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Discussion Starter #1
For anyone buying parts overseas, here's a heads up - if the parts total more than AU$1000, break up the order into a couple of transactions, to avoid paying duty and GST to the Australian Government.

I ordered some wheels and a bunch of stuff from Alfaholics, shipped as one order, and now I have to pay duty and GST. That is if I can actually navigate the ridiculous multitude of forms that the inept b*stards from Customs sent me.

Apparently you can't just pay the duty, you have to register as a client in their "Integrated Cargo System", which is an excuse for more forms, and more ways the fascist government c*nts can track your every move.

I'm not a 'client' of an 'integrated cargo system', I'm just a bloke who bought some wheels from England, cause nobody in this backwater country makes them!!!

And just in case they haven't got their hand in my pocket deeply enough, I also have to pay GST on the shipping!! *** should I pay GST for shipping that I paid to a company in another country?

Of all the 200-odd countries in the world, I had to be born in this one! Just my friggin luck!
 

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Yes i know all about this... not fun at all, i had a fairly large shipment of 105 parts come from Alfaholics a year or so ago and it ended up being almost $800 extra on top of shipping just to get it released from customs.

The only other option is to insure it for under $1000 but thats a risk in itself.

People have told me since that it should be exempt because the car is more then 25 years old but the customs broker could not find anything that would allow this exemption?

Does anyone know the whole story with customs and 'old' cars?

Grrrrr
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the tip. I'll look into it, but I doubt I'll get very far. I can just imagine the level of customer services I'll get from the plonkers at Customs.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
GCL - I did a bit of digging. It seems that many parts for cars built before 1962, and also many parts for cars more than 30 years old, receive a tariff concession. It includes reproduction parts.

I don't know if it means they're duty free, or are subject to discounted duty. Will know more after I speak to customs.

It looks like most parts pertaining to body, trim, interior, suspension, brakes, gearbox, etc are exempt, if the car was built before 1962, or the part is more than 30 years old, or is a reproduction of such a part. In other words, most of the regular stuff for 105s would be exempt. Sadly, it looks like wheels are not exempt except for huge sizes and racing wheels, and neither are springs, and they were the 2 most expensive items on my list of parts!

I've copied pages and pages of info off the customs website into a word doc, so I pretty much have the quintessential list of car part tariff concessions. If you want it for reference let me know and I'll post it as an attachment.

It took me hours, but I'm not giving the rogues a dollar more than I have to. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Spoke to Customs today, who offered their usual level of customer service, NONE!

They couldn't make it any harder if they tried.

Bring on free trade!!
 

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Yes i tried some of the avenues you went down but my level of patience was wearing pretty thin after the first couple hours of my time wasted. I was starting to worry that the parts could get damaged sitting in warehouse after a week or so, so i had no choice but to cough up.

Also the boot rubber was missing from the order, Max swears he included it, i think customs took it out and slit it open to check for drugs and threw it in the rubbish. Luckily Max sent me a replacement no questions asked.

I hope something works out for you, because im sure i will be bringing in more stuff from overseas in the future.
 

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I spoke to another BBer recently who also encountered this problem. He suggested that simply having had the wheels shipped in two packages as opposed to one would have beat the problem. Perhaps, I dont know.

I reckon if you could get someone to dirty them before they leave England you'd be 'right...

The part that really makes me the most mad would be paying GST on the shipping. That doesn't stack up at all, as an Australian company must be registered for GST - and ONLY an Australian company can be registered for GST. I'd really like to know how they justify that one.
 

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Welcome to 2007 Damo. Isn't it beautiful.

From memory, digging around a few years ago, (including all of your eloquently expressed frustrations, what a bunch of wankers) $400 was the magic number they gave me? I've not had any issues with figures under this but shi!loads of issues with anything beyond that.

You cant get any sense out of the Customs Dept which is why everyone uses agents, but I don't know of any of them that know they're way through old car parts. Someone might?
 

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Welcome to 2007 Damo. Isn't it beautiful.

From memory, digging around a few years ago, (including all of your eloquently expressed frustrations, what a bunch of wankers) $400 was the magic number they gave me? I've not had any issues with figures under this but shi!loads of issues with anything beyond that.

You cant get any sense out of the Customs Dept which is why everyone uses agents, but I don't know of any of them that know they're way through old car parts. Someone might?
I imported a piece of second hand hi-fi eqpt from NZ some years back. It cost me almost the price of the eqpt in fees from the agent and duty/GST AFTER the agent had dropped their fee to just cover costs (so I'm told) given the sheer insanity of the transaction (I told them they could keep the $$#@$ thing, I wasn't paying). Thats without the trips from customs to the bonded store to the broker to... Should have sent THEM a bill. Of course there is an FTA with NZ, but the equipement wasn't made there (never mind some other poor bastard had payed the NZ government charges on the thing when it arrived there) and second hand makes no difference.

I can say that it is often worth paying fedex fees for shipping - they do their own customs clearance and - well - they seem to give themselves a good deal if at all possible - but keeping it under $1000 is a good thing (lucky those forgies weren't any more expensive/the AU$ was worth something at the time....).
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Ben - yeah If I had known all this was going to happen, I would have broken the order up into a few lots, and got Alfaholics to raise separate invoices, then ship the items a few days apart.

You pay duty on new/used/gifted goods worth $1000 or more (shipped as one consigment). Yeah you read right, you pay duty on gifts. So let's say you dying Aunt Bessie in England bequests her brand new 8C to you, you pay duty on it's full value!

So the first lesson for others, if you ever place a big order, either get them to break up the order, or if the seller won't, buy it a few items at a time.

Darryl - The stuff was shipped with EMS, and according to Alfaholics the shipping company would handle all the customs clearance. Clearly all they did was dump the stuff with Australia Post, who then pass it to customs.

The system stinks, because the average punter has no knowledge of customs regulations, and Customs won't give you any help. I guess they work on the basis that if you can't figure out what goods are exempt, you'll just have to pay duty.

I'm gonna navigate my way through the quagmuire of Customs tariff regulations, and find out exactly what's exempt.

Although I'm tempted to pay the full duty, then take Customs to court for overcharging me. But I guess someone else has tried that and lost.

When I know exactly what the deal is for old cars and parts, I'll post a word doc with all the relevant exemption codes etc, so nobody else on here will ever have to go through this bulls*it.

And they wonder why people hate the bureacracy! Next time you're at a party, and a bloke introduces himself and tells you he's a customs officer, give him a good uppercut, then kick him when he goes down! :)

Disclaimer: Yes I'm aware my comments may offend some people, and no I won't apologise :p
 

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Let me try to clarify or un-fog a little (if i can) although i know this thread has been going on for a while).
i have been doing International Freight for 20 years and even after that i know the process isnt 100% consistent every time and for good reason.

1. keep you import Customs "commercial" value (Value of goods) under A$1000.00.
That should mean an "informal" clearance and therefore "zero"duty. However, i reccomended you keep it way under that i.e less than $800.00 to improve your success.

2. Use International parcels post or courier for small stuff.

3. if a decent import - a whole car or engine for example, seriously consider using a Freight forwarder / Customs broker to do the clearance process for you. They will charge handling fees but save a world of grief and potentially save you from costly mistakes.

the buts -
- You may still be subject to "Customs"Duty and "Customs"GST at Customs discretion (called risk assessment).
- You may be subject to Quarantine (AQIS) inspection, especially if a used car, wheels, tyres.
- You may be able to reduce the "Customs" GST by importing under an ABN. But you will have to be able, if asked, to prove the company under this ABN is a genuine importer/owner of this gear.
- You will incur "local" GST on any handling, transport, documentation, agency work if professionally cleared.
- If you intend to import a whole car, always seek Dept of Transport approval first. They will issue you an import permit. Without this permit, you will NOT get import clearance thru Customs.

If in doubt, ask a broker or someone in the forwarding industry BEFORE you hand over the bucks for your purchase.

This is only generalistic advise, from experience. Of course, one must always be honest in your declarations and dealings as the penalties for false declaration arent worth the risk.

If i can help, email me @ [email protected]
I am happy to offer my advice on any question regarding International freight to/from Oz.
 

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there is one way of doing it,it's old trick my old dad told me,
his sister used to send him parcels from the usa,(clothing)
for it to be exempt from tax she use to wash the item,then it became second hand,
now for the same system applied to the wheels,if they take them out of the origanal box and repacked them in a standard box put a bit of grease on the rim here and there,classified them as second hand wheels,
they could be worth anything then, $100 or whatever,theres no law says you can't purchase second hand goods at any price?
the only catch is that you have to get the seller to play ball!;)
 

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Thanks for the tip. I'll look into it, but I doubt I'll get very far. I can just imagine the level of customer services I'll get from the plonkers at Customs.
I hate to tell you this, but you will also pay GST levied on the duty as that is seen as a service. What a joke, a tax on a tax. ****ers. Anyone bringing in gaskets should watch out too as they somhow want to protect our antiquated, inefficent spotswoodesque gasket making industry.
 

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And be careful getting the order spilt up into multiple packages.
Customs tracks how many packages are being imported from the one vendor to you in any particular time frame and can fine you if they decide (their discretion) it is really all one order split up.
Kik the f**kers out!
 

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This thread reminds me of the day I was driving down the Pacific Hiway up near Tweed with my older brother and he was slagging off at what he considered was the appalling excuse for a national hiway system we have here in Australia. "It's a f***in' disgrace!", he says. "There should be a national four lane network the country over." Yet the next hour he was bragging about how he cheats on his income tax, and saves on customs fees by importing all his rubbish Harley crap by breaking complete bikes and reassembling them.... whatever! Hey sh*t for brains, where do you think the money for this infrastructure comes from???? I know there is money wasteage and unfairness in any government, but if you don't like it, go find utopia!

You people whinging about forking a few extra unbudgetted bucks out for your toys should spend some time in a third world country. When you have seen 8 year old kids getting down the streets with no legs and a pair of sneakers on their hands you realise you are lucky to live in in Aus.

I am happy to fork out the extra tax, because I know that is what pays for this country to be a great place to live. And when you crash your car on the racetrack, that money you paid to Customs will help fly you to a nice well equipped hospital that'll put you back together.

Not that I want to spend a red cent more than I have to. I have been importing outdoors gear for years (skis etc). Just you have to learn to play the game! The information is all there on the internet!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I don't object to paying duty, I object to the lack of customer service offered by Customs, and to paying tax on a tax, ie GST on duty.

And while I agree with your sentiment re the third world, I don't think just because we are more fortunate than others that we should be complacent and apathetic towards things that happen in this country. People have to hold governments accountable, and when my government does something that I don't agree with, I'll voice my opinion about it, everytime! And when it comes to expressing an opinion, I need nobody's approval :)
 

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This thread reminds me of the day I was driving down the Pacific Hiway up near Tweed with my older brother and he was slagging off at what he considered was the appalling excuse for a national hiway system we have here in Australia. "It's a f***in' disgrace!", he says. "There should be a national four lane network the country over." Yet the next hour he was bragging about how he cheats on his income tax, and saves on customs fees by importing all his rubbish Harley crap by breaking complete bikes and reassembling them.... whatever! Hey sh*t for brains, where do you think the money for this infrastructure comes from???? I know there is money wasteage and unfairness in any government, but if you don't like it, go find utopia!

You people whinging about forking a few extra unbudgetted bucks out for your toys should spend some time in a third world country. When you have seen 8 year old kids getting down the streets with no legs and a pair of sneakers on their hands you realise you are lucky to live in in Aus.

I am happy to fork out the extra tax, because I know that is what pays for this country to be a great place to live. And when you crash your car on the racetrack, that money you paid to Customs will help fly you to a nice well equipped hospital that'll put you back together.

Not that I want to spend a red cent more than I have to. I have been importing outdoors gear for years (skis etc). Just you have to learn to play the game! The information is all there on the internet!
right said fred!
that's why i don't believe in saving my money or making wise investment decisions in my youth for my retirment,
so i can enjoy myself when i retire(meaning not working anymore,enjoyment in later life),because if i do i will regret it latter,
were you are means tested for how many cars you have,what brand off cars you have and if you sold them how much money you could you get on them and use to live on,what your lounge is worth,what other goods you own etc.....of some value you could pawn
YOUR PUNISHMENT HAS BEEN SENTANCED DOWN TO YOU,FOR SAVING YOUR MONEY AND INVESTING IT IS.....
(1)no pension
(2)full price on doctor's fee's
(3)full fare on public transport
(4)rego full price
(5)full price on medication
all these wonderfull things we DON"T get we are over 65 and paying tax all your life,and because you have been sensible with your money,WE ARE SO LUCKY,WHAT A GREAT COUNTRY WE LIVE IN!
ohh yeah,that's right,i forgot
and were gst is added to water with fizz in it,but not if go's flat.
or were you can equate that meal has the same importance of gst(10%) as oil filter same(10%)
some how can't see myself sitting down eating a oil filter,but hey at least i only pay the same tax as a hamburger
and that free medical we get at the teaching hospitals!
and free dental!
free optical glasses!
that free sbs tv station we pay for,which they also get money from private sector for adverts.
and those "FREE" PAY toll's that goverment won't build,
just as well we all pay our duty and tax's,other wise the private sector wouldn't be able to build all those free roads we have to PAY for to go on!!!!
ALL FREE,well that's what the tax goes too????
i always thought australia compared itself to country's like germany,france,england,italy,sweden,denmark.
not the philipines or india.?
so yes we should pay tax on top tax
that way we make sure we can keep all those people on the dole and give them no incentive to go out and work, and make sure that all the MP'S have plenty of free air travel and a big pension also!
god bless this country for what it has become
please wake me up when i'm in heaven,
because i'm not fcking living there now:(
 

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yeah sorry about that,
i took my head out of the hole,and forgot to keep telling myself how lucky i am all the time,
that's what were good at,telling everybody how we are the best in the world all the time,and then putting our heads back in the hole like a ostridge!:confused:
 
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