All vehicles imported into Australia must go through an inspection to verify there are no "Quarantine Risk Material" (QRM). This process can produce additional costs if there is a need for cleaning.
It is important that you have the vehicle cleaned (meaning "clean as new") from any soil, water, and animal or plant material before it arrives. This means from the roof to the cracks in the tyres, the vehicle is free from any QRM.
Additionally, all water reservoirs (excluding engine radiators and water used as ballast in tyres) must be emptied before arriving. (e.g. windscreen cleaning reservoirs and water collection points)
Important areas to be checked for contamination are:
- Wheels, muffler and muffler surrounds, wheel guards, and mud guards
- Spare tyre(s) and boot
- Engine bay and radiator (from debris in cooling fins)
- Underside of Vehicle
- Above and around fuel tank
- Inside chassis rails
- Interior of Vehicle
Additionally, if you import with a container, it will also be subject to inspection. All vehicles shipped via container must be inspected at a Quarantine Approved Premises (QAP). If your vehicle is shipped Ro/Ro method, it must be inspected within the wharf precinct.
After inspection, if your vehicle is found to be clean, it will be released from quarantine. If the vehicle is found to be unacceptably contaminated, it will not be allowed entry and will have to be re-exported. If the vehicle is contaminated with low levels of quarantine risk material, it will will be subject to one or more of the following treatments:
- Steam Cleaning
- High Pressure Cleaning
If water reservoirs (beside those exempt) were not emptied before arrival they will be subject to the following:
- Water collection points will be treated with a residual surface spray.
- Water-holding bottles will be subject to treatment with chlorine.
If there is a need of any treatment, the vehicle will be reinspected after treatment is completed. All costs associated with quarantine inspections, storage of goods, and any treatments will be at the importer's expense.
The process to complete a Quarantine Inspection is:
- Lodge a Quarantine Entry at the AQIS Regional Office.
- Make an Appointment for vehicle inspection.
- You or your broker goes to the inspection.
- Once necessary steps are completed, you may continue the import process.
ADR (Australian Design Rules) is complied with by a Registered Automotive Workshop for those requiring it under the RAWS Scheme. Common things that need for JDM cars to pass the over 80 point ADR are:
- Anti Intrusion Bars fitted if missing.
- New Seat Belts
- Child Restraint Anchors
- Catalytic Converter if needed
- Rear vision mirror may need to be replaced.
- New Tyres (usually not included in quoted price)
- Filters and Fluids Replaced
Note: All of this will be done by the RAW you choose to import through. Take the time to search for competitive quotes before you choose to avoid being fooled into an over-priced RAW.
Also Note: A RAW cannot comply a car that is damaged or rusted if it reduces the vehicle's structural integrity. Also, each RAW is only allowed to comply 100 vehicles a year.
Once the vehicle is ADR complied, a used import plate is placed on the vehicle. With that plate you can register your vehicle within your State or Territory. Cars imported under the 1989 Rule or are personal imports can be registered without a used import plate.
Registration rules vary between each State/Territory. You should find out before importing what regulations your State/Territory may place on import and your vehicle. If you are using another method of importing other than RAWS, you may have to replace certain parts before registering.