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First Step: Obtaining Import Approval for Your Vehicle

To protect our Australian car market our government has set up a complex set of rules and regulations to heavily restrict the import of vehicles into Australia. To try and understand the laws in full would take pages and pages of information so we will do our best to summarise the basics below.

Your first step when importing is to gain an import approval, the type of import approval depends on the circumstances surrounding the import. For the purpose of this article we will focus solely on vehicles intended to be registered for use on Australian roads.

For your vehicle, there are no restrictions. You will simply need to apply for a vehicle import approval which should be granted on the basis that the vehicle is older than 25 years old at the time of import approval application.
See the following link –

Your vehicle needs to be imported under the Australian Governments ‘Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme’ (RAWS) ( – It means the vehicle MUST be on the RAWS list ( and then if you choose to import, the import approval will need to be arranged by one of the Registered Workshops approved by the Australian Government who will also need to be the workshop that complies the vehicle for use on Australian roads.

If this is the case, then you can apply for a ‘personal import approval’ which allows you to import a vehicle and bypass the RAWS requirements on newer model vehicles.
More information on personal imports on the following link –

What Australian Import Taxes Apply?

Please select each of the following options that apply.

If you are able to prove that the vehicle was originally exported from Australia, then you’ll likely be able to bypass paying Australian import tax.

Both a duty of 5% and GST of 10% will be applicable.

Import of duty of 5% may apply depending on the specifics of the vehicle. Import GST of 10% will also be applicable along with Luxury Car Tax (LCT) if the value is above the LCT threshold.

The vehicle will also incur Luxury Car Tax at a rate of 33% for every dollar over this amount. If the vehicle is fuel efficient, then the threshold is slightly higher at AUD 75,526

What additional restrictions may apply for vehicles being imported into Australia?


You must ensure the vehicle you are looking to import is free of any components that contain asbestos.

You now need to check to ensure that no part of the vehicle contains asbestos (brakes/clutch plates/gaskets etc) and you will need to sign a declaration confirming this. If you find that any part of the vehicle contains a part which contains asbestos, this needs to be removed and changed prior to shipping.

Degassing the Air Condition

The Australian government restricts the import of pre charged gas. This means that, depending on the year, make and model of the vehicle, the air conditioning may need to be degassed prior to export from the foreign country.

Get More Information

The Australian Government provide an excellent 8 step guide for what you need to do in order to import a vehicle.

How do I handle compliance and registration?

Willship can assist you with all necessary safety and compliance checks in order for the vehicle to be registered in the Australia. We can even organize the registration for you so all you have to do is drive away.

Does Willship Only Import Cars to Australia?

No, Willship imports many different vehicle and machinery types every year into Australia. These have included:

• Trucks
• Trailer
• Jet Ski’s
• Boats
• Caravans
• Motorhomes
• Motorcycles

Plus much more!

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This includes:
Supporting you to get all key documents together
Organising pick up and International Freight from anywhere in the world
Clearing your car through Australian customs and quarantine
On road compliance and registration (Optional)


Client Testimonials

We have moved thousands of vehicles in and out of Australia. Our team understands how important it is to safely move your goods from one place to another. That is why we will look after your asset while in-transit and deliver it to the designated location whilst taking the utmost care. Whether you are purchasing aluxury or classic car from overseas or you're moving aboard and want to take your cargo with you, you can trust Willship with your shipping needs. We are the international shipping partner you can depend on and our past clients can attest to our proven track record!