How to import a JDM to Australia from Japan

A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE

Access to Japanese auctions with zervtek
RX-7 Infini in the USS Tokyo Auctions

What cars can you import into Australia?


There are several ways a vehicle can be imported into Australia. Customers need to be careful and check the vehicle’s eligibility and Australia’s restrictions to make sure it is allowed for import to avoid facing possible punishment under the Crimes Act 1914.

The most two common import options are:

  • 1. Importing a vehicle older than 25 years old
    All vehicles older than 25 years are automatically eligible for import under the Interim option

  • 2. Importing a vehicle newer than 25 years old
    Under the specialist & Enthusiast Vehicle Scheme (SEVS) a chosen set of vehicles will be available for import.

For example, Mazda RX-7 1999 and upwards can be imported legally via SEVS. Mazda RX-7 that are 25 years (currently 1996) or older can be imported under the Interim option. So, technically any vehicle on the SEVS list or any vehicle older than 25 years can be legally imported.

Contact our agents to find out whether the car you’re looking to import can be imported legally.

Our agents will discuss with you your preferences & budget, send you past auction data, upcoming auction cars that fit your needs, translate auction sheets and provide you with extra photos/videos before the auction.

how to import cars to australia from Japan
Dashboard of an Lancer Evolution 6


After an auction is won, we will arrange inland transport, degassing the vehicle, custom clearance in Japan, and shipping – in other words, everything up to your preferred destination po
rt.

Right after the auction is won, we advise our customers to quickly apply for the Vehicle Import Approval (VIA), as it is absolutely necessary to receive it before we load the vehicle onto the ship.

Along with the chassis number and manufactured date, all documents and photos required for applying for the VIA will be provided by us.

how to Import a JDM from Japan to Australia.
Lotus in Japanese auto auctions


The two main methods of shipping are Roll-on, Roll-off, or in a container. If a customer plans to purchase more than one vehicle, we tend to look at both options to figure out what suits each customer best but if it’s a single vehicle, Ro-Ro is often highly recommended. Ro-Ro shipping is postpaid directly to the shipping line and will include charges for the DAFF inspection and Heat Treatment done before shipping.

Freight is always fully insured by Zervtek Japan.

The export certificate, asbestos-free certificate, and degassing certificate will be mailed to you separately. 

GST and import duty Australia charges are calculated on the CIF (Cargo Insured Freight) and these charges are payable before the vehicle is free to be picked up to be taken for compliance work.

The car is then taken to a nominated RAWS site where the vehicle is stripped off of any modifications to bring it in line with Australian standards. After it has passed compliance, it is now ready to be registered for road use in Australia. A simple web search should lead you to a RAWS center, but if you’re having trouble, please feel free to contact our agents

JDM Nissan GTR Skyline in Japanese auctions for import to Australia
Nissan Skyline GTR V-Spec in auctions

What is the cost of importing a car from Japan to Australia?

The most imported vehicles to Australia are Nissan Skylines R32/R33/R34 especially Skyline GTRs, Mazda RX-7s, and the Toyota Supras. Regardless of the vehicle, the basic formula for the import costs remains the same.

Total cost for importing = Price at the auctions + Export charges + Cost of shipping to Australia (postpaid around 2,300 AUD at the time of this article)

Shipping to Australia is post-paid meaning that the customer will make the payment for shipping along with GST and duty when the vehicle reaches the destination port.

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