TRS – Tourist Refund Scheme
The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) allows you to claim a refund of the goods paid on goods you buy in Australia. The refund only applies to goods you take with you as hand luggage or wear onto the aircraft or ship when you leave the country.
The TRS is open to all overseas visitors and Australian residents, except operating air and sea crew.
To claim a refund you must:
Spend $300 (GST inclusive) or more in the one store and get a single tax invoice.
Buy goods no more than 60 days before departure.
Claims at airports are only available up to 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure of your flight.
Claims at seaports should be made no earlier than 4 hours and no later than 1 hour prior to the scheduled departure time of the vessel.
The way it works:
The refund will be paid on goods totalling $300 (GST inclusive) or more, bought from the same store, no more than 60 days before you leave Australia.
The GST refund is calculated by dividing the total amount of the purchase by 11. For example, if you buy goods for a GST-inclusive price of $660 you will receive a refund of $60.
You can collect your refund through one of the following methods:
- Credit to an Australian bank account
- Payment to a credit card
Customs will aim to post cheque refunds within 15 business days. Bank and credit card refunds will be issued by Customs within 5 business days. However, payment will be subject to processing by your bank or card issuer.
What you need to do when buying goods:
If you wish to claim a refund, you must get an original tax invoice from the store where you buy the goods. All stores will be able to give you a tax invoice. A refund cannot be given without it.
A tax invoice prominently states the words ‘tax invoice’ and Australian Business Number (ABN) of the retailer, the purchase price including the GST paid, a description of the goods, the name of the supplier and the date the purchase was made.
Tax invoices for purchases of $1000 or more need additional information, such as the name and address of the purchaser.
More information on tax invoices is available by contacting the Australian Taxation Office.
How to make a claim:
You will need to present the following at the Customs TRS facility when you depart Australia:
- Your goods (to prove you are taking them out of the country).
- The original tax invoice from the retailer (to provide information for Customs officers).
- Your passport.
- Your international boarding pass or other proof of travel.
Where to make a claim:
Claims can be made after you have passed through Customs and Immigration outward processing at:
The TRS facilities at international airports at Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Cairns, Adelaide, Darwin and Gold Coast.
Cruise liner terminals at Circular Quay and Darling Harbour in Sydney, Cairns, Darwin, Fremantle, Darwin and Hobart.
If you are leaving Australia from another port you should contact Customs to find out if you can make a claim.
How long will it take to make a claim?
For passengers departing from international airports, the process will only take a few minutes. However, you should allow time to complete check-in and outwards clearance formalities and also allow for queues at the TRS facility.
Claims can be made up to 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time of your flight.
Passengers departing from seaports should make their claim no earlier than four hours and no later than one hour prior to the scheduled departure time of the vessel.
Bringing the goods back into Australia:
If you bring the goods back into Australia, you could be liable to pay GST. Normal passenger concessions will apply but if in doubt you should declare the goods to Customs on your return.
More information is contained in the brochure “Know Before You Go”, which is available from Customs.
For More Information:
Further information can be obtained from Customs on:
Within Australia – 1300 363 263 (for the cost of a local call)
Outside Australia – +61 2 6275 6666