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 physical currency
The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) oversees the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act).
The AML/CTF Act defines physical currency as coin and printed money (of Australia or a foreign country) that is:
- designated as legal tender, and is
- circulated, used and accepted as, a medium of exchange in the country of issue
Importers and exporters can send large amounts of money to and from Australia. Under the AML/CTF Act, you must report all movements of physical currency valued at AUD10,000 or more. Reporting the movement of currency valued at AUD10,000 or more via mail or cargo is to occur prior to shipment.
The Australian Border Force may direct an importer to complete the AUSTRAC Physical Currency Form if:
- the consignment consists of precious metal coins classified as legal tender, and
- the value of the consignment exceeds AUD10,000
Goods valued at more than AUD1000 require an import declaration. Goods valued at, or below, AUD1000 require a self-assessed clearance (SAC) declaration.
See: Declarations for imported goods.
Passengers or crew (of a ship or aircraft) need to accurately complete their Incoming Passenger Card.