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CAR SHIPPING TO AUSTRALIA – PERSONAL IMPORT APPROVAL

All vehicles imported into Australia require import approval (A$50 fee) from the DEPARTMENT OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRANSPORT in Canberra (DIT) (Vimports@infrastructure.gov.au).Import approval should be applied for well before shipment and takes 4–6 weeks. Approval is either as a personal import (cars manufactured  from 1989 to 2016) OR if the vehicle is older than 1989. Personal import requirements are for 1 car per person only for a person who is taking up indefinite residence in Australia and for a car that has been owned and used in the UK for a minimum period of 12 calendar months.

For a personal import the first step is to read the instructions page:
https://infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/imports/import_options/pis.aspx
and then register for the Vehicle Import System:
https://vis.infrastructure.gov.au/VISSitePages/Registration.aspx

Prepare a folder on your computer and collect together and scan the following documents ready for your personal import:

  • Car purchase document
  • Driving licence
  • UK V5C Registration Document (page 2 with the name/address/car details listed)
  • Passport photo page (both, if more than one passport)
  • Australian visa
  • 2 x proofs of the following: ending your employment in the UK, employment offer in Australia, rental termination / selling your UK residence, rental agreement / house purchase / ownership in Australia. If any of these are not available then there are several other documents that can be substituted and for full details of what these are see (each document has a points value and 2–4 documents should suffice for the minimum of 100 points required): https://infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/imports/import_options/pis.aspx
  • Statement of travel, detailing – the ‘statement of travel’ should certify the date of purchase as on the invoice, the date of registration in your name as on the registration document, the date of handover of the car for shipment and your planned departure from the UK, details of any overseas trips from the UK since the purchase date and the actual period that qualifies for ‘the minimum 12 months period of use and ownership’. Periods away from the vehicle overseas are allowed as long as the vehicle remained taxed, insured and left at the UK residence address in a roadworthy and usable condition – UK residence must be retained during any absences and so lengthy stays in other countries or visits to Australia may mean that the personal import qualifying status is lost. An example of a statement, which can be hand-written or typed onto a separate sheet, and which should be included with all personal import applications is:

“TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN”
Mr. John Smith,
1, High Street,
 Anytown, 
Buckinghamshire,
 TP1 1PT.
RE: 2012 BMW 530D SE, CHASSIS NO. ABCDEF12345678910.
I, Mr. John Smith, hereby certify that I purchased the above mentioned motor car in the UK on 5th June, 2015 and registered it in my name on the 6th June, 2015.
 I propose to hand over my car for shipment in October, 2016 and plan to leave the UK to travel to Australia permanently in November, 2016.
I have ‘owned and used’ my car in the UK for over 12 months and during this time I have been away from the UK and the car for the following periods:
June 2015 – weekend in Paris, October 2015 – day trip to Belgium, March / April 2016 – 3 weeks visit / holiday to Australia, and June 2016 – 2 week holiday to Spain.
During my absence from the UK the vehicle remained at my residence taxed and insured and able to have been used if I had remained in the UK.
CERTIFIED TRUE AND CORRECT,
(signed) MR. JOHN SMITH.

Once these are ready then apply for an import approval online at:
 https://vis.infrastructure.gov.au/VISSitePages/Registration.aspx
and then
https://vis.infrastructure.gov.au/_layouts/VISBranding/VISLogin.aspx.

On occasion DIT request further documentation or clarification but this is quite normal and is part of the process of issuing an import approval. The import approval certificate is emailed (after 4–6 weeks) and is required when the vehicle arrives in Australia by Customs, the Registration Authority and to enable a personal import plate to be issued – https://infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/imports/plating_vehicles.aspx.

Full, printable information covering everything on this website and more, including a guide to prices and useful website and contact addresses, can be found in the Australia Info Pack (PDF).

AU | Key FactsAU | Guide to Shipping
AU | Cost CalculatorAU | Rules & Regulations
AU | Customs ValuationAU | Import Approval
AU | Costs on ArrivalAU | Vehicle Tax Rates
AU | Links & ContactsAU | Info Pack (PDF)

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