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Thread: Importing a lens for over $1000 process

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    Importing a lens for over $1000 process

    Hey guys,

    I am about to buy a second hand lens from someone in the US. It is $1500. I understand that I will have to pay the 10% import tax on this. I am fully willing to do this and do not want to break the law.

    So i was just wondering what the process is. The lens will be paid thru paypal. Once the lens arrives in Australia what is the next step?
    Do customs hold it and send me an invoice for the 10% owing?

    I have heard the process can take some time so i would like to have all the relevant documentation and paperwork ready as I want the lens for a trip I am going on in 3 1/2 weeks (hope it arrives by then)

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    There is no actual thing as an import tax on photographic gear. The GST is what you are expected to pay when you purchase items from a non Australian seller. I use the term seller because it doesn't have to be a business or a known retailer for you to have to pay that tax.
    Customs may charge you a processing fee if they do require you to pay the GST upon pick up of the item.
    The 3 1/2 weeks time frame seems rather short taking into account actual freight times and normal Govt. Dept. workflow.
    A lot will depend on how it is delivered, some courier, freight companies, USPS and Australia Post seem to attract more attention than others when items hit the country.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



  3. #3
    As smooth as hessian undies
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    I've regularly waited 4-6 weeks for stuff from the US without the issue of paying the GST, in fact it took 6 weeks for an envelope style of item to arrive, let alone a box.
    I sure hope you get it sorted in the time frame you need.
    Canon EOS 60D ..... EFS 18-200mm f/3.5 - 5.6 IS - 430 EXII Speedlite - "eBay special" Remote Control Unit - Manfrotto 190XPROB w 804RC2 head.

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    I have bought in 2 second hand lenses one via post was $2100.00 declared and the other was carried in, $4500.00 declared and neither cost me anymore, even my wife questioned the customs officer at Brisbane airport, his comment was to the effect that if it is over 1 year old it won't cost any more. I have bought in over $1000.00 worth of books and they were held at my local P.O. I paid the duty at the P.O. And took my books home.

  5. #5
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    thanks for the info guys. thats great to hear about the "older than one year". the lens is actually the zeiss 21mm f2.8 and will cost me $1530 incl shipping and insurance instead of $2100 from a local retailer.

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    Drifter, Racer and Picture Taker
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    9 times out of 10, it wil just go through with no GST payable on it.
    I've bought cameras and lenses in shipments worth over $3K in one hit, and the courier just delivered it to my door.

    If you have it posted, you MIGHT have to go to your local post office to pick it up and pay the GST, or maybe, even have to go to the customs mail centre in your city to pick it up, have it opened and looked at, then be charged the GST.
    The above is the WORST scenario, but with so much stuff coming in, the chances of that happening is fairly remote.

    Get it courier delivered if you can, and you can arrange the courier from here with a fixed price delivered to your door.
    DHL is usually a bit cheaper than Fed Ex, and they can both deliver it to you in under a week, even with their economy rates as they have their own planes coming in from the US almost daily.
    Their cost is not much more than Express Post, but they are a little faster with less hassle.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
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    thankyou very much! Just what i wanted to hear.

    However, i am sourcing the lens through POTN forum and the person is selling me a lens that (i've just noticed) was up for sale two weeks ago by a different person (same photos used and all). I asked how old the lens was and if he was the first owner and he just gave me the date that it was purchased. I then sent a PM asking if it was the same lens as one posted a couple of weeks ago and he hasn't got back to me. Could be the time zone but he replied to all my other PM pretty quickly.

    Just finding it weird that he didn't disclose that information previously.

  8. #8
    Member koputai's Avatar
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    Sounds like a scammer, be careful.
    7D, 350D and some glass

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    I would walk away from this one.

    Derek
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  10. #10
    Drifter, Racer and Picture Taker
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    He's either a scammer, or he bought the lens and found it was no good and has it up for re-sale.

    Stay away!

  11. #11
    Fishy bricat's Avatar
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    Unless you can verify the seller by other means or pay via paypal pass it by. Seems to have scam written all over it. I had a parcel held up by customs but the stevedore company failed to notify me. some 3 weeks later after trying with the seller first to find out what was going on I was contacted via staevedore company and had to provide proof of purchase with price. Wasn't a problem but I paid GST plus customs charges and received my gear about 3 weeks later. So it will take time if held up.. good luck with your purchase
    Cheers Brian. Canon 7D Kit lenses EFS 18-55 IS EFS 55-250 IS EF28-90 Canon EF 2xll Extender Sigma DG150-500 OS Speedlight 420EX

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    Account Closed reaction's Avatar
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    Walk away, I wouldn't buy something sight unseen from o/s of all places.

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