Rules and Regulations for the Import of Vehicles in to Australia
This page provides information about the documentation, rules, regulations and processes required to ship a car from the United States
to Australia. If you looking to have a car shipped to Australia it is very important that you understand the requirements before you have the
car exported from the USA so that your application to import the vehicle is not declined by Australian customs.
Vehicle Import Rules
In order to qualify for importing a car in to Australia from the United States or anywhere else in the world you must
meet the requirements set by Australia's Department of Infrastructure and Transport. They have set various different
permanent import options of which you must adhere to at least one to qualify. It is extremely important that you obtain
approval from the Department of Infrastructure before you ship your car or you may be denied import.
Pre-1989 Vehicles - Under the pre-1989 vehicles import scheme you may bring in to the country
road vehicles that were manufactured before January 1st 1989. This option is intended to allow individuals to
import vintage, classic and historic enthusiast vehicles in to Australia.
Personal Import Scheme - If you are a migrant settling in Australia, or an Australian
expatriate returning home after a long period overseas you may qualify for this import scheme to bring your
personal vehicle back home if you have owned the car for 12 months or more.
Letter of Compliance Arrangement - If your
vehicle complied with the applicable Australian Design Rules
(ADRs) at the time the vehicle was originally supplied to the
market overseas then you may be eligible to bring your vehicle
in to Australia on this scheme if you can obtain a Letter of
Compliance from the authorized Australian representative of your
Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme - This scheme allows registered RAWs companies to import small amounts
of used vehicles each year. In order to qualify for this scheme you must first register your car with the Register of Specialist
and Enthusiast Vehicles. If your car is eligigle to be imported based on this scheme then you can find a RAW business to import
the vehicle on your behalf.
In addition to permanent import schemes, you may also bring a vehicle in to Australia on a temporary basis. This may be useful
for long visits, or temporary work placements where you need your own car. Below are the options for temporary vehicle importation:
Carnet - A ‘Carnet de Passage en Douane’ is an international agreement that allows you to import your
car or vehicle in to Australia for up to 12 months. You must obtain a Carnet from your country of residence. Additionally,
cars brought in under the Carnet scheme cannot be lent, sold, given away or even disposed of while in Australia.
Exhibition Vehicles - If your vehicle is intended for exhibition use at, for example, a museum or motor show,
then you may bring your vehicle in to the country on this scheme. The exhibition in question should be open to the public
and your car must be of the type generally available in Australia.
Status of Forces Agreement - If you are military personnel at a temporary posting in Australia you
will be able to import your vehicle temporarily under this scheme and keep in within the country for the duration of
your tour of duty. The appropriate transport officer must provide a letter that details your vehicles estimated arrival
and departure date.
If you would like more information about car import procedures or aren't sure if you qualify to bring your vehicle in to Australia
then you can either contact us, or the Department of Infrastructure and Transport directly: