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You need to apply for your Vehicle Import Approval now!

What is a Vehicle Import Approval

All road vehicles being imported into Australia must have a vehicle import approval. A vehicle import is issued by the Department of Infrastucture. It does not matter if the vehicle is coming from Japan, America, UK, NZ or anywhere else. If you do not obtain a vehicle import approval then you are breaking the law.

A list of vehicle types that generally require a Vehicle Import Approval are:

  • Certain Scooters & Electric Bicycles
  • Motorbikes
  • Cars & 4×4’s
  • Race and Rally Vehicles
  • Motorhomes
  • Camper Trailers, Caravans & 5th Wheelers
  • Horse Floats
  • Trucks of all kinds (including concrete pump, cherry pickers, travel towers, concrete mixers, towing & airport type)
  • Car, Plant, Boat Trailers, etc
  • Dolly, Flat Top, Skeleton, Sidetipper, Sideloader, Tipper Trailers, etc
  • City & All Terrain Cranes

Note: If you are importing a vehicle under a temporary import document such as a ATA/CPD Carnet then this section does not apply. 

1. VEHICLE TYPE CERTIFICATION

An unlimited number of vehicles of a particular type may be imported using vehicle type approvals. This option is typically utilized for commercial importing requirements.

Visit the vehicle type approval website for more information.

2. VEHICLES CAN BE IMPORTED INDIVIDUALLY (A SINGLE ROAD VEHICLE)

The single road vehicle option is appropriate for importing either one vehicle or a small number of vehicles (one at a time). You must apply for a separate vehicle import application for each vehicle you wish to import. There are several kinds of single road vehicle applications.

3. VEHICLES WITH RAV CONCESSIONS CAN ENTER

Certain types of vehicles can be imported and logged on the Register of Approved Vehicles (the RAV) with a concessional RAV entry approval. An import approval is available for that vehicle with a concessional RAV entry approval.

Vehicles that may be eligible for importation under this application type are:

There are specific criteria for each type of import. For more information, see the RAV entry approvals concessional web page to validate whether your car, motorbike, truck or trailer and other vehicles meet these requirements.

importing a road vehicle to Australia with Custom Brokers NMT Shipping vehicle import approval

4. VEHICLES NOT ELIGIBLE FOR RAV STATUS CAN BE IMPORTED VIA NON-RAV ENTRY POINTS

Non-RAV vehicles may be used outside of Australian roads if an import approval is granted. An approval may be granted for certain purposes in addition to those listed above, including:

Vehicles that have been significantly altered (for example, a hot rod) or vehicles that will be imported for a limited time may also be eligible for this import type.

Visit the non-RAV entry import approvals page for more info, including the criteria that apply.

5. A COMPANY MAY REQUEST REINSTATEMENT OF IMPORT AUTHORISATIONS THAT WERE PREVIOUSLY ISSUED AND SUBSEQUENTLY REVOKED

An Australian identification plate or used import plate (MVSA 1989) approval on a vehicle that has been exported and reimported is eligible for a reimportation import approval.

Please click on the reimportation import approvals page for more information.

6. A NON-ROAD VEHICLE CAN BE IMPORTED

Non-road vehicles such as:

  • motorized wheelchairs
  • quad bikes
  • golf carts

Do not require a road vehicle import approval.

You may apply to the department for an Advisory notice confirming that your ‘thing’ is not a road vehicle. An Advisory notice may help you clear your non-road vehicle through customs.

Please click the advisory notice link to find out more about what things are not road vehicles.

7. VEHICLES BEING IMPORTED UNDER STATUS OF FORCES AGREEMENTS AND CERTAIN CUSTOMS TARIFF ACT BY-LAWS ARE ROAD VEHICLES

A motorbike, truck, car, trailer and other vehicles may be imported under Subsection 22(2) of the RVSA and the Road Vehicle Standards Rules 2019 (the Rules) as long as it is in compliance with certain Customs Tariff Act 1995 regarding Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs) or vehicles reimported by the Australian Defence Force (ADF). This document describes the requirements for importing these vehicles, cars, motorbikes, trucks, trailers and others.

The Status of Forces Agreements and certain Customs Tariff Act 1995 by-laws concerning importing a motorbike, truck, car, trailer and other vehicles are included in Importing road vehicles under Status of Forces Agreements and certain Customs Tariff Act 1995 by-laws – overview.

8. AUSTRALIAN TERRITORIES OUTSIDE OF AUSTRALIA’S TERRITORIAL WATERS

Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and Norfolk Island are Australia’s external territories.

You do not need to obtain an RVS approval to import a road vehicle into an external Australian territory.

However, you do need to obtain an approval to import a motorbike, truck, car or trailer vehicle into Australia from an Australian external territory.

APPLYING FOR A VEHICLE IMPORT APPROVAL IS COMPLEX

The application process is quite thorough and replies from the assessor may take up to 30 business days. To avoid unnecessary delays with a correcting your vehicle import approval and waiting for reassessment we recommend utilizing our experienced team at Custom Brokers to review your likelihood for obtaining a vehicle import approval and to compile the application.

Call or contact us now for a free consultation. We’re here to help you!

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