Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Reimportation import approvals

A reimportation import approval under the Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 (RVSA) allows an approval holder to import a vehicle they previously exported from Australia.

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What is a reimportation import approval?

Under the RVSA, if you plan to import a road vehicle back into Australia that you have previously exported, you need to apply to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (the department) for an approval.

Before applying for an approval, you should read the Reimportation import approval guide. It explains how to apply and outlines the eligibility requirements. Full details of reimportation import approvals are in the Road Vehicle Standards Rules 2019 (the Rules), sections 159 to 169.

Why do I need an approval to reimport my vehicle?

Under section 22 of the RVSA, it is an offence to import a road vehicle into Australia without an approval. The department manages the approval process through its online application system, ROVER.

You must obtain an approval to import a road vehicle from the department before importing the vehicle.

What are the eligibility requirements for a reimportation import approval?

The eligibility requirements for a reimportation approval are set out in section 163 of the Rules. In summary:

  • The applicant must own the vehicle at the time the application is submitted.
  • The vehicle must be outside Australia.
  • The vehicle must either:
    • be on the Register of Approved Vehicles (RAV) and, in all relevant respects, be consistent with the information on the RAV about the vehicle, OR
    • have an identification plate that was placed on the vehicle in accordance with the MVSA and, in all relevant respects, is consistent with the details set out on the identification plate in relation to the vehicle, OR
    • have a used import plate that was placed on the vehicle in accordance with the MVSA and, in all relevant respects, be consistent with the details set out on the used import plate in relation to the vehicle.

The Rules are made under the RVSA. The RVSA and other related legislation is collectively referred to as the Road Vehicle Standards (RVS) legislation.

When do I need to apply?

You must submit an application for an import approval before importing the vehicle. Importing a vehicle without permission is an offence under RVSA and penalties may apply. Allow enough time to apply for your application to be assessed before your planned importation date. It may take up to 30 business days for an import approval application to be assessed and a decision made.

What is the Register of Approved Vehicles?

The RAV is an online database of vehicles that meet the requirements of the RVS legislation and are approved for provision to the Australian market.

Once entered on the RAV, a vehicle is available for registration by a state or territory registration authority (pending the regulatory requirements of the particular state or territory).

The RAV is a publicly searchable database.

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Contact us

Due to the ACT COVID-19 lockdown, we are unable to answer calls to our call centre on 1800 815 272. Please email ROVERinfo@infrastructure.gov.au for assistance, and include your phone number in case we need to contact you for further details.