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Importing process

Q. Where do I start?
You should fully research and understand the processes and costs involved with importing a vehicle to Australia before you start. See ‘8 steps to import a vehicle’ for an overview of the importing process. Complete the ‘Can I import a vehicle’ eligibility assessment—‘Which import option is best for me?’ to assist you in deciding which option best suits your circumstances. You should also contact your State or Territory Registration Authority for advice on registration requirements.

Q. Where do I find the requirements for each import option?
Information on specific import options can be found on this website or you can complete the 'Can I import a vehicle' eligibility assessment—Which import option is best for me?—to assist you to determine which may be the most appropriate for your circumstances.

Q. What costs are involved?
When applying for a Vehicle Import Approval, you must pay a $50 lodgment fee (Credit card (visa or master only) for online payments. Cheque or money order in Australian dollars from and Australian institution are accepted for manual payments made payable to the Receiver of Relevant Money to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. This fee is not refundable, even if an application is cancelled or a Vehicle Import Approval is not granted.

You may also have to pay a variety of other costs to various organisations during the importation process such as:

  • freight and insurance (for the transport of the goods to Australia);
  • customs duties, GST and, if applicable, Luxury Car Tax;
  • storage and delivery charges;
  • logistic services providers' charges;
  • customs brokers' charges;
  • entry processing charges;
  • steam cleaning for quarantine purposes;
  • other wharf and transport charges;
  • any costs involved in having your road vehicle meet State or Territory registration; and
  • insurance requirements; and
  • any costs involved in having your vehicle's air conditioner meet the requirements of the Department of the Environment.

Q. What duties and taxes do I have to pay?
These will vary, depending on the type of vehicle. Department of Immigration and Border Protection can advise on likely duties and taxes.

Q. What do I do when I receive my Vehicle Import Approval?
Contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to find out the clearance procedure for the vehicle to be released. Contact your State or Territory Registration Authority if you wish to get the vehicle registered.

Q. What if I import a vehicle without first obtaining and vehicle import approval?
It is an offence punishable under the Crimes Act 1914 with a maximum penalty of 120 penalty units plus possible imprisonment (please refer to The Crimes Act 1914 for confirmation of current penalty amounts). If you ship your vehicle without an Import Approval, your vehicle may be held in Customs bond storage and you may incur further costs including storage.


Last Updated: 19 August, 2015