The Book is divided into chapters and cover everything you need to know about purchasing and importing a car from overeas.
Here is the content’s page list.
- Putting you in the picture
- The golden rule
- Savings and profits
- Grey market cars
- Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989
- Date and Scope of Operation
- Exemptions for pre-ordered vehicles
- Getting a vehicle off the wharf
- Personal Imports
- Period of grace for existing vehicle converters
- Older vehicles
- Exemptions for certain classes of vehicles
- The Motor Vehicle Certification Scheme
- Getting started
- Other considerations before importing
- Vehicle Import Approval Schemes
- Trailers with an ATM greater than 4.5 tonnes
- Nationality status
- Handy hints and tips
- The overseas marketplace
- Finding your dream car
- Do your sums before you leave
- Money you need and how to pay
- Getting over there
- Currency rates are crucial
- Buying abroad
- What to look for and what to ask
- What if I can’t get overseas?
- Shipping and insurance
- Shipping – the easy part
- Organising Insurance
- Strange customs
- Customs clearance charges
- The Customs agent and you
- The Australian Customs service
- Applicable Custom Duty Rates
- When the ship docks
- Meeting the regulations
- Ensuring your car conforms
- Australian Design Rules
- “Australianising” Your Vehicle
- Australian Compliance Plate
- Road-worth Certificate
- Converting your car to Right Hand Drive
- The open road
Here are a few sample pages to wet your appetite…
The Golden Rule
Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989
One Act You Must Follow
I cannot emphasise too strongly how important it is to have a good understanding of what the system is all about and sticking to its rules. The Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989, which is administered by the Department of Transport & Regional Services, came into effect on 1 August 1989. Under this legislation it is an offence to import any new or second hand vehicle unless:
- It meets the safety and emission standards applying to vehicles to be used on Australian roads, or
- Arrangements are in place to modify the vehicle to meet these requirements after its arrival in Australia.
In 2005, the Government announced changes to the arrangements for the importation of vehicles 15 years or older. Under the new rule, vehicles manufactured before 1 January 1989 may be imported without restriction. Vehicles built during 1989 (or later) need to qualify under the Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme (RAWS). The new rules applied following changes to the Motor Vehicle Standards Regulations 1989 being gazetted on May 13, 2005. While this Act came into operation in the late 1980s, and having 1989 in its heading tends to make it look old, believe me, it is not out of date. It has been revised and updated and is the definitive catalogue of what you can and cannot do when it comes to importing a motor vehicle.
The Australian Design Rules for Motor Vehicles and Trailers contain the design and construction requirements for important safety and environment control features in vehicles. Previously, these have been given effect using State and Territory legislation. Some States introduced variations to the design requirements. This means that vehicle builders or importers, in order to get approval to market their vehicles, had to deal with up to eight separate bureaucracies. This of course was a costly process and the costs were passed on to the public. Around the same time, it became apparent that the number of imported, second-hand vehicles had increased rapidly. The safety and emissions standards of these vehicles varied depending on the source of the vehicles. There were no guarantees that the vehicles complied with the standards that the public has come to expect and there were some vehicles that were clearly sub-standard.
The Federal Parliament has now passed the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 that will ensure that in future, all vehicles will comply with a single set of safety and environment standards. The Government recognises that there may be people who had entered a commitment to import a vehicle or vehicles, without knowing about the new law. It is not the Government s intention to unreasonably disadvantage those who had entered into a bona fide commitment. Some people will therefore be able to apply for an exemption during the transition period while the new Act is being implemented. Those exemptions are described in separate Sections of this package. By now, there should be little excuse for anyone not knowing the correct rules and regulations outlined in this book.
2. Date and Scope of Operation
All vehicles, before they are presented for registration or sold for the first time in Australia, will have to meet the appropriate standards and be fitted with a compliance plate. The importer or vehicle converter will need to provide evidence, including test date where needed, that the vehicle meets all the design requirements. (See later Sections). The Law indicates that an importer will not be able to clear a vehicle or vehicles from the wharf without an approval from the Department of Transport & Regional Services. This approval will only be granted if:
- The vehicle meets the relevant standards,
- The vehicle has been granted an exemption, or
- The importer has guaranteed to the satisfaction of the Department of Transport & Regional Services that he or she has made suitable arrangements for the vehicle to be upgraded to the relevant standards
3. Exemptions for Pre-Orderered Vehicles
These importers will need to apply for an exemption for each vehicle involved and will have to supply the following information:
- The date of purchase of the vehicle (supported by: copies of funds transfer authority, receipts and ownership-transfer papers)
- The country in which the vehicle was purchased from
- Full description of the vehicle including make and model, chassis and engine number or VIN and model year
- Details of the vehicle’s arrival in Australia including port of entry and name of vessel (supported by Bill of Lading)
- Anyone who bought a vehicle for importation after May 22, 1989, but before the date of proclamation of the Act will need to provide additional supporting evidence to demonstrate why an exemption should be considered. These importers will also need to apply for an exemption for each vehicle involved and must provide the following information
(It is important to note that it is up to the importer to prove that there was an early commitment and that it was made before the law became public knowledge or before the importer knew that the law would affect the vehicle). The exemptions will mean that the vehicle/s will have to provide a basic package of safety features. The presence of these features maybe checked by inspection and will not normally require the provision of extensive test data. The importation authorisation for the vehicle will only be issued on the condition that the requirements are met before the vehicle is sold or used in Australia. The requirements which the vehicle/s will have to meet relate to: seat belts and anchorages, child restraint anchorages, internal sun visors, side-door intrusion strength, windscreen and size of fuel filler for unleaded petrol vehicles. Further information about these requirements can be obtained from the Department of Transport & Regional Services.
4. Getting a Vehicle off the Wharf
Authorisation will be granted to:
- Vehicles which already have a compliance plate fitted
- Vehicles which will be converted and brought to the appropriate Australian Design Rules standard before they are used or sold in Australia and for which a compliance plate approval has been issued on that basis
- Vehicles for which an exemption has been approved
Each case will have to be assessed individually and the shipping company will not release vehicles until approval has been granted. The importer could incur excess wharfing charges if approval is not obtained in good time. If an importer has vehicles in transit or about to be shipped at the time this material is being read, an application should be sent immediately, clearly marked with the vessel s anticipated arrival date. In future it is expected that many shipping companies will require evidence of authorisation under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act before the vehicle can be shipped.
5. Personal Imports
The exemption will mean that the vehicle or vehicles will not need to be brought up to the full Australian Design Rules standards application. The vehicle/s will have to meet a basic package of safety requirements similar to those required under the current State arrangements. The presence of these features may be checked by inspection and will not require the normal provision of extensive test data.
The importation authorisation for the vehicle will only be issued on the condition that the requirements are met before the vehicle is sold or used in Australia. The requirements, which the vehicle/s will have to meet, relate to: seat belts and anchorages, child restraint anchorages, lights and indicators, windscreens and head restraints. Application for approval for the personal importation of the vehicle will need to be made to the Department of Transport & Regional Services.