Example information about “As Landed” costs of Importing a Vehicle from the US

This an example of the costs associated with importing a vehicle from the US into Australia. The prices shown and associated costs are simply examples and DO NOT reflect the actual costs that will be current at the time of importation of your vehicle.

For the purposes of this post I will be using an example of a 1948 GMC pickup.

“As landed” simply means the total cost of purchasing the vehicle and having it delivered to the Purchaser in Fremantle, or any other port in Australia.

Say the purchase price of the vehicle was US$20,000*. The Australian dollar value, used to calculate the “Customs Value” is, obviously, subject to exchange rate variations.

The additional costs associated with the purchase of a pickup are:

  • Ocean freight and packing and drayage (drayage means the transport of goods over a short distance, often as part of a longer overall move and includes – storage of empty crates and extra products at a warehouse on site or close by; transfer of goods from the booth to the receiving dock and loading them back onto the carrier; and completing the outbound carrier’s shipping documents)
  • Customs clearance*
  • Quarantine entry
  • Quarantine inspection*
  • Australian shipping line, unpacking & port charges*
  • Optional Shipping Insurance (normally 2% of value of vehicle).*
  • Customs charge no duty on vehicles over 30 years old but there is 10% GST on the items shown by an *

I would allow approx. $3,500 for the additional costs (due in part to the size of a pickup which restricts the number of vehicles that can be shipped in one container). The approximate GST payable, not including the GST on the vehicle (which will be based on the “Customs Value” of the vehicle) is $1,450.00

Prior to arranging shipping, you then need to apply for an Australian Import Approval.This costs $50.00. As of 1 July 2013, the Department of Infrastructure will not accept physical applications and the import approval process must be completed online: http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/imports/new.aspx#application

PLEASE NOTE: If the vehicle is fitted with air-conditioning, the air-conditioning system must be purged and disconnected by a Certified A/C technician in the US.

The technician must provide a Signed degassing certificate issued by the qualified Air-conditioning/Refrigeration Technician, attesting that the degassing has been undertaken in accordance with the regulations of the country of origin. The degassing certificate must be dated and signed and contain the contact details of the Technician who performed the work; and must include the details of the equipment being degassed such make, model and VIN / Chassis / Serial number, etc.

If this is not done in the US, the Australian AQIS people will impose an additional fee to inspect the system here in Australia.

Once the vehicle is in Western Australia, it must be inspected by the Dept. of Traffic and Infrastructure (DTT). The cost of inspection is approx. $95.00. http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/licensing/20881.asp,

You will also require an Engineer’s certificate of compliance – ADR, to produce to the DTT Inspectors. The Engineer’s certificate should be procured prior to booking the vehicle for inspection. The cost of the Engineer’s certificate depends upon the Engineer. We can supply a list of recommended Engineers.

In addition to the Engineer’s certificate, some initial changes to the vehicle need to be done such as:

  • having the headlights adjusted so they dip to reflect driving on the LHS of the road.
  • seat belts that are as effective as seat belts that meet an Australian Standard or British Standard for seat belts as in force when this rule commenced;
  • seat belt anchorages that meet the number and location requirements of second or third edition ADR 5;
  • child restraint anchorages that meet the number, location, accessibility, thread size and form requirements of second edition ADR 34 or third edition ADR 5 or 34; Generally not required for pre-1989 vehicles
  • head restraints that meet the number, location and size requirements of second or third edition ADR 22. Generally not required for pre-1989 vehicles

For additional cost we can also undertake the initial compliance modifications, as well as any other repairs/modifications that may be required by the DTT Inspectors before they will allow the vehicle to be registered. We can also undertake any restorations or modifications that the Purchaser may require (PLEASE NOTE that any modifications done to the vehicle after it has been registered does not mean that the vehicle will remain roadworthy. That is up to the Purchaser to ensure, although we can certainly provide guidance.

Licensing and road-worthiness requirements vary from State to State, so this will also need to be taken into account by the Purchaser.

Prospective Purchasers can contact me (Michael Ashby) at info@truewestimports.com or on 08 9459 4800