Importing Vehicles into Australia
New Client Portal for Import Applications
The Department has launched a new way for our clients to submit and manage vehicle import applications.
We often receive feedback and suggestions on how we can improve the import application process. Our new client portal delivers the changes our clients have asked for through the ability to save and maintain client and agent information and verification details (ensuring you need to enter these only once), save draft applications, pay for an application after submission, and check the status of an application. We will also be sending import decisions by email.
Changes have also been made to the paper application forms. Please note that applications will no longer be accepted using old versions of the forms. The new version of the application forms are available by contacting vehicle imports on 1800 815 272.
Any application submitted before 17 June will not be available to view through your client portal.
For further information about the new system and how it impacts you, go to the What's new page.
The importation of vehicles to Australia is prohibited except in very specific circumstances. Most vehicles are imported by large manufacturers that invest substantially in research and development to ensure that every new vehicle meets minimum safety standards that maintain the safest possible environment for all road users and our community. Manufacturers wanting to import vehicles to Australia for supply must first obtain an identification plate approval. Information on this process is available from the Department's Road Vehicle Certification Scheme website.
Approved companies known as Registered Automotive Workshops (RAWs) may import a limited range of used vehicles on behalf of individuals. To find out if your make and model of vehicle is currently eligible for processing by a RAW, search the Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicle Scheme (SEVS) register. If your vehicle type is on the SEVS register you may be able to find a RAW that will import it for you by using the Search for a RAW facility on the RAWS Website. If your vehicle type is not on the search for a RAW or the SEVS register you could contact a RAW that processes similar vehicles to yours or apply to have the vehicle added to the SEVS register. Instructions for applying for SEVS is available on the SEVS website. Eligibility for SEVS is only the first step in the process of having your vehicle imported to Australia. Please be aware that vehicles imported by RAWs must undergo a range of modifications and maintenance procedures to ensure that they meet minimum safety and environmental standards. You will be charged for this work and the costs of importation by the RAW.
Individuals can also apply to import vehicles to Australia. The Department administers legislation setting out when an import approval may be issued. More information is available on the Import Options and Eligibility Assessment pages.
A Vehicle Import Approval is required to import a vehicle. The vehicle will not be released from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection unless it has a Vehicle Import Approval. All costs incurred in this process are the responsibility of the importer.
It is important to note that these requirements relate to vehicles designed soley or principally for the transportation of people, animals or goods on public roads. For vehicles that are not designed for road use, import approvals are not required, however a positive assessment of this through the Vehicle Import application process will ensure the clearance of your vehicle by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
An application for a Vehicle Import Approval, with all necessary supporting documentation will generally be assessed by the Department within 20 working days of receipt (including payment of the lodgment fee). This process will take longer if the necessary supporting documentation is not initially provided, if the original application is incomplete or any further information or clarification is required.
Obtaining a Vehicle Import Approval is only one step in the process of importing a vehicle into Australia. Depending on the type of vehicle, the processes may be complex, involve several organisations, and take many weeks. For an overview of the process, read the 8 steps to import a vehicle.
An overview of how to complete and submit your vehicle import application.
The information provided on this page should be used as guidance material only for importing a vehicle into Australia. Please familiarise yourself with the relevant legislation prior to lodging an application.