Military Personnel

Essential information for Military Personnel

A key role of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (Customs and Border Protection) is to assist the movement of passengers across Australia's border while protecting the community. The Customs Act authorises the examination of military crew, passengers, personal effects and cargo on arrival and departure.

ARRIVAL

What you need to do on arrival in Australia
• Complete an Incoming Passenger Card
• Produce your passport and/or military ID and movement orders
• Those not travelling on military orders (for example, spouses and/or dependants) require passports and completed Incoming Passenger Cards per individual

Items that must be declared on arrival in Australia to Customs and Border Protection
• Service weapons – no import permit is required for service weapons
• Personal weapons and ammunition—including firearms, knuckledusters, daggers, laser pointers above one milliwatt (1mW) and flick-knives. (These items may be seized under Australian law).
• All prescription and non-prescription drugs and medicines, including steroids, herbs, vitamins and other medicines for personal use
• Currency – cash amounts of AUD$10 000 or more, or equivalent in foreign currency
• Protected wildlife or products made from protected wildlife including some medicines.
• Illegal pornography

Duty free allowance for passengers
Travellers who exceed Australia's duty free limits will be charged duty and tax on all items of that type (general goods, alcohol or tobacco), not just the items which exceed the limits.

The limits for passengers are:
Duty-free concessions limits
• Most personal items such as new clothing, footwear and articles for personal hygiene/grooming are not included in your duty free allowance
• Gifts - given to you or intended for others - are counted as part of the AUD$900 duty free allowance.

The limits for crew members, claimable on each trip, are:
Duty-free concessions limits
• Most personal items such as new clothing, footwear and articles for personal hygiene/grooming are not included in your duty free allowance
• Gifts - given to you or intended for others - are counted as part of the AUD$450 duty free allowance.
• If you are returning from an overseas posting of 12 months or greater, personal and household effects owned and used by you for at least 12 months can also be brought into Australia without payment of duty and tax. Proof of date of purchase may be required.

Certain items are expressly excluded from the definition of "personal and household effects" and are subject to other requirements. These include:
• Motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts
• Caravans, boats and trailers
• Aircraft
• Machinery, plant and equipment
• and fur apparel.

Illicit drugs
Do not carry illicit drugs. Penalties for drug offences in Australia are severe and could result in imprisonment.

Medicines
• If medicines are obtained through a prescription in Australia, you should carry a copy of that prescription when travelling.
• Unit stores of medicines entering Australia should apply to the Therapeutic Goods Administration for a permit.

Personal military effects
Personal effects such as private military souvenirs (including trench art), firearms, weapons, ballistic vests or dangerous items not owned by the military are subject to normal Customs and Border Protection control requirements. These goods must be manifested and declared to Customs and Border Protection. Items may require a permit, police authorisation and safety testing before importation/exportation.

Military issue weaponry
Permits are not required to be submitted for military owned weapons that are imported or exported as part of a recognised military deployment. This includes situations where military personnel are travelling to or returning from overseas with their personal service weapons. These items should be listed on the manifest.

Unaccompanied personal effects
Duty free allowances that apply to alcohol, tobacco and other articles that accompany you through Customs and Border Protection clearance when you arrive in Australia do not apply to unaccompanied effects.

Military personnel returning to Australia may bring in unaccompanied effects duty and GST free if they are your property. This does not include motor vehicles, alcohol and tobacco products nor commercial goods. Also furniture and household goods must have been personally owned and used overseas for the 12 months preceding your departure for Australia.

Status of Forces Agreements and related by-laws are in place for certain foreign countries. These agreements provide duty and tax-free concessions for unaccompanied personal effects for military personnel from those countries.

DEPARTURE

What you need to do on departure from Australia
• Complete an Outgoing Passenger Card
• Produce your passport and/or military ID and movement orders
• Those not travelling on military business (for example, spouses and/or dependants) require passports and completed Outgoing Passenger Cards per individual

Items that must be declared on departure from Australia to Customs and Border Protection
• Heritage items - including works of art, stamps, coins, minerals and specimens of fossils or meteorites
• Currency - cash amounts of AUD$10 000 or more, or equivalent in foreign currency
• Service weapons - no export permit is required for service weapons
• Protected wildlife and/or products made from protected wildlife, including some medicines.

Expensive items (such as computers and cameras) that you take out and intend bringing back to Australia can be registered on the Goods exported in passenger baggage form (form B263) available from any Customs and Border Protection office or our website. Once registered, these goods do not need to be declared on your return, but you should hold on to the form. To register, you must have the goods inspected at the departure point. Goods for which you intend to claim a refund under the Tourist Refund Scheme and items that are difficult to identify cannot be registered. It will also help if you have receipts for items that cannot be registered, such as jewellery.

Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS)
Passengers leaving Australia on military transport may claim a refund, subject to certain conditions, of the GST and Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) paid on purchases made in Australia.
To claim a refund passengers must:
• Spend $300 (GST inclusive) or more in the one store
• Purchase the goods no more than 60 days before departing Australia
• Wear or carry the goods on board the aircraft or ship as hand luggage

You should note that it is a legal requirement that the person making the claim must be the person who purchased the goods.

On the day of your departure you must present the following items to Customs and Border Protection in order to claim a TRS refund:
• Your passport and/or military ID along with proof of travel (e.g.: boarding pass or military orders)
• Original tax invoice
• The goods

You cannot claim a refund on:
• Beer, spirits and tobacco products
• GST-free goods
• Consumed or partly consumed goods
• Dangerous or hazardous goods
• Unaccompanied goods (including freighted or posted goods)
• Goods purchased over the Internet and imported into Australia
• Services such as accommodation, labour, car rental

For TRS conditions please see the information provided in the brochure ‘TAX BACK FOR TRAVELLERS’ or on the Customs and Border Protection website (www.customs.gov.au/knowbeforeyougo) BEFORE making any purchases.

Operating crew are not eligible to claim a TRS refund.

For more information
Phone the Customs and Border Protection Information and Support Centre on 1300 363 263
(Australia-wide), email: information@customs.gov.au or view the
Customs and Border Protection website: www.customs.gov.au
Report any Customs and Border Protection-related suspicious activities to the Customs and Border Protection Hotline 1800 06 1800

The Customs and Border Protection Essential Information for military forces fact sheet can be downloaded here

Essential biosecurity information for military forces entering Australia can be found on the Department of Agriculture website.

http://www.customs.gov.au/site/military-personnel.asp modified: 10 February, 2014 4:17 PM