One of the many perks of travelling to another country—aside from admiring the tourist spots and experiencing a new culture—is scoring bargain finds through duty free shopping. Whether you are looking to score huge discounts on Chanel no. 5 perfumes, Apple iPad’s, watches, or leather products by Gucci, in Sydney, the best way to do so would be at Heinemann Tax & Duty Free at Sydney Airport.
What Is Duty-Free?
If you ever chanced upon a store in the Sydney Airport shops which have prices lower than what you see out in the city, then you are looking at a ‘duty-free shop’. Duty free shops are outlets that carry products that are exempted from national taxes and duties, thus being called duty free. The one condition is that they need to be sold to travellers that will take them out of the country.
The concept of duty-free dates back from the 1960s due to a loophole in the tax system. Since airports are like vague zones where someone can declare himself as being or not being in a country (like in Tom Hank’s movie, Terminal), products sold in airports are exempted from the country’s standard import duty. This exemption applies to people who bought the products while already in the process of leaving the country.
Where Else Can You Buy Duty Free Goods?
Buying duty-free goods is not limited to international airports. You can also see duty free shops in most international zones like seaports, train stations and border crossings where people often travel by car. You can even buy duty-free goods on board airplanes and passenger ships as long as they travel through different countries. Needless to say, duty-free conditions don’t apply to domestic airports and seaports.
Aside from a physical store, you can also do some duty free shopping online via Heinemann Duty Free. You can order wines, champagnes, spirits, perfumes, skin care products and other general goods at www.heinemanndutyfree.com.au. You also get the added convenience of ordering duty free goods up to 2 months before flying.
Duty Free Allowances and Limits
Duty free limits apply on items as long as you bought from them a duty free shop in the Sydney International Airport and boarding on a plane leaving Australia. But what about if you are just arriving into Australia? Duty free limits still apply on them as long as you comply with the following conditions:
Personal items are free from duty and taxes, including grooming items, footwear, and clothing, as long as they are owned and used overseas for 12 month or more. Everything else inside your baggage, whether checked in or hand carried, can be brought in tax-free but may be subjected to some duty free allowances.
The duty free limit for alcoholic beverages is 2.25 litres per adult passenger (18 years and older). This limit covers liquor, wine, and champagne, and applies to all the alcohol in the accompanying baggage. For hand carried baggage, you will not be allowed to board your flight if you have a container o bottle of alcoholic beverage exceeding 100 ml.
Anyone over the age of 18 can bring in an unopened or opened packet of up 25 cigarettes which is equivalent to 25 grams of tobacco products. Anything exceeding 25 grams would have to be subjected to duty. Smokeless tobacco, on the other hand, has a duty-free limit of up to 1.5 kilograms.
An adult traveller (anyone who is 18 years old and above) can bring in up to AU$900 worth of general goods without taxes or duty. For anyone below 18, the duty free limit is up to AU$450 worth of goods. General goods may include the following:
- Gifts and souvenirs
- Electronic equipment
- Leather products
- Sporting goods and equipment
Alcohol and tobacco are not classified as general goods which is why they have their own set of duty free allowances and limits.