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Importing a Vehicle into Australia

Oct 15. 2019

All motor vehicles, motorcycles, and trailers (new and secondhand) being imported or re-imported into Australia must meet the strict safety, emission, anti-theft and compliance standards applying to vehicles for use on Australian roads. Using the services of an international moving company, who are experienced in the requirements and documentation and who are also up to date on any changes in the customs regulations, is important to ensure all requirements are met.

Here we look at some of the rigors involved in the process of moving your vehicle(s) to Australia. To ensure compliance consult an international moving company. Our International Department are on hand to answer your questions and can arrange the shipping of vehicles into and out of any part of Australia.

Importing a vehicle is done by way of an ‘Import Approval’ which must be obtained from www.dotars.gov.au prior to shipments departure. Approval for the application can take up to 30 days. Therefore, we would strongly advise that any vehicle is not shipped until this Import Approval has been obtained, to avoid costly delays or possible mandatory return of the vehicle to point of origin if compliance is not met.  For full details of requirements, plus a Permit Application form, please refer to the website www.dotars.gov.au or Federal Office of Road Safety – Telephone 61 2 6274 7444, Fax 61 2 6274 6013.

To enable customs clearance, a number of other documents will be required: receipt of vehicle purchase (sales invoice or paid receipt), a customs approval valuation will be required (at an additional cost), proof of ownership of vehicle, such as registration or insurance documents, a copy of invoice covering vehicle shipping and insurance costs, as well as a ‘vehicle import approval’.

Depending on the availability of the documents, clearance of the vehicle generally takes approximately 7 – 14 working days. It is important to note that all vehicles are subject to a mandatory inspection at our depot and if steam cleaning is ordered, additional charges will apply.  Once vehicle has been customs and quarantine cleared, the vehicle will be available for release at depot. We can arrange for transport to other points, if this is required.

It is very important to note that the Australian customs also currently express a zero tolerance policy in relation to imported motor vehicles and cycles regarding asbestos. Importing motor vehicles and cycles that contain components, including gaskets, brake pads and clutch pads, that include asbestos is prohibited and is a serious offence and may be subject to penalties or prosecution.

The registration, insurance and other mandatory compliances associated with the vehicle are then the client’s responsibility.

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