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Importing a bike from the USA

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by dimi, Oct 8, 2010.

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  1. Well as you are all aware the Aussie doller is getting stronger vs the US doller... and will probably continue to get stronger for a little while longer. Meanwhile, I'm looking to upgrade my bike soon and entertaining the thought of importing a bike over from the US. I have a contact who has done some importing before for a Mustang but wont get a chance to speak to him till Tuesday at least so thought I'd ask here.

    What fee's am I looking at roughly to get it over to Aus(Mel)?

    Will those fee's vary if the bike is parted out compared to being in full trim (ready to ride)?

    Anything else i need to know?

    I know i will be hit with lots of tax and fee's etc but since I've never been through with it myself I really have no idea on what the process is like so any input would be helpful.

    Cheers for any valuable input :)
  2. Some information regarding cutoms and vehicle imports:


    And partly dismantled vehicles:


    Pay particular attention to:

    Good luck with it. Keep us updated.
  3. Ahh beautiful info there! Will give it a read right away.

    Cheers Day
  4. Sweet. I hope it is of use. I was trying to figure what you could import from the US, so I am intrigued. I am in my own little world on my Bimmer so the fact that we can source bikes by other means than local is very interesting.

  5. Yes well the more i read the more fee's i learn about haha then it needs to be checked over by an engineer to verify its up to our standards, then rego'd etc and must have a VIA etc etc. Looking into shipping as "spare parts" and see how that adds up in comparison and if any fee's are waived.

    I have a feeling this will be a long chat with said contact on Tuesday.
  6. Fair call. Some times waiting can be the best policy. Customs regulations are pretty complex and you need to get it right the first time.
  7. Remember to factor in the cost for a left-hand-drive to right-hand-drive conversion. ;)
  8. Honestly I would not suggest doing it because by the time you buy a bike pay all the government fees ( if they allow it ) and engineers inspections RTA inspections, port fees, transport fees , import duties , gst on bike and freight , change things like the tyres , brake lines and all fluids plus the aggro you will get during the process the effort is not worth the small saving you believe you will make

    Plus you may have issues with getting insurance as a personal import

    the import scheme is low volume imports not for personal import unless you owned it for a year and used it overseas for that year.

    Also trying to import in pieces as "spares" will result in chassis number being in a database saying "not for registration" and the like
  9. ...bugger (lol Captain Slow) Thanks for the insight Motolegion. I'm starting to think its a waste of time to go through all this and once I've done a rough estimation im not really saving that much in the end so you do make a very valid point.

    Guess I'll save it for stuff that you cant get here :p
  10. Have you thought of goin througha customs broker to import it an maybe buy one from japan
  11. mmm yeah but isnt customs broker same sort of thing but extra broker fees on top?
  12. About 8 years ago I had a CBR1000 that was found to be an import from NZ, even though it got shipped via Aust, it was not AU compliant and was going to cost big $$ to get it all certified and new compliance/vin No plate issued.
    Oh I rode it for a year just getting RTA 'permits' while sorting out the paperwork BS.

    In the end sold it as a track bike only, and got my 1st VTR.
    Some off the older VIC NR's may remember it 8-[
  13. If you were importing it to be a track bike then you may have some decent saving and it would save a lot of headaches.
    But to put on the road, it would just be better to learn to haggle more.
  14. Dimi,

    Unless import permit acquired you cannot import bikes unless on the approved list and meet Australian Standards - link to Infrastructure website about importing vehicles : http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/vehicle_regulation/bulletin/importing_vehicles/index.aspx

    Do not bring in a complete bike in parts, as it has to be declared as a complete unit. ( if you bring in as parts you then have to get an angineer to inspect it and approve it - as you would not have an import permit, you would not get approval from the relevant state traffic authority. )

    You can import " brand name " bikes, but may be required to get letter from their Oz division to import ( or have owned them overseas for 12 months ). Generally if a brand name model was or has been sold in Australia, you can get approval ( ie: not all Harleys, Nortons, Jap bikes etc will get approval as certain models not sold here ) - always check before buying bike - think it cost about $50 to apply for permit, and free advice over phone from Dept of Infrastructure ( as per link above )

    Bikes over 30 years old are duty free, then most other are duty free depending on size of engine ( I think over 800cc attracts duty ).

    You will be up for Customs GST, which is based on 10% of the cost of the bike ( in AUD $ ) + duty, plus freight + insurance ( therefore 10% of cost, duty, freight and insurance )

    Bikes over AUD$ 57000 will incur luxury tax also - so dont go importing a blinged out Chopper.

    Depending on location you should allow about $750.00 - $1000 for freight if in USA. You will also be up for all export cost to crate bike, Customs inspections, document fees, transport fees etc ( again - may cost $1000 )

    This end ( assuming you have import approval ), you are up for the duty, GST, local port fees, Quarantine and Customs Inspections, Quarantine Depot fees, Clearance Fees, and if bike is dirty, then wash fees, then of course transport fees ( excluding Duty and GST, this can add up to another $1000 )

    I am a Customs Broker, so whim me if you need more info.

    *** Above costs are indicative only.
  15. If the bike's pre-89 and something not easily obtainable locally, it might be worthwhile. If it's newer, basically forget it.
  16. Thank you for the information guys.

    The bike in question was actually just going to be your ordinary 2006+ Suzuki GSXR-750.
    Seeing as the price you pay in the US for a 2008-9 bike in great condition is what you might be lucky to find for a 2003 model in the same condition it got me thinking bout all the importing etc.

    So if the bike is only worth 7-8k, am i seriously looking at close to 3k worth of extra fee's and charges just to get it here, out of customs and approved? Seeing as I would have to also add the rego which is another $600 lets say...
  17. Also account for the fact that you may have to sell it for a slug less than a local bike . . .

    On the other hand I was browsing the other day and noticed than 70s Triumphs are relatively cheap hmmmm maybe another project for me . . . .
  18. My husband is Canadian and still has his 500cc Honda Shadow '85 in storage in Canada. We looked at bringing it to Australia as a learner bike for me as it is still like brand new. Shipping costs quoted at $800. It's something we are still considering as I don't believe you can even get these bikes here. I could be wrong though.
  19. Something like this is a bit different as you, presumably, owned and used the bike for a decent period, so it should be possible to bring in as a personal import. That said, an '85 is old enough to avoid much of the hassle involved in bringing in newer bikes. Just make sure you can get bits for it (or know of an overseas supplier with reasonable shipping costs). Also beware that it may not be LAMs legal, even if it fulfils the technical requirements. If it wasn't available here, it may not be on The List.
  20. We won't be looking at bringing the bike in for some time now as I actually purchased a LAMS bike anyways.

    It has a lot of sentimental value more than anything for the OH
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