Fwd: Optics

To: Dave Torr <>
Subject: Fwd: Optics
From: Michael Hunter <>
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2017 00:03:43 +0000
If you buy "Duty Free" in Aus, you need to take them out within a (?) few weeks 
and declare them at customs on exit to get the duty back.

If you take them out on subsequent trips you need not declare them on re-entry, 
but if you are searched and the bins appear unused or have the original 
packaging or otherwise raise Customs suspicions, you could be charged. For a 
legitimate duty paid new pair have a receipt,

If you give a duty-free pair away when overseas, the recipient presumably need 
not declare if they enter or reenter Aus.

If buying overseas duty free (except from a duty free store inside the airport) 
when claiming at the airport you may have to pay "administrative charges" which 
can be up to 50% of the duty, and may take an hour or so in the queue  at the 
airports (particularly UK /Europe) when reclaiming the duty which you pay up 
front with the purchase.
Avoid most of that by reclaiming by mail using paperwork you get when buying.

As Martin suggests, is it worth it , considering the good birding time wasted?


Sent from my iPhone

> On 16 Jan 2017, at 9:30 am, Dave Torr <> wrote:
> A further minor point - if you reclaim the GST on exit you should then 
> declare the items on re-entry as Michael said - and there is a limit of $900 
> on the amount you can bring in duty-free, so you could be charged GST on the 
> difference between $900 and the price you paid. If travelling with a partner 
> you can pool your allowances to get $1800 exempt.
> I have never quite understood the rules - if I do that with an item on one 
> trip and then take that item overseas again do I have to re-declare it next 
> time I come in?
>> On 16 January 2017 at 09:09, Martin Butterfield <> wrote:
>> I was interested in Michael's comments (not that I expect to visit anywhere
>> in the USA in the next 4 years) as the relative pricing seemed to go
>> against my experience.  However he is, to use an appropriate metaphor,
>> right on the money.
>> I did a quick and nasty comparison, picking one shop in SF and one high-end
>> model of binoculars as a test case. I used my favourite Australian purveyor
>> of optical goods and the same model of binoculars as the benchmark.  The SF
>> price was ~$US1950 and the Australian price ~$A2600.  After adjusting for
>> exchange rates, saving GST on the Australian price and adding on SF sales
>> tax it emerged that the Australian price was much (~15%) better.
>> Of course that might reflect the model I chose and the shops I chose.  But
>> I'd certainly suggest doing the research before devoting a chunk of limited
>> time in SF to acquiring the optics over there.
>> One further point is that saving the GST in Australia requires accessing
>> the TRS facility in the airport on departure.  While that is now a lot
>> better than it was, I'd still allow at least an hour between clearing
>> Security and boarding your flight for that process.
>> Martin
>> Martin Butterfield
>> On 16 January 2017 at 06:53, Michael Hunter <>
>> wrote:
>> >
>> >
>> > Sent from my iPhone
>> >
>> > Begin forwarded message:
>> >
>> > > From: Michael Hunter <>
>> > > Date: 16 January 2017 6:49:43 am AEDT
>> > > To: "" <>
>> > > Cc: 
>> > > Subject: Optics
>> > >
>> > > Try googling " binoculars San Francisco."
>> > > Unfortunately prices in currency adjusted terms are about the same.
>> > > On top of that you pay State sales tax in California.
>> > > You might try buying them tax free in Aus before you leave but would
>> > need to declare them on your departure, and to be legal, on your return if
>> > you personally bring them back into Aus. when they might be recorded on
>> > computer even if you don't .
>> > >
>> > >           Good Luck.  There is some good birding in the vicinity if you
>> > rent a car and drive,  again check Google.
>> > >
>> > >       Cheers.  Michael
>> > >
>> > > Sent from my iPhone
>> > <HR>
>> > <BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
>> > <BR> 
>> > <BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit:
>> > <BR>
>> > </HR>
>> >
>> <HR>
>> <BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
>> <BR> 
>> <BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit:
>> <BR>
>> </HR>
<BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
<BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit:

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU