Parts importing question...
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Parts importing question...

    G'day,

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    Just wondering if anyone has had experience importing parts from the UK. I ordered some parts from gsfcarparts.com, and the parts are currently in Sydney, held by a shipping company awaiting a clearance from Australian quarantine. I was told by the shipping company the pick up some paperwork and take it to customs for the clearance. I had a mate do it for me this afternoon only to get told by customs that I needed to get it done online for like 120 dollars or so, because they don't do clearances for anything that's worth less than a 1000 dollars..... Being my first time importing parts and I must admit I am completely clueless as to the the rules for importing..... Can anyone shine some light on suggestions?

    Cheers,

    Wilson.

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts kermit's Avatar
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    Customs has the final say so do what they tell you or you want get your parts. However a good shipping company should know how to deal with Customs an either do the work for you, for a fee, or be able to tell you what to do.

    Check Customs web site. I'm sure they would have all the info there.
    http://www.customs.gov.au
    Cheers Simon
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  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quattro920
    G'day,

    Just wondering if anyone has had experience importing parts from the UK. I ordered some parts from gsfcarparts.com, and the parts are currently in Sydney, held by a shipping company awaiting a clearance from Australian quarantine. I was told by the shipping company the pick up some paperwork and take it to customs for the clearance. I had a mate do it for me this afternoon only to get told by customs that I needed to get it done online for like 120 dollars or so, because they don't do clearances for anything that's worth less than a 1000 dollars..... Being my first time importing parts and I must admit I am completely clueless as to the the rules for importing..... Can anyone shine some light on suggestions?

    Cheers,

    Wilson.
    Last time I got parts from gsf only a few hundred dollars worth it got picked up by customs also. The shipping company wanted to charge us an extra number of fees to clear it. We got the paperwork off the customs website and completed it ourselves for a small admin fee.

    I'm now of the opinion its probably better to get parts from somewhere like caravelle imports than going through the hassle of getting through customs and their silly fees - plus i think the shipping company andyspares now uses is not as good as what they used in the past. I just don't understand why customs would pick up a brand new sealed car part worth <200 bucks anyway??

    Dave


  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! sdabel's Avatar
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    I have bought a fair few items from GSF without any problems with customs, however all have been under AU$200 in value. Except for the front disks and pads, they probably saw the cost of freight and decided I had paid enough.

    GSF now will send small items via regular post making them cost effective for smaller items.

    regards
    sean
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  5. #5
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    Sounds like you need to contact customs or have a look at their website to see how the relevant legislation affects your circumstances. And you mentioned quarantine too. Is the problem related to the customs entry or quarantine because from what you've said (no offence intended) I'm not sure you know?

    Depending on how goods are imported into Australia they may be exempt from GST and or customs duty, based on certain value thresholds and of course, the type of goods they are (eg. special limits for tobacco, alcohol etc.). As Sean mentioned in his post he brought items under $200 in without hassles - probably because they would have been beneath the relevant threshold and hence would not have been subject to duty or GST.

    The rules are fairly complicated depending on method of importation etc. If you can't ascertain the way they affect your particular situation by checking their website, I suggest you give Customs and or AQIS a call. Although Customs are a government department, in my numerous dealings with them I almost invariably found them to be both knowledgable and helpful (unlike certain other departments we've all dealt with at some time or another!)
    Good luck,
    Brett

  6. #6
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    I've brought lots of parts in from GSF and also purchased on eBay and only got picked up once by customs. That was a clutch kit, two clutch cables, speedo cable and some other small bits from GSF that came over the A$250 mark so I got the call from a customs agent to clear them myself or pay them to do it. As I was about to go on a business trip I had the agent do it for A$75 and got the parts at my place 2 days later. Ever since, I've been careful to make sure the declared value PLUS shipping cost is below A$250 which I believe is the limit for car parts....and have had no hassles since.
    Cheers,
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  7. #7
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    Default More detail on the Ken W / Dave experience

    If you order parts and shipping worth more than A$250 and it comes in airfreight ( as stuff from GSF does) then Customs can charge GST and duty on the shipment and you have to get the Customs Agent to process it for you at their minimum charge of $120 or so!!!!!

    We had a shipment valued at $240 come in freight paid to our Brisbane address and a couple of days after ordering we had a Customs Agent ring to say we needed to cough up the $120 + customs charges to clear it though Sydney Customs. We said sod off to them, got them to email copy of shipping details to us and consulted the Customs Website. I went into Customs in town only to be told that this office was seafreight customs and I needed to go to airfreight customs branch which was near airport. Asked wife to go down to Customs airfreight with spare copy of shipping documents and sort it. After waiting in queue for usual length of time, the customs officer scratched his head as to why it had been held up, helped her fill out paperwork (advantage of sending a female I think) and cleared it on the System for us.

    I then rang the Customs Agent to tell her that we had sorted the problem only to be told that yes it was through Customs but it had a quarantine clearance required status on it as well. Luckily we had noticed that quarantine also had a counter at the airport Customs Office so off I went again armed with a GSF catalogue to ask why new parts would need a quarantine clearance. More scratching of heads and they stamped our copy of the shipping documents with a clearance stamp. Their explanation was that the quarantine person in Sydney must have thought they were second hand parts that might need cleaning. After I faxed this to the Customs Agent, they took the shipment out of their bond store and shipped it onto us at no charge.

    So after 3 trips to Customs/Quarantine taking about 6 hours of our time, we got the items cleared at no extra cost. I think what really went wrong with this shipment was that GSF had not included any form of Customs Declaration on it. They had only included a copy of the invoice.

    So if you are ordering from GSF, keep total cost below $A250 and make sure they include a customs delaration of the value and stating that the parts are NEW.

    Good Luck

    Ken W
    Last edited by Ken W; 9th February 2006 at 11:18 PM.

  8. #8
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    And what we learned from this is that Ken has a very patient wife who is willing to support his Citroen addiction. They're a rare breed mate! Mine helped me on a car recovery on Saturday.
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  9. #9
    1000+ Posts kermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken W
    After waiting in queue for usual length of time, the customs officer scratched his head as to why it had been held up, helped her fill out paperwork (advantage of sending a female I think) and cleared it on the System for us.

    I then rang the Customs Agent to tell her that we had sorted the problem only to be told that yes it was through Customs but it had a quarantine clearance required status on it as well. Luckily we had noticed that quarantine also had a counter at the airport Customs Office so off I went again armed with a GSF catalogue to ask why new parts would need a quarantine clearance. More scratching of heads and they stamped our copy of the shipping documents with a clearance stamp. Their explanation was that the quarantine person in Sydney must have thought they were second hand parts that might need cleaning. After I faxed this to the Customs Agent, they took the shipment out of their bond store and shipped it onto us at no charge.

    So after 3 trips to Customs/Quarantine taking about 6 hours of our time, we got the items cleared at no extra cost. I think what really went wrong with this shipment was that GSF had not included any form of Customs Declaration on it. They had only included a copy of the invoice.
    Good old bureaucracy, you've got to love it.
    Cheers Simon
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  10. #10
    Tadpole
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    Dear all,

    Thanks for all your replies. I've been totally confused when I first received the call from the shipping carrier. In the beginning I was told that my parts (less than A$250) were hold for quarantine. Then when my mate went to pick up the paperwork he was sent to customs, who then told him they don't handle goods under a 1000 dollars anymore. But I have a feeling that I'll probably need a customs and quarantine clearance....

    My mate is sending me the paperwork so I can go through this in Adelaide, and I'll probably just go to the customs office and deal with this stuff in person. Thanks for all the replies and suggestions.

    Cheers,

    Wilson.

  11. #11
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    your problem is your using shipping carrier and couriers ... DO NOT USE THEM.

    If you have a friend in the UK/US, simply get them to package them and post them to your door. They have never failed to arrive for me, no customs, no quaratine, so charges ... Just straight to your door. Just about every part I've purchased from ebay out of the UK is just the same.

    My father however purchased spheres and foglights for the CX turbo out of the UK. They were 'shipped' to him via the standard courier the company used.... It cost him more for shipping, duty, GST, import tax, charges etc, etc (what ever the bloody hell they thought they could add) than the original purchase cost. I think he was half tempted to just let them keep the parts at customs ....

    MAKE SURE IT'S MAILED DIRECTLY TO YOUR DOOR USING THE STANDARD POSTAL SERVICE !!!!

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  12. #12
    Simon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    MAKE SURE IT'S MAILED DIRECTLY TO YOUR DOOR USING THE STANDARD POSTAL SERVICE !!!!
    This all depends on the vagaries of the post as well. When I was getting a heap of parts for my car, all were sent through the post. One got snagged by customs, probably because it was a large and heavy box. All had the proper customs declaration, and most had the invoices attached. I was left a letter in the post to pick the large box from the post office distribution centre in Adelaide.

    With Customs, again it must be the standard reply, you had to get a Customs agent to clear the item. There was no mention of this in the letter. After I said that I didnít want to pay a Customs agent to clear the item in a few hours after travelling down there, he said there was a form that could be filled in and they would be cleared in 24 hours without the cost and involvement of an agent. This seemed a funny arrangement, almost as if there are kickbacks from the agents! Anyhow, he stepped me through the form, I paid the relevant duty and picked up the bits the next day. So it would seem that regardless of who sends it the main criteria would be the value of the items involved rather than the method of sending the items. As well the cost of just normal post was a lot cheaper than couriers, just as an aside.

  13. #13
    1000+ Posts gti138's Avatar
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    One thing to remember is that Customs have a presence at all major Australian International Post Centers. Sending things only by post is not a sure fire way to get things without paying duty. You may find that you'll have to pay the duty. Even if you buy things from places like ebay.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gti138
    One thing to remember is that Customs have a presence at all major Australian International Post Centers. Sending things only by post is not a sure fire way to get things without paying duty. You may find that you'll have to pay the duty. Even if you buy things from places like ebay.
    This is absolutely right. Depending on the provisions of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 and the Customs Tariff Act 1994 goods may be subject to GST, duty, both (or neither, of course!). If so then various concessional limits apply, depending on certain issues including (but not limited to) (A) the type of goods (B) the country of origin (C) the way in which the goods are entered for home consumption and (D) the value of the goods for customs purposes... As an example, different limits apply for goods brought into Australia as accompanied baggage than for items imported by post but these are only two of several scenarios that may occur. As I mentioned earlier the rules are based on the abovementioned acts (and the schedules to the customs tariff) and are fairly complex; however all other things being equal, goods brought into Australia by mail may certainly be subject to duty in the appropriate circumstances, and if taxable under the GST Act the Comptroller General of Customs will also collect the GST on behalf of the ATO... Certainly, some items mailed into Australia may slip through the net depending perhaps to an extent on the accompanying documentation - however this does not mean that you may always avoid the above imposts by posting stuff over here.
    Cheers,

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