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Old 27 Jun 2011
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Shipping van to Oz

Hello, I am sure this has been dealt with before, but I tried the search and couldn't find anything.

Does anyone have experience shipping a van to Australia?

I have heard 3rd hand of quarantines, over zealous border guards etc.

Just how clean does the van need to be?
Outside and underneath can be cleaned easily, but what about all those out of site places? Under the dash, is a mesh of unreachable areas, dust, dog hairs from previous owners.

I had the drivers seat out today to get the leisure battery out as the starter battery was drained, filthy. But would they look here?

Just a bit worried, that we get there and have our vehicle quarantined for months.

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Old 27 Jun 2011
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Location: Australia
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Importing vehicle into OZ AQIS inspection

HI Martin,
I brought my motorcycle back into Australia via Darwin after travelling overland from London - The vehicle must be very clean to pass the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) can be very pedantic. It just depends on the Inspector. Mine used a white glove to run his finger under the mudguard! He also wanted to seize and destroy my re-usable air cleaner. I objected and he went no further. I also imported a motoryccle from India into Melbourne - they would not allow me to release the wooden crate insisting that it be destroyed by a company they empolyed to do it! I can't remember the cost but it seemed expensive to light a match to some wood! I understand why Australia is tough on these things - we have a relatively disease free environment for agriculture and they want to keep it that way. Having told you the pitfalls, I found a reasonable attitude and presenting a vehicle that is more than superficially cleaned was the best approach. I reccomend you speak to a freight agent about possible fumigation/cleaning costs IF your vehicle is deemed not clean enough.

hope all goes well

Brian (& Shirl)
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Old 27 Jun 2011
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Location: Sydney, Aus.
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There's some info here from the 4wd section.
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Old 28 Jun 2011
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Join Date: May 2006
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If you do a weblookup on importing a vehicle into Australia you should be able to get all the info you need from Australian Customs, Australian Quarantine Service (AQIS) and Dept. of Infrastructure (lookup VSB10). There are strict import requirements, make sure you comply - eg carnet de passage.

In a nutshell - AQIS can demand that a used vehicle is cleaned "as new". In reality if all mud is removed from the underside, and the interior is cleaned to a high standard you'll get it through. No water in tanks or washer bottle, put a bug strip inside the vehicle, no uncooked food (tins OK, rice, flour, etc not OK). You'll find a vehicle cleaning checklist on the AQIS website.

Grease caked in mud will get you a knockback and a clean at your cost.

Look at all of the AQIS "not allowed" items and just check off that the vehicle does not have them - plywood is OK, ordinary timber is likely to get the works at your cost.

Biggest thing is to be present at the inspection, if you allow an agent to be there in your place I can almost guarantee that your vehicle will need a clean and the costs will double. AQIS and the agent may have a too cuddly relationship.

With vehicles always have the AQIS inspection done at the wharf, if the vehicle is taken away and is found to need a clean it will be returned to the wharf or to an approved cleaning station. Cleaning stations are few and far between for AQIS and can charge a small fortune.
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