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GST on low value imports and food labelling changes effective 1st July

Friday, June 29, 2018

Two important changes come in to effect 1st July 2018 which will affect the import of goods to Australia.

GST will apply on all imported goods (some exemptions apply), replacing the previous threshold set at $1,000 AUD. Customers using overseas vendors may see GST included at time of purchase to comply with the new regulations.

“From 1st July 2018, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) may apply to goods with a customs value of $1,000 or less (low value goods) when imported from overseas by consumers in Australia.”

“Vendors, including merchants, electronic distribution platforms (EDPs) or re-deliverers, that meet GST registration requirements will be required to charge and collect GST at the point of sale on eligible goods with a customs value of $1,000 or less. In most circumstances, goods under $1,000 will be purchased and shipped as the currently do through self-assessed clearance declarations. There will be no changes to border clearance processes or to the movement of goods across the border. The $1000 threshold for reporting and collection of duties and taxes at the border will also remain.”

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To improve transparency of food products grown, produced, made or packaged in Australia or overseas, further amendments to The Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard 2016 will come in to force. The changes will impact importers that must meet the new requirements and vendors who must correctly identify the origin for products such as meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables, most dairy products (e.g. milk, yoghurt and cheese), breakfast cereal, bread, nuts, honey and non-carbonated fruit juices.

“After 1 July, Australian consumers will have much greater certainty about the origins of the food they buy, due to the introduction of mandatory Country of Origin food labelling. The ACCC will conduct market surveillance checks on 10,000 food products to ensure businesses are correctly displaying the new labels.”

“Some consumers are willing to pay extra for products grown, produced or made in Australia, and producers and importers should be aware that any claim which is likely to mislead consumers will also be a breach of the law. We just want to ensure that consumers can make informed choices and businesses have a level playing field to compete fairly in relation to these claims.”

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