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Customs charges to Australia.

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Andy Kev.

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Good Morning.

Over the years I sent my aunt in the UK Christmas presents of traditional German carved wooden figures which are sold at this time of year. Not so long ago she died and my cousin (her daughter) lives in Australia. I know that the cousin's daughters would like to have these figures. Therefore it's my intention to post them to Oz.

However, there's the question of whether or not the recipients will have to pay duty on them. They're heirlooms and as such are second hand. Given that they came in at an average of about 50 - 60 Euros a piece and there are at least six of them, will they attract duties when they arrive in Oz?

The reason I ask is because it seems like rotten luck that my relatives might have to pay for getting something which is rightfully theirs.

Thanks in advance.
 

Rorschach

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Mark as wooden toys, gift, value $2 each.

You don't have to be truthful on customs labels.
 

Petehpkns

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Rorschach said:
Mark as wooden toys, gift, value $2 each.

You don't have to be truthful on customs labels.[/quote

It’s the value that customs put on them, so as this post, just keep that low as a gift....
 

sunnybob

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Importing wood into australia is a VERY SERIOUS issue. They dont like anything that hasnt grown there.
Take advice from the australian embassy and get it in writing. Ozzie customs have absolutely ZERO sense of humour.
Ask my relative who got a complete bolloking at sydney airport for having boiled sweets in her bag and dirt on her shoes.
 

samhay

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If the figures are finished in some way - oil, paint, whatever you'll be fine. If not, they will be likely be burnt in arrival.
Either way you should declare them as wooden toys / gift and expect Aussie customs to open this parcel and inspect them. There may now be a handling charge for this, but haven't had a problem in the past.

When traveling into Island Nations with large agricultural industries, customs get very worked up about things we find strange in Europe.
Boiled sweets are fine if you declare them.
Likewise dirty shoes, but these may be taken away and washed on the spot. Not a terrible outcome.
 

AES

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Concur with Bob about definite lack of humour in Oz offialdom.

Once, years ago, driving from Sydney to Melbourne (therefore crossing the State line from NSW into Victoria) I had a packed lunch in the car (sourced from the hotel in Sydney). Said lunch included an apple. At the customs/sanitary border between the States a perfectly straight-faced "officer" said I had 2 choices, either eat the apple there and then, before crossing the border, or chuck it in the bin provided. True story, 'onest.

Whilst I would agree that there's no problem with inserting a low value on the Customs Declaration label (the stuff is, after all, "only S/H", and therefore has whatever value you want to put on it, within reason) I definitely would NOT "lie" in any way on the label.

Just my own view, and not based on any real experience apart from the above silly but true story - they DO seem to be VERY twitchy about any stuff not "grown" there - remember the "good old days" when, upon arrival, the whole aeroplane was de-fumigated by blokes walking up and down the aisles spraying with aerosols before allowing anyone off the aeroplane? (Don't know if they still do that though).
 

RogerS

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Reminds me of that daft Customs Declaration form you fill in when entering the US.

"Have you been on a farm ?" No concept of 'when'. So, as I was flying back and forth to the US fairly frequently, and since I was the age that I was (thus at sometime in my lifetime I would have been on a farm) plus the fact that our house was located slap bang in the middle of farmland, I was always tempted to answer 'Yes'. First, though, choose your airport.

San Francisco. Box ticked. Toddle to Customs and hand the form over.

"Are you bringing in any fruit?"
"No, I've been on a farm"
"OK..go over and see those guys over there." said the agent pointing in the direction of a couple of very bored looking Customs guys shooting the breeze together. I toddle over.

"Are you bringing in any fruit" asked the one ?
"No, I've been on a farm"
"Were you wearing those shoes ?" pointing at the pair I was wearing.
"No, I wasn't" ....I did do my research first and knew that if I said 'Yes' then they'd take them
"Where are the ones you were wearing?"
"I've no idea" I replied. "I put them in a dumpster ten years ago"

Smiling, I laughed and said 'Doesn't say anything about When'
They burst out laughing and said "Get oudahere" waving me off.
 

AES

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I think you were dead lucky to find ANY officials with a sense of humour in the USA Roger.

My own experience, just like in Oz, is that their Recruitment ads must read something along the lines of " ... those with even a vestige of humour should NOT apply".
 

Rorschach

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Yes you were very lucky, TSA and customs in the USA suffer from a severe lack of humour, brains, well just about everything except ego really.
 

Phil Pascoe

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We trudged what seemed miles through L.A. airport. We followed two airport employees who from behind made me think of Lennie and George, and as we got closer the big guy says in a broad drawl to the other "seriously! have you ever met anyone who liked this f***ing place?". I suspect all airports could take lessons from Changi. :D
 
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