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Technical Importing cars into Australia

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BLACKNRED, Jul 5, 2017.

    Joined: May 8, 2010
    Posts: 347


    I heard a current rumor about Australian Customs quarantining cars for Asbestos, which involves Customs stripping the car of ALL asbestos, brakes, insulation materials, clutch materials etc etc, once all removed you have to pay for the removal and safe disposal of the asbestos, the extra storage while they tear the car apart and you end up with a totally unusable vehicle that you have to put back together.

    Can anyone shed some light on this scenario, or has this happened to anyone.
  2. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 9,221


    Here goes,

    The following goods are considered a risk for containing asbestos and ACM:
    • ....
    • Brake linings or blocks
    • Clutch linings or brake disc pads
    • Gaskets or seals
    • Friction materials for, or within, internal combustion and electric motor vehicles (for example, clutch linings, brake pads and shoes and gaskets
    • ...
    This list is non-exhaustive and subject to change. It should be used as a guide only.
    The Australian Border Force (ABF) targets goods considered to have a risk of containing asbestos. Any unauthorised goods found to contain asbestos will be seized and the importer may face penalties and/or prosecution.

    Then there is certification etc etc.
  3. The latest issue of Restored Cars here in Oz has an article about this................andyd

  4. Bird man
    Joined: Dec 28, 2009
    Posts: 784

    Bird man
    from Milwaukee

    A pure genius move to prohibit the import of foreign goods.
    It's all about the planet!
  5. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 3,336

    The 39 guy

    I can't argue with the intent of the law but can there be enough classic cars being imported that it could have a significant affect on the environment. I would expect that the exporters will have to add another expensive and time consuming step to preparations for shipping to Australia.
  6. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 9,052


    Can you post it up?
  7. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,315

    Barn Find
    from Missouri

    No, not really. And they are probably increasing potential exposure by dismantling old cars. If this is true, they are just moving the asbestos from one tin can to another. Take it out of a cheap old car and put it in an expensive landfill. Asbesto is quite common. It is naturally occurring and was once contained in a lot of household goods and materials-some of which are still in use. You just don't want little pieces of it getting into your lungs. Once inhaled, it never comes out of your lungs. If you smoke cigarettes every day, asbestos will make you sick.
  8. FAKKY
    Joined: Sep 9, 2016
    Posts: 283


    Thought there was other restrictions on imports recently as well.
    Like one car every 5 years ......... unless you can prove you have owned it in USA for least 1 year.

    Something to that effect.
    Kinda curious as one day Ill bring my cars back to AUS.
    Guess in meantime seems like a good think Im replacing all the brakes now ......
    micksmith likes this.
  9. hudson48
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,038


    Bureaucratic BS.
  10. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,529

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    You'll have to change out all the brake pads/shoes and document prior to importing. I'd guess there will be an import asbestos inspection fee tacked on to the import fees for all old vehicles. I imagine the shipping/import fees make it costly enough, but it must be worth the price of admission because you fellas have been picking cars and parts and shipping them for decades.

    I'd be more concerned that they may retroactively target any old cars already registered down under for an official government inspection (at a cost to you). Another government fee/tax on all yearly old car registration renewals to pay for the "program".
  11. F1 Ford
    Joined: Jul 26, 2013
    Posts: 40

    F1 Ford
    from California

    There's an outside chance my wife and I might be moving to Australia in a year. Having combed this message board (specifically the pre-1989 modification rules), it appears hopeless to import my F-1 (very modified). Having come across this thread, is importing a bone stock F-100 (say, early '60s with a straight 6) even a viable option anymore? It just seems like AU customs is way over the top with regulations now and I'd hate for the truck to stay in limbo or just get gouged on senseless nitpicking fees (like taking the damn truck apart to check for asbestos). I'd have no trouble paying for the expenses of shipping and doing proactive work Stateside to make the process as smooth as possible (like putting in new shoes). However, It appears that buying one already in AU is the only reasonable option at this point. Anyone import anything HAMB appropriate into AU this year?
  12. F1 Ford
    Joined: Jul 26, 2013
    Posts: 40

    F1 Ford
    from California

    Damn! They really shut it down. I definitely would rather not risk importing something, no matter how much preventative maintenance was down beforehand. Thanks for sharing.
  13. Hey F1,
    Going through process now.
    You have three issues to deal with, import approval, customs then registration.

    You might qualify for personal import approval if you can prove the car was available for you to use for transport in the twelve months prior to import. You need to provide a travel diary showing all international travel.

    Customs / asbestos I might pm you my thoughts on this if you get import approval, and then

    Registration- the process varies from state to state. If you know the state you are moving to, it might pay for you to reach out to the Australian Street Rod Federation (ASRF) rep and get advice on what might be required. If it's modified it will most likely, at a minimums need to be converted to Right Hand Drive and get an engineers report.
  14. This makes a significant difference.

    Edit: I just read that link and my head hurts.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
  15. F1 Ford
    Joined: Jul 26, 2013
    Posts: 40

    F1 Ford
    from California

    Aussie A, thanks a lot. I really appreciate it. I'm working part-time at a garage, so I could do a lot of front loading here if there's a reasonable chance a stock F-100 would make it. And I could drive it for a year beforehand (I'll look up personal import approval). It'd be a while before we moved. If you can update this thread or shoot me a message later, letting me know how it went for you, that'd at least give me some up-to-date, firsthand experience. I appreciate the links. I simply do not think the F-1 can make it. It's got everything changed up -- Mustang II front-end, Hurst motor mount, CSB/Turbo 350, Vintage Air, etc.
  16. F1 Ford
    Joined: Jul 26, 2013
    Posts: 40

    F1 Ford
    from California

    We'd be moving to Darwin.
  17. Sorry, my advice was for "much modified". Non-modified cars are much easier (asbestos issues aside). Likely able to register LHD - would pay to check Darwin / NT rules.
  18. F1 Ford
    Joined: Jul 26, 2013
    Posts: 40

    F1 Ford
    from California

    Good to know. The asbestos nightmare 36roadster linked could make this process a real nightmare. I've been doing some preliminary research, but knowing that I should be focusing on Northern Territory rules is helpful. Thanks again.
  19. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 32,163


    Almost exactly what I was going to say. This is where documentation is at the top of the list. One more flaming hoop and another added expense but having the paper work that shows that certified asbestos free brake and clutch lining if applicable have been installed. In this case I'd say it calls for a receipt/work order from a shop listing the work and the part numbers of the products used. More trouble and expense over having the seller do it but a much better received paper trail.
    Reading this There is no simple way to tell if brake shoes that have been run for a while are asbestos free or not.
  20. F1 Ford
    Joined: Jul 26, 2013
    Posts: 40

    F1 Ford
    from California

    Yeah, the problem seems to be that there is no real way to checkoff on the asbestos approval. 36roadster's article mentions requiring an asbestos inspection beforehand, yet few countries offer this service. I totally hear you on getting a work order on asbestos-free shoes/clutch lining, but I don't know if this will hold water with customs. I'm just seeing if anyone has tested the waters yet, so to speak. Also, thanks for the Darwin/NT requirements. Personal vehicles can stay left-hand driver.
  21. VonWegener
    Joined: Nov 19, 2009
    Posts: 786


    I wonder how much that mindset has permeated into all other aspects of Australian life. It just changed my view of the land down under.
  22. You must have good eyes.
  23. The trouble is that the ABF have been changing the rules to suit themselves as they go along. I think that a lawsuit suing the ABF for loss of trade, income, etc, unfortunately ,may be the only way that this mess can be straightened out.
  24. Bert
    Joined: Feb 22, 2005
    Posts: 404


    Sometimes we go to the doctor and they are thorough... But most skip some steps here and there, because to do it ALL by the book would take to long for each consultation... And his day would be less $$.... So think how many industries work like this.... Nearly all.... So it all depends on the day and the person as to wether or not ALL procedures are followed.... That's how some cars get through rego and some don't... If the fat lady doesn't know its a jag frontend on your f100 when she checks the engine number( most don't even know where engine numbers are!)... Anyway, there are rules and there is reality.... Sure they are making it harder to bring in cars as we have lots of usa iron here in oz but it comes down to WHO you use, whether each guy down the process does his job and things like which state also... As much as its a fucken nanny state here in Victoria, and all the stupid rules ....the way it all operates behind the scenes may actually suprise many.... It breeds what it's trying to get rid of...Corruption and laziness ...... Best to call a long time importer of classic cars and ask them.... I won't give any names but check out mags etc...... Ask them direct what's going on and go with them, just like the regulars at the club, they get through the process smoother as they know what they are doing and I'm not saying they are corrupt, im just saying it will be much easier than trying to do it yourself...... The old saying it's not what you know, it's who you know...... The asbestos rule probably has been there for along time, Hense, it's always been overlooked and I don't know but maybe if we all start firing up, it might bring attention to it even cheers
  25. Ok, in some correspondence with people I know in the import business today, they are saying that once this funny business with the ABF etc. starts affecting industry or large groups, shit may well hit the fan (my words) pressure will be brought to bear and this matter will be sorted out.

    Obviously it takes more than some whining from a couple of guys with Mustangs. I know that sounds flippant, but you know what I mean.
  26. Bert
    Joined: Feb 22, 2005
    Posts: 404


    And btw I'm not saying our importers are corrupt... I've found them to be professional, simplified, direct, and each time it went as stated, it's just better to check with the pros.... Much like our engineering process hahaaaa
  27. Torana68
    Joined: Jan 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,362

    from Australia

    Its one of the rules sneaked in some years ago but not acted on till the Chinese made "Chery" car was caught with asbestos in it ,non asbestos in some countries = not more than 3%, the rules here as written say 0% asbestos. This find caused a bit of a wave that has been extended to private imports. Asbestos is bad but there are lots of cars here already with asbestos so I dont really get the crackdown on private cars, but I spose if some smart arse sues the government cause they let in an old car with asbestos and they have asbestosis it would be costly :(.......... costs I have seen quoted are around $A5k to get through so it would be better to strip brakes in the states, maybe also clutch and head gaskets as that seems to be the target (as well as sealants and underbody deadener). Wood framing is also on their hit list........ I wonder if new cars over there have 0% asbestos brakes and clutch now?
    EDIT : this is a link to where it started note the comment of the Australian Metal Workers Union ""What is the Government and customs going to do to ensure this doesn't happen again"
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017

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