Individuals and Travellers

Tourist Refund Scheme

The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) is part of the Australian Government's tax system.

The TRS allows Australians and overseas visitors to claim a refund, (subject to certain conditions), of the goods and services tax (GST) and wine equalisation tax paid on goods bought in Australia and then taken out of Australia. As you leave the country, you must wear or carry the goods as hand luggage with you, unless the goods are oversized goods or liquids, aerosols and gels restricted to hold luggage for security reasons.

Operating air and sea crew are not eligible to claim a refund.

What can be claimed?

You can claim a refund if:

  • you purchased the goods in the 60 days before you leave Australia
  • your purchases are from a single business with the same Australian business number (ABN) and total AUD 300 (GST inclusive) or more. For example, if you bought items from one business, even on separate invoices, that together total AUD 300, these items could be eligible for a tax refund under the TRS
  • you, as the travelling passenger, paid for the goods
  • you have an original tax invoice for the goods. If you do not have an eligible tax invoice you cannot make a claim. If you are unable to present a valid tax invoice for or present some or all of your goods to an officer on request, or cannot provide evidence that an ABF officer has sighted your goods, some or all of your claim could be rejected.

For further information see:

What can’t be claimed?

A refund will not be paid on the following goods and services:

  • alcohol such as beer, brandy, fortified wines and spirits (travellers can claim wine under the TRS) and tobacco products (these goods can be purchased from duty-free shops)
  • GST-free goods where no GST was paid
  • consumables wholly or partially consumed in Australia for example, food
  • goods that are prohibited on aircraft or ships for safety reasons, including gas cylinders, fireworks and aerosol sprays (check with your airlines for prohibited items)
  • unaccompanied goods (including goods sent by cargo or international mail). Residents of external territories should refer to ‘How do I make a TRS claim if I am travelling to an External Territory?’.
  • services such as accommodation, tours, car rental and labour charges
  • goods purchased over the Internet and imported into Australia
  • gift cards/vouchers (although goods purchased with gift cards/vouchers are eligible for a refund subject to all TRS requirements being met).

Making a claim

You can make a claim for a tax refund by visiting the TRS facility in an international airport or at the cruise terminal at your final port of departure from Australia. The refund will be paid into an Australian bank account, to a credit card, or by cheque (in limited currencies), within 60 days of the claim being lodged.

If you provide incorrect payment details and the refund is paid to a wrong account, no further payments can be made.

On some occasions, live claim processing is not available. You will be asked to complete a 'GST and WET Refund' form and lodge the original tax invoices so that the claim can be processed after the flight has departed. The tax invoices will be returned to you after the claim is processed. Keep the pink copy of your completed form for your records. You may also wish to retain a copy of the tax invoices.

The TRS application (app)

The mobile and web versions of the TRS app are available for you to use.

When to go to the TRS facility

At airports

You will not be able to make a TRS claim 30 minutes or less before your scheduled departure time.

At international airports you should arrive at the TRS facility at least 90 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time of your flight to ensure you have sufficient time to successfully lodge your TRS claim.

To find the location of the TRS facility, check the website of the airport where you will depart Australia from. This is the airport where you will clear outwards immigration formalities and not necessarily the airport where you check in your luggage.

If you are claiming for oversized goods or liquids, aerosols and gels restricted to hold luggage for security reasons see:

At seaports

You will not be able to make a TRS claim 60 minutes or less before your scheduled departure time.

You can make a claim between one and four hours before your ship’s scheduled departure time. You can only make the claim at the last Australian port before departure for overseas. This could be a different port to where you originally boarded the ship. If you attempt to make a TRS claim other than at your last port of departure, ABF officers will be unable to process it.

Claiming TRS on liquids, aerosols or gels, or oversized goods

See the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development’s website for more information about the limits to the quantity of liquids, aerosols or gels that you can take into the cabin on flights from Australia.

If you want to make a TRS claim for liquids, aerosols or gels that you are not able to take on board because of these limits, take your goods to the ABF client services office before you check in your luggage.

You should also take oversized items (such as skis, snowboards and golf clubs) to the ABF client services officer for verification before you check them in with the airline.

If you are travelling on a domestic flight prior to your international flight see Connecting domestic flights prior to international departure.

To find the location of the ABF client services office, check the website of the airport where you will depart from Australia.

Bringing goods back into Australia for which you have already claimed a TRS refund

If you are aged 18 years or over, you can bring up to AUD 900 worth of goods into Australia duty-free, or AUD 450 if you are younger than 18. Families travelling together can pool this allowance (a couple with one child can bring in a total of AUD 900 + AUD 900 + AUD 450 = AUD 2250 worth of goods into Australia without paying duty or GST). This is called your passenger concession.

If the total value of the goods you are bringing into Australia that you purchased overseas or for which you have claimed a refund under TRS is greater than your passenger concession:

  • you must declare all of their goods
  • you will need to repay the GST refund back on the goods you claimed under the TRS
  • duty and GST will apply to all items purchased, not just goods over the limit of your passenger concession.

Penalties can apply if you don't declare that you have goods in excess of your passenger concession.

Your privacy

You will need to provide your personal information for the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) to assess your eligibility for the TRS and process your claim.

When making a claim for a GST refund under the TRS, the Department will collect and use your personal information to assess your eligibility for the TRS and to process your claim. The Department can share your personal information with:

  • the Australian Taxation Office
  • any of the retailers that gave you a tax invoice that you included as part of your TRS refund claim
  • a contracted commercial agency who is facilitating your refund on behalf of the Department.

The Department will collect, use, store and disclose personal information in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles in Schedule 1 of the Privacy Act 1988.

To find out more about how we handle your personal information, you can read our read our privacy policy.