GST-free goods can be sold to travellers about to depart Australia. The goods must be placed in a sealed bag, including those from a tax-free shop not at the airport, and it’s important you follow the 12 rules on how to make a sealed bag sale:

  1. Confirm your customer is departing from Australia.
  2. Check your customer has completed a sealed bag declaration.
  3. Make three copies of the sales invoice.
  4. Keep your copies for verification.
  5. Do not give passengers goods more than 60 days before departure.
  6. Goods must be in a sealed package.
  7. Invoice retrieved before the Australian Border Force (ABF) border clearance area.
  8. Invoice retrieved after the ABF border clearance area.
  9. Examine the sealed bag.
  10. Notify us of any sealed bag tampering or other discrepancy.
  11. Retrieve your invoices.
  12. Reconcile your invoices.

The sealed bag rules ensure you are not inadvertently subject to GST. If you don’t apply these rules, you’ll have to pay GST on the sale – you effectively end up paying GST on behalf of the customer.

Make sure you have appropriate procedures and records to show that you have applied the rules correctly.

If you find a mistake, you can make a voluntary disclosure by lodging a revised activity statement.