Changes to importation laws a win for consumers and environment


Proposed changes to federal law that would allow Australians to directly import cars from countries such as the UK and Japan will give Australians more choice, help drive down car prices and help to reduce Australia’s transport emissions according to the Australian Automobile Association (AAA).

Minister for Territories, Local Government and Major Projects, Paul Fletcher, today announced changes to legislation to allow consumers from 2018 to personally import a new car or motor cycle from another country with comparable standards to Australia’s, up to once every two years.

AAA Chief Executive Michael Bradley said: “This is a big win for consumers and a decision that will open up choice, help put downward pressure on prices, and increase competition within the Australian car market.

“It will also produce environmental and safety benefits because it will encourage faster renewal of Australia’s vehicle fleet. Australia’s private car fleet has an average age of 10 years, which is old by global standards. The fact Australians often pay over the odds for new cars plays no small part in this.

“We think this is a prudent first step, requiring that the imported cars be effectively compliant with Australian safety standards, and have less than 500 kilometres on the clock.

“We also think it’s time these import restrictions were lifted because from 2018 there will be no Australian car manufacturing industry to protect.”

The AAA also welcomes proposed changes that would allow Australian car enthusiasts to import a car or motorcycle under concessional arrangements if manufactured more than 25 years ago and the removal of the $12,000 special duty on imported used vehicles which, as the Minister concedes in his statement, costs more to administer than it raises.

“The AAA welcomes these changes and urges all sides of politics to agree to the legislative changes required to make them a reality,” Mr Bradley said.

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