In the worst case, an investigation by ABF Customs Compliance officers found out that a dredging vessel recently imported into Queensland was undervalued by over $15 million.

At the conclusion of the investigation the value of the vessel was changed  to just over AUD$65,840,000, which led to a demand for further Goods and Services Tax (GST) of $1,564,281.80.

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In the second case, ABF officers discovered that the broker for a tug boat imported to work in the Pilbara region of Western Australia had also falsely reported the value of the vessel by USD$1,734,200.

According to the vessel’s amended value of just over USD$8.6 million, the broker was required to pay a further AUD$250,000 in GST.

In an unrelated investigation also involving a vessel, the broker of a dredger imported into the Northern Territory was required to pay $20,549 in  Duty and GST for understating the amount of marine diesel fuel and lube oil it was carrying.

ABF Acting Commander Steve Evans noted that the three cases are reminding all Australian businesses of the necessity to correctly declare their imports.

Importers who don’t pay the correct amount of duty and GST are depriving the Australian economy and ultimately Australian taxpayers. ABF Customs Compliance officers work diligently to ensure importers comply with reporting and revenue collection requirements so there’s a level playing field for both industry and consumers

Failure to comply can result in severe penalties, or the suspension or cancellation of licences and potentially prosecution.