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Tourist Refund Scheme - TRS DUTY FREE

About the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS)

The TRS enables you to claim a refund, subject to certain conditions, of the goods and services tax (GST) and wine equalisation tax (WET) that you pay on goods you buy in Australia.

The refund only applies to goods you take with you as hand luggage or wear onto the aircraft or ship when you leave Australia. It does not apply to services or goods consumed or partly consumed in Australia, such as chocolate and perfume. However, unlike other tourist shopping schemes, most of the goods, such as clothing and cameras, can be used in Australia before departure.

The TRS is open to all overseas visitors and Australian residents, except air and sea operating crew.

The GST refund is calculated by dividing the total amount of the purchase by 11. The WET refund is 14.5 percent of the price paid for wine. For example, if you buy goods for a GST-inclusive price of $660 you will receive a refund of $60. If the $660 is made up of a camera ($460) and wine ($200), you will receive a total refund of $89 (total GST refund of $60 and $29 WET refund on the wine).

The way TRS works

The refund will be paid on goods totalling $300 (GST inclusive) or more, bought from the same store, no more than 30 days before you leave Australia.

You may purchase several lower-priced items from the one store, either at the one time or over several occasions within the 30-day period, provided the total purchase amounts to $300 (GST inclusive) or more. You will have to ask the retailer to consolidate these lower-priced purchases onto a single tax invoice.

You may buy goods from several stores, provided each store's tax invoice totals at least $300 (GST inclusive).

You can collect your refund through one of the following methods:

  • cheque;
  • credit to an Australian bank account; or
  • payment to a credit card

Customs will aim to post cheque refunds within 15 business days. Bank and credit card refunds will be issued by Customs within 5 business days.

however, payment will be subject to processing by your bank or card issuer.

What you need to do when buying goods

If you wish to claim a refund, you must get an original tax invoice from the store where you buy the goods. All stores registered for GST will be able to give you a tax invoice. A refund cannot be given without it.

A tax invoice prominently states the words 'tax invoice' and Australian Business Number (ABN) of the retailer, the purchase price including the GST paid, a description of the goods, the name of the supplier and the date the purchase was made.

Tax invoices for purchases of $1000 or more need additional information, such as the name and address of the purchaser.

More information on tax invoices is available by contacting the Australian Taxation Office.

How you make a claim

You will need to present the following at the Customs TRS facility when you depart Australia:

  • your goods (to prove you are taking them out of the country);
  • the original tax invoice from the retailer (to provide information for Customs officers);
  • your passport; and
  • your international boarding pass or other proof of travel.

You should note that it is a legal requirement that the person who purchases the goods must be the person who makes the claim for a refund of GST.

Where you make a claim

Claims can be made after you have passed through Customs and Immigration outward processing at :

  • the TRS facilities at international airports at Sydney, Brisbane, Melboure, Perth, Cairns, Adelaide, Darwin and Gold Coast;
  • cruise liner terminals at Circular Quay and Darling Harbour in Sydney, Cairns, Darwin, Fremantle, Darwin and Hobart.

If you are leaving Australia from another port you should contact Customs to find out if you can make a claim.

Goods that do not attract refunds under the TRS

The following goods are excluded from the TRS:

  • alcohol such as beer and spirits (you can buy wine and wine products under the TRS) and tobacco products (these goods can be purchased from duty-free shops);
  • GST-free goods-no refund can be claimed if no GST was paid;
  • consumables wholly or partially consumed in Australia;
  • goods which are prohibited on aircraft or ships for safety reasons. These include items such as gas cylinders, fireworks and aerosol sprays (all airlines provide information to passengers on prohibited items);
  • goods which fail to meet airline cabin-size or ship hand luggage restrictions;
  • unaccompanied goods; and
  • services such as accommodation, tours and car rental.

Please note: You will not receive a refund unless Customs is able to verify that you are taking the goods with you. The goods must be taken on board the aircraft or ship on which you are travelling. You therefore need to include the goods in your hand luggage or wear them onto the aircraft or ship.

How long it will take you to make a claim

For passengers departing from international airports, the process will only take a few minutes. However, you should allow for other passengers queuing for a refund. We suggest you allow an extra 15 minutes on top of airlines' recommended time allowances.

Claims can be made up to 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time of your flight.

Passengers departing from seaports should make their claim no earlier than four hours and no later than one hour prior to the scheduled departure time of the vessel.

Bringing the goods back into Australia

If you bring the goods back into Australia, you could be liable to pay GST. Normal passenger concessions will apply but if in doubt you should declare the goods to Customs on your return.

More information is contained in the brochure Know Before You Go which is available from Customs.

More Information

Further information can be obtained from Customs on:
Phone: Within Australia - 1300 363 263 for the cost of a local call
Outside Australia - 61 2 6275 6666
Internet: http://www.customs.gov.au
Email: information@customs.gov.au

Customs Complaints and Compliments

As member of SkyComp Technology, the Customer must provide current, complete, and accurate information about the Customer at all times.

The Customer is entirely responsible for their account which includes confidentiality, any and all activities through using the Customer's account, SkyComp Technology will not be held responsible in any manner.

On the first purchase the Customer places with SkyComp Technology, the Customer might be required to provide additional identification to SkyComp Technology to help eliminate Internet credit card fraud and to provide additional security.

SkyComp Technology reserves the right to terminate a Customer's account if it is found to contain false, incomplete, inaccurate information. If any security concerns or breaches arises from the Customer, they shall report it to SkyComp Technology immediately.

SkyComp Technology does not stored any credit card details for any Customers. The Customer will ensure that credit card details are their sole responsibility to safe guard.