Custom Duty, GSt and LCT on cars in Australia

Customs duty, GST, LCT on Cars in Australia

Duty rates payable are determined by the tariff classification for your goods.  The Customs Tariff Act 1995 (the Tariff) provides the tariff classifications, duty rates, interpretive rules and information on preference schemes, other concessions and exemptions that may apply to your goods.  Duty is payable on the customs value of the goods.

GST applies to most imported goods.  There are a few exemptions from the GST, one being road vehicles for disabled persons, subject to certain conditions.  If no exemptions apply, GST is applied at 10% of the value of the taxable importation (VoTI).

For imported road vehicles the VoTI is the sum of:

  • the customs value (CV);
  • any duty payable; and
  • the amount paid or payable to transport the goods to Australia and to insure the goods for the transport (T&I).

LCT applies to road vehicles (except motor cycles or similar vehicles) that are:

  • designed to carry a load of less than two tonnes and fewer than nine passengers; and
  • above a certain value.

The definition of a road vehicle for LCT purposes includes limousines regardless of the passenger carrying capacity.  The value above which the LCT becomes payable is the LCT threshold. The LCT threshold is a GST inclusive value which, for the 2012/13 financial year, is set at $59,133. (NB: Customs Value can be an amount less than the LCT threshold figure, as shown in the example below).

The LCT rate is 33 % (commencing 1 July 2008, prior to that date the rate was 25%).  While the LCT threshold is GST-inclusive, LCT is only payable on the GST-exclusive amount which exceeds the threshold value.

An example of how the LCT is applied is shown below:

Imported New Luxury Car



Customs Value (CV)



Customs Duty = 5% x CV

= 0.05 x 56,000


Transport and Insurance (T&I)



VoTI  (CV+Duty+T&I)

= 56,000 + 2,800 + 1,500


GST = 10% x VoTI

= 0.10 x 60,300


Luxury car value (LCV) = (GST+VoTI)

= 6,030 + 60,300


LCT = (LCV-LCT threshold) x 10/11 x 0.33

= 66,330-59,133 x 10/11 x 0.33



 2,800 + 6,030 + 2,159.10


Fuel efficient luxury cars with a luxury car value (VoTI plus GST) under the Fuel Efficient Vehicle (FEV) limit of $75,375 for the 2012-13 financial year are not subject to LCT. Further information can be found by accessing Australian Customs Notice 2009/41 Luxury Car Tax in the Integrated Cargo System – Update.

Please note:  You do not need to make any calculations regarding duty, GST or LCT (if applicable) liabilities.  When your import declaration is processed Customs will provide you with an Outstanding Payment Advice.  This Advice will show all amounts payable to Customs relating to your imported goods.

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