Compliance When Importing A Car Into Australia 

30 Jan 2023

If you are importing a car into Australia, there are a few steps you must take to ensure your stay compliant with the regulations set by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and Communications. Regardless of whether you are importing a Toyota from Japan, a Mustang from the United States or an Audi from Germany, you must comply with departmental regulations to ensure that your car does not get impounded by customs due to non-compliance. Australia’s ecosystem is incredibly sensitive to introduced material, which is why regulations must be followed at all times. 

From the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, ‘Before importing a road vehicle into Australia you must obtain an approval to import the vehicle from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (the department)’. There are two primary varieties of approval available, one of which must be acquired according to the type of vehicle you plan to ship to Australia. 

Registered Approved Vehicles 

By gaining this type of approval, you gain permission from the Australian government to import a road vehicle in one of the following categories: 

  • Vehicles to be modified by a registered automotive workshop 
  • Vehicles more than 25 years old 
  • Vehicles imported when the applicant is moving to Australia 
  • Guide to interim arrangements for importing a special purpose vehicle under the RVS legislation 
  • Certain trailers 

Non-Registered Approved Vehicles 

If the vehicle you are importing is not destined for Australian roads, you will need an approval to import a non-RAV vehicle. Non-RAV vehicles may be used in races and rallies, public exhibition, use in film or television or testing and marketing evaluation. In either one of these cases you will have to make the vehicle’s use clear during your application. 

Non-Road Vehicles 

Non-road vehicles such as wheelchairs, quad bikes or golf carts may be imported without an official approval. However, it can be useful to gain notice that your import vehicle is ‘not a road vehicle’ to help it clear customers faster. 

How Long Does It Take To Get Approval? 

The processing time for an approval to import a RAV or non-RAV vehicle can take up to sixty days. It’s best practice to make sure you have enough time to gain approval before shipping your vehicle to avoid complications at customs. There are other documents you need to import a vehicle too, so be sure to leave enough time to fill these out and have them processed. 

Why Ship Your Vehicle With Dolphin Shipping Australia? 

As well as understanding the approval process governing the importation of vehicles into Australia and elsewhere overseas, Dolphin Shipping offers premium logistics and supply chain management for motor vehicles, boats and other large machinery. Enjoy peace of mind by using Dolphin Shipping Australia: you’re in good hands.