Japanese Imports Buying Guide

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Japanese Imports Buying Guide

Japanese cars and bikes enjoy a well-deserved reputation amongst motoring enthusiasts around the world, and for good reason. Famously swift and notably robust, Japanese vehicles are suitable for import to Australia, but the process may be expensive. Lovers of Japanese vehicles who are considering having a motorised vehicle imported should take the time to carefully research the topic before committing to a purchase. Indeed, problematic vehicles can be expensive to repair and, with just a little simple instruction, consumers can ensure that they make a worthwhile purchase.


Reasons to import

Before deciding on an import, consumers should consider whether or not they need to make a purchase from abroad. Imports from Japan are popular for several reasons. Firstly, Japanese vehicles are often built to much more exacting specifications than those employed by European or Australian manufacturers. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly to car and superbike enthusiasts in particular, many Japanese vehicles are not available in foreign nations or have lengthy waiting lists if, and when, they do become available. Consumers should be sure to carefully check into the vehicle in question before deciding on a purchase as it may be possible to purchase the vehicle from a registered dealer inside of the country.


Legal entry

The Australian government provides consumers with ample information about how to import a vehicle to Australia. The first step is usually to research whether or not the vehicle is eligible for entry into the country. This should be carried out as part of the initial inquiry, as the vehicle model, or at least a very similar one, may already be available without the need for a lengthy and expensive importation process. If the vehicle is legally allowed into Australia, an import approval application is required and must be sent to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport.


Vehicle approval

As much of the approval process takes place digitally, consumers should check email correspondence regularly until approval has been issued and, only after this time, is it deemed wise to make shipping arrangements. Consumers should ensure the vehicle is rigorously steam cleaned to minimise quarantine risks and ensure that all export conditions are met in Japan as well to avoid any delays. Consumers should also remember to check with customs and to lodge an import declaration at this time.

Processing times

Regardless of the vehicle type, consumers are usually notified within 20 working days of receipt of a vehicle import application whether any application has been successful. With numerous trade deals currently in place, Japan and Australia trade often and freely, and as long as all of the necessary steps have been carefully followed, it is rare for vehicles to be denied entry into the country unless there are major safety concerns. Missing any documentation or not paying certain fees may result in significant delays, so consumers should be thorough and careful with documentation and allow at least five more working days for any additional information to be reviewed if requested as part of an ongoing application.


Additional costs

Another reason that imported Japanese cars and bikes can be more problematic to purchase is down to simple administrative hassle. All Japanese vehicles imported by individuals require an approved Application for Approval VSB10 form to be completed, and any applicable taxes and fees paid in full. This usually also includes Customs duty, Goods and Services Tax, and even luxury car tax if it is an expensive model. Consumers should tally up all of the appropriate fees beforehand, because hidden costs can quickly escalate the price and make a seemingly cheap car suddenly become an expensive choice.


Approval and registration

After the car or bike has been accepted into the country, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service must check the vehicle to ensure it is compliant and arrange for any modifications that may be necessary. Only after this has occurred can an owner apply for identification plate approvals and registration permissions, which is best achieved by contacting the relevant State and Territory Registering Authorities depending on where the owner of the vehicle resides.


How to buy Japanese Imports on eBay

Whether you are looking for a 4x4 vehicle, superbike, sports car, or the latest hybrids unavailable through regular dealers, you can find a huge selection of Japanese imports, spares, and accessories on eBay. Simply find the search box located on each page and type in the name of the Japanese vehicle manufacturer, model, or item you need. Simple entries, such as "Toyota Corolla" or "Nissan LED headlight", display numerous options, and with a few simple clicks of your mouse, you can narrow your search to find exactly what you want.

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