Customs Value

This information is provided as a guide only. The Customs Act 1901 section 159 is the definitive authority on valuation of goods for customs purposes.

The Customs Value is the monetary value applied by the Australian Customs Service to your shipment, and is used to calculate duty and GST and is used for economic and statistical reporting purposes. Note that strict penalties apply for incorrect declaration of customs value and you are strongly advised to declare actual or reasonable values for your goods.

Generally the “Transaction Value” is used by Customs. This means they take the actual price you paid (or are going to pay) for the goods converted into Australian dollars. You will need to have receipts or other documentary proof. The customs value includes the cost of packing materials and labour but does not include the costs of hiring shipping containers that will be re-exported. The customs value includes freight and insurance in the country of origin from their original location to the place of export but does not include international freight or insurance from the place of export to Australia. If GST is payable then it is calculated based on the Customs value PLUS the cost of freight PLUS insurance PLUS any other taxes (luxury car tax, win equalisation tax etc.).

If you are unable to provide receipts, or Customs feel that the transaction value does not truly represent the worth of the consignment then they have the discretion to use any of a number of other methods to arrive at a Customs value.

  • Identical Goods Value – The price of identical goods available for sale for import into Australia
  • Similar Goods Value – The price of similar goods available for sale for import into Australia
  • Deductive Value – The sale price in Australia of similar goods, allowing for other costs such as freight
  • Computed Value – A calculated price based on costs of raw materials plus manufacturing plus a reasonable profit margin

Any free-of-charge goods (gifts, bequests, samples, promotions, bonuses etc) must be assigned a nominal customs value using one of these alternative methods of calculation.

Personal Effects