Paperwork You Need To Import a Car Into Australia

Jack Sandher - Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What sort of documentation do I need to import a car into Australia? 

Whether your looking at a importing a car from Japan, the UK, Europe the United States or elsewhere, there are some very firm rules that determine whether a vehicle is eligible for import not. Even if the vehicle is eligible, you still have to ensure that it is clear from any ‘biosecurity concern’ contaminants. There a number of different biosecurity concerns.

Before you do anything…

Before you are going to buy a car, you need to first check the SEVS (Specialist Enthusiast Vehicles) Register to ensure the car is eligible to be imported in Australia. You can find the SEVS link by clicking here or going to the Resources page on our site.

If you try to import a car that is not eligible under SEVS, you may find that destruction or re-exportation are the only two available options for your car. You want to make sure that you find a RAW that is not only capable of bringing your car up to snuff, but can also help you negotiate many of the tricky rules and regulations that might otherwise make your car ineligible for entry. (Like us!)

Check the VIN number

The VIN number is something that most people forget about – but it is going to be extremely important later on. If you apply for a Vehicle Import approval, the approval process is based on the information that you are going to provide. 

If the VIN number on the car does not match up with the VIN number that you originally provided for the approval, customs is not going to allow you to import the car.

A small mistake could end up costing you a lot of money because you will have to find a storage unit for the car while you reapply for the approval. This could take weeks, weeks that you have to pay for storage.

Get approval

If you want to have your car approved, you need the Department of Infrastructure and Transport to provide you with vehicle import approval via mail. Make sure you have this. If you start too early and import the car without approval, this could lead to problems later on.

Have an air-conditioning license ready

Australia has recently introduced new laws that make it compulsory for an imported vehicle to have an A/C gas license or to degas the air-conditioning before importing the car.

Applying for the gas license is relatively expensive when compared to degassing the vehicle before exporting it.

It is necessary to have this degas certificate ready and available at the time that you are importing the car. Not having the available evidence will not only be very expensive, but will also take several weeks.

Quarantine upon inspection

Customs will make sure that the car meets all of the Australian quarantine requirements. You will need to let the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service know that you want to file a Quarantine Entry. After that is complete, you need to arrange for an inspection.

For more information visit our Sourcing Page.