Australia Import Tax for $1000 Goods or Less

Australia Import Tax

The Australian Department of Trade introduces its first Composition of Trade and industry in 1964. This publication outlines the merchandise trade and its direction for exports, which at the time, was 28.7 per cent of Australia’s Gross Domestic Product with two-way goods and services trade at $6.1 billion. Today, trade constitutes 42.3 per cent of Australia’s nominal GDP and the two-way trade increases by almost 11% every year since the 1990’s . The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade today publishes what is called the Trade and Economic Statistics, which data breaks down information of Australia’s two way goods and services by commodity, by country groups and Australia’s rank in world trade.



Import Tax for $1000 Goods or Less – A bit of History

In the 1960’s – late 70’s, Australia’s import and export of goods by commodities grew from $2.9 billion to $338 billion in value with a volume growth of 10.5 per cent. Following a post-war trade agreement scheme, export of iron, coal and natural gas and later the import of goods such as wheat and wool, increases due to the high inflation and trade ties with neighbor countries. For example, while the United Kingdom tightens its export agreement with the resourceful Europe, it is also the main merchandise import source of Australia until the United States take over in the late 60’s to be its official number one source of imports along with Asia.

The early 2000’s import and export growth spiked due to the depreciation of the Australian dollar and the Sydney Olympic Games. Eventually, Australia’s overall composition of trade succeeds even further with the ongoing rise of Personal Travel Services, between short-term departures and short-term arrivals both to and from Asian countries and New Zealand for leisure and educational purposes. Today, personal travel services (excluding education) is one of the top five Australian import services at a value of $40 billion, accounting for 10.6% of total imports in 2017.

According to recent economic statistics (Austrade 2018), the top five Australian two-way trading partners in 2017 that account for 53% of Australia’s total value trade are China valued $183 billion, Japan $72 billion, the US at a value of $68 billion, South Korea $55 billion and lastly India valued $27 billion.


 Import Tax for $1000 Goods or Less – What Are the Current Trends?

According to the Australian import tax scheme (2018) from July 1st 2018, overseas businesses that meet the GST registration threshold of A$75,000 will need to charge GST on goods that are:

  • imported into Australia
  • less than A$1,000 (low value)
  • not GST-free (such as most basic food, alcohol, tobacco, or tobacco products).



You will be charged GST on low value goods that you import if you are:

  • not registered for GST, or
  • are GST registered but importing goods for personal use



  • are registered for GST
  • import the low value goods for business use in Australia, and
  • provide your ABN to the supplier and a statement that you are registered for GST.


At Online Tax Return, we can help you find and apply valuable information on all things taxes. If you need further assistance you can contact us directly here or check in on our Facebook page !