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CAR SHIPPING TO AUSTRALIA – CUSTOMS VALUATION


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City Lights (Melbourne)

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(NORMAL) METHOD OF VALUATION (called ‘normal’ but NOT normally used by Customs): The customs value for vehicles if when purchased the sale under consideration took place with the purpose of shipping it to Australia is normally assessed as the purchase price actually paid in the UK for the vehicle. This method of valuation is usually only used if the vehicle is older than 1989 and was purchased in the UK within 12 months of shipment.

This method of valuation is not ordinarily used in cases where:

  • the vehicle has altered during ownership
  • it has been owned for more than a year in the UK (personal import).

FOR VEHICLES PURCHASED IN THE UK AND OWNED AND USED FOR AT LEAST 12 MONTHS (ALL PERSONAL IMPORTS) THE SALE UNDER CONSIDERATION (CAR PURCHASE) DID NOT TAKE PLACE WITH THE PURPOSE OF EXPORTING IT TO AUSTRALIA AND THE VALUE OF THE VEHICLE HAS ALTERED SINCE THE CAR WAS PURCHASED THEREFORE THE FOLLOWING CUSTOMS VALUATION METHOD APPLIES:

(ALTERNATIVE) METHOD OF VALUATION (called ‘alternative’ but is the method normally used for all vehicles newer than 1989 (a personal import). Where the normal method of valuation is not used, then the customs value will generally be assessed using the 'fall back deductive' method. This involves obtaining an ‘Australian landed valuation’, as imported, and as valued by an independent Australian motor specialist less a series of deductions and the figure remaining is deemed to be the 'customs value’ upon which duty and GST is levied. The importer is responsible for obtaining, as well as the cost of the ‘landed’ valuation.

A valuer may at first consider the market value of a similar vehicle in Australia and make a significant reduction for the fact that the vehicle has not yet been imported and registered. From this figure can also be deducted all the subsequent costs of getting a vehicle ‘on the road’ and then deducting the 10% GST and then the 5% duty. From the remaining figure customs would then deduct all the costs of shipping the car to Australia to arrive at the ‘customs value’. The resulting ‘customs value’ can be as low as 50% of the actual ‘Australian full market value’ and in most instances is a system that benefits the car owner / importer.

Further information about customs valuations, plus a guide to prices and useful website and contact addresses, can be found in the Australia Info Pack (PDF).