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Trip Paperwork Covers all documentation, carnets, customs and country requirements, how to deal with insurance etc.
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Old 6 Jul 2006
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Location: Orpington, Kent. UK
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Australia Import Problem.....

Has anybody imported a motorcycle into Australia having owned it for less than 12 months? If so...how did you do it?

We are planning to return to Aus early next year and have not purchased the bikes yet, and this will (according to the Department of Transport) prevent us from being able to import the bikes as we will not have owned the bikes for atleast 12 months?!??!!?!
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Old 6 Jul 2006
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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a diferent approach

I think you mean Customs rather than Dept of Transport.

I recall something many years ago about 12 months OR x number of km/miles, however, things may have changed.

Check to see if there is a minimum distance travelled which will negate the requirement for the 12 months.

One day I'm gunna......
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Old 6 Jul 2006
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If you have owned a bike for less than twelve months you can't import it back to Oz as a 'private import ' To be eligible for a private import you need to have owned it for 12 months and in addition be able to show you have used it throughout this period. By the time the bike gets to Oz this won't be a problem as it will have done approx 15000 miles.

My undertstanding from the research I have done if you can still import the bike as a normal import however you will have to tax on the vehicle at 10% of the value of the bike plus GST. The value of the bike will be determined by the customs officer when it arrives in Australia. Whatever value he puts on it will be the final value.

You may want to consider looking to purchase a bike nowish. Eitherway it is going to take you a few month to ride to Oz so if you thinking a leaving say May 2007 and taking 6 months to ride to Oz this counts as ownership of the bike plus usage.

You can always enter Oz on a carnet and then you have 12 months from the date of entry to sort out the ownership/registration in Oz.

I would however be looking to buy something soon and at least ride it get used to it, set it up etc etc. Be mindful that your carnet also works on the value of the bike you purchase which is why alot of people tend to go on older bikes.

Have you had a look at www.dotars.gav.au or you can even email any questions you have to vimports@dotards.gov.au
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Old 6 Jul 2006
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Cheers for that guys,

John, Customs are obviously responsible for importing the bikes, but they need a Vehicle Import Approval (VIA) from the Department of Transport and Regional Services first, this document is incredibly dificult to obtain and quite impossible if you haven't had the bike for more than 12 months. There is no mention on any of the paperwork for the VIA of allowances for mileage unfortunately.

bmbiker, I hadn't thought of entering on a carnet and dealing with the rest later, but this does make sense in that I can get a certificate of compliance (after any necessary mods done on the bikes) and then deal with the Department of Transport. This sounds the logical route, and one I will seriously persue.

I had assumed that as I was ultimately importing the bike to Aus, then the last 'port of call' on the carnet would be the last country I leave to get to Aus. I'll check this with the chap from the RAC...

It's now all looking quite positive WOO HOO!!!!
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Old 6 Jul 2006
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Have a read on the website however the best source of information is to ask them the question direct via email.

I have been told you can apply now for approval however they want to see documented evidence of ownership i.e V5 document otherwise if you enter on a carnet you enter on a 12 month temporary import hence why you have 12 months to sort it out.

I am actually just going through the carnet approval now. I am assuming you are on a UK registered bike and in that case you can only get a carnet from RAC in the UK. The guy that looks after these is PKGowen@rac.co.uk

There a 2 options on obtaining a carnet, one is leaving a wedge of cash in a secured bank account and other is insuring for the wedge of cash. In the first instance if you return the carnet back to the RAC after your trip you get a full refurn. In the second case you end up forfeiting about 75% of the money . To give you an idea I am going on a F650 worth about £1200 and this is going to cost about £600 for the carnet.
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Old 7 Jul 2006
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australian compliance

I have done a fair bit of research on this one, I am an australian resident and plan to fly to Germany buy a BMW and ride back to Australia.

A carnet can be issued in Germany for around 5000 euro for non German residents. This will cover countries like Iran, Pakistan, India, Singapore.

You need to fill out an application to import a veichle approval form and will need the approval before the veichle will be released into your custody by customs after paying 10% of the value of the veichle.

To recieve the approval you must comply with one of the following

1.Have a letter of compliance from the manufacturer (impossible for BMW i have talked to BMW headquaters Aust and they do not issue them to used vehchles)


2. Have proof that you purchsed the veihcle at least one year prior to arrival and have ridden it during that year ( personal importation )


3. Import a veichle that was manufactured before january 1989.

I would love to buy a 2004 BMW 1150 GS and ride it back to Oz i plan to leave buy late july 06 however i might be forced to buy a late eighties model r80 GS or r100 GS PD or something which i suppose is not the end of the world.

Anyways that is my understanding so far. Maybe getting the Carnet for Oz does give you time to find complience plates. But if you can't get one you may lose $$$ on your carnet and have an unregistrable bike.

Why didn't i take up fishing instead?

Any ideas to get around this mine field would be greatly appreciated. Can you fudge how long you have owned the veichle for. I do know they ask you when you arrived in the country and i suspect you would need proof like stamped passport or botched travel itenary from travel agent perhaps....
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Old 7 Jul 2006
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Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posts: 1,366
Forget compliance plates. You'd be better off selling the bike in bits for parts - no complance plate! Then buying another bike.. much easier. Geting a compliance plate will cost $x,xxx .. not cheap!!!!

Buying a 'good' old bike is hard .. and pricy. Well that would be my take.
Regards Frank Warner
motorcycles BMW R80 G/S 1981, BMW K11LT 1993, BMW K75 G/S
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