This has been coming for awhile, so what does it actually mean ?
Let’s start with what we know.
Many popular import models from the last 20 years will no longer be possible to import.
The last import approvals will be issued for old SEVS models on 31 March 2022 and the compliance plate must be fitted to the car by 30 June 2022.
Petrol and diesel ONLY people movers are finished – NO MORE Delica, Elgrand, Estima, Alphard, Vellfire with petrol / diesel only engines.
The new SEVS does not allow the import of these models and many others that don’t fit within any of the six new import criteria.
The Estima hybrid is already on the interim SEVS list and is set to be a very popular import from now on.
The Alphard / Vellfire hybrids have not yet been added to the interim even though we do expect them to meet the new SEVS environmental criteria.
The Nissan Cube is a good example that was approved under old SEVS due to it’s unusual appearance and the fact it was featured in specialist magazines.
But the Cube doesn’t meet any of the six new SEVS criteria.
Performance ? No. Environmental ? No. Mobility ? No. Rarity ? No. Left hand drive ? No. Campervan ? No.
This is why models like the Cube will be gone for good by June 2022.
So if you want to safely import one of these “marked for deletion” models before the deadline (and allowing for delays due to high import volume), you had best make sure you buy in Japan no later than Dec 2021.
Ideally though we would recommend as soon as possible to avoid the rush of last-minute panic buying which will inevitably push up prices.
New SEVS will see a transition mainly to hybrid electric and performance models that were not sold new in Australia, plus different variants of models that were sold here new.
This will be a great refresh for the Australian import industry and a very positive change overall.
However, every one of the hundreds of models that was approved on the old SEVS list will no longer be eligible for import…
UNLESS it meets the new SEVS criteria
AND someone applies to have the model added to the new SEVS list
AND goes through the compliance process (ie. must be financially viable to import).
New SEVS requires a renewed application every couple of years, otherwise the model will drop off the approved import list.
So many models that are technically eligible under the new SEVS may not be financially viable to obtain / maintain compliance approval for in the future.
The Nissan V35 and V36 Skyline and Fuga, Toyota Soarer and Supra spring to mind as obvious examples of models that are already on their last legs as imports and may not find their way onto the new SEVS as the demand / import volume would just be too low to justify the cost / effort.
Late 90’s models soon to cross into 25 Year Rule territory will be rather pointless to pursue under the new SEVS approvals – leading to a gap of a few years where they cannot be imported.
Just a few examples of the coming changes.
There are still a number of unknowns, where the Govt. has not provided any guidance and we will probably find out only AFTER the new scheme is fully operational.
For example under new SEVS we do not know whether it will still be possible to import petrol only (non-hybrid) Estimas, Alphards, Vellfires, Hiaces, Elgrands etc. using the new SEVS camper or disability criteria, as has been the case under the old SEVS.
That being the case, if you want one of these vehicles in petrol-only then you would be best to import one ASAP.
As for the Interim SEVS which has been a wobbly bridge from the old (Dec 2019) to new (June 2021) system, there are currently 90 new approved models on the interim SEVS list including interesting new options like the S400 Mercedes hybrid and many other hybrid sedans, wagons, people movers and hatches which will be popular imports over the next 10 to 15 years.
It is unclear at this stage how these interim approvals will be rolled into new SEVS.
To Wrap Up
If you want to import an old SEVS model that is marked for deletion, do it ASAP.
New SEVS has already been a blast of fresh air over what was a stale and aging list of import options.
Hundreds of new and interesting options are coming to Australia and some are already here – models we have never seen before but will grow to love in time.
Lots of them are hybrid / electric which are really essential in the transition away from fossil fuels.
We have been very busy sourcing these new models over the last 12 months, and look forward to helping our clients import many more in the future !