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Importing Dutiable Goods Into Australia Duty Free

The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service administers the granting of Tariff Concession Orders (TCOs). A TCO is a form of legal permission to import a particular good duty free into Australia, provided there is no substitutable good produced in Australia on the date your TCO application is lodged, and the good does not appear on the Excluded Goods Schedule (EGS). The EGS contains certain classes of goods including but not limited to foodstuffs, clothing, and passenger motor vehicles.

TCOs can be a very useful cost reduction tool to the savvy importer. In fact, there are several thousand TCOs in existence.

TCOs are specific to goods, not companies. Therefore, once an importer obtains a TCO for their good, a good meeting the same description and HS tariff classification can be imported duty free by other Australian importers. Importers simply quote the TCO number at importation. There may be several TCOs in existance already that your company could be using to import your goods duty free.

In addition, if the imported product is complicated in nature or of high value, or if it is unclear whether a particular TCO can be used, it is recommended that a Tariff Advice (TA) be obtained from Customs to confirm the classification of the import and the eligibility to use the TCO.

Further, where your company has been importing goods for which a TCO exists, but your company was unaware of the TCO, and therefore not claiming duty free entry, refunds can be obtained by re-lodging the import declarations with the TCO number quoted. The statute of limitations for obtaining refunds of customs duties is four years. The related GST can also be claimed back through a BAS adjustment over the same period.

Are you missing out on savings? Don't just leave it to your Customs Broker. They are paid to clear your goods efficiently, not find ways to save you money. Consequently, they often miss opportunities to use TCOs on your behalf.

Contact me on +61 421 506 095 or eva@internationaltradeadvisors.com.au to find out if your goods can be imported into Australia duty free using a TCO. Our quick analysis of your import records can reveal whether you are entitled to duty refunds for eligible goods you have imported previously.

To learn more about TCOs, visit our website.

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