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Old 22-04-2010, 02:02   #151
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Some good info in here. I am thinking of doing the same next year.
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Old 23-04-2010, 01:36   #152
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Originally Posted by jpemb7 View Post
I was told that if you brought the boat straight back to Australia say from 6 months to 1 year sailing, then the purchase price would be used to determine GST/import duty. However, if you cruised around for a few years, then too much time would have elapsed and a marine survey would be required to determine the boats landed value.
There seems to be some excellent experience 'chatting' here...and we would be grateful for another look at the above comment...

We're told (by two major agents/distributors/importers) that bringing a NEW vessel into Australia on her own bottom results in the GST being determined on a depreciated value of the vessel, NOT its purchase price. It works -- We were told -- with the effect of reducing the purchase price by ~15% before GST is then calculated. What we were told makes sense, really, in that a vessel that's just completed a crossing would not be a 'new' vessel (as it would be if it were shipped over) such that the wear+tear should be reflected in its landed value.

What we're told differs from above, however, in two ways...

1. There's no indication of there being any time limit (6 months or a year) involved...and in fact sailing straight across would still result in the GST being applied on the depreciated value...and...

2. There was also no indication of a marine survey being required to determine the value of the vessel for GST purposes, rather that there was some accepted (by the ATO presumably) formula for depreciating a new vessel following an ocean crossing.

Our accountant (who also handles boat brokers) confidently confirmed what we were told...and that also makes me wonder if the better source of info on all this might be the Tax Office, rather than Customs?

Then extending that process a bit further, why wouldn't the same logic/process apply for a used vessel, viz. the crossing resulting in the value of the vessel being depreciated from its purchase price...? I should add, however, we did not enquire about that extension with either brokers or our accountant,

Anyone care to comment?
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Old 23-04-2010, 04:40   #153
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Firstly customs gets the duty collected and the ATO (tax office) gets the GST.
In my experience customs does not care much about GST as they have to collect it and give it to the ATO.
You can't get any exemptions on GST but you can sometimes get it on duties.
It is not the customs job nor is it in their interest to find those exemptions.
However a customs broker is the person who should be trying to get the best deal for you.
Find a customs broker whom specializes in second hand boat imports and engage them on your behalf to get you the best deal.
Rest assured if there are any loopholes they will know about them and help you find them as it's all been done many times before.
It would appear that you use an accountant for your income tax and perhaps not the tax office.
Just use someone who specializes in boat imports.
Good luck and let us know how you go?
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Old 23-04-2010, 19:03   #154
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Originally Posted by Dragon Lady View Post
Firstly customs gets the duty collected and the ATO (tax office) gets the GST.
In my experience customs does not care much about GST as they have to collect it and give it to the ATO.
You can't get any exemptions on GST but you can sometimes get it on duties.
It is not the customs job nor is it in their interest to find those exemptions.
However a customs broker is the person who should be trying to get the best deal for you.
Find a customs broker whom specializes in second hand boat imports and engage them on your behalf to get you the best deal.
Rest assured if there are any loopholes they will know about them and help you find them as it's all been done many times before.
It would appear that you use an accountant for your income tax and perhaps not the tax office.
Just use someone who specializes in boat imports.
Good luck and let us know how you go?
Thanks Dragon Lady

We're aware of the differences between Duty and GST...and Customs and the ATO. You're quite right to suggest a customs agent to assess potential Duty exemptions or other potential Duty savings. There are plenty of others here, however, who appear to chat directly to Customs...and one can also chat directly to the ATO, although our experience with that suggests real care needs to be taken with their (often ill-informed!) answers! You're also right about there being no exemptions to GST, assuming of course that the vesel will not be used in business. If the vessel will be used in business, we are advised there is an instantaneous debit/credit arrangement that effectively relieves the vessel from GST liability.

Anyway, back to our original post, what we were hoping to hear about was the extent to which the calculation process (certainly for GST, but perhaps also for Duty?) allowed for some depreciation (wear and tear) on the vessel as a result of the crossing to Australia. The views in this Forum on that aspect differ markedly from what we're told...
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Old 23-04-2010, 20:19   #155
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This subject has been going back and forth for some time and I get very amused by the amount of time, money and energy burnt up to maybe save a dollar or two. This comes from the been there done that file. Get a customs agent why, because customs are always doubly suspicious of owner/importer doing the paper work for the very reason this thread exists. People trying shortcuts to evade paying. We were originally going to do it oursleves but could see problems ahead, time was not an issue. As soon as the agent did the electronic lodgeing customs lost interest. Agents have a license and deal with them on a daily basis so more lee way is given. If memory serves me total cost was under $500 this on a boat worth $150000Aus and no doubt all the boats being proposed here to import are of similar value probably more.
As for sailing rather than shipping the costs involved such as fuel, food wages if a skipper is employed are added not subtracted from boat value before gst or duty is calculated. Our biggest headache was wood and Quarantine, the boat had the usual large amount of wood as most classics had (non Benn, Jeann, Bav style). To have the boat inspected twice by Quarantine/Entamologist + dog inspection was $1000+ and that was after a good result from the inspection so if it had failed ??? I suggest you spend your energy more at the purchase price/choice as this is more likely to save real money in the long run. Just a side note off subject I am amazed at the prices asked for most older boats it seems when it comes to boats devaluation with age does not exist this was written recently on another thread "90% are rubbish at the prices asked" good luck
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Old 26-04-2010, 21:06   #156
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I don't think you are allowed to do your own paperwork anymore as you have to do your clearance via the electonic system so there is no choice, you must use an agent.
Devaluation of boats is a very interesting topic, one which is probably worth having it's own thread.
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Old 26-04-2010, 21:49   #157
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I don't think you are allowed to do your own paperwork anymore as you have to do your clearance via the electonic system
That's not correct. Almost all dealings with customs can be lodged in person, on paper (the PDF's are all on their website).

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Get a customs agent why, because customs are always doubly suspicious of owner/importer doing the paper work for the very reason this thread exists.
With all due respect, I call BS on that comment.

Customs had absolutely no issue with our paperwork once they did a quick check to ensure everything appeared to be filled out accurately. There's plenty of obscure terms and strange wording. It's bureaucratic nonsense, but it's not rocket science.

Import paperwork would be a great quick buck for the customs agents (middle-man), and I'm sure they would jump at the chance to scare people away from doing it themselves. The cheapest broker we found was around $280, so that's money saved.

We also used the Australian-US free trade agreement to our advantage, and paid no duty on our American built Pearson 365.
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Old 26-04-2010, 22:49   #158
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"Import paperwork would be a great quick buck for the customs agents (middle-man), and I'm sure they would jump at the chance to scare people away from doing it themselves. The cheapest broker we found was around $280, so that's money saved."
Everyone likes to get paid for work they do so I get a little peeved at the line "great quick buck" and no I do not have money to throw away. We were told by customs (Not Customs agent) on arrival in Brisbane that we had twenty four hours to lodge so most people that had not been through the process like ourselves felt that when dealing with government departments maybe this was a time for caution. So you were lucky, smart or whatever and did it yourself. But as not all boats/imports are the same where would you go for the answers if you had a had a problem or if you had been unsure of how to answer a question? Everyone knows about the no duty on American built boats.
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Old 26-04-2010, 23:07   #159
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We were told by customs (Not Customs agent) on arrival in Brisbane that we had twenty four hours to lodge
Not trying to pick on you, I promise... but that's simply not correct. We were restricted to the Port of Brisbane region (which includes the Gold Coast), and had a generous amount of time to lodge the actual import paperwork. I'm fairly certain it was 30 days, but would like to double-check the next time I'm near the papers. Our experience and time-lines only confirmed what we had previously heard from others who did the same. Our papers were ready on the day, but the guys visiting the boat wanted nothing to do with them.

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So you were lucky, smart or whatever and did it yourself. But as not all boats/imports are the same where would you go for the answers if you had a had a problem or if you had been unsure of how to answer a question?
We were starting with zero knowledge. We turned to the internet. Government sites, mostly. We had plenty of questions, and at least a few "what the hell?" moments. Everything could be found online. It's all there. Maybe we're just stubborn. There was already enough people digging in to our wallets, so we'd had enough. The service of a broker didn't seem worth the cash.

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Everyone knows about the no duty on American built boats.
Yep. It's just customs that like to pretend the AUS-FTA doesn't exist!

Cheers
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Old 26-04-2010, 23:47   #160
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As for the duty, does this mean you only pay 10% GST rather than 15% in total if buying American built?

Also when buying a used boat, will the purchase price be used or does depreciation come into it?
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Old 26-04-2010, 23:53   #161
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I have been dealing with AMSA in relation to registration. They have been very helpful and patient. I could not say a bad word about them.
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Old 27-04-2010, 00:09   #162
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As for the duty, does this mean you only pay 10% GST rather than 15% in total if buying American built?
Yes. You'll need a builders certificate/statement of origin, etc, or a certain stat dec filled out (from AMSA). We did the second option.
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Old 27-04-2010, 00:25   #163
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Also, I nearly forgot to mention my wife Ali is working on a little project. We did all of our customs paperwork (ok... she did, I supervised). It was completed 100% correctly to the surprise of customs, so we're going to post an online guide for people that prefer to DIY. You can save yourself the broker fees.!

Any idea when this guide will be published - not that I am in any hurry, just interested.
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Old 27-04-2010, 01:09   #164
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I'd guess anywhere from 1-4 weeks, it just depends how fast we can get our boat projects finished!
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Old 27-04-2010, 01:19   #165
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I have been dealing with AMSA in relation to registration. They have been very helpful and patient. I could not say a bad word about them.
For the $800 or whatever it was that the Aussie rego costs, I would certainly expect them to be.
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