How to Import a JDM to Australia from Japan

Avishka Chandeepa

Posted 19 March 2024


Dreaming of importing your own JDM to Australia? Whether it's the classic JDM car or a turbo-powered monster of a JDM, importing your dream car into Australia might just be easier than you think. With a myriad of rules and regulations, the process can seem daunting, but fear not! Our comprehensive guide is here to navigate you through the ins and outs of importing vehicles. We'll take you through the rules and regulations on what you can import, the process, what charges you can expect, and how the shipping and import will work.

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

For example, Mazda RX-7 1999 and upwards can be imported legally via SEVS. Mazda RX-7 that are 25 years old (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.

The Japanese Auto Auctions

The Japanese auctions are a great way to buy used cars directly from Japan. The auctions are held every week from Monday to Saturday, and depending on the vehicle you're looking for, you'll get a lot of different options every week in one place to look at and decide to bid on.

The auctions are accessible only to dealers and exporters, which means you'll be accessing wholesale prices through our service with a fixed service charge, incorporating all charges within Japan, meaning no bloated profit margins you have to deal with.

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

Porsche exported by Zervtek to Canada

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

Right after the auction is won, we advise our customers to quickly apply for the Vehicle Import Approval (VIA), as it is 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.

Photo of a Zervtek JDM car besides a RORO cargo vessel

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 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

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

Total up to the destination port.

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)

Charges after it reaches Australia.

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.

When importing vehicles, they are subject to various charges levied by the Customs Department, which include Duty and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The customs duty is calculated based on the FOB (Car price at the auctions + Export charges). Meanwhile, the GST is calculated based on the sum of the FOB and the duty. Here's how they vary:

Vehicle Type



Vehicles over 30 years old and motorcycles0%10%
New and used vehicles up to 30 years old10%10%
Four-wheel drive off-road/commercial vehicles5%10%


Thank you for choosing ZervTek Co., Ltd. We appreciate your trust in our services and look forward to serving you with excellence and integrity.

You can find all the necessary links below:

Getting Started