I posted a similar message yesterday in the "Ardbeg Corryvreckan" thread, but I thought that it might be of interest over here too for any other Aussies buying whisky over the web.
Basically, I ordered a bottle on-line and when it landed in Australia I got stung for import Duty from Australian Customs.
A breakdown of the total cost goes like this;
45 quid for the bottle of Corryvreckan (which I expect includes 17.5% UK VAT)
20-ish quid to deliver it to Australia
AU$47 Australian Vol Duty (AU$66.67 per litre for alcohol less than %80)
AU$6 more Australian Duty
AU$17 Australian GST
AU$4 Transport / Insurance Tax
around AU$1 for daring to pay for all this by VISA.
I phoned Customs to see if all this is right and to check if the rules had changed. The reason being that over the years I've ordered at least 6 bottles over the web and this is the first time that I've been stung with import duty. I won't go into the details of my conversation with them, suffice to say that there was a free and frank exchange of views that ended with me paying the Duty....
Don't get me wrong, I don't mind paying my way tax-wise, but this seems over the top to me. I'm also irritated that given that I've imported whisky before and not been stung for duty it appears that customs decides to apply duty for personal imports in a hap hazard, random kind of way.
Anyway, if there are any other Aussies here the Top-Whisky-Top-Tip, if you don't want to end up paying over AU$200 for a bottle of whisky that retails in it's home land for the equivalent of around AU$94, is not to order your whisky over the net.