The Personal Imports Scheme allows migrants settling in Australia, and expatriate Australian citizens returning permanently to Australia after a long period overseas, to bring their personal vehicles with them. The scheme is outlined at regulation 13 of the Motor Vehicle Standards Regulations 1989. The scheme was recently amended by the Motor Vehicle Standards Amendment Regulations 2009 (No.1).
At present under the scheme, applicants must have been resident in a foreign country for a continuous period of at least 12 months, during which time they owned and used the imported vehicle.
Changes to the scheme include:
- Applicants must intend to change their residence. Applicants must arrive in Australia to become permanent Australian resident and to remain in Australia indefinitely;
- The 12 month qualifying period must occur immediately before applicants arrive in Australia; and
- Applications must be made within 6 months of applicants arriving in Australia.
For further details, please see pages 16-19 of the Departments information brochure on importing Vehicles to Australia. The brochure is available from First Base Freight Ltd, please contact for a copy.
The other major change not mentioned above is from November 2010, there will be provision to import 1 vehicle every 5 years rather than 1 per year as was the previous allowance.