With the demise of the domestic car manufacturing industry, the market has changed considerably in Australia. Now, the major world manufacturers import all their vehicles in greater number and make them available for sale to "take up the slack." This has also created some additional opportunities for enterprising entrepreneurs, who may identify certain "niche" cars that could be attractive to consumers in this country. If you've come across some models overseas that you think would find a great market here, how should you go about importing them?
Calculatie the Costs
It is of course very important to do extensive market research first to make sure that consumers will actually buy these models at the price point you are able to pitch. Therefore, you will have to take into account not just the purchasing price from your source, but also the shipping, importation and tax implications.
You will have to pay customs duty but may also have to pay goods and services tax, and in most cases, the customs duty will be set at 5% of the value of the imported goods. Remember to factor into your costings any money that will need to be paid to individual states or territories to make sure that the vehicle can be registered within and will meet insurance requirements.
Know the Rules and Regulations
You'll also have to be familiar with a variety of rules and laws established by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and the Australian Department of Border Protection.
There are some significant restrictions placed on import cars by these government authorities, but in particular you should note that a separate licence is required for all vehicles equipped with air conditioning (which will be effectively everything), aiming to regulate the import of synthetic greenhouse gases. Each vehicle that enters the country also has to be inspected and cleaned, so it is certified through bio-security control.
Have Correct Labelling
When these vehicles arrive at a port they have to be carefully labelled with a complete description of the goods, the country they were manufactured in, the port of origin, the sender's address and your address. All of these labels have to be printed in English, and some may need to be translated if the vehicles are being sourced in the Far East, for example. The label has to be fixed in a prominent position, ideally on the windshield, and be easy to read. As with other parts of the import process, there are very specific requirements here, and it pays to understand them carefully.
Due to the overall complexity of the process, it may be advantageous to reach out to an independent organisation with experience in importing cars.