Motor Vehicle Importing

  1. Obtain a VEHICLE IMPORT APPROVAL from the Vehicle Safety Standards Branch of the Department of Transport and Regional Services.
    NOTE : VEHICLE IMPORT APPROVAL MUST BE OBTAINED BEFORE VEHICLE IS EXPORTED FROM OVERSEAS. Vehicles arriving without approval may be seized, or re-exported from Australia at Importers expense.
  2. Pay Customs duty, GST and, where applicable, Luxury Car Tax (LCT) and obtain a customs clearance at the port of entry.
  3. Obtain quarantine clearance from the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service after the vehicle has arrived at the port of entry.

All privately imported vehicles are subject to the same rates of customs duty and GST as commercially imported vehicles and are based on the customs value of the vehicle.

The rate of the customs duty payable is that which applies to the particular type of vehicle on the date that it is entered for Customs purposes in Australia. GST applies at the date you import the vehicle into Australia.

Where new or used motor vehicles are purchased overseas for importation to Australia, and are not used by the importer prior to importation, the customs value will normally be assessed on the basis of the purchase price. However, satisfactory evidence of the price paid must be presented to Customs at the port of importation.

Certain additions and deductions may be made to the price paid in determining the customs value.

There are alternative methods of valuation that may be applied where a vehicle is owned and used overseas prior to importation into Australia.

One of these is to make some adjustment to the price paid to take into account depreciation of the value of the vehicle since the time of purchase.

Another alternative is to calculate the valuation by reference to the potential Australian market value of the vehicle. This method may be used when there is no suitable sale of the vehicle to provide evidence of a purchase price, or where customs feel that the evidence produced is unsatisfactory.

To prevent the entry of diseases, noxious weeds, insects and pests into Australia, Quarantine authorities inspect all vehicles upon arrival and may direct them to be properly cleaned. This is usually by way of steam cleaning. All soil and any other matter should be removed from your vehicle (including the underside) prior to importation into Australia.

Download Motor Vehicle Application form.
Download Guide to Importing Motor Vehicle.
Department of Infrastructure Information