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Trip Paperwork Covers all documentation, carnets, customs and country requirements, how to deal with insurance etc.
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  #1  
Old 6 Mar 2008
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Importing to Australia - Huge problems

Ok I have a huge problem, so heres the short story-

I have been aboard my bike for 18 months, owned it for 3.5 years, now here in Dubai its been stolen. Honda UAE have replaced my bike, GREAT, now I will continue the ride home to Oz. Problem is now I cant get this new bike(Honda Africa Twin 1998) into Oz as I have not owned it for a period longer than 12 months and Australia Government have told me I will not qualify for 'approval for import' I have expalained my story but I do understand rules are rules and they cant just change them for my benefit.

Does anybody at all know how I can get my bike into Oz, with the outlook of keeping it there for ever of course as my bike, not to sell it or ship it out of Oz.

Hope somebody has an answer for this one, I dont want that crimainal that stole my bike to cause any more greif than he already has.

Cheers

Robbo
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  #2  
Old 6 Mar 2008
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There has to be an answer

You just have to love Govn beaureaucrats!

Seems to me there are at least 3 options:

1. put the whole story out on the Oz media, as you have already in Dubai, and keep pushing for a special case as you get nearer to home - the more publicity the better.

2. Ride home more slowly, taking over 12 months.

3. Store the bike in a "convenient" country near Oz when you get there, fly the last leg, and go back for it when the 12 months have elapsed.

Good luck with a solution (BTW, thought you had learnt by now, there are no HUGE problems),
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Last edited by Walkabout; 6 Mar 2008 at 16:47.
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  #3  
Old 6 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robboxrv View Post
Ok I have a huge problem, so heres the short story-

I have been aboard my bike for 18 months, owned it for 3.5 years, now here in Dubai its been stolen. Honda UAE have replaced my bike, GREAT, now I will continue the ride home to Oz. Problem is now I cant get this new bike(Honda Africa Twin 1998) into Oz as I have not owned it for a period longer than 12 months and Australia Government have told me I will not qualify for 'approval for import' I have expalained my story but I do understand rules are rules and they cant just change them for my benefit.

Does anybody at all know how I can get my bike into Oz, with the outlook of keeping it there for ever of course as my bike, not to sell it or ship it out of Oz.

Robbo
Ship it to NZ, spend some time there riding around, then take it to Christchurch and I will store it (free of charge) until the 12 months is up then you apply for Import Approval through DOTARS and I will ship it back to either Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne in one of my regular shipments next Summer season.

Or if it's too late to enjoy NZ now, just ship it to Chch now and go over there when the weather warms up after Winter. Either way I'll organise Temp Import into NZ.

contact me on dave@getrouted.com.au
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  #4  
Old 7 Mar 2008
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I'd be interested to know how you dealt with the carnet issues considering the markings on the bike have all changed. Getting the bike out of UAE alone is going to be a challenge. How did you deal with registration? If you got local rego (though I can't imagine how) then you'll need to "export" the bike, rather than just cross the border with the carnet, unless you intend on returning the bike to the UAE.

And then there's getting it into Oz. All this is assuming the new bike isn't a significant upgrade on the old one. If it's a new bike replacing a old worn one it'll be a hard sell to the authorities. Of course you can still import the bike - just not as a personal vehicle - and pay the whole amount of import tax. Remember you will also have the drama of DOTARS accepting the bike meets Australian standards - and indeed, it might not.

But assuming you have all that sorted...You probably won't be able to store it remotely and bring it to Oz when the 12 months is up as the rules exist to allow only genuine owner-users to get their vehicles in without the normal taxes. However your case fits "the spirit" of the regulations and hence you might be able to get an exemption. Mind you, your story alone won't get the bike in - lots would be using a similar story if it actually worked - so there will be some effort involved.

I would write to the office of Customs, DOTARS, the ministers responsible, your local federal member, and the HQ of Honda Australia (making sure they all know you wrote to all the others) and hope for the best. Make your letters reasonable, understanding of the current regulations (and the reasoning behind them) and to the point. Make sure you include any correspondence you received from Honda, news clippings, the UAE police report, and any evidence you have of your travels to date. You can email the letters, marking them urgent, as well as posting hard copies. You are not going to get it past the desk officer alone - I'm sure he/she hears all manners of bullshit stories every day from crooks trying to evade tax, and won't be sympathetic. You will need senior official or ministerial discretionary powers to allow you to sidestep the normal process.

Your story has been in the Oz papers and so could possibly again. Your home city paper might be interested, and may contact your local member for you. Get your story on one of those morning shows - that bald clown on 7 rides a scooter. Considering all the hassle of getting the bike into Oz, this might also be something to discuss with the Honda people. They might be interested if you turned it into a good-guy Honda story and got some regular media for the rest of your trip. They might even fix you up when you get back to Oz and swap the bike.

Jeez you got it ahead of you no matter what course you take.

good luck
Brett
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  #5  
Old 7 Mar 2008
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The Wombats who inhabit DoTARS will do everything in their power to be obstructive (my experience of them anyway).

Its the one year rule or nothing I'm afraid, there is no legislated ability for the appropriate minister (Albanese) to vary the import approvals. I doubt that even a media campaign will enable the minister to legally authorise the import of the vehicle. But pigs may occasionally fly.

A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au is his email.

The NZ option is looking good.

You could try to get it back into Aus using the rego documents and rego plate - but you may have already created too much interest for Customs to let it through. Customs have never checked any of my vehicle VINs when arriving, just look at the paperwork and get me to cough up GST and duties.

Keep us posted, and best of luck with whatever you decide.
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  #6  
Old 7 Mar 2008
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Other option?

Firstly best of luck to solving this problem. I faced a similar one a couple of years ago when I considered bringing an enfield in from india - more as a toy and souviner that anything else. From memory the largest sticking point was that the bike wasn't manufactured to Australian standards - if it had a AS plate then there was no problems.

The Aust standards are the reason old bikes and cars can be imported easily - the AS just didn't exist pre 1988 I believe.

Given that your bike is exactly the same as sold in Aust there is a possiblity that the manufacturer can supply a plate for the bike. I have heard of Honda doing this before but... apparently it is not fun. However given your situation I believe you have a fighting change. With the plate you don't have any of the problems that you are referring.

I too considered the storage trick but was advised that at that stage customs were really into detailed documentation from these types of imports - visas, entry and exit stamps, full rego details, etc and there was no sure fire way of ensuring an easy import.

The other option is to import in parts and buy a similar trashed one and "rebuild" it using those parts - not palatable but I'm sure has been done before. The important part is you need a AS plate to register - can still be done if all the import documents are up to scratch.

Best of luck.

Tom
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  #7  
Old 8 Mar 2008
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Originally Posted by Tom_Aust View Post
The Aust standards are the reason old bikes and cars can be imported easily - the AS just didn't exist pre 1988 I believe.
Its Australian Design Rules (ADRs), and they have existed since the late 1960s and get revised on a fairly regular basis and have new ones added as industry changes. Unfortunately DoTARS staff actually believe they are world leaders in design of vehicles - Japan makes the total Australian new vehicle consumption one Saturday a month on overtime!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_Aust View Post
Given that your bike is exactly the same as sold in Aust there is a possiblity that the manufacturer can supply a plate for the bike. I have heard of Honda doing this before but... apparently it is not fun. However given your situation I believe you have a fighting change. With the plate you don't have any of the problems that you are referring..
Its illegal for Honda to supply an Australian compliance plate for a vehicle they have not imported. The method of obtaining the appropriate compliance plate (personal import plate) is that it is inspected by a vehicle engineer who then certifies that the bike complies with all ADRs in force at time of build. This often throws up problems where manufacturers give vehicles a "nod" knowing that they dont comply and the vehicle engineer refuses to certify the personal import. A common problem was the position of rear lights on 4x4 vehicles which were/are mounted too high for the ADRs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_Aust View Post
I too considered the storage trick but was advised that at that stage customs were really into detailed documentation from these types of imports - visas, entry and exit stamps, full rego details, etc and there was no sure fire way of ensuring an easy import..
The rule of having owned and USED the vehicle overseas for more than 1 year requires the owner to provide photo copies of their passport pages showing date exit/entry plus evidence of using the vehicle - insurance, servicing records, registration documents. ie you cant go overseas and buy a vehicle and store it for a year and get it into Aus.- wWhich is the problem with the "store it in NZ" option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_Aust View Post
The other option is to import in parts and buy a similar trashed one and "rebuild" it using those parts - not palatable but I'm sure has been done before. The important part is you need a AS plate to register - can still be done if all the import documents are up to scratch.
I think that loophole has been totally closed off.
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  #8  
Old 9 Mar 2008
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Imported a R100GSPD

Hey Rob,

I had some dramas in 2001 when I imported my R100GS from Europe. I had the bike in Germany for over 12 months and it is a '91 model. I did swear that I would never do it again as each department in Oz wants money for doing this. A bit like bribes and corruption in Africa but it is easier there..........haha. If I can remember, if the bike is 11 yrs old you can import it as a vintage, I am not sure of the rules regarding this now? I do believe that they have made it more difficult.

If your coming through Bali on your way down you can always leave it at home until the 12 mths are up. How long are you planning to take to get to Oz now anyway? You should be close to 12 mths by the time you get there shouldn't you? Anyways mate, there will be a way around it.

Let me know if I can be of any help.

Cheers
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  #9  
Old 9 Mar 2008
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Originally Posted by Dingo View Post
Hey Rob,

I did swear that I would never do it again as each department in Oz wants money for doing this. A bit like bribes and corruption in Africa but it is easier there..........haha. Cheers
It IS corruption... but hidden behind a bureaucratic mask and called "Import Duty" and "Tax"etc..... That way they can justify their existence. I imported a Campervan when I returned from living in New Zealand. It ended up costing me more in duties and other charges than the shipping cost- and it took almost 2 months from time of shipping to get my hands on it.
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  #10  
Old 10 Mar 2008
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And.......

It IS corruption... but hidden behind a bureaucratic mask and called "Import Duty" and "Tax"etc.....


Don't forget the GST as well to get it off of the ship, plane etc. Remember that model AT is only worth 500 bucks!............wink.
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  #11  
Old 10 Mar 2008
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Originally Posted by Dingo View Post
A bit like bribes and corruption in Africa but it is easier there..........haha.
A few years ago I had a very "odd" telephone conversation about some import documentation that a vehicle manufacturer had incorrectly rejected claiming it was a new vehicle according to their VIN database. The less than civil servant at the other end of the conversation was continually hinting at how he/she could resolve the problem, but would never actually tell me how he/she would do it - fishing trip for some brown envelope money? Koalas are not the only protected species living in Canberra.
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