An Import Approval must be obtained for a vehicle to gain customs clearance at its point of entry to Australia. Vehicles that arrive in Australia without an Import Approval generally incur significant storage costs until an Import Approval is issued.
It is strongly recommended that you do not ship your vehicle to Australia until such time as you are issued with an Import Approval. If you ship your vehicle before receiving an approval and your vehicle arrives before the application is processed, you may incur storage costs from the shipping company/freight forwarder. You may also be open to prosecution, as it is an offence to import a vehicle without an Import Approval. Importation takes place when a vehicle is landed within the port of intended discharge and not once the vehicle clears customs control.
If the import application is not approved, you will have to either export the vehicle or have it destroyed at your own expense. Destruction will need to take place under Customs supervision.
Overseas vehicles are usually built to different specifications to those required for the Australian market. Do not assume that a vehicle that seems to be identical to a model already available in Australia meets the required Australian Design Rules (ADRs). Generally, only vehicles that have been built specifically for the Australian market comply with all of the required ADRs. Vehicles for use on public roads in Australia are usually required to be Right Hand Drive (RHD). Contact your local State or Territory Registration Authority for information on acceptance of Left Hand Drive (LHD) vehicles. For a comprehensive guide and to visit the source of this information, please go to: http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/vehicle_regulation/bulletin/importing_vehicles/index.aspx We always recommend checking with your embassy, a clearing agent in Australia or the authorities in Australia to ensure you have up to date information on the rules and regulations. The information here is for guidance purposes only and should not be used as hard and fast rules.