- Start importing
- Prohibited and restricted imports
- Import animals
- Commercial ships and cruise liners
- Lodge your import entry
- Valuation for import
- Preferential tariff duty rates
- Customs rulings
- Customs exchange rates
- Import payments and refunds
- Deferred accounts for importers
- Deferred accounts for brokers
- Import forms and documents
- What is excise?
- Apply for a licence
- Lodge your excise entry
- Claim excise duty remission or refund
- Pay excise duty and other charges
- Apply for excise duty credit or drawback
- Moving excisable items
- Changing, suspending or cancelling your licence
- Amend, surrender or transfer your licence
- Change your entry or payment timeframe
- Customs-controlled areas
- Excise forms and documents
Interest and penalties for unpaid duty
Both compensatory interest and penalties can apply when duty is not paid on time and in full.
About interest and penalties
If you don’t pay duty on time and in full, you will be charged compensatory interest, and you may also be charged a penalty.
Interest and penalties have distinct purposes. Interest is to compensate the Crown for loss of use of money. Penalties are to penalise and deter the non-compliance that led to duty not being paid.
Customs will always charge compensatory interest if you haven’t paid duty on time and in full and, depending on the circumstances, we may also charge one of the following penalties:
In serious cases, prosecution may be considered.
If there are no revenue implications to your offending, then you’ll just be charged the relevant penalty, or prosecuted.
How interest and penalties are applied
Who the interest and penalties are charged to depends on the type of penalty and the circumstances:
- compensatory interest, late payment penalties and infringement fees are charged to the duty payer (the importer, exporter, or excise licensee)
- administrative penalties are issued to the declarant who made the erroneous entry.
See the Customer Guide: Compensatory interest and late payment penalties (PDF 2 MB) for an overview table showing when interest and penalties are applied and who is impacted.