Getting a GST Refund for Items Purchased in Australia

If you’ve ever traveled to Australia, you might have been pleasantly surprised by the variety of goods and products available for purchase. From unique souvenirs to high-end electronics, there’s no shortage of items to take home as a memory of your trip. And here’s some good news: you may be eligible for a GST (Goods and Services Tax) refund for certain items purchased in Australia when you return to your home country. In this blog post, we’ll explore the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) and the steps you need to follow to get your GST refund.

What is the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS)?

The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) is a program that allows international travelers, including Australians, to claim a GST and WET (Wine Equalisation Tax) refund for goods they buy in Australia, provided they take these items out of the country when they depart on a plane or ship. This can be a significant advantage, as it can put some extra money back in your pocket after your Australian shopping spree.

Eligibility Criteria for TRS

To be eligible for a GST refund through the TRS, you need to meet certain criteria:

  1. Carry-on Luggage: You must be prepared to take all your purchased goods on board as carry-on luggage if directed.

  2. Minimum Spend: You need to spend at least AUD 300, including the Goods and Services Tax (GST), in total from a supplier with the same Australian Business Number (ABN).

  3. Purchase Date: Buy the goods within 60 days of your departure.

  4. Valid Invoice: Ensure you have a valid paper tax invoice in English with specific details, including your name (as it appears in your passport if the invoice is $1,000 or more), a description of the goods, the retailer’s name, address, and ABN, the amount of GST or WET paid, and the date of purchase.

  5. Oversized and Restricted Goods: Have oversized and restricted goods sighted by ABF Client Services before checking in, and take the stamped invoices to the TRS Facility on the day of your departure.

  6. Claim in Person: You must claim in person by showing your passport, boarding pass, and original tax invoices to the TRS Facility on the day of your departure, more than 30 minutes before your scheduled departure at an airport or 1-4 hours before your scheduled departure at a seaport.

What You Can’t Claim

There are certain items that are not eligible for a GST refund through the TRS. These include:

  • Cash refunds
  • Photocopied, reprinted, or duplicate invoices
  • Shipping goods separately
  • Claims made at domestic airports
  • Online claims
  • Claims made before the day of departure
  • Claims made after leaving Australia
  • Items bought for business purposes
  • Alcohol except wine with alcohol content less than 22%
  • Tobacco and tobacco products
  • Dangerous goods prohibited on an aircraft or ship
  • Goods wholly or partially consumed in Australia, such as food, drinks, and perfume
  • Cosmetic enhancements attached permanently, like hair implants and dental work
  • Gift cards and vouchers
  • Unaccompanied goods, unless being exported to an External Australian Territory by a resident of that territory
  • Goods purchased overseas and imported into Australia
  • GST-free goods, such as baby food, medications, and medical aids
  • Services, including accommodation, taxis, and tours

How to Claim Your GST Refund

To claim your GST refund through the TRS, follow these steps:

  1. Check with Your Carrier: First, check with your carrier to understand what you can and can’t take with you and be prepared for potentially long queues when claiming.

  2. Invoice Matching: Ensure the description on the invoice matches the goods you purchased.

  3. Print Invoices: Print out your electronic invoices before going to the airport, and keep copies as you may need to leave the originals.

  4. TRS Facility Location: Know where the TRS Facility is located at your departure airport or seaport. Facilities are available in major Australian cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Cairns, Canberra, Hobart, and Darwin.

  5. Claim at Last Port of Departure: Only claim at your last port of departure from Australia, which may be different from where you originally boarded your aircraft or cruise ship.

  6. Payment Options: You can get refunds paid to you or another person by credit card (Amex, Diners, JCB, MasterCard, Union Pay, Visa), an Australian bank account, or a mailed cheque (though this is not recommended).

  7. Military Personnel: If you’re a military personnel passenger on a military transport, you can also claim a TRS refund.


If you’re planning to visit Australia and indulge in some retail therapy, it’s worth considering the Tourist Refund Scheme to get a GST refund for eligible goods. Just remember to keep your tax invoices, be aware of the eligibility criteria, and claim your refund at the last port of departure before heading home. Happy shopping and safe travels!

For further information and assistance, you can reach out to the TRS through their enquiry form or by phone:

  • If you are calling the TRS from within Australia: 1300 555 043
  • If you are calling the TRS from outside Australia: +61 2 6245 5499.

Note: Information provided is based on the details available at the time of writing. Be sure to check for any updates or changes to the TRS guidelines before your trip.