Importing precious metals, coins, jewellery and currency
To be precious metal, the object must be a metal of gold, silver, or platinum meeting a minimum fineness. A New Tax System
(Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (GST Act) defines precious metals as:
- gold (in an investment form) of at least 99.5% fineness
- silver (in an investment form) of at least 99.9% fineness
- platinum (in an investment form) of at least 99% fineness
Precious metals meeting the minimum fineness when imported are duty and GST free. For more information see
Australian Taxation Office website.
Precious metals must be in a form that is tradeable on the international bullion market. Precious metals in an investment form carry a mark or characteristic that guarantees its fineness and quality. An investment/tradeable form may be a bar, wafer or coin but must be in the form and character of the metal only. A tradeable form means the metal is in a form as traded at a spot price for the metal only. Granules do not carry marks and are not investment form. Some gold, silver or platinum coins are not precious metals (see Collectable coins).
Precious metal coins
Precious metal coins are a tradeable/investment form of precious metals. Investors sell coins produced in investment form at a spot price for the metal alone. Precious metal coins also carry a mark that guarantees fineness and quality.
Non precious metals
Proof coins, other collectable coins and jewellery made of gold, sliver or platinum are not precious metals. Duty and/or GST is payable unless a concession or exemption applies.
Collectors of coins consisting of gold, silver and platinum trade coins at prices determined by their rarity, condition and beauty. Collectors may acquire coins for investment purposes but they are not precious metal coins in an investment form. Importing coins with a value of more than AUD1000 is subject to assessment for GST but no duty applies.
Jewellery consisting of gold, silver or platinum does not meet the definition of precious metals in the GST Act. Jewellery is not a precious metal in an investment form and not traded at the current market price for precious metals. A consignment of imported jewellery with a value of more than AUD1000 is subject to assessment for GST and duty.
Movements of monetary instruments including physical currencies
The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) oversees the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act).
Monetary instruments include:
- physical currency/cash
- bearer negotiable instruments (BNIs):
- bill of exchange
- promissory note
- bearer bond
- traveller's cheque
- money order, postal order or similar order, and
- other negotiable instruments not covered above.
Importers and exporters can send large amounts of money to and from Australia. Under the AML/CTF Act, you must report all movements of monetary instruments in Australian and foreign currency with a combined value of AUD10,000 or more.
If you are sending the instruments (for example via mail, courier or freight) the report must be submitted prior to shipment. If you have received the instruments from outside of Australia, the report must be submitted within five (5) business days of receipt.
The Australian Border Force may direct an importer or exporter to complete the AUSTRAC Cross-Border Movement of Monetary Instruments (Sending/Received $10,000 or more) if:
- the consignment consists of precious metal coins classified as legal tender, and
- the combined value of the consignment (including all physical currencies and BNIs) exceeds AUD10,000.
An AUSTRAC declaration is not required for bullion.
For more details see AUSTRAC
Cross-border movement (CBM)
Goods valued at more than AUD1000 require an import declaration. Goods valued at, or below, AUD1000 require a self-assessed clearance (SAC) declaration.
Declarations for imported goods.
Passengers or crew (of a ship or aircraft) need to accurately complete their
Incoming Passenger Card.