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
- Register with the department (if not already registered)
- Complete the application form online
- Pay the $50 application fee
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
6. Meet Australian quarantine requirements
- Lodge a Quarantine Entry with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
- Arrange inspection appointment (you or your broker may need to be present)
- Government agency: Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
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
- Apply to register the vehicle in the relevant State or Territory
- Government agencies: State Road and Transport Authorities