Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Personal grey import?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Yarique, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. Hi folks,

    I'm one of the guys who somehow prefer things that ceased to be produced decades ago. Now I fell in virtual love with Yamaha SRV250. This bike was sold in Australia ~10 years ago, but now is hard to find, costs relatively much and usually has pretty high kms on the odometer.

    At the same time, our Japanese fellows literally try to get rid of this model with low kms, probably due to a rego for an old bike being too expensive in Japan. Just search for SRV250 at bikebros.co.jp for an example.

    So did anybody considered or better tried importing a similar bike from Japan by themselves? I know it can take a hell of effort and money, but it may be easier if the model is already known to the road authorities of Australia... And a vehicle in a better shape can be cheaper to service later on.

    So I would be happy to hear about any relevant thoughts or experience. Thanks!

    Just a crazy idea that might have come to someone else's crazy head, too... Riding a two-wheeled vehicle is a bit crazy anyway! :)

  2. Trust me, sentiment about ten year old bikes is an expensive proposition, especially when a modern bike does everythng better....

    I would reckon that at leastthree Government departments would gang up on you to make this idea a complete impossibility.

    So, buy a VTR-250 and fall in line :LOL:.
  3. I dont know if this applies to bikes, but i think with cars you cannot normally import a vehicle that was already sold in australia.

    I think this applies to sales volumes or age so your best bet would be to contact the authorities in your state
  4. Have imoprted many cars into australia. You can importa vehicle manufactured/sold in aus if the vehicle is over 10 years old, you can bring it in. I am pretty sure the same rule applies to bikes.

  5. I'd buy one locally.

    You can't trust Jap import odo readings, their weather is snow/heat, they generally do a lot of short trips which means more cold starts, driving when cold etc.

    By the time you pay all the import tax costs you won't be that far ahead, if at all. All this for a bike you have never seen and have no idea how well it runs, what the previous owner is like or how hard a life it's lived.
  6. Before brining in the SRV, you will need permission from Customs in Canberra for an import permit ( used vehicle ) and also from Australian Quarantine ( used vehicle )

    You will need both permits before you can even ship to Australia or the goods might be seized.

    From experience your bike should get approved ( not guaranteed ). YOu will need to supply Customs with full details of vehicle - VIN, type make , model year etc... ( there are fees invovled for PErmit Application )
    ( more info here = http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=4781 )

    Same deal with AQIS - need to supply all information to get an approved permit ( see here fro more info = http://www.daffa.gov.au/aqis/import/vehicles-machinery/motorcycles )

    You will need to be aware of all associated costs for import ( in Australia ) and export costs in Japan ( the seller may pay for these and charge you for them, or afreight forwarder can arrange with their agent )

    Apart from the 2 import permits costs, you have Local ( aussie ) charges such as port fees, terminal fees, document fees, freight cost, quarantine and customs inspection fees, customs clearance fees, steamclean ( wash ) fees, aqis depot fees, cargo report fees and more, plus the export fees in Japan to pay

    It can be quite expensive ( I would allow approx AUD$1500 - $2000 just for costs in Oz)
    - PM me if you want more information.( I work in the industry )

    By the way - the motorcycle will be duty free, but you will need to pay Customs GST
  7. Guys, thank you very much for a good discussion! Now I have some food for thought to chew on. Indeed, odometer readings are not the ultimate meter of the bike's condition, and a bike that has been happily running and regularly serviced can be in a much better shape than one which spent 10-15 years in rainy climate with no action and, most likely, no maintenance either.

    Particular thanks go to the VTR250 team for their kind invitation to join their ranks! VTR250 has got good looks and is very appealing technically; but, you know, riding a bike is just a way of fulfilling one's dreams, and for some obscure reason a VTR250 doesn't come to my dreams. :)

    And much kudos to MisfitPL9 for all the details. They look scary at first glance, but who knows... A friend of mine just brought his car over from NZ with him and was quite satisfied with the steam cleaning. :)
  8. Theres a yard up here that does nothing but grey imports of motor bikes by the container load - got my 93 Ducati monster off em last year and i love it

    Maybe you can put in an order with a grey importer and let them worry about it - they are already set up anyway

  9. ADR compliance?
  10. Ok, let me clear up the misinformation in this thread as I used to work in Customs, and also the dept that issued the approvals for import (not Customs, dept of Transport - now infrastucture)

    You can import ANY vehicle manufactured before 1989, that includes any bike. A compliance plate is not need as it is exempt from the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989, it only needs to pass registration requirements (which for a bike i dont think is that much, maybe a set of tyres). You need to lodge an application for import approval along with proof of purchase. The annoying part about this is you are supposed to get approval before sending, but the japs send them straight after you buy them. Try to get an invoice, it's just as good and means you're not committed before importing (which really isn't a problem for this type of approval).

    For anything that's newer than 1989, a compliance plate needs to be fitted, and guess what, you wont get one for a bike! The compliance plate holders will just tell you to buy one of their import bikes, but if you're lucky, you might find someone to help you out, providing they have approval for that type of bike.

    For any bike that's on Australian roads imported by the manufacturer, or even a variant of the same bike, you wont get approval and the manufacturer will not give you a compliance plate, especially for a second hand vehicle.

    Duty is payable based on the cost of the car, GST is payable on cost + transport etc, add in the cost of shipping, and it really starts to add up. It may be more viable if you were bringing in ten, or unless you split a container with someone, which an agent can organise. Oh yeah, good to get a customs agent to do the paperwork, saves a lot of hassles and potential storage fees if delays happen.
  11. The yard I bought mine from affixed a plate on the bike

    Sent me down to the registry with proof of purchase and the roadworthy.

    that was all that was needed to register and insure it. It was all straight forward.

  12. Thanks GS5hundy - forgot to mention compliance.

    Also - bikes under 800cc are duty free, bikes over 800cc cop 10% duty ( I think there is an exemption for bikes over 30 years old )
    Most bike parts are also duty free ( excluding exhausts - except for motox exhausts )

    Cars on the other hand are a different matter.

    If anyone needs a customs agent/broker - PM me
  13. Great info in this thread! I'm tempted to import my own SR400 or W650 cafe racer bike from Japan. Anyone know any brokers here or buyers in Japan that specialize in grey import bikes?
  14. I'd be in for both a W650 and another SR400.
  15. a question regarding compliance:

    My understanding is individuals can't do compliances anymore and shops only do compliances for models they are "lisenced" to do.

    So there are only a few models that can be grey imported and they must be ADR complianced through the specific shops that are liscenced to do so.

    so you could bring in a SR400 for example because there are shops that compliance those but as suzuki goose for example couldn't be brought in because no shop is currently adr compliancing those.

  16. I think that applies to "non-personal" imports only.
  17. Well I was hoping to bring in an SR400 under the 15 year rule, similar to when I imported a 1989 MX5. Didn't need to find a shop with compliance plate just had to get the general modifications done such as side intrusion bars and ULP fill cap. I think with 15 year old+ bikes it would need even less mods?
  18. Yep, that's right, as long as it was manufactured prior to 1 Jan 1989 you do not need a compliance plate. Strongly advise to use a Customs broker aswell, but you might find out at the end of this that's its all a bit expensive for a 20 year old bike.

    Personal Imports do not need compliance plates either. Cool thing is (for anyone that can do it) is you can bring in ANYTHING of any age as long as you've owned and used it for 12 consecutive months overseas.

    Misfit, good point about the bikes, forgot they didn't attract duty, awesome hey! Dealt with too many cars!!!
  19. Thanks GS5hundy, I'll def get a customs agent if I decide to import. The hardest thing now is finding a buyer in Japan to handle purchase and freight. I know theres plenty of car buyers but not many bike specialist.
  20. Not true with vehicles - this is more for personal household effects ( ie: furniture, tools etc... ). If you have owned household goods for more than 12 months they are duty free. ( I will look up the info regarding vehicles - I am a customs agent, but mainly for commercial goods so will research the vehicle stuff )

    It gets complicated with vehicles and bikes as there are exemptions that will save you from paying any duty ( ie: vehicles and parts over 30 years old, or new parts manufactured for vehicles over 30 years old blah blah blah ), and even then you have to be aware of luxury tax on vehicles over AUD$57180 ( approx )

    Zhenjie - see if you can find a " buying agent " in Japan who can source the bike ( they will charge a comission ). ANy customs agent/freight forwarder here can assist with the freight side of things.