• Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites

  • Blog, Gadgets - Written by on Monday, February 4, 2013 15:39 - 8 Comments

    The difficulties of ordering a Surface Pro in Australia


    blog Want to buy one of Microsoft’s new Surface Pros in Australia? Well, as we covered a couple of weeks ago, you’re out of luck, as Microsoft isn’t shipping them locally yet. But you may not know quite how out of luck you truly are: It’s probably not even worth ordering one from overseas through the usual avenues, according to PCWorld Australia. The publication details the convoluted details of tax regulations for Surface Pro importing (we recommend you click here for the full details):

    “It sounds good in theory, but a sticking point is the Government’s $1000 GST threshold. What this means is that if you’ve got a package being sent internationally, coming through Customs, it has to be under $1000 in overall value — otherwise Customs will impose a 10 per-cent GST charge on the item’s value plus postage and insurance”

    The ongoing debacle around Surface availability in Australia really just have the feeling of a bad joke at this point. Microsoft really hasn’t gotten its act together with the Surface; and one has the feeling that this bodes badly for Windows 8 tablets in general, given that the Surface is pretty much the poster child for Windows 8 in a tablet form factor at this point.

    Image credit: Microsoft

    submit to reddit


    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

    1. Marcus
      Posted 04/02/2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

      get it shipped to a US friend, get-them to remove the invoice and repack/wrap it as a gift.
      Gifts are not susceptible to the same rules.

      Probably not entirely legal to do that though, at a guess.

    2. stephen hall
      Posted 04/02/2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

      From http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page5653.asp
      Gifts sent to you

      There is no longer a concession for goods sent as a gift. Goods that are gifted, donated, loaned or supplied free of charge are still subject to assessment for duty and other taxes and charges if they have a value of more than A$1,000 or if the goods are tobacco and/or alcohol products.

      If you are unable to provide evidence of the value of the goods, the legislation provides other ways of determining value.

      The ‘gift concession’ (by-law number 9740019) was revoked on and from 1 October 2008, after the low value goods threshold was increased to A$1,000.

      • Marcus
        Posted 04/02/2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

        ahh ok.. its been a while since i ordered anything big from overseas…

      • Timothy Walters
        Posted 05/02/2013 at 9:39 am | Permalink | Reply

        So, the question is this:

        Is a second-hand Surface Pro worth less than $1,000? It is technically second-hand now after all…

        • Posted 05/02/2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Customs doesn’t get bogged down in such minor details as ‘actual value’. I’ve sent a ten-year old piece of specialist hardware, worth probably a few hundred, to the US for repair. On the way back they pulled it up at customs and demanded GST based on the original purchase price.

          It took weeks of arguing before they agreed that it was neither a purchase nor had it kept 100% of it’s value.

    3. Trevor
      Posted 04/02/2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Pretty easy to declare the value of the goods at less than $1,000 though, particularly if you insure it for $999 or similar. Also remember the value is only the value of the goods themselves – it doesn’t include shipping or insurance (which the previous law adding tax to goods over the value of $250 didn’t exclude).

      Sorry Ren, I’m unsure how this warrants an item on its own – this is how importation of goods has worked for five years now. It affects all kinds of imports such as notebooks and ultrabooks that are significantly more expensive in Australia and GST and import duty aren’t easy to swallow there, either, but they’re usually small in comparison to local retail markups compared to international markets. Why would the surface be any different? If it was available locally it would also attract GST (although it may be able to avoid the 5% duty individual importers would have to pay).

    4. simon
      Posted 05/02/2013 at 8:56 am | Permalink | Reply

      For someone who seams to hate windows 8 you look really upset you can’t get a Surface Pro

      • Marcus
        Posted 05/02/2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink | Reply

        Probably because the OS (or the UI in any case) was written for that hardware in mind.

    Leave a Comment


  • Get our 'Best of the Week' newsletter on Fridays

    Just the most important stories, one email a week.

    Email address:

    Follow us on social media

    Use your RSS reader to subscribe to our articles feed or to our comments feed.

  • Most Popular Content

  • Enterprise IT stories

    • Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp facepalm2

      If you have even a skin deep awareness of the structure of Australia’s superannuation industry, you’ll be aware that much of the underlying infrastructure used by many of the nation’s major funds is provided by a centralised group, Superpartners. One of the group’s main projects in recent years has been to dramatically update and modernise its IT platform — its version of a core banking platform overhaul. Unfortunately, the $250 million project has not precisely been going well.

    • Qld’s Grant joins analyst firm IBRS peter-grant

      This week it emerged that Peter Grant, the two-time former Queensland Whole of Government CIO (pictured), has joined well-regarded analyst firm Intelligent Business Research Services (IBRS). We’ve long had a high regard for IBRS, and so it’s fantastic to see such an experienced executive join its ranks.

    • Westpac dumps desk phones for Samsung Android mobiles samsung-galaxy-ace-3

      The era of troublesome desk phones tied to physical locations is gradually coming to an end in many workplaces, with mobile phones becoming increasingly popular as organisations’ main method of voice telecommunications. But some groups are more advanced than others when it comes to adoption of the trend. One of those is Westpac.

    • Ministers’ cloud approval lasted just a year reverse

      Remember how twelve months ago, the Federal Government released a new cloud computing security and privacy directive which required departments and agencies to explicitly acquire the approval of the Attorney-General and the relevant portfolio minister before government data containing private information could be stored in offshore facilities? Remember how the policy was strongly criticised by Microsoft, Government CIOs and Delimiter? Well, it looks like the policy is about to be reversed.

    • WA Govt can’t fund school IT upgrades oops key

      In news from The Department of Disturbing Facts, iTNews revealed late last week that Western Australia’s Department of Education has run out of money halfway through the deployment of new fundamental IT infrastructure to the state’s schools.

    • Turnbull outlines Govt ICT vision turnbull-5

      Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has published an extensive article arguing that the Federal Government needed to do a better job of connecting with Australians via digital channels and that public sector IT projects needn’t cost the huge amounts that some have in the past.

    • NZ Govt pushes hard into cloud zealand

      New Zealand’s national Government announced a whole of government contract this morning for what it terms ‘Office Productivity as a Service’ services. This includes email and calendaring services, as well as file-sharing, mobility, instant messaging and collaboration services. The contract complements two existing contracts — Desktop as a Service and Enterprise Content Management as a Service.

    • CommBank reveals Harte’s replacement whiteing

      The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has promoted an internal executive who joined the bank in September after a lengthy career at petroleum giant VP and IT services group Accenture to replace its outgoing chief information officer Michael Harte, who announced in early May that he would leave the bank.

    • Jeff Smith quits Suncorp for IBM jeffsmith4

      Second-tier Australian bank and financial services group Suncorp today announced that its long-serving top technology executive Jeff Smith would leave to take up a senior role with IBM in the United States, in an announcement which marks the end of an era for the nation’s banking IT sector.

    • Small business missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution iphone-stock

      Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers, innovate and get more control. Many others, however, are falling behind, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.

  • Blog, Enterprise IT - Jul 5, 2014 13:53 - 0 Comments

    Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp

    More In Enterprise IT

    Blog, Telecommunications - Jul 5, 2014 12:12 - 0 Comments

    What should the ACCC’s role be in guiding infrastructure spending?

    More In Telecommunications

    Analysis, Industry, Internet - Jun 23, 2014 10:33 - 0 Comments

    ‘Google Schmoogle’ – how Yellow Pages got it so wrong

    More In Industry

    Blog, Digital Rights - Jun 30, 2014 22:24 - 0 Comments

    Will Netflix launch in Australia, or not?

    More In Digital Rights