Highlights of the changes include:
- Individuals can now import one new car every two years
- Each parallel import must be 12 months old or less, and must have travelled less than 500km
- Imports will only be allowed initially from the United Kingdom and Japan due to high safety standards and right-hand drive
- Changes will be made to the import of classic and convertible cars over 25 years old, scrapping a historic $12,000 duty on imports.
According to The Guardian, the changes to Australia’s vehicle import policy were announced today by major projects minister Paul Fletcher, with the expectation that around 30,000 Australians will access the scheme per year.
“It is true car dealers are not enthusiastic about this change, but we expect the quantity of imports to be modest,” he said.
“Most Australians will continue to purchase cars directly imported by manufacturers and sold through their existing dealership network.”
Australian Automotive Association chief Michael Bradley, said that the change in policy should also reduce the price of vehicles locally and help increase consumer competition when it comes to purchasing.
“The decision is a big win for consumers and a decision that will open up choice and increase competition within the Australian car market,” Bradley said.
“It will also produce environmental and safety benefits because it will encourage faster renewal of Australia’s vehicle fleet.”