Australian New Tobacco Import Laws

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anthony416

Member
Sep 30, 2016
240
1
From July 1st 2019 most tobacco products will be 'prohibited imports', (this includes cigarettes, molasses tobacco and loose leaf tobacco, pipe tobacco).
This one really caught me by surprise. I saw it on the evening news 2 days after the new laws came in :(
Apparently the cigarette smugglers were trying to bring in loads of blackmarket cigarettes so the government decided to ban most tobacco products via international post. An import permit is now necessary and you need a broker. Fines apply for trying to get it sent by post.
One the positive side, I did manage to build up a good cellar over the last 5 years or so. Another sort of bonus is that cigars are exempt and can be brought in by international post as long as the appropriate duty is paid. I really don't smoke cigars but I may get some ordered in to help buffer my pipe tobacco stock (before they ban cigars also).

 

mikethompson

Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
4,176
361
Of course cigars are exempt, they always seem to be.
Well on the plus side, at least your cellar is in good shape.

 

tobefrank

Member
Jun 22, 2015
167
173
Damn, I had a slow building case of TAD and was just starting to put together a wish list of blends to buy online.
I wonder how this applies to bringing tobacco products with you when you fly into Australia. How many tourists will forget they have a pack of cigarets on them and will then be hit with fines? Are there no duty free imports anymore?

 

smudgersmissingleg

Senior Member
Jun 9, 2018
335
687
I fear it's only a matter of time before they do this sort of thing here in the UK, I think BREXIT has put a lot of things on the back burner but sooner or later the powers that be will get round to it I'm sure.

This must be even worse for you as Australians have to pay such an eye watering price as it is so to add no tobacco imports really does suck and I feel for you.

Cellar wide, cellar deep, cellar while you still can.
Chris

 

georged

Preferred Member
Mar 7, 2013
2,608
36
If allowed to, this bitch will soon rule the world.
I'm not kidding.
.


 

timelord

Member
Oct 30, 2017
193
35
Sydney, Australia
tobefrank. I hunted around the gov't websites last night after reading the original post. Needless to say their left and right hands don't know what each other is up to...
The ABF (https://www.abf.gov.au/buying-online/importing-by-post-or-mail) still claims you can import by post quantities valued less than AU$1000 if you pay the duty. This is no longer the case after 1st July so I've not bothered making this a link.
The following site has the new restrictions...
ABF Duty Free Rules To make it easier for anyone moderately interested but not so interested to want to look at the ABF websites here are the most pertinent details.
Tobacco
From 1 July 2019, the way tobacco can be brought into Australia will change, see Prohibited goods - Tobacco.
From 1 July 2017, you can bring 25 grams of tobacco in any form (cigarette, loose leaf, etc.), equivalent to approximately 25 cigarettes, plus an open packet, for each traveller 18 years or older, regardless of whether you are travelling as a passenger or crew member.
Tobacco as a prohibited import
After 1 July 2019, most tobacco products will be 'prohibited imports', (this includes cigarettes, molasses tobacco and loose leaf tobacco). This will mean that to bring any tobacco product into Australia a person will need to have a permit issued by the Department of Home Affairs. See Home Affairs notice No 2019/13 (36KB PDF).
You will still need to pay duty and other taxes on tobacco products you import or bring to Australia after 1 July 2019.
Information on how to apply for a permit and the conditions is available at List of items - Tobacco
If you read through everything it does say individuals can apply for an import permit to bring tobacco in for 'personal use' and that personal use tobacco does not need to comply with Australian plain packaging laws (but must not be resold). Tobacco brought in for resale must comply with the plain packaging laws.
Having said individuals can apply for a permit it goes on to indicate you need an ABN or ACN (Australian Business/Company Number) or will have to register for a individual reference number so that can link imports to the licensed importer.
If you've gone through all those hoops the next 'gotcha' is that tobacco can no longer be imported through the post system...

tobacco products may only be imported through air or sea cargo and cannot be imported through international mail (post)
Cigars and oddly chewing tobacco are not included in this shenanigans.

 

timelord

Member
Oct 30, 2017
193
35
Sydney, Australia
So in theory it will still be possible to import tobacco but I can't see may foreign merchants going to the trouble of putting checks in to see if customers have valid import licences. I note that Smoking Pipes has already added Australia to its list of 'no tobacco shipping' countries.
Buried somewhere in the websites it goes on to say that all penalties for breaking the new rules will be levied on the importer (and get this; if your mate in Timbuktu sends you a tin of some obscure tobacco he's found on his travels as a gift - you are importing it illegally).
*Warning Start of Political Comment*
Obviously the fact that cigars are excluded has nothing to do with lots of politicians smoking cigars :puffpipe:
*End of Political Comment*

 

cobguy

Preferred Member
Oct 18, 2013
3,743
2
To make matters worse, it's illegal to even grow your own there, IIRC.

 

tobefrank

Member
Jun 22, 2015
167
173
Thanks timelord.
I just found this section on the Australian Federal Police website regarding travellers into Australia (including residents):
Travellers arriving in Australia

When you travel to Australia (including Christmas Island, Norfolk Island, or the Cocos (Keeling) Islands) you can usually bring tobacco products with you if you’re aged 18 years or older.
You’re allowed to bring in duty-free:

- one unopen packet of up to 25 cigarettes or 25 grams of other tobacco products including smokeless tobacco, and
- one open packet of cigarettes
If you bring in a lot of tobacco you must:

declare any tobacco you have with you above the duty free allowance

pay all relevant duty and taxes that apply on arrival into Australia
You do not need a permit to bring in tobacco products (cigars, cigarettes, molasses tobacco and loose leaf tobacco) as a traveller, as long as you declare the tobacco and pay the required duty.
The website further mentions that you can bring up to 1.5 kg of tobacco in as long as you pay the duty.
So if you travel with two people over 18 years old, you should be able to take in one 50gram tin duty free.
It’s not much, but it’s something.

 

augiebd

Member
Jul 6, 2019
144
80
Highlights the importance of knowing the laws when travelling. Travelling to NYC in a week and have already checked where I can smoke and of course know how much tobacco I can purchase and bring back to Canada.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
14,302
1,758
Monterey Peninsula
Quite right. I am going to Vancouver next month and plan to take enough tobacco for the ten days we'll be there. I hope to have no interference by Customs Officers.

 

tobefrank

Member
Jun 22, 2015
167
173
Pipe tobacco might have been OK if it wasn’t so easily confused with RYO cigarette tobacco.