Importing taxes/duty - wedding dress?

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I am an Australia citizen who has lived in Ireland for the last 2 years. My Irish fiance and I are getting married in Australia next year. I have purchased my wedding dress in Ireland and will be paying VAT (21%)on it (I don't think the bridal boutique is part of the global refund scheme). Then when I return to Australia I will have to pay GST and duty tax (all up 27.5%) on the dress. It was quite an expensive dress so the taxes will be costing me a fortune. I haven't decided whether I will be sending the dress via FedEx or take it on the plane with me. Does anyone have any suggestions of how I can avoid paying tax twice or any helpful advice or experience with this topic?? Please help!!




  1. Ok, if it is worth less than AU$1000 you do not pay any tax at all when it is sent to Australia.

    If it is over AU$1000 you need to check what the duty rate is for clothing, (I know duty for jewellery is 5% and then 10% gst on that total including the postage), but you just pay the duty on the difference over $1000.

    You can mark its value and insure it for $1000 or less there will be no charge, but you would only get the insured amount back if something did happen to it in the post.

    Here is the link it customs :

    If you bring it on the plane you pay nothing as it is a personal posession. You can have the cabin crew hang it for you so it doesn't get crumpled on the trip. I would suggest this option.

    P.S. It doesn't matter if you mark it as a gift, you will still be charged if it is over $1000.

  2. Ok - so basically you have researched and found out the duty tax is 17.5% for clothing and GST is 10% on top of this (the 27.5% all up tax). You are right - you can't get the VAT back from Ireland (unless they send it to your home address in Oz directly in which case you will be paying the 27.5% extra on but save 21%). Not all places will do this however. I understand your conundrum. If you bring it over by plane you are faced with all sorts of hassles as unless you are booking into first class it is very unlikely they will hang it in first class (Ireland to Heathrow flights will not even have that option - no first class!!).  I would recommend sending it via FedEx and risk putting it down as worth less that $1000. I know your wedding dress probably cost a lot more than this but it's not like you would have much time to buy anything other than an off the rack dress anyway if something goes wrong. Hope this helps.  

  3. Hi there, im not sure if this helps at all but im an aussie in australia and ordered my dress from the States. To avoid the massive taxes, my dressmaker marked my dress as a gift when sending it over here.

    Also, whenever I get sent stuff from overseas I get it sent to this shipping place called vpostasia. They send the goods on to me and again avoids and the taxes.

    Hope that helps you somehow.

  4. Ship it to yourself in Australia and make sure that you mark it as a gift and mark the value lower so that you won't have to pay taxes.

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