Tobacco duty-free concessions changed

For ‘smoking’ travellers to Australia, please read up on the new duty-free concessions before you decide to stock up.

The reduced tobacco duty-free limit came into effect on 1 September 2012. It was announced in the 2012-13 Federal Budget that the duty-free concession on tobacco products would change.

Travellers aged 18 years or over can bring 50 cigarettes or 50 grams of cigars or tobacco products duty-free into Australia with you. All tobacco products in accompanied baggage are included in this category, regardless of where or how they were purchased.

Be aware that if you exceed Australia’s duty-free limits, duty and tax will apply on ALL items of that type (general goods, alcohol or tobacco), not just the goods over the limit. The general goods and alcohol duty-free concessions remain the same. Source: Australian Customs Service

Australia’s high court recently upheld the government’s decision to implement a law which requires cigarettes to be sold in olive green packets, with graphic images warning of the consequences of smoking. The law is to come into effect on 1 December 2012. The South African authorities appear to be following the same route and are currently ‘testing’ the concept of the olive green packets (what’s there to test?). Despite the obvious reaction of the Tobacco Inc. to the new law, it is not difficult to see that it will make anti-counterfeit enforcement even more difficult for authorities. Perhaps the UK liquor boys are ahead in their thinking – import liquor in bulk and bottle it in the UK, this way you’re in charge of the packaging and labelling. Health officials are definitely more concerned with health than profit.



ZARS logbook by iTunesItunes is offering more and more tax-related products. A new application has just hit the ‘Top Paid’ Apple applications list for iPhone and iPad – its called ZARS! It is  a straightforward and easy to use way of tracking your business and private mileage and getting immediate cost breakdown per the current SARS published tables. One is able to maintain multiple logbooks too. The app synchronises with which will enable you to download a summary.

Increase in Passenger Allowances

SARS Customs Duty-free allowances for travellers is increased from R3 000 to R5 000 and for crew members from 500 to R700. The flat rate allowance for travellers is increased from R12 000 to R20 000, whilst that of crew members will remain the same at R2 000. These amendments will be published in the Government Gazette and come into effect on 1 March 2011.  Current forms DA331, DA305, DA307, DA308, and DA341 will be replaced by a ‘new’ DA331. Refer to SARS Modernisation web page for full details –