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Importing motor vehicles, motorcycles, machinery and tyres

​The Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources ass​esses goods that can pose a high biosecurity risk if they arrive in Australia contaminated.

We need an effective biosecurity system to protect Australia’s primary production industries, our productivity and our environment from the severe and negative impacts of plant pests and diseases. Managing biosecurity risks and protecting our status requires everyone to play their part.

When importing motor vehicles, motorcycles, machinery (or their parts) or tyres, it is the importer's responsibility to ensure that they are clean and free of contamination of biosecurity concern, internally and externally, before they arrive in Australia. Contamination of biosecurity concern includes, but is not limited to: live insects, seeds, soil, mud, clay, animal faeces, animal material and plant material such as straw, twigs, leaves, roots, bark.

All goods will be subject to biosecurity control upon arrival in Australia.

Biosecurity officers may inspect these goods at an approved arrangement site or wharf precinct, depending on the type of good.

Break-bulk goods must be inspected at a wharf precinct and containerised goods at an approved arrangement site. If contamination is found, options (at the importer or owner’s expense) may include:

  • treatment of the goods (such as cleaning or fumigation)
  • exporting the goods from Australia if they arrive in a heavily contaminated state
  • destroying the goods.

Detailed import conditions for motor vehicles, motorcycles, machinery (or their parts) and tyres are available from the Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON). This may include requirements for import permits.

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Public consultation on import conditions for used machinery

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has completed public consultation and face to face discussion sessions regarding import conditions for used machinery.

As a result of feedback and discussions, the proposed changes have been agreed in principle, and a phased approach to implementation of the changes has been developed. As part of the next phase of this process, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will progress trial arrangements to assess industry compliance with the proposed conditions.

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Review of import conditions for used machinery PDF 8746 KB
Review of import conditions for used machinery DOCX 898 KB

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Further information

If you require further information, please contact the Cargo Operational Policy Team.

Fees charged to import goods

We charge fees for documentation processing, import permit applications and all inspections. See our charging guidelines. The importer or their agent is responsible for these fees, as well as any treatment, export or destruction of the goods, if required.

Industry fees, such as treatment, inspection related unpacking and storage fees at the inspection location, may also apply. Treatment for decontamination is performed by third-party providers and is not the responsibility of the department. Your customs broker or freight forwarder and approved arrangement sites can provide more information about these fees.

Locating a site with an approved arrangement

Your customs broker or freight forwarder will have a list of the department’s approved arrangement sites. You or your agent must inform the department of your chosen approved arrangement site. Approved arrangement site operators should be aware of the department’s requirements. It is their responsibility to remove all contamination of biosecurity concern and conduct any disassembly for inspection, if required.

Motor vehicles

New vehicles

New vehicles are subject to surveillance inspection on arrival.

For advice on contaminants that may be present and methods for removal or control, download the pre-loading cleaning guide, New vehicle offshore pre-loading biosecurity risk guide.

Used vehicles

Used vehicles are subject to full external and internal inspection on arrival in Australia unless they have been processed by department approved offshore treatment providers.

Used vehicles processed by approved offshore treatment providers are subject to a reduced level of inspection on arrival in Australia, as contamination issues should have already been addressed in the country of export.

Contact the local office at the port of arrival to arrange a vehicle inspection. They will provide you with more detailed information on the inspection process and required documentation.

Approved offshore treatment providers

Companies that meet audit and cleanliness standards can apply to the department for approval to clean and pre-inspect new or used vehicles offshore. The request for approval must clearly articulate the quality system the company has in place. The system must show an understanding of and compliance with the inspection and cleanliness standards and guides:

Desk audits and offshore site audits of cleaning facilities are required as part of the assessment process for approval as an offshore treatment provider.

Motorcycles

Provide the keys so that our biosecurity officers can inspect the internal compartments, engine bay and pannier racks (if fitted) on the motorcycle.

Decontamination of motor vehicles and motorcycles

Important exterior points to check:

  • wheels, wheel guards, mud guards
  • engine bay—remove water from any reservoirs (excluding radiator) and ensure your radiator is clean and free of debris in the cooling fins
  • underside
  • behind the fairings and side-covers
  • above and around the fuel tank
  • inside chassis rails
  • external vents
  • around window seals
  • sticky protective wheel and bonnet covers on new vehicles.

Important internal points to check:

  • boot area including spare tyre and wheel well
  • internal compartments of motorcycles, such as under seat storage
  • engine bay—remove water from the windshield reservoir and ensure the grille and radiator cooling fins are clean and free of debris
  • internal storage compartments including console
  • under seats and mats
  • in seat folds
  • internal vents
  • internal window, door seals and around door locks.

Machinery

Machinery and parts used in agriculture, mining, earthmoving, construction, animal farming, timber felling, horticulture, fruit handling and food processing are all subject to import conditions.

New and used machinery pose different levels of biosecurity risk and are treated differently.

Used machinery includes machinery or parts that have come into contact with soil, animal or plant materials when trialed or tested. It is subject to mandatory on-arrival inspection, and most used machinery will require an import permit issued by the department prior to arrival.

Import permit requirements apply to both break-bulk and containerised machinery.

Unacceptable BRM found on machines Unacceptable BRM found on machines
Unacceptable BRM found on machines Unacceptable BRM found on machines

How do I avoid delays when importing used machinery?

Proper preparation can assist with the used machinery on-arrival inspection. Machinery may require dismantling for effective cleaning before importing into Australia.

To meet import conditions and prevent delays, ensure machinery cleanliness is maintained during transport. Machinery transported in a clean and dismantled state may be released following an inspection by the department. If a biosecurity officer can access all areas of a machine and confirm it is free from contamination, it may be released directly from biosecurity control. This is the most efficient way to import used machinery into Australia.

See also:

Other government agency requirements

Other Australian Government agencies may have requirements that must be met when importing these goods into Australia.

Contact Imports about importing motor vehicles, motorcycles, machinery (or parts) and tyres.

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