ASGA to fight ‘import rorts’

The Australian Sporting Goods Association, along with other industry bodies, has been campaigning for some time on the issue of the Low Value Importation Threshold, reports executive director Brad Kitschke.

This issue will be a major component of ASGA's industry advocacy platform. ASGA will launch its campaign on the issue to members at the 2010 ASGA Conference.

This threshold allows something to be imported under the value of $1000 and not have duties and taxes added, including the GST. This threshold was established for the personal consumer and was not intended to be used by importers and those operating a business.

ASGA believes that this threshold is open to abuse and creates an anti-competitive market. Legitimate businesses have duties and GST added to their imports, while others operate illegitimate businesses, avoid payment of the taxes and operate with significantly reduced overheads.

The Board of Taxation reviewed the threshold in May, determining that the $1000 limit was appropriate and should not be reduced. But the decision by the Board of Taxation was based on scarce evidence of the current enforcement regime and limited data about the real number of imports under the current threshold.

Says Kitschke, “The Board  did not examine the misuse of the threshold or its role in the black market economy or the anti-competitive advantage it creates for legitimate importers.

“ASGA questions the basis on which the determination was made, owing to the scarcity of real data and the lack of real evidence of the enforcement of the current threshold.”

ASGA believes that the current lack of enforcement and the limited sharing of data between agencies such as Customs, Australia Post, and the Australian Taxation office leaves the threshold open to abuse, what we call “ import rorts.”

The Australian Taxation Office has recognised that untaxed trading is a problem and has launched a new data matching programme that will identify individuals and businesses who have sold more than $20,000 worth of goods and services a year on websites such as Ebay and Trading Post.

This is one step in the right direction, however more needs to be done to prevent the untaxed importation of goods by illegitimate sellers competing with Australian businesses and compromising the future of Australian jobs, Kitschke reports.

• ASGA will launch its campaign  at its conference, on Tuesday, October 26 at AAMI Park, Melbourne.

If you would like to become involved in the Import Rorts campaign or have evidence of the misuse of the threshold and how it is affecting your business, please contact us at ASGA, on 03 9263 5394 or email

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