Tariff Public Advice Products

The existing Tariff Precedent system is being changed. The new system, the Public Advice Products System, retains Tariff Precedents, but also introduces a new product, Tariff Classification Guides. The Practice Statement which outlines the policy for this new service is currently in the consultative stage. A copy of the exposure draft of the Practice Statement is provided below for your information.

What are Public Advice products?

Tariff's Public Advice Products are Tariff Precedents and Tariff Classification Guides (NEW). These are statements from us, made to provide general advice about classification and classification issues.

A Tariff Precedent is specific to a tariff classification and provides advice on types of goods or classification issues relating to that classification. Tariff Classification Guides are documents that provide advice on more complex issues or on issues that span many classifications.

A Public Advice Product is not a Tariff Advice issued under the Advance Rulings framework. Tariff Advices give administratively binding advice on specific goods for a specific importer based on documentary and retained information provided by the applicant. A Public Advice Product does not give binding advice on a specific good, but provides a statement of the current thinking by us on a type of good, a class of goods or a classification issue.

In addition, a list of commonly imported goods to assist private (non-commercial) one-off importers is also available.

Current public advice products

Tariff precedents

See List of Current Precedents (1.5MB PDF) for all current precedents.

Amendments to the Customs Tariff Act 1995 effective 1 January 2017 affected classification of some products and the following changes have been made to the precedents.

  • Heading 4412 – plywood products.  Precedents 19576900, 19577100 and 1957300 have been updated and two new precedents, 21757800 and 2157900, created. 
  • Heading 8528 – monitors and projectors for use with computers.  Precedents 19584500 and 19735800 have been updated and two new precedents, 21758700 and 21758600, created.
  • Heading 8711 – personal transportation devices (including Segways).  Precedent 21065700 has been updated and new precedent 21758500 created.

Email any comments to tariff@border.gov.au. Further updates will follow and any precedents requiring substantial changes will be published as drafts.  The last update of this file was 1 February 2017.

The following acronyms could be found in the precedents:

  • HSEN (Harmonised System Explanatory Notes)
  • WCO (World Customs Organisation)
  • COCO (Compendium of Classification Opinions of the WCO)
  • AAT (Administration Appeals Tribunal)
  • ACBPS (Australian Customs and Border Protection Service).

Tariff classification guides

The guides below provide advice on more complex issues or on issues that span many classifications.

Commonly imported goods for private importers

A list of Commonly Imported Goods (769KB PDF) and their tariff classifications has been created to provide guidance and information to private importers who need to declare non-commercial, one-off importations. The Customs Tariff Act 1995 (the Act) is the legal authority for classification and this list does not in any way replace or supersede the Act. Only the latest official version of the Act is authoritative. For this reason, any one-off, private importer who is not sure if their goods are properly described in the list should look at the Act under the Working Tariff (Current) tab or ask advice.

All commercial importations must be done in full accordance with the Act and this list should not be relied on for commercial imports.

Exposure drafts

Prior to the final publication of Tariff Precedents and Tariff Classification Guides, an exposure draft is​ available to allow for consultation and feedback on the clarity of the document. ​

Our Draft Tariff Classification Guide on Placebos (280KB PDF) is now available as an Exposure Draft.

The consultation period for the Draft Tariff Classification Guide on Placebos has been extended until COB 9 September 2016. 

Policy drafts closed for consultation

The Practice Statement - Tariff Precedents and Tariff Classification Guides (97KB PDF) is now closed for comments.


Send your comments, suggestions and feedback on the precedent system at tariff@border.gov.au.