Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most insightful Frequently Asked Questions we receive at Sea Go from potential clients who are still on the learning curve of international vehicle shipping. The customer happiness expert staff are available to field your questions via the Contact Page.
What is the transit time?
Transit time will depend on the origin and destination. For example, the transit time from UK to Australia is approximately 53 days.
Can I import my vehicle into Australia without a valid Vehicle Import Approval (VIA)?
No, you can’t. Without your Vehicle Import Approval (VIA) your vehicle will be denied entry into Australia and will need to be returned to its country of origin.
Am I eligible to apply for a Vehicle Import Approval (VIA) for my car?
Importing a Personal Vehicle:
If you have owned the car for more than 12 months and relocating to Australia then you would eligible to apply for Vehicle Import Approval (VIA).
You must apply for your VIA within 6 months of your arrival in Australia to be eligible. Cars should only be shipped once the VIA has been obtained.
Importing a Vintage Vehicle:
You can apply for VIA for pre-1995 cars under the 25-year-rule. Please note that cars have to be in their original condition and must not have been modified.
How do I apply for my Vehicle Import Approval?
VIA applications have to be lodged online with the Department of Infrastructure. Please use the following link: https://infrastructure.gov.au/vehicles/imports/
Can I place my personal effects inside my vehicle?
Yes, when shipped in a container you can load Personal Effects inside your vehicle.
Please ensure to keep the driver’s seat clear and that all items are well packed and labelled.
How long after the vessel arrives can I collect my vehicle?
Please allow approx. 7-10 days after vessel arrival for the shipping line to release the container, container collection and trucking, depot unpack, Quarantine inspection, etc.
We will keep you updated and will confirm once your vehicle has been released by Australian Quarantine and is available for pick up.
Once AQIS released, you have 3 free days to collect your cargo before storage charges at the depot commence.
Do I have to pay Import Duty & GST?
Yes, you will have to pay Import Taxes — Import Duty and GST.
Import Duty and GST, Declaration Processing Fee and Quarantine Fee (Government charges) are calculated as follows:
Import Duty, Import GST & Declaration Processing Fee (Government fees):
Import GST — 10% on value of the car + ocean freight + insurance + duty
Import Duty — 5% on value of the car + ocean freight
The Declaration Processing Fee is per entry and is currently $201
Only cars that are older than 30 years are Import Duty exempt. However, Import GST still applies.
If you bought your vehicle in Australia and previously exported it overseas you can re-import the car as a ‘Returned Good’, which is Import Duty & GST exempt. You will have to proof of purchase and previous registration of your car here in Australia, as well as proof of the actual Export (i.e. a Bill of Lading from the export).
Customs Valuation of Vehicle
If you have owned your vehicle for longer than 12 months, it is customs regulations to provide a valuation, done by an Australian registered Valuer.
It is in your own interest to have it customs valued.
Valuations are based on Customs Value, not on re-sell value. The customs value is based on a retail value less the following:
- Less Depreciation as an import
- Less registration / stamp duty
- Less compliance
- Less destination unpack / clearance charges
- Less import taxes
A retail value is based on Redbook and includes all the above. This is the reason why you should always get a Customs Valuation done, as you will always pay less taxes.
Our valuer is registered with Australian Customs. He is able to value the cars while they are still in transit, using condition reports, photos, odometer reading, V5 etc.
What is the Luxury Car rate threshold?
Cars with a luxury car tax (LCT) value over the LCT threshold attract an LCT rate of 33%.
For LCT rates before 3 October 2008, refer to Luxury car tax rate – previous years.
Luxury car tax thresholds
The following table lists the LCT thresholds for the relevant financial year – the financial year the car was imported, acquired, or sold.
If you buy a car with a GST-inclusive value above these LCT thresholds, you must pay LCT except in certain circumstances. In general, the LCT value of a car includes the value of any parts, accessories, or attachments you supplied, or imported, at the same time as the car.
|Financial year||Fuel efficient vehicles||Other vehicles|
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) & Fumigation
The measures for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) commences on 1st September and concludes on 31st May each year. For more information, please visit the following site:
GOOD NEWS — Containers ex UK do not need to be fumigated for BMSB. One more reason to ship in a container! RORO cargo ex UK must be fumigated.
All shipments from the following countries must have their cargo fumigated either at port of origin or on arrival into Australia.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Japan (heightened vessel surveillance will be the only measure applied).
- Republic of North Macedonia
- United States of America