Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) – common questions

I want to claim for someone else

The person who is travelling must have bought the goods and must be travelling. You cannot make a TRS claim for someone else such as partner, relative or friend.

Providing a valid tax invoice

A valid tax invoice must be in English and contain the following:

  • the document is intended to be a tax invoice
  • the seller's identity
  • the seller's Australian business number (ABN)
  • the date the invoice was issued
  • a brief description of the items sold, including the quantity (if applicable) and the price
  • the GST amount (if any) payable – this can be shown separately or, if the GST amount is one-eleventh of the total price, as a statement such as 'Total price includes GST'
  • the items on the invoice where GST is included and the items that are GST free.

Tax invoices for sales of $1000 or more must also include the buyer's identity, for example their full name or passport number.

Original tax invoices are required to process your claim. Photocopies, reprints and duplicates are not accepted and will result in that invoice being rejected.

You have 60 days to lodge a claim from purchase

The 60 days starts from the day after you purchased the item.

I have an electronic tax invoice

You can make a TRS claim with a valid electronic tax invoice. If the value of your electronic tax invoice is $1000 or more, it must contain your identity. You should be prepared and print out a copy of your electronic tax invoice in case live processing is not available..

Electronic tax invoices can only be accepted when live claim process is available.  You may have to use a Drop Box form which requires paper original invoices to be submitted.   Electronic invoices will not be accepted when using drop box. 

My goods are oversized or restricted

You must have goods available for inspection by an ABF Officer.  Your goods must be sighted by an officer at ABF Client Services before check-in.  If your goods have not been sighted, your claim can be rejected.

International Airport ABF Client Services Counter 

Ground floor of International Terminal, near the arrival door


Between departures entry and passenger exit point at arrivals

Brisbane  Level 1 of the International Terminal, next to the elevators
Cairns Check-in area of Terminal 1, under the stairs
CanberraArrival hall, near Gate A (counter with bell and phone on wall)
Darwin Arrival hall on ground floor, near car rentals  
Gold Coast  Advise check-in staff, they will contact ABF
HobartAdvise check-in staff, they will contact ABF
Melbourne  Ground floor in the arrival hall of Terminal 2, near the escalator
Perth  Arrival hall of Terminal 1, near car rentals
Sydney Arrival hall of Terminal 1, near the glass elevators 

I have a domestic flight before my international flight

If you wish to make a TRS claim and you have oversized or restricted goods, you must advise the check-in agent at the domestic airport that you want your bags tagged only to the port from where you will be departing Australia.

You will then need to collect your luggage at the domestic terminal, transfer to the international terminal and have your goods sighted.

Once your goods have been sighted you must proceed to the departures area and complete check-in procedures for your international flight.

You then need to make your TRS claim, see Making the claim.

I am transiting through Australia

Transit passengers cannot make a TRS claim.

My goods are not in the packaging

You can remove your goods from the packaging and use the goods before you depart. You can choose to leave the container/packaging behind as long as the officer can verify the goods against the corresponding tax invoice when the TRS claim is processed. 

You cannot claim on goods wholly or partially consumed in Australia such as food, drinks, health supplements and perfumes.

TRS facility opening hours

In international airports there are no set operating hours of the TRS facilities. If there is a departing international flight from the airport you are leaving, the TRS will be open for you to make a claim.

TRS facilities at seaports are usually available between one and four hours before sailing. You must ask the shipping company the location of the TRS facility as it varies depending on the port. Claims must be lodged at your final port of departure from Australia.

You may need to use a drop box to lodge your claim.  For instructions when using a drop box, see Making the claim.

Processing time for my claim

There can be long queues at the TRS facility when multiple flights are leaving the airport around the same time.  You should aim to be at the TRS facility 90 minutes prior to the scheduled departure of your aircraft.

The use of TRS mobile or web based apps will reduce the time you spend at the TRS counter as the officer will not have to type in your details.

The mobile and web based apps are not available for cruise ship passengers.

The amount of time to process your claim depends on the number of invoices and quantity of goods you are claiming.  The more invoices you have the longer your processing time will be. ​

Claiming a refund as a member of the military

Any military personnel, who depart Australia as passengers on military transport can claim a TRS refund on purchases made in Australia.

On the day of your departure, you must present the following items to an ABF officer:

  • passport and/or military ID along with proof of travel (for example, boarding pass or military orders);
  • original tax invoice(s);
  • goods.

Note that if your aircraft is departing away from an international terminal, the TRS app cannot be used.

Operating air or sea crew are not eligible to participate in the TRS.

I want a cash refund

The Department does not give cash refunds. You can choose from the following refund options:

  • deposit to an Australian bank account
  • payment to a credit card
  • cheque.

Refunds will usually be paid within 60 days of the claim being lodged.

Claims for imported goods

A condition of making a TRS claim is that goods must be supplied within Australia.

Foreign goods can be eligible for a TRS refund if the retailer imports the goods into Australia themselves, and then supplies the goods to a customer.

Goods purchased overseas and imported to Australia by you, where import duty and taxes are paid are not eligible.

I forgot to make a claim and have now departed Australia

You cannot make a TRS claim after you have departed.