birding-aus binoculars

To: "'birding-aus'" <>
Subject: birding-aus binoculars
From: "Andrew, Paul" <>
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 1999 14:19:02 +1100
Following a posting on procuring cheaper binoculars, nine thoughtful
people responded (all shall remain anonymous).

Regulations our end: optics are subject to 22% tax (down from 32% and to
be 10% from June 2000) which is payable (via the Post Office) to
Customs. If the optics are marked 'gift' the tax is applied to labelled
value over $200. Though the sample size was small (two respondents
nailed for optics; one respondent nailed for GPS and one escaped tax on
GPS) opinion was that optics would probably be picked up and tax

Regulations the other end: I'm afraid I only really got detailed
information from UK where tax is effectively about 17.5%. If optics are
ordered remotely they can be posted without paying UK tax but are then
subject to Australian tax. It's apparently not straight forward for a UK
passport holder to purchase tax free unless a Duty Free outlet is used -
and here's the rub; retail prices vary enormously. I priced a pair of
Leica 8x32 in Australia, UK and USA. Prices varied from approximately
A$1000 to A$2200. It would be cheaper to buy a pair tax paid through a
discount store than tax free through a Duty Free shop.

Cheapest option: buy a tax free pair from a discount store on a non UK
passport and hand carry into Australia for ~ A$1100. Or buy duty free
from a discount outlet in Hong Kong or USA and do same. Tax free in
Australia is considerably more than taxed overseas - which annoys me. No
wonder every one shops for CDs via Internet. When tax drops to 10% it
would probably be most convenient to fax an order, pay postage and
insurance and risk getting hit for tax.

If anyone has contrary or supplementary information, please advise.


Paul Andrew
Taronga Zoo
PO Box 20
NSW 2088

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