Declaring gifts for customs?

Old Oct 27th, 2005, 04:58 PM
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Declaring gifts for customs?

I'm sorry, but I needed to start a new thread because I think my ignorant question is a little different and didn't want it to get lost in the gift thread.

We are traveling to Oz in a few weeks and are accumulating lots of gifts for our various hosts and their families. I know when we travel into Canada we have to declare anything we are leaving behind - assume all these gifts need to be itemized for Australian Customs? In which case, do I need to keep the receipts, stuff like that. Or is just a total good enough? (Also, will be taking wrapped Hershey's candies for one family's kids - suggested by my daughter who is already there and has a friend whose mom is bringing a truckload of the stuff when she visits soon! Will not bring any other foodstuffs.)

Traveled to NZ and Australia about 25 years ago and don't remember what Customs required, but travel in and out of Canada fairly regularly and know what they want to know.

Thanks for your help.
inthechips2 is offline  
Old Oct 27th, 2005, 06:04 PM
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I didn't know the answer to this question, so I went looking in the Australian Customs Service website - www.customs.gov.au - and I still don't. Like most other people we always bring gifts back from overseas, but it's never occurred to me to declare them unless they fall into some obvious category like foodstuffs. So - unless someone else here knows the answer, I'd be inclined to go to the horse's mouth and email Customs at [email protected] (as per www.customs.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=4491) They'll probably refer you to a Web page somewhere that I didn't find. Meanwhile, it might be a good idea to keep those receipts.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Old Oct 27th, 2005, 06:43 PM
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Thanks Neil. Daughter says she doesn't recall seeing anything regarding gifts on the customs form, but since she really isn't bringing many gifts when she visits, she can't recall.

I'll see if I get any answers, then will follow up with an email to customs, OR just be sure I have the receipts with me should the question come up when entering the country.
inthechips2 is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2005, 04:08 AM
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In June, I brought gifts including maple syrup and maple sugar candy. I wrote the items on my form and had no problem since they were all packaged. I had no receipts although I knew the cost at the time.

I don't think you will have a problem unless you are bringing items that are banned or restricted.
Barbara_in_CT is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2005, 05:07 PM
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Last year we brought candy as gifts and simply declared it at customs. We were greeted with the usual smiles down under and told "no worries" and off we went!

We did check the customs web site to make sure what we were bringing was allowed. We also talked to Qantas which confirmed what we found on the web site

Cheers
stevew is offline  
Old Oct 29th, 2005, 09:34 PM
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I think you will find it depends on whether they truly are gifts, or if they could be items for re-sale, and it is up to you to convince Customs.
For example, if you turned up with 1000 tea towels they would assume you intended selling them, whereas one tea towel wouldn't rate a second look.

Similarly, expensive items in their original packaging could well be for re-sale, and you may be hit with duty.

In over 30 years of visiting Australia I have never been questioned about stuff I have brought in. They are more concerned with prohibited items, such as food and agricultural paraphenalia, and stuff on the CITES list.

Best policy. If you are in doubt DECLARE IT. The Australian Customs officers are (usually) helpfull and understanding. At the worst you will get hit with GST, which is 10% on most things.
vbca is offline  
Old Oct 29th, 2005, 11:00 PM
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Actually, I don't think Australian & New Zealand customs have a policy on Gifts.
Items for personal use can be imported duty free. Items of trade incure duty, usually GST (10%).
Gifts would be classed as being for personal use, but the test aplied is whether the number of items is reasonable, having regard to the intended use. A reasonable number of small items could legitimately be gifts, but a case full of digital cameras would definitely attract attention.
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