Had a quick chat last night with a customs officer, she believes the change to $1,000 from $500 came when their computer system was changed. Apparently this was October 2005, at least that is what I understood.
I was told to go onto the customs website and check it out. Well I went on their site and even did a search or five, couldn't find it.
However I do know that I have brought close to $900.00 worth of goods via the postal system from Germany and it went straight through, although customs did check the contents of the parcel according to a sticker. This was in March this year.
I'll be asking more questions when I see her next!
I looked into this a couple of years ago when I was researching buying some photo stuff from overseas. There is a $500 limit if the goods are coming by courier & $1,000 if coming by post, i.e. below these levels it's not worth their while to collect the GST. It is a good system & I think we will see a trend of people placing group orders to get better postage rates. If all you want is some film & paper you might find that $60 USD postage makes it too expensive. However if you get together with some friends & place a bigger order you might find that postage is just $70 or $80 & becomes less significant per item. I find Freestyle is good for this as it is easy to change the shopping basket & check the updated postage. It's especially good now with the Aussie dollar buying nearly 90 US cents.
You could also try http://www.newdark.com.au/ if you wish to support an Australian distributor. I have used them a couple of times and the goods turned up promptly.
If anyone would like to bug C R Kennedy into importing some SFX 200 for us too, that'd be grand. I've told they just dont have it due to lack of demand.
I've been told by my local store that they can order in any Ilford paper for me and have it there in three days though, so I'm not sure about all this...
EDIT: and apparently newdark has SFX200 for sale on their site. Maybe something has changed, huh.
Last year C R Kennedy twice told me Galerie was unavailable because it had been discontinued, even after I tried to correct them...
Originally Posted by Simon R Galley
Silverprint in London are fantastic at supplying Ilford materials (that have apparently been discontinued). The shipping is a little expensive but the goods typically arrive in 3 or 4 days. Excellent prices compared to what we pay in Australia too.
I'm all for supporting local distributors but there's a limit to my loyalty. I'd really like to be able to support my local retailer, Vanbar, too but am unable to when they can't stock the product I need.
My experience with customs has been that parcels under $1000 breeze through whether courier or post and that parcels over the limit will be picked up, especially if sent by courier.
Probably the most telling thing about the official Australian distributor of Ilford products, is to go to their website and type in the name Ilford.
You will not be able to find anything regarding film, B&W paper or chemicals, manufactured by Ilford and sold throughout the country.
If anyone is able to tell me how to do that, I would welcome the information.
Over the last few years I have been slowly purchasing Ilford product overseas as what I was after, isn't imported into the country as there is no demand according to the distributor.
I can understand that the importer needs to justify bringing in a product and that Ilford do make minimum carton requirements which can make it unprofitable for certain lines, but sometimes I'm amazed at what you cannot get.
I put a fair amount of paper through my little darkroom, and a fair amount of film through my cameras.
I just went through my Ilford purchases for the last 14 months. January the 1st 2007 through to February the 14th 2008.
I purchased in Australian dollars, $2,300.00 of Ilford paper and film from overseas.
In Australia itself, in my local camera shop, I spent $2,980.00 on Ilford paper and chemicals (mainly paper developer fixer).
The Ilford 4x5 film I purchase from overseas, is approximately 46% cheaper landed, than if I walk into any photographic store in Australia. For overseas people, in Australia, there is no discounting of any Ilford products by any retailer that I am aware of, which is fine. However as Ilford 4x5 film is so much more expensive locally compared to overseas, I no longer see the point of purchasing it locally.
This of course starts a never ending spiral of less and less local demand, which isn't good, but there is a price point and product range requirement for sustainability, that I don't think is being met too well by the local Ilford distributor.
I'm with you on most of those points Mick. I buy paper and chemicals locally, so far, but buy my film in bulk in the US when I go there each year for work. There's a big difference between $3 a roll and $11 or $12.
I'm sure distributors and retailers realise that in this "flat world" they no longer have all the power, but in many cases it's not translating to cheaper shelf prices.