Scandal: honey laundering

Australian Customs honey

The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) allows you to claim a refund of the goods and services tax (GST) and wine equalisation tax (WET) that you pay on certain goods purchased in Australia.

The Tourist Refund Scheme office is operated by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and is located on the Departures Level just after Customs within the main MEL Airport Tax & Duty Free store.

The Australian Border Force (ABF) sights bulky / oversized items like skis, golf clubs and other items that need to be checked in at their office in T2 Arrivals (landside). Liquids, aerosols or gels that exceed carry on limits are also sighted at this office before they are packed in your checked luggage and checked in with the airline. Refunds for oversize or liquid and gel goods are then made after immigration at the TRS booth using your receipts.

TRS is open to all overseas visitors and Australian residents, except for operating air crew.

To claim a refund you must:

  • spend $300 or more (including GST) in a single business;
  • purchase goods no more than 60 days before departing Australia;
  • wear or carry the goods on board as hand luggage (unless they are liquids, gels or aerosols or oversized or bulky goods which the airline require to be checked in) and present them along with your tax invoice, passport and international boarding pass to the TRS facility;
  • have paid for the goods yourself; and
  • have an original tax invoice for the goods.

Claims are only available up to 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure of your flight. To make sure you have enough time to make your TRS claim, you should complete your departure immigration clearance at least 90 minutes before the scheduled departure time of your flight.

NEW Mobile and Web TRS Applications

The Customs and Border Protection mobile and web TRS applications (apps) allow you to enter the information required to lodge a TRS claim.

Using the apps you can enter:

  • your travel details;
  • details of the goods for which you are claiming a refund of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and/or Wine Equalisation Tax (WET); and
  • how you prefer to receive your TRS refund.

Your information will be stored in a QR code and you must present this code, along with your purchased goods and original tax invoices, to the TRS facility at Melbourne Airport on your departure from Australia.

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