The importing and compliance experience.

85Kai

New Member
Jun 25, 2012
24
0
1
Brisbane
I noticed a thread asking about importing an AE86 from Japan. So to help anyone else out who might be thinking of this I thought I'd do a write up on the whole process from start to finish while I'm going through the compliance of my own car now. I'll cover the time frame, costs and what's involved (and what's not) to give people a clear idea on what to expect. I'll continue to update the thread as more information comes in.

The beginning.

Firstly, you need to find a car. This can be done several ways. There are plenty of brokers and importers to help you out here. In my case, I lived in Japan for many years and have friends in the import industry so I flew to Japan and sort out a car for myself. This way I could be sure of getting exactly what I wanted (plus I got to enjoy a trip to Japan). It's a win/win solution if you're wanting to buy a car and take a holiday at the same time.

Patience my Precious.
Importing your own car isn't something to do if you want to be driving it next week. I bought my car in January and it landed in my driveway in late June. That's longer than what it would normally take as I had my car rebuilt over in Japan. However, it still comes down to when the car gets onto the boat or when the container leaves. There's a lot of paperwork and waiting before and after the car loaded onto the boat. My car went into a container. Expect to wait 3 to 4 months before you can touch your car. During this time you'll have to apply for your Import Approval. It took my paperwork about 3 weeks to get processed. My paperwork didn't get sent until about 2 weeks from when the container was due to arrive in Australia so car had actually arrived before I'd received my paperwork so my car was stuck in storage in Australia for about a week.

Compliance.
This is something that can cost you a lot if you're not careful. I shopped around and found most people were quoting $800+ just for the plate. Then add the cost of parts and labour onto that. I've found one guy here in Brisbane who quoted somewhere between $500-$800 over the phone and went with him because he actually came to my place to do the initial inspection and will come back in a few days to fit the plate once the work is done. This saved me on extra towing costs. The initial inspection was yesterday and here is a list of what needs to be done for my car to be complied:

New seatbelts front and rear.
Child restraint anchor points.
Rewiring of my front indicator lights and clear parker lenses.
Fit a tyre placard.
Replace blown bulb in number plate surround.

That's it!

Because my car is a 1985 model it's pre-emissions and doesn't need side intrusion bars. So I saved money in those areas. It also helps that my car is a very clean example and I'd already had all the fluids changed before the inspection. My brakes had been rebuilt in Japan and the old brake lines had been replaced with the ADR approved ones. These maybe an extra cost on other cars though. The compliance process started on Monday and I hope to be driving my car on Friday.

The costs:
Import Approval Application fee: $50
FOB (freight on board) costs: $530
Shipping fees: $1200
Taxes: $720
Towing from customs storage to my house: $60
Compliance plate fee: $726
Safety Certificate: $66
Seatbelts: $480.60 (that's new front and rear belts plus child restraint anchors and all other fittings)

The cost before registration and insurance: $3832.60 plus the cost of the car.

Registration: $434.15 (6 months, including $69 in stamp duty)
Insurance: $649.37 (comprehensive insurance with Shannons)
 

85Kai

New Member
Jun 25, 2012
24
0
1
Brisbane
Big day tomorrow. The car should be getting its compliance plate attached. Hopefully all will go well.

Problems I've had:
Mounting the plates for the rear seatbelts on the underside of the parcel shelf. Regulations state the plates must be 3mm thick, a total of 3750mm squared and have 5mm rounded corners. ADR approved plates are available at Seat Safe. Originally I bought the 50mm x 80mm plates but they were too wide so I went back and bought the 40mm x 100mm. These total 4000mm squared. I had to trim them slightly to make them fit. There is a hole in the body right behind the boot hinge. I've used this hole as my point to thread the bolt through (after widening it). I had to trim parts of the body as well to get the plates to fit. They're a bit dodgy but hopefully they'll pass.





I've also had a to craft some clear parker lenses out of perspex to get it to pass the final inspection. These won't be staying on there as I'll be putting the factory orange lenses (previously indicators before rewiring them to be parking lights) as soon as the car is on the road. I'm sure some of the suppliers here could order you the lenses. Better to do this long before you do the inspection because you'll be lucky to buy them here.

Here's the link to what they look like.
http://www.run-free.com/parts/parts/winker/winker.html

Sootie, I'd better not post a price on here in case my wife sees the real figure and shoots fire at me. :hadoken:
 

85Kai

New Member
Jun 25, 2012
24
0
1
Brisbane
Compliance is done. David was really good. Both times he came to my place to inspect the car. He was easy going and helpful. I'd recommend him to those in the Brisbane area. Price for his services and plate: $726. A lot of money to pay someone to simply read through a checklist, take a few photos and attach a plate but he was the cheapest quote I had.

 

85Kai

New Member
Jun 25, 2012
24
0
1
Brisbane
The car is on the road! The safety certificate and registration were hassle free, which is nice. I had to pay $69 in stamp duty on a proposed market value of $2,300. I figure if they're gonna hit me with a bullshit tax then I'll give them a bullshit figure.

I can finally enjoy driving it (other than the horrible whine from the diff, which will need to be sorted out).

End result:


I changed the factory orange indicator covers (which are now my parking lights) back over for now. I'm ordering a set of clear lenses just to keep out of trouble.

I'll update the final figures once they're in. Shouldn't be too long now.
 

skin

Member
Mar 5, 2007
268
0
16
Tasmania
very nice write up mate.

Ive just finshed going thorough this process except im in tasmania. Its a whole lot easier down here
Actually its as simple as this

Any car dated before 1989 does not need a compliance plate to be registered, you first have to go for a road worthy, where you will fail for the fact you have no ADR plate. Why you are there if you are organised ( i wasnt ) you will know to have your imported vehicle pre 1989 check list there. This list is very simple ( provided the car is RHD). It has things like this on it

Head lights dip to the left?
Do the seatbelts have english writing or some shit basically, yes they have to be changed
Are the locks burst proof?
Is the windsreen laminated safety glass?
Amber indicators?
Red brake lights?

There is more but its just stupid irrelevant stuff to ae86s. Once passed its off to transort, you must provide the ticked off check list form by registered inspection station, a failed roadworthy document stating the vehicle has no VIN/ADR plate and importation documents (or in my case as i wasnt the importer of the car they wouldnt give them to me, DOTAS will however give you a letter that takes the place of the documents for registration purposes) that state who imported the car and under what scheme etc. You need few forms if identification for yourself and obviously the failed roadworthy report.

Transport tas then does a vehicle identification inspection, checks over a few things to make sure the inspection station did their job and wah la!! If happy they will issue you with an offical piece of paper saying this car can be registered provided it has passed a road worthy inspection. So i went back the same fella, showed him my piece of paper (and new tyres as he failed me for them also) and he passed my roadworthy.

I now have 30 days to pay my registration :)

I might add this car passed with a very noisy smoky (rich) 4age running quad throttles and just generally looked like a car transport/cops would pull over and rape

I love tassie

As the seatbelts were already installed by previous owner this compliance procedure cost me a tank of petrol