Customs info for Aussies importing basses

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Aussie Mark, Nov 8, 2003.

  1. Aussie Mark

    Aussie Mark I come from a land down under Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2002
    Sydney, Oz
    Endorsing Artist: Fender; O'Neill Amps; Cave Passive Pedals
    This info got buried in another thread, so I thought I'd repost it because there was quite a bit of interest from the Aussies about the process of importing a bass without paying import duty.

    The standard tariff listing shows basses as being liable for import duty of 5%, however this is not the case, provided you can quote the correct information. When Maton stopped making electric basses in 1993 the import duty on solid body basses was dropped.

    You or your customs broker (or your freight company) need to quote the following Tariff Concession -

    TC 9305368
    Tariff 9207.90.00
    Electric Bass Guitar, solid body
    Operative date 23/4/93
    Declaration date 1/10/93
    This TCO is eligible for Item 50A 92.pdf

    The above Tariff Concession is a customs ruling that overrides the original 5% duty rate.

    When talking to your freight company or customs broker (see below), you might need to specifically refer them to the above info, since they will probably just check the standard listing and assume it's 5%.

    So, if you are importing a bass into Australia, you don't pay any import duty, however you are still up for the following costs -

    * GST: 10% of the total purchase price + shipping cost. You'll need to provide an invoice or receipt so they can calculate this.

    * Customs clearance fees: NB. Only required if the total purchase price + shipping is AU$1000 or more. A customs broker will charge around $100 for this. If you ship using Fedex or most other large freight companies they will do the customs clearance paperwork for you, usually for less than a customs broker will charge.

    Don't be scared. It's not a complex process - it just sounds complex.

    Example A: Bass shipped using EMS international post. Price AU$700 + shipping AU$150. You will receive a card in your letter box telling you to front up to your post office with ID and proof of purchase. You pay AU$85 and they give you the bass.

    Example B: Bass shipped using EMS international post. Price AU$1200 + shipping AU$150. You will receive a card in your letter box telling you that because the total value of the "consignment" exceeds $1000, you will need to arrange customs clearance. Look in the Yellow Pages and speak to a customs broker. You fax them the card from Australia Post plus your invoice/receipt. The customs broker will phone you when they've calculated how much you owe (in this case $135 + their fee). You deposit the total into the customs broker's bank account or pay by credit card over the phone, then the customs broker submits the customs clearance electronically. You then go to your local customs office (or post office) and pick up the bass. Getting a customs clearance is a fast same day process, depending on how quick you pay the customs broker.

    Example C: Bass shipped using Fedex. Price AU$1200 + shipping AU$150. If you have the tracking number you can view the progress of your bass online. Phone Fedex, quote your tracking number, and they will tell you how much you owe, which will be GST of $135, plus customs processing fees, which will be up to $100. This includes a quarantine fee. You pay Fedex with your credit card over the phone, and they deliver the bass to you overnight.

    Any specific questions send me a PM or an email.
  2. unharmed

    unharmed Iron Fishes

    May 19, 2003
    London, England
    Thanks for clarifying this, Mark! I copied your last post about this for my reference but this explanation is a bit clearer. Thanks again!
  3. Thanks for the info Mark. I've saved it to file as I'm sure it's going to come in handy sooner than later. :bassist: :D
  4. Thats good info to know, I assume the examples are for new basses? What would be the situation in the bass was used? would there still the the GST component, ect..?

    I'm thinking of buying a used stingray from the states because they'are like hens teeth here in oz and in abundance in the states.
    Thanks for any help.
  5. Soulbanana


    May 7, 2004
    Thanks for the help. Very informative. What about importing of small cabs like 2x10s and 1x12s? Does a different set of rules come in?
  6. As i watch the Aussie Dollar sink further into the toilet i constantly consider importing from overseas.

    This is VERY useful. thanks! :hyper:
  7. :D Came in handy about two months ago in the form of my beautiful new P-bass. :D


    I'm not sure Aussie Mark comes here anymore, but if you'd really like to confer with him, PM me and I'll tell you the board where he hangs out now.