ASBESTOS PARTS ON IMPORTED MOTOR VEHICLES INTO AUSTRALIA
Any used vehicle imported into Australia must be free of asbestos and below is a link regarding these measures imposes by Australian Customs. Australia did in fact sign this Zero Tolerance Asbestos agreement in 2003 but only now being enforced.
As of Monday, 6th March 2017, and without prior notification, the Australian Border Force (ABF) have implemented a new community protection question when lodging import declarations for all motor vehicle tariff codes as follows:
Do the goods contain asbestos ?
This may relate to brake linings, clutch linings, brake disc pads, gaskets, seals or any other parts of the vehicle
Licensed Customs Brokers are required to exercise due diligence in obtaining assurance from importers that the goods do not contain asbestos prior to answering the question. False declarations may lead to penalties being imposed and mandatory testing with those costs.
The majority of Motor Vehicle manufacturers worldwide prohibited the use of Asbestos components in vehicles from the late 1990’s so vehicles after this year will comply.
As the importer, it is your responsibility to ensure your vehicle is not fitted with Asbestos components. If unsure check with your local workshop/mechanic or supplier and a statement from them as supporting evidence if required. If unsure would recommend replacing these parts and require a statement / invoice from that workshop/mechanic or supplier. Also attached is the Asbestos Declaration that needs your signature stating No Asbestos components in this motor vehicle being imported into Australia.
This is not going away but becoming more complex. Contact me at Personal Import anytime to discuss or if you require further information.
Note: the prohibited asbestos Laws also applies to those vehicles being exported from Australia to any overseas country.
Hi all attended a Asbestos awareness seminar on imported goods last Monday 30/4 in Brisbane. Seems I was the only customs broker / freight forwarder from a group of over 80 people who attended. So either all the other customs brokers know their stuff or not bothered to keep up to date. Why Personal Import keeps up to date with all importing changes so our clients only ever receive the correct professional advice and service.
The Government will remove luxury car tax on cars re-imported into Australia, following a refurbishment overseas, from 1 January 2019.
Currently, cars that are refurbished in Australia are not subject to luxury car tax. However, cars exported from Australia to be refurbished overseas and then re-imported are subject to the tax where the value of the car exceeds the relevant luxury car tax threshold. The Government will remove the inconsistency in tax treatment of refurbished cars in order to align with Australia’s trade obligations with its foreign trading partners. This measure will ensure the same tax treatment applies, regardless of where the car is refurbished.
This measure is estimated to have a negligible cost to revenue over the forward estimates period.
Biggest changes to cars rules in 30 years in Australia
See link below
TOYOTA AUSTRALIA CLOSES ITS DOORS
MEDIA RELEASE – 3 OCTOBER 2017
The Australian Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association (AIMVIA) would like to congratulate Toyota Australia on its rich manufacturing history in Australia, building vehicles such as the iconic Toyota. Like many, we commiserate with the 2,500 staff members who lost their jobs today. The future for these workers could have been very different if our leaders were prepared to put the needs of consumers ahead of industry representative groups with the most money.
TOYOTA NZ Prior to the introduction of used imported vehicles, New Zealand car buyers paid some the highest prices for cars anywhere in the world. Demand was such that many near-new vehicles were fetching over the recommended new price, forcing the NZ government to lock new car buyers into 12 month contracts to prevent them on-selling their new rides for a profit. In 1998, a removal of tariffs on most vehicles being imported into New Zealand resulted in the remaining four NZ manufacturers – Toyota, Mitsubishi, Honda and Nissan – closing their doors. Recognising the growing popularity of used imported vehicles in New Zealand, Toyota NZ converted their Thames facility from manufacturing to refurbishment of used vehicles from Japan. The Thames refurbishment centre continues to the current day, supplying used imported vehicles to Toyota dealerships. These vehicles are then sold to the general public via Signature Class branding, giving consumers peace of mind when purchasing a used imported vehicle. Most importantly, the switch to refurbishment meant that Toyota NZ could retain most of its manufacturing workforce at the time, giving workers new positions that allowed them to utilise their skills and expertise.
TOYOTA AUSTRALIA Like New Zealand, Toyota Australia has today ceased local manufacturing. While Australia is a competitive marketplace for new vehicles, the crucial difference between it and 1990s New Zealand is that the importation of used vehicles has been heavily restricted in order to protect local manufacturing. But with the end of all vehicle manufacturing in Australia, the need for such protection is no longer necessary.
With two separate government reviews by the Productivity Commission and ACCC, and two further reports commissioned by the Department of Infrastructure all recommending the relaxation of regulations regarding used imported vehicles, rumours persisted that Toyota Australia subsequently investigated the establishment of a Signature Series refurbishment centre, either at its existing plant in Altona, or at a new facility in South Australia. Given that the current review of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act is now in its fourth year and new legislation is due to be introduced to parliament in coming months, the timing would have been perfect; such a facility would have created (or saved) hundreds of jobs in the manufacturing sector and helped stimulate local economies right at a time when automotive manufacturing was winding down.
Fearful of the added competition that imported used vehicles would create in the marketplace, representative groups such as the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) and the Australian Automotive Dealers Association (AADA) swung into action, persistently lobbying the federal government to ignore the recommendations of its own taxpayer-funded reviews and block any changes to scale back current importing restrictions.
To highlight the ‘cracking a nut with a sledgehammer’ nature of this move, a mere 6,700 used vehicles were imported to Australia in 2016, against a backdrop of 1,178,000 new vehicle sales for the same period. Even if proposed changes to the legislation were very generous for used vehicle importers, a projected figure of 20,000 vehicles per annum would still represent just 1.7% of new vehicle sales.
So why push back so hard? It’s simple: new vehicle importers are operating an oligopoly; one that is currently being aided by government legislation. Without the parallel importation of used vehicles, there is no external pressure on new car dealers to reduce their prices and compete with used imported vehicles. They, therefore, have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
And so we end up with a ludicrous situation where Toyota Australia has opted to toe the protectionist industry line, denying its own workers the opportunity to continue in new jobs in a Signature Class refurbishment centre, using skills they’ve already acquired in manufacturing. These same workers will instead be given significant support from both state and federal governments (funded by taxpayers, naturally) to retrain and find new jobs elsewhere.
To make matters worse, Toyota dealers, who could benefit from selling Signature Class vehicles in their yards, have instead led the fight against used imported vehicles. petitioning their local MPs and citing a potential loss of jobs at their dealerships. AIMVIA remains committed to creating a fairer marketplace, both for consumers when they purchase a vehicle, and skilled automotive manufacturing workers, who face growing hardship as they struggle to find new jobs in a shrinking sector.
See below form the Australian Imported Motor Vehicle Association (AIMVIA) and especially the last paragraph on grave concerns over integrity within this Government Department doing this review on the Motor Vehicle Standards Act.
PROPOSED CHANGES TO LEGISLATION WILL COST AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY HUNDREDS OF JOBS
MEDIA RELEASE – 16 August 2017 **FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION**
The imported vehicle industry has been dealt a massive blow with sweeping changes to importing regulations announced by Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher this morning.
Despite recommendations from two separate independent reviews and other government-commissioned reports, the federal government has capitulated to heavy lobbying by vested interests, scrapping the option for private citizens to import their own new vehicles from overseas. Without this competition in the marketplace, Australians will continue to pay some of the highest retail prices for vehicles in the western world.
In what is seen as a double blow to the industry, AIMVIA estimates that proposed changes to the Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicle Scheme (SEVS) will reduce imported vehicle numbers by more than 50 per cent, resulting in most of the 142 registered workshops and many more ancillary businesses closing their doors.
AIMVIA President, Jack Sandher is blunt. “It will mean the decimation of our industry, there’s no other way to describe it. The association and its board has devoted hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours to regular meetings with politicians and departmental staff across Australia over the last four years, only to be ignored at the finish line. At a time when the automotive industry is already shrinking, it is ludicrous that the “government for small business” is prepared to watch 142 small-to-medium enterprises go to the wall for the sake of protecting the profits of overseas vehicle manufacturers.”
Furthermore, AIMVIA now has grave concerns for the integrity of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act review process itself. It has recently come to light that a senior government official charged with the task of overseeing the policy review and revision has just accepted a newly-created role within one of the industry associations heavily petitioning the government to tighten the Act and prevent further competition. AIMVIA intends to investigate this matter further.
Hi all and see this media release. Current import rules on Personal Imports and pre 1989 vehicle still unchanged . Again the government have taken sides with new car manufacturers and dealerships with no consideration to small business and the motor vehicle importing community. Australians will still continue to be forced to pay high prices on new vehicles with no option for special edition vehicles and just what the manufacturers want to sell you. Remember by the end of this year all vehicles sold in Australia will now be imported.
Media Release: New Road Vehicle Standards Act to Better Protect Consumers and Provide More Choice
Media Releases Wednesday, 16 August 2017
The Turnbull Government will introduce the Road Vehicle Standards Bill into Parliament before the end of the year, with a view to it taking effect by 2019.
This follows a review of the existing Motor Vehicle Standards Act conducted from 2013 to 2015, the announcement of the changes proposed in response to the review in February 2016, and extensive industry consultation since that time.
The new Bill introduces reforms to modernise and strengthen the laws governing road vehicles when first supplied to the Australian market; clarify vehicle recall arrangements; accelerate harmonisation of vehicles with international standards; and provide more choice through streamlining and consolidating the regulatory pathways through which non-standard vehicles are imported.
The new Act will better protect the community when it comes to vehicle recalls, by mirroring the safety recalls provisions in the Australian Consumer Law. This means vehicle recalls provisions will apply to all road vehicles sold in Australia, whether private or commercial.
Following consultation with police agencies, the Government will move to require a secure vehicle identification marking on new vehicles. This requirement will provide a significant deterrent to motor vehicle theft and re-birthing.
After further detailed work on implementation arrangements, the Turnbull Government has decided not to proceed with one element of changes proposed earlier, which would have allowed personal importation of new motor vehicles from the United Kingdom and Japan.
That work has highlighted the cost and complexity of providing appropriate consumer awareness and protection arrangements, including investigation of each vehicle before it was imported to Australia; ensuring consumers were aware that the manufacturer’s warranty may not apply in Australia; and establishing systems to deal with a manufacturer’s safety recall.
It would also have been necessary to ensure that subsequent purchasers of a vehicle, which had been personally imported into Australia as a new vehicle, were aware of this fact – and the consequences of this, such as the manufacturer’s warranty not applying.
Weighing these issues up against the modest benefits of the personal import arrangements – including price reductions estimated to be less than 2 per cent across the market – the Government has concluded that the benefits do not justify the cost and complexity of this particular change.
The reforms will provide increased consumer choice including by streamlining and improving the existing pathways for importing specialist and enthusiast vehicles.
This includes expanding the range of vehicles eligible for consideration as a specialist and enthusiast vehicle, with vehicles now to be required to meet only one of six eligibility criteria instead of meeting two out of four eligibility criteria as was previously required.
Over recent months, the Government has consulted extensively concerning these improved pathways. Following these consultations the Government has determined that the six eligibility criteria will be:
Performance – a new graduated threshold formula measured from 110 kilowatts per Tonne (kW/T) in 1992, increasing by 1 kW/T each year after.
Environmental Performance – an objective vehicle technology based on an alternate power source to internal combustion or a micro-car subcategory for low power (low emissions) vehicles.
Mobility – originally manufactured or fitted from the factory with substantive specialist mobility features to assist people with disabilities.
Rarity – total worldwide production of the vehicle ‘Make’ is less than 3000 units per year; or total worldwide production of the vehicle ‘Model’ is less than 1000 units per year; or total worldwide production of the vehicle ‘Variant’ is less than 100 vehicles per year. Left-hand drive vehicles imported under the rarity criterion will not require conversion to right-hand drive but will need state or territory agreement for use on their roads.
Left-hand drive – originally manufactured as a left-hand drive vehicle and not available as an originally manufactured right hand drive vehicle in another world market. These vehicles will require conversion to right hand drive for safety reasons.
Campervans and Motorhomes – originally manufactured as a campervan or motorhome.
Media Contact – Boronia Morison – 0428 523 732
The new Home Affairs Ministry and the wider impact on trade
19 July 2017
Yesterday (18 July 2017) saw the announcement of the creation of a new ‘Home Affairs’ portfolio with responsibility for Australia’s immigration, border protection and domestic security agencies.
Modelled more on the UK’s ‘Home Office’ concept as opposed to the Department of Homeland Security in the US, the relevant agencies in the new ‘Super Ministry’ will include ASIO, the AFP, the ABF, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, AUSTRAC and the OTS who will retain their own current statutory independence.
According to press reports and Government releases, under the new regime, the agencies will be supported by the new central department which will oversee planning and policy as well as co-ordinate responses of the agencies.
There will be Ministerial changes with ASIO, the AFP and the ABF reporting to the new Home Affairs Minister with a number of oversight bodies being moved into the portfolio of the Attorney-General including the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The Attorney-General will also continue to be responsible for the issue of warrants under the ASIO Act, Ministerial Authorisations under the Intelligence Services Act and continue to administer the Criminal Code Act 1995 and the Crimes Act 1914
According to the Government release, planning to implement all these changes will be conducted within the Department of PM and Cabinet.
Many in industry will be watching with close interest as to how the changes are implemented, a bare 2 years after the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (Customs) and the Department of Immigration were merged into the current Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) which included the ABF, with the ABF essentially conducting the former Customs role in the DIBP. According to the DIBP website ‘the integrated department provides us with the opportunity to leverage our combined experience and capabilities to better tackle the challenges facing Australia’s border‘. It has been widely reported that the merger has been neither easy nor cheap so another tranche of changes which may affect the role of the ABF may create additional legal and procedural complexities.
Given the current regime with the DIBP, a number of preliminary issues arise for those in the supply chain who deal with the border agencies on a daily basis:
- Although the ABF is a separate statutory agency will it continue as part of the DIBP or will it be ‘separated’ and shifted away from the DIBP, with the DIBP retaining its immigration and trade policy role?
- As Senator Hon George Brandis explained, the Home Affairs Minister would ‘give 100 per cent of his time and his attention to national security, both domestic, national security and border security’. That suggests that there may be a shift in the role of the ABF towards security and away from its other border roles.
- With the ‘security’ focus of the Home Office, is there an argument for the revenue collection and related enforcement measures to be shifted away from the ABF to another agency such as the ATO as occurred with Excise matters?
- The ABF has an increasingly important role in collecting anti-dumping and countervailing duties and enforcing anti-circumvention measures against those trying to avoid trade measures. I am a member of the International Trade Remedies Forum convened by the Anti-Dumping Commission (ADC) and there is significant pressure from Australian industry to direct the ADC and the ABF to take a more active role in the trade remedies arena. That leaves the obvious question that if the ABF is moving towards border security actions alone, who will be left to enforce these trade remedies at a time when much of the world is focussed on such trade remedies issues? If the ABF is moving out of that area then there will be significant pressure on Government to ensure that the trade remedies agenda is preserved and serviced.
- Regardless of any potential substantive shift of the ABF away from the DIBP, will the implementation of the shift of the ABF to the Home Office have an impact on the trade policy and trade facilitation role of the DIBP which it conducts in conjunction with the ABF? Will that separation jeopardise the trade facilitation agenda where the DIBP relies on the engagement of the ABF as the enforcement agency? After all, the terms of the Trusted Trader and Known Consignor schemes conducted by the DIBP and the OTS include significant input from the ABF.
No doubt many of these issues will be worked out during the time before the new Home Ministry is established. However it does seem that the events of yesterday may have balanced the trade agenda back towards the border security agenda in a way which may overwhelm the trade facilitation agenda
We live in interesting times – and the extent of the winds of change are far from certain so we can only fervently hope that there is sensible advanced engagement which preserves the vital trade facilitation agenda.
Stay tuned – and if pain persists, consult your lawyer!