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There are several steps to import a used vehicle in Australia :
  • Obtain a Vehicle Import Approval (VIA) from the Vehicle Safety Standards Branch of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Local Government.
  • Pay customs duty, Goods and Services Tax (GST) and luxury car tax (LCT) where applicable and obtain customs clearance at the port of entry.
  • Obtain quarantine clearance from the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) after the road vehicle has arrived at the port of entry.
  • To gain Customs clearance for an imported road vehicle you must hold a valid VIA for that road vehicle.
  • It is an offense under the MVSA to import, sell or present new or used imported road vehicles to the Australian market for the first time unless those road vehicles meet the National Standards.
  • If your road vehicle has a value below the import entry threshold (AUD1000) it may be cleared by Customs by lodging a self-assessed clearance (SAC) declaration. A VIA is required regardless of the value of the road vehicle.
  • Get a quote for shipping / customs clearance / quarantine / packing / depot / terminal handling fees / cleaning fees / duties / taxes.
  • Purchase the car in a controlled manner, via an agent, or by a letter of credit through your bank. The risks involved with the loss of money is dependant on the relationship you have with the seller.
  • Make sure all documents are given to a customs broker in your port, or you can have a go at clearing yourself. Mistakes are costly and storage isn't cheap, so using a broker is a smart move.
  • They have methods of valuing the car less than what you expect to save on duties (usually 10 percent) and GST 10 percent. Also, high price vehicles may attract luxury car tax.
  • Delivery of your road vehicle into home consumption will only be authorized where Customs and AQIS clearance requirements are met.