Large Car Manufacturers try to stop Direct Import of New Cars to Australia
How to import R35 GTR for road use is perhaps the most common question we receive on a daily basis.
OK, let’s start with the current SEVS (Specialist and Enthusiast Scheme) import regulations for Australia.
SEVS doesn’t allow import of the R35 GTR to Australia as a secondhand vehicle on the basis that this model was sold here by Nissan themselves in full volume. This is one of the underlying principles of SEVS governing all vehicles manufactured from 1989 onwards — any model sold here new is blocked from secondhand import.
Yes, the R35 GTR is on the SEVS register here R35 GTR SEVS ruling because Nissan took so long to gain full volume approval (more than 18 months following release in Japan) that an application could be made to add it to the SEVS register. However, this is for new cars only with a manufacture date of February 20, 2009 or earlier. “New” means less than about 200kms and genuinely new and not used on the road. Clearly finding one of this age that meets the criteria (for any reasonable price) is now impossible. So for all intents and purposes, SEVS doesn’t currently allow this model to Australia for normal road use.
The recent Vehicle Import Regulation Changes announced for Australia on February 10, 2016 will impact on SEVS and the way models are evaluated. There are now five new criteria for this purpose instead of the previous four, and a model will only need to meet one of them to be considered eligible:
Superior environmental performance / hybrids
Rare vehicles (limited production numbers)
Left Hand Drive, where right hand drive is not available
Clearly the R35 GTR would meet the first criteria. However, the critical issue will be whether a model will continue to be blocked for import if it was sold here in full volume by the manufacturer.
Our view is that since parallel personal importing of new cars (less than 12 months old / 500 km) will be possible from 2018 for models being sold here by the manufacturer, it would be logical to make the same possible for secondhand cars under the updated SEVS evaluation criteria.
If this were to change, then it would allow secondhand import of the R35 GTR to Australia.
This is the crux of whether it will become possible to import the R35 GTR to Australia under the updated SEVS (not to mention many other enthusiast models that are currently blocked based on being sold here new).
Importantly, the Govt. has yet to decide on how the SEVS criteria will be applied. Further industry consultation was undertaken in Canberra at the end of March 2016, to work out some of the practical issues in applying the proposed changes. However this was more a request for information from stakeholders rather than any extra detail about the above issues as had been hoped.
The early election in mid 2016 will obviously have an impact on the implementation timeframe and the import regulation changes themselves. We will report further updates as they become available.
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AIMVIA (Australian Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association) is the recognised mouthpiece for the industry in providing advice to the Govt. on the changes to the vehicle import regulations.
They are working hard to ensure all Australians have access to the widest choice of vehicles at the lowest prices and we encourage support of this organisation.
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