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How to import

Importing Antiques

What is an antique?

An antique is an item such as a work of art that has high value because of its age.

Importing an antique is free of duty if proven to be over 100 years old.

Antiques over 100 years old

To prove your goods are antiques, you must provide a Certificate of Antiquity (CoA). The CoA must state the goods are over 100 years old. It is important that you obtain a CoA before arranging to import antiques.

For details of overseas groups that issue CoAs visit the CINOAwebsite. For details of Australian antique dealers visit the Australian Antique Dealers Association website.

If we do not accept the CoA you have provided, we may seek advice from qualified experts. You will be liable for costs relating to advice and testing.

Duty and taxes

Low value antiques, regardless of age, with a value under AUD1000 will not be subject to duty. GST may be payable but not collected through border processes. The collection of GST is at the time of sale rather than on arrival in Australia. The ATO manages the collection of GST. See: ATOwebsite

Antiques with a COA and a value over AUD1000 will be duty free. GST will apply to certified antiques with a value above the AUD1000 regardless of age.  For exceptions see: ATOwebsite

Goods under 100 years old, with a value over AUD1000 are not antiques. The rate of duty will depend on the type of good.

Concessions that apply to other goods also apply to antiques regardless of age. Certain pieces may be subject to separate duty concessions, for example:

  • Antiques which are a traveller’s personal effects
  • Goods bequeathed to you
  • Certain collectors’ pieces.

See: Schedule 4 rates of duty.

Declaring antiques

Importers or customs brokers use declarations to clear goods into home consumption or a licensed warehouse. See: How to import.

The value of an antique will alter the way in which the good is cleared for home consumption. Low value antiques require a self-assessed clearance declaration. Other antiques require a full import declaration.

Antiques may also be Unaccompanied Personal Effects (UPE). To be eligible for the UPE concession, you must be an arriving person from a place outside Australia. The goods you intend to import must be your personal property that you have owned and used while overseas. See: Moving to Australia.

If you intend to clear your own goods, you should be aware of your role and duties. You should also inform yourself with the processes that relate to clearing your goods.

Prohibited goods

Antiques are subject to the same restrictions as other goods brought into Australia. Examples of the types of antiques that may be subject to restrictions are weapons, guns and daggers. For further information, see Importing prohibited goods.

Some antiques contain products made or derived from species listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This includes products made from (or containing) elephant ivory or rhinoceros horn. Importing items containing CITES-listed species are subject to CITES permit conditions. For more details on CITES conditions contact The Department of the Environment and Energy:

Phone: +614 2 6274 1900
Email: wildlifetrade@environment.gov.au
Web: https://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/wildlife-trade/cites

Biosecurity

The Department of Agriculture will need to inspect antiques made from organic materials. Items made from wood may need inspection to ensure they are free of pests and disease. The Department of Agriculture may require inspection treatment of your antique. For further information, contact the Department of Agriculture.