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Australian New Tobacco Import Laws

(30 posts)
  • Started 1 month ago by anthony416
  • Latest reply from derhammer
  1. anthony416

    anthony416

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    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).

    Posted 1 month ago #
  2. timelord

    timelord

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    Oh bother

    Posted 1 month ago #
  3. mikethompson

    mikethompson

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    Of course cigars are exempt, they always seem to be.

    Well on the plus side, at least your cellar is in good shape.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  4. tobefrank

    tobefrank

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    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?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  5. olkofri

    Olkofri

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    Australia seems to be going back to being a penal colony.

    Not the sweet, new grass with flowers is this harvesting of mine;
    Not the upland clover bloom...
    Posted 1 month ago #
  6. smudgersmissingleg

    smudgersmissingleg

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    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

    Posted 1 month ago #
  7. georged

    georged

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    If allowed to, this bitch will soon rule the world.

    I'm not kidding.

    .

    Dogs live such short lives... and spend most it waiting for us to come home
    Posted 1 month ago #
  8. timelord

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    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.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  9. timelord

    timelord

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    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

    *End of Political Comment*

    Posted 1 month ago #
  10. cobguy

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    To make matters worse, it's illegal to even grow your own there, IIRC.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  11. tobefrank

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    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.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  12. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Overweening bastards!

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 1 month ago #
  13. augiebd

    augiebd

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    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.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  14. jpmcwjr

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    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.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  15. hoosierpipeguy

    hoosierpipeguy

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    I guess I need to take Australia off the bucket list of places to visit.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  16. charf

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    Oh great. No doubt New Zealand will follow suit. We are already giving up all our semi-autos to follow Australia.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  17. husky

    husky

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    How about blenders start selling their tobacco rolled up in cigar leaves?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  18. tobefrank

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    Pipe tobacco might have been OK if it wasn’t so easily confused with RYO cigarette tobacco.

    Posted 1 month ago #
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    foursidedtriangle

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    Ok so what happens if you import it by post? I do not have a cellar, but that is ok because I didn't smoke much anyway.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  20. dochudson

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    Sounds like a good time to become a farmer

    Posted 1 month ago #
  21. paulie66scandinavian

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    Now,My five cents to this,to start with, I don't think this brand new Australian Tobacco Import law will be enforced too strictly since the EU also has plenty of various tobacco-related restrictions in effect but in the grand majority of Eu countries(incl.Scandinavian ones) these draconian tobacco laws are policed'more or less randomly

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 1 month ago #
  22. cobguy

    Darin

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    Sounds like a good time to become a farmer

    See my above post … maybe a closet grow? LOL

    Posted 1 month ago #
  23. brian64

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    Australia seems to be going back to being a penal colony.

    Sadly not much of an overstatement it seems...based on the trajectory they have been on for many years now...and not just about tobacco by any means.

    But then that is essentially true of the entire planet now, to one degree or another. Penal Colony Earth.

    “Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.” – George Carlin
    Posted 1 month ago #
  24. 3rdguy

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    Shame if pipe tobacco was accidentally put in dip tins and shipped over...

    Posted 1 month ago #
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    foursidedtriangle

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    Funny that to limit cigarette black market they package in pipe tobacco too, as if someone is standing on a street corner trying to scalp escudo.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  26. tobefrank

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    With the prices we pay here (almost all tax) I wish there were some people scalping Escudo on a street corner...

    I’m not surprised that a black market for cigarettes emerged after the taxes were raised that high.

    As timelord pointed out, it is suspicious that cigars are excluded from the new import laws considering a lot of politicians and other people in higher up places smoke cigars.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  27. ben88

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    Just buy ropes and ask seller to cut it in 5" pieces. Make it look like a cigar.)))

    Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate
    Posted 1 month ago #
  28. timelord

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    Ok so what happens if you import it by post? I do not have a cellar, but that is ok because I didn't smoke much anyway.

    Well, before July 1 if your order arrived by post what happened depended on if they checked it or not. If it was pulled out for checking it would just get delivered as normal. If it was checked, then - providing the value was less than AUD1000 - you would get a letter telling you how much tobacco duty (and GST) was to be levied and how to pay. Within 48 hours of paying, the package would be released and delivered as normal.

    July 1 onwards the rules state that it is now illegal to import tobacco by post. I guess it is still possible some would get through as before BUT if it is intercepted the importer would now be committing a criminal offence which will result in a large fine (and the tobacco being destroyed). I've not seen any numbers quoted for the fines but I would imagine they will be higher than the duty levy and also, as it's a criminal offence there could be other implications.

    Just for the record, under the old system about 1 in 4 of my orders got stopped and had duty levied (which I paid). As I was ordering overseas to get blends not available here that was a bonus.

    Personally, with the new rules I won't be taking the risk. I've enough stocked up for a couple of years and I'll top it up when travelling overseas.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  29. timelord

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    Just buy ropes and ask seller to cut it in 5" pieces. Make it look like a cigar.)))

    Interesting idea

    Posted 1 month ago #
  30. derhammer

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    Wow.
    The ever growing reach of government

    Pierre
    Posted 1 month ago #

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