of alcoholic beverages for each passenger aged 18 years or over.


  • Travellers aged 18 years or over can bring 50 cigarettes or 50 grams of cigars or tobacco products duty-free into Australia


HOWEVER that if you exceed any of the concession limits set out above, Customs will charge you duty and tax on the entire importation or purchase within that group of items.Family members who reside at the same address may pool duty free concessions if travelling together.
Most personal items such as new clothing, footwear, and articles for personal hygiene and grooming (but not fur or perfume concentrates) may also be brought into Australia in accompanied baggage free from duty and/or tax.

If you have anything in excess of your duty free allowance:

  • declare the goods and provide proof of purchase to Customs for calculation of any duty and tax to be paid.
  • Until 1 February 2005, Customs will not collect combined duty and taxes of less than $A50 provided that excess goods are declared.

As soon as the $A50 limit is reached, the passenger must pay the full amount of duty and/or taxes, not just the amount in excess of $A50.
It is important to note there are different rates of duty and tax. You should find out the duty and tax rates of goods before you buy that extra bottle or other items in excess of your duty/tax free concession. If in doubt, contact a Customs office or call 1300 363 263 (Australia only) for information. If overseas, call + 61 2 6275 6666, visit or email

Payment of Customs duty/taxes

Payment of Customs duty and/or other taxes may be made in cash or by travellers cheque in Australian dollars or by personal cheque drawn on an Australian Bank or by Credit card (American Express, Diners Card, Mastercard, Visa or Bankcard) - only available at international airports or by electronic funds transfer (EFTPOS) from an Australian bank account only available at international airports.

Business Travellers

Business travellers carrying commercial goods or samples may need to obtain permits for their goods depending on the nature of the goods, regardless of value. Quarantine and wildlife regulations and other restrictions may also apply to certain goods.
A customs entry for Customs clearance may be required if the goods carried are valued over $A250.
Laptop computers and other similar electronic equipment for personal use may also be brought in duty/tax free provided Customs is satisfied you are taking these goods with you on departure.

Temporary importation of commercial goods

Carnets may be obtained for temporary duty/tax free entry of goods such as commercial samples, jewellery, goods for international exhibitions, equipment for sporting events, professional television and film equipment etc. Contact your International Chamber of Commerce for application details.For more information on importing goods, contact a Customs office or an Australian mission overseas or refer to the Customs brochure Customs Information for Importers available at Customs offices in Australia or at Australian missions overseas.

Unaccompanied goods

Unaccompanied baggage does not receive the same duty/tax concessions as goods you bring with you. These goods may be subject to duty/tax unless you have both owned and used them for 12 months or more. This also applies to articles posted to Australia. For more information refer to Unaccompanied Effects brochure and Unaccompanied Effects Statement available at all Customs offices and Australian missions overseas.