General Information

Language

The official language for the Congress is English.

Tipping

Tipping is not as widespread or regulated in Australia as it is in other parts of the world. Tipping is your choice as a reward for good service. It is customary to tip hotel porters and a gratuity of about 10 per cent is usual in restaurants if good service is received. Tips for taxis are regarded as optional.

Goods & Services Tax (GST)/Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS)

Since 1 July 2000, Australia has adopted a taxation system incorporating the Goods & Services Tax (GST). All prices quoted in this brochure are inclusive of GST, unless otherwise specified.

As part of this taxation system, the Australian Government introduced the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS). The scheme is administered by the Australian Customs Department and took effect on 1 July 2000. The TRS enables travellers departing Australia to claim a refund of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) paid on goods bought in Australia. The refund applies to goods over the value of A$300 when items are purchased in the same shop within 30 days of your departure from Australia. Should an item be too large to take onto the aircraft as hand luggage you will need to visit the TRS clearing office at the international airport with the item and receipt. The receipt will be stamped TRS sighted and at that point you can check the large item in with your luggage. Once you have cleared customs you can collect your refund from the TRS desk by showing your receipt or items purchased. It does not apply to services or goods consumed or partly consumed in Australia, however the goods can be used before departing Australia.

Please note that the Tourist Refund Scheme is only available for goods and not for services, therefore you will not be able to claim the GST paid on your registration fees. For more information, please visit

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service Website

Insurance

Registration fees do not include insurance of any kind. It is strongly recommended that at the time you register for the Congress and book your travel you take out an insurance policy of your choice. The policy should include loss of fees/deposit through cancellation of your participation in the Congress, or through cancellation of the Congress, loss of international/domestic air fares through cancellation for any reason, loss of tour monies through cancellation for any reason including airline or related services strikes within Australia, failure to utilize tours or pre-booked arrangements due to airline delay, Force Majeure or any other reason, medical expenses (including sickness and accident cover), loss or damage to personal property, additional expenses and repatriation should travel arrangements have to be altered. The Meeting Managers cannot take any responsibility for any participant failing to arrange their own insurance. This insurance is to be purchased in your country of origin.

Banking/Currency

Decimal currency is used in Australia with the dollar as the basic unit (100 cents = $1). Notes come in $100, $50, $20, $10, and $5. Coins come in 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 denominations.

Currency exchange facilities are available in most banks, hotels and airports and operate normal business hours. Credit cards are accepted at most restaurants and shops, the most widely used being Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club.

XE - The World's Favorite Currency and Foreign Exchange Site

Electricity

Electrical current is 240/250V, AC 50Hz. The Australian three-pin power outlet is different from that in many countries, so you will need an adaptor. If your appliances are 110V, check if there is a 110/240V switch. If not, you will need a voltage converter. Universal outlets for 240V or 110V shavers are usually found in leading hotels.

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