Importing A Car From Japan - What You Need to Do

Jack Sandher - Monday, June 16, 2014

Importing a Car FROM Japan? Here's what you Need to Do 


Many of our clients find it easier and simpler to import their Nissan Skyline (or other Japanese model – a increasing proportion of Japanese imports (or Jap imports!) are now campervans) from Japan rather than try to source them here.

Admittedly this can be a more complicated process than buying a car locally, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work your way through it and import your car from Japan, rather than search vainly through local car yards and auction sites.

In this article we expand on the points raised in our earlier article:Tips for Importing a Car From Japan

Here's What You Need to Do to Import a Car From Japan?

Find your car: The first step once you have decided on the model you want is to find one that is available for purchase and import from Japan.

Many people will look online, if you are lucky enough to be in Japan of course you can also visit car yards or the sellers themselves.

At this point it is important to focus on the search. Try not to let worrying about regulations keep you from the car you want.


Get your export paperwork: You will need to collect all the local registration paperwork and make sure that you deregister the car in Japan, as well as tax and insurance documentation.


Get your import paperwork: At this point it is a good idea to employ the services of a reliable licensed customs broker. They can assess your intended Japanese import and talk to you about the specific procedures needed for it, as well as helping you get customs clearance.

For all cars, you’ll need an Application for Approval to Import a Vehicle.

For cars made after the beginning of 1989, though, you will need to find a Registered Automotive Workshop, (RAW), to do the importing for you (such as Top Secret Imports). You can search for an RAW online to find one approved for the model you’re looking to import.

For older cars, check your state regulations as different paperwork will apply. You’ll need to have the air conditioning degassed (make sure to get a certificate as evidence that this was done) as well as converting LHD vehicles to RHD with an engineer’s approval.


Pay export charges and process import paperwork:As part of the car purchase, you’ll need to make arrangements with an exporter, who will give you the shipping information needed.

The car will likely be sent in the next few weeks. As part of this process, for pre-1989 cars you’ll need to have your paperwork processed by a customs broker. For newer cars, where you’re using a RAW, they will generally have their own agent to do the processing of your Japanese import for you.

When your Jap import arrives you’ll need to pay freight, duty, and customs fees. Your car will probably also need to go through quarantine, after which your customs agent can help you pick it up.

Pickup for newer cars will be arranged through the Registered Automative Workshop. Either way, you’ll need to have the car inspected and get a Personal Import Plate.


Register the car locally: Once all this is done, you will need to arrange for either a temporary registration or hire a truck to get your car to the registration office (RTA if you are in New South Wales) to have your car inspected and registered. At this point, you’ll be able to drive your car as if you’d bought it locally.

There are a few hoops to jump through to get your Japanese import into Australia and on the road but at the end of it you will be behind the wheel of your dream car.


Let Us Do the Hard Work of Importing Your Car From Japan


At Top Secret Imports we can look after the entire process for you – just tell us what you want we will look after every step, right up to delivering your car to your door.

For more information visit our Sourcing Page.