Go Away - The Government Will Pay You To Do It - TRS
You had to buy it from a shop that could fill out the forms, then you had to have the bag containing the camera sealed, then you had to present the sealed bag to Customs, ten you had to stand on one leg and do a jig, then...
All that has gone. Up until yesterday we could get quite a decent little return for the Tourist Refund Scheme by presenting the tax invoice and the goods at the airport - there were restrictions, of course, but all in all it was a civilised.
Good news. It gets even better.
As of yesterday there have been key changes to the TRS:
1. Travellers can claim through the TRS on purchases made up to 60 days before leaving Australia. The previous ruling was 30 days. This applies to sales made as of yesterday.
In practical photographic terms, this means you can buy a new camera, read the instructions, try it out, take a course on how to do it, and get yourself up to speed technically before your trip. Better tourist pictures.
2. Travellers can submit more than one tax invoice to make the claim. Each tax invoice must be from the one Australian Business Number ( ABN ) retailer and the total value of the goods purchased is $ 300 or more ( including GST).
People intending to use this scheme and then bringing the goods back into the country may need to consult with the TRS people or Australian Customs to see if they will be required to do anything upon re-entering Australia. I should imagine their website or their phone line will help in this.
Please note that it might also be necessary in the case of some equipment that you already own, and that will not be subject to this scheme, to register the serial numbers so that there is no debate when you haul it back after your trip. Check with Customs.