CAR SHIPPING TO AUSTRALIA – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
CALL US ON 01525 851545 IF YOU NEED HELP FINDING INFORMATION
Who and where is Karman Shipping?
Karman Shipping specialises in cars and not other commodities. We only export to specific destinations, especially Australia, and have being doing so since 3rd December, 1984. Our offices are based in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire although cars are either collected or received at a private warehouse near Barking, East London which is only 10 minutes from the M25 yet still on the London Underground system.
What costs need to be collated for shipping a car to Australia?
In the UK there is the cost of shipment and marine insurance through to the Australian port. In Australia there are many other costs including port and unpacking, valuation and customs, quarantine and cleaning, clearance and temporary driving, roadworthy preparation and test and engineer's fees, and stamp duty and registration. There is also duty and GST to pay to customs.
What are the methods of shipment?
By far the most popular method of shipment for a car is in a container by itself. We do not handle shared containers with frames built around cars for other people's goods or the much less popular method of shipment roll on/roll off (like a ferry but without passengers).
How are costs obtained?
Contact us by email or telephone with your details and we will email or mail to you a written quotation for shipping and marine insurance. The destination costs and taxes information are listed in our accompanying information pack.
What are the ports, how often are the ships and how long do they take?
Most ships depart from the UK port of Thamesport although we pack cars into a container at a private warehouse near Barking, East London. Ships to the Australian ports of Fremantle (Perth), Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are weekly and the transit time is 36–48 days. A car would normally have to be packed into it's container 5–7 days before a ship is scheduled to sail.
How big is a container?
The inside of a container is 19'4" x 7'5" x 7'5" i.e. large enough for just about any type of car but not much room for anything else. Most motorhomes will not fit into a container as they are too high. A 40' container can take two cars but there is not much of a saving.
Can anything else be shipped with a car?
Any items packed inside a car or on a roof rack (up to 7'5" high) would travel free of charge at the owner's risk. Our competitive freight rates are negotiated with the shipping line for a car only – if a car owner wishes to deliver to us items (boxes only and no furniture) ready wrapped/packed and to utilise the small remaining space at the back of the container this would incur additional freight charges along with extra packing and labour costs of around £4 per cubic foot (maximum 200 cubic feet). Under no circumstances would we mix more than one person's items in a container.
How and when is a booking made to have a car shipped?
Normally vessel details are known many weeks in advance although bookings can be made at short notice. A booking form is available on this website and should be completed 1–8 weeks in advance of shipment along with a copy of the UK registration document.
What information and paperwork is needed to ship a car?
You will need to know:
- the destination port
- which weekday the car will be delivered or (if required) it needs to be collected
- the year/make/model/registration and chassis number of the car
- your UK and overseas address and contact details
- the marine insurance value (if required) of the car
- the date you intend to leave the UK.
For shipment, only the car and the car keys are needed – the original car documents are not required but should not be left inside the vehicle.
What happens once a car has been shipped?
A shipping document called a 'waybill' is issued once the vessel has sailed and this along with a letter and instructions from us and a marine insurance certificate is emailed to you as long as the shipping costs have been settled (anytime before the vessel sails, by personal UK cheque or direct bank transfer/internet banking).
What happens at the destination port?
Shipping and marine insurance costs paid to us cover the shipment through to arrival at the Australian port. Destination port/unpacking/quarantine/clearance costs as well as Import Duty and GST (and any other taxes) are payable by you at the destination. It is possible for an importation to be handled by a car owner directly (although very difficult and time consuming) but we do provide a list of clearance agents at each port with whom the car owner can make contact. They can assist with or handle completely the arrival formalities and can provide you with a detailed quotation for their services.
What are the rules and regulations for taking a car to Australia?
It is not normally practical to take a car into Australia unless a personal import approval is obtained from the DIT in Canberra. The criteria only apply to Australian nationals and those with residence visas (not temporary or visitor visas). Only one car can be imported per person per 5 years and the vehicle must have been 'owned and used' in the UK for a minimum of 12 calendar months before shipment.
How is a personal import approval obtained?
As long as the criteria are met approval is normally a formality and is obtained by sending a form and A$50 (cheque/credit card) to Australia with copies of car, ownership and passport documents. Approval normally takes about 4–6 weeks.
Are there any exemptions to the rules?
There are no residency or ownership period restrictions on taking cars older than 1989 to Australia but an import approval for each car is still required and there is still duty and tax to pay.
What are the taxes payable on taking a car into Australia?
There are two main taxes. For most cars Import Duty of 5% is levied on the customs value. GST (VAT) of 10% is levied on the customs value + Duty + shipping cost. For very high value vehicles there is an additional 33% Luxury Car Tax.
What is the customs value of a car?
Very occasionally the UK purchase price is used as the customs value. In most instances the customs value is based on an 'as landed' valuation carried out at the Australian port. This value can be as low as half the full Australian showroom market value. The Australian clearance agent can advise on details of a suitable local valuer.
Can the costs be summarised?
Costs are UK collection, shipping and marine insurance (where required and payable here) and Australian arrival costs, as well as Import Duty and GST (payable there). Shipment is by container ex. Barking weekly taking 5–7 weeks and anything inside the car travels free of charge. The rules are residents only for an import approval from Canberra, and the car must be owned for 12 months unless it is older than 1989. Taxes on most cars are 5% Duty and 10% GST.
Can the procedure be summarised?
Read this website, contact us for a written quotation, decide to ship a car, send to us a completed shipping form and send to Canberra a completed import approval form. We arrange the export, Canberra issues an import approval, the car is handed to us and we ship it to Australia. We email the shipping papers to you, they are put together with the approval and all your car papers for the authorities when the car arrives. An agent can assist with the import and paying the taxes. The car is collected and then made roadworthy and registered.
Further information, plus a guide to prices and useful website and contact addresses, can be found in the Australia Info Pack (PDF).