It was officially confirmed today that the old import scheme and the interim bridging scheme have both been extended by 12 more months to ease the troubled and delayed transition to the new import scheme.
The new deadlines are as follows:
Old SEVS – Import Approval application by 30 April 2023, compliance plate fitted by 30 June 2023.
Interim SEVS – Import Approval application by 30 March 2023, compliance plate fitted by 30 June 2023.
What does this mean for compliance, import options and timing in 2022 / 2023?
Overall this is GOOD NEWS as it allows anything under the old SEVS to be imported for an additional 12 months. Some models that were effectively finished for import to Aust such as Elgrands, Delicas and petrol Estimas just got a 12 month reprieve.
So if you want one of those and thought you’d missed the boat (yes, pun intended), then you’d better act fast as this will be the ONLY second chance you ever get from the Aust Govt.
Note however that the old SEVS has a quota system for import approvals (130 / year) and compliance plates (100 / year).
Since virtually all compliance workshops have 100% maxed out their quotas up to end of June 2022 on the understanding that the old SEVS was about to end forever, major delays are anticipated in applying for new import approvals and getting the compliance done under this option for probably much of this year. It will take at least a month or two to get a sense of what delays we are dealing with through actually trying to use the system.
On top of that, demand for cars is so great and the exchange rate so attractive that you can expect compliance plates under the old SEVS to be used up quite quickly, particularly since arrangements will be struck early on to put certain numbers of plates on hold in advance.
So, time will tell as to how usable old SEVS will actually be this year and compliance could run out for many models before the 2023 deadlines. Therefore, get in quick.
The interim SEVS has unlimited quotas which is great, but only a handful of models on the interim list of 100 or so approved vehicles are mainstream and popular:
Nissan Leaf e+, Toyota Estima hybrid, Prius PHEV, Mazda 3 (Axela) hybrid, Honda Vezel hybrid, Fit hybrid and Mercedes S400 hybrid.
There may be more models added to the interim SEVS now it has been extended, but whether it’s worth the investment in time and money remains to be seen as it may be more effective to put the same effort into the new SEVS instead.
The issue with new SEVS of course is that everyone is unsure of the system and learning as they go, so import approvals have been taking 30 days plus the compliance costs have initially been about $500 more expensive due to the uncertainty, limited competition and additional signoff required.
All the last minute changes and confusion caused by the Govt’s handling of the transition leaves the import scheme/s generally in a bit of a mess, making it difficult to gauge import costs and timeframes.
However, if you need a vehicle then it is still a good time to import while the exchange rate is up, providing you allow for delays along the way and have a bit of patience with the import and compliance process.
As always, we will do our best to minimise any issues for our clients, no matter how challenging it becomes !