The importation of cars, motorcycles, trailers and other vehicles (including caravans) is controlled under the Customs Act, 1901. Permission (known as a Vehicle Import Approval or VIA) is required to import a vehicle.  VIA’s are granted under the Motor Vehicles Standards Act 1989, by the Department of Infrastructure and Transport.

All temporary importers of road vehicles should contact the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service for information relating to duties/taxes/fees/and quarantine requirements.

Upon arrival in Australia the vehicle will need to be inspected by both Australian Customs and Border Protection (ACBP) and the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS). 

Unless prior permission has been granted the vehicle must not be:

  • Lent, sold, pledged, mortgaged, hired, given away or exchanged
  • Parted with, unless for the purpose of exportation
  • Otherwise disposed of or/
  • Altered in anyway.

It is important to note that any goods that have been temporarily imported may not be left in Australia while the importer is out of Australia.

Before your vehicle can be released form Australian Customs;

  • Book in to see a Customs Officer to have the vehicle inspected at the wharf.
  • Book in for a Quarantine inspection
  • If applicable, book in for an Australian Unregistered Vehicle Permit.  Obtain Third Party Insurance if not already organized before leaving home country.

Vehicles temporary imported must be exported from Australia within the period allowed.

For Information about the permanent importation of a motor vehicle contact;

  • The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service regarding Duty, Goods and Services Tax and Quarantine issues; and
  • The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development regarding permit requirements