Tips For Importing a Car From Japan

Jack Sandher - Thursday, June 05, 2014

Tips For Importing a Car from Japan into Australia

If you want to import a car from Japan into Australia, there are certain regulations that you must follow. This article provides insight into the process and poses some important factors to consider.

Consider your options

When importing your car from Japan, you have a number of choices:

  • Brand new
  • Second hand
  • Buying through an agent
  • Organising it yourself


To ensure you comply with Australian legislation and requirements, this is the basic procedure for importing a car from Japan to Australia:

  1. Attain approval from the Department of Infrastructure and Transport
  2. Ensure the car is included on the Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicle Scheme (If manufactured before 1989)
  3. Degas air-conditioning and receive certificate
  4. Check that Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme (RAWS) is capable of processing the model you are importing
  5. Pay exporter fees and the car freight on board fee
  6. Customs: provide them with appropriate documentation including the degassing certificate and freight invoice
  7. Pay More fees: freight import duty, GST, quarantine, customs clearance fees
  8. Temporary registration will be needed before registration or you can hire a truck to transport your imported car
  9. Inspection and registration


To guarantee your imported car follows Australian road safety standards, it is important to make appropriate modifications to your Japanese car. These adjustments are commonly:

  • New seat belts
  • Anti intrusion bars fitted
  • Child restraint anchorage points
  • Vehicle fluids replaced
  • New tires
  • New break pads

Japanese agents vs. Australian agents

In most circumstances, there are economic cost savings involved when choosing a Japanese agent over an Australian agent. Regardless of which you choose, make sure you have a warranty and that your agent is experienced and will be able to control the process effectively. The benefit of using an Australian agent is there is a greater possibility for face-to-face contact and potentially less cultural and language barriers when dealing with them.