A Word To The Wise Traveller - Tourist GST Refunds

on November 22, 2015

The TRS is not a failed English fighter plane project - you are thinking of the TSR.

The TRS is the Tourist Refund Scheme - the government initiative to boost sales here in Australia by allowing genuine travellers a rebate of their GST when they depart from the country. It has definite rules about how much you need to buy, how and when you need to buy it, and what the limits are on what you get back.

There are dedicated desks and staff to deal with this at most Australian airports that have an overseas flow-through. In Perth it is after you pass all the security business and have your shoes and belt back on, so at least you have recovered a modicum of dignity. It apparently all goes pretty smoothly when the stream of hopefuls is thin.

When times are busy, however, long lines may form and the staff may not be able to cope with the rush - this is worry for the travellers because they too are on a timed schedule...

To speed things up an app has been introduced for those people with smart mobile phones. If you can use this sort of help and have a phone that will do it, it would be a good idea to load the app well before you travel. Then there is no anxiety at the airport about not getting your registration and transaction done on time. No-one likes to be the last to board the plane under the glare of the flight attendants and the rest of the passengers - you might not see the drinks trolley all flight. Even more awkward for those who arrive after the cabin doors are armed and cross-checked. They put a folding chair out on the wing for you and tell you to hang on...