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8 steps to import a vehicle

This page provides an overview of all steps involved in importing a vehicle into Australia. This process involves a number of government agencies. You should familiarise yourself with the requirements of these agencies prior to importing a vehicle into Australia.

1. Conduct research

  • Is the vehicle eligible to enter Australia?
  • Which import option can I apply under?
  • What costs are involved? (eg shipping, storage, delivery, permit application, taxes, Customs duties, cleaning for quarantine purposes, asbestos testing/removal, quarantine inspection costs modification costs, State or Territory registration and insurance requirements, etc)
  • What are the timeframes involved for getting the permit and other necessary arrangements?
  • What documentation do I need?
  • What are the requirements for each government agency?
  • Do I need to use a broker?
  • Will I need to have modifications done to meet Australian standards?
  • What are the risks involved with importing a vehicle?

2. Apply for a vehicle import approval

3. Receive Vehicle Import Approval

  • Receive email with Vehicle Import Approval attached
  • Approval may contain conditions for use of the vehicle
  • Government agency: Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications

4. Arrange shipping of vehicle

  • Prior to shipping, ensure car is steam cleaned inside and outside to remove any materials that may pose a quarantine risk
  • Prior to shipping, ensure any air-conditioning gas is removed, if necessary
  • Arrange for asbestos testing and removal if necessary
  • Government Agencies: Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, and the Department of Home Affairs

5. Get Customs clearance

  • Lodge an import declaration
  • Pay Customs duty
  • Pay Goods & Services Tax (GST)
  • Pay Luxury Car Tax, if required
  • Ensure there is no asbestos
  • Government agency: Department of Home Affairs

6. Meet Australian quarantine requirements

7. Meet Import Approval Conditions

  • Arrange for modification of vehicle if necessary
  • Conduct testing and develop evidence of compliance
  • Apply for identification plate approvals or supply to the market approvals if necessary

8. Register the vehicle


Last Updated: 19 May, 2020