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Importing a 928 into Australia

Given it's a 1990 model, and was hence manufactured after 1/1/1989, there are 2 options for importing it that I'm aware of:

1. Personal Import scheme - requires you to live abroad (in this case, NZ) for at least a year while owning, insuring etc. the vehicle. Then you're eligible to bring it in as a Personal Import.

2. Get it cut in half and imported as parts. Buy a cheapo rolling chassis with a previously rego'd aussie VIN, and put all the parts on it.

You might also be able to import it as a race-car, but it would never be rego-able for driving legally on the roads, as it would be limited to track-use only.

The restrictions on importing cars into this country are horrendous. Any models that were available in Australia at their time of manufacture and complianced with no volume restrictions basically can't be brought into the country unless they were either: Manufactured before 1/1/1989, or, owned by an owner overseas for at least 12 months prior to the owner moving to Australia and bringing the car with them.

I've now done both of these methods and it's painful - Hilton,
Sydney, '89 S4 Manual (built 11/10/1988)

The following is John Pitman's experience with his White '83 Euro S Auto which arrived in Australia from Riyadh. This story has some good advice for anyone considering importing!

Well, it is finally in the garage, 20 years old + 1 week! Some tips for others who think about importing a car - don't let it out of your sight if you can manage it!

When the agent called, I went and opened the container, connected the battery, slid in through the hatch, and it fired right up. I parked it in the shed, with key in 'off', departed. No damage anywhere, nothing seemed to have moved in 6-8 transhipments of the container.

Next they called to say it has to be steam cleaned, and some other stuff. I went and looked at the 'other stuff' and said don't bother, toss it. (mistake number 32). Went to close windows, key is in run position, battery is dead flat. Bugger! Got some jumper volts shut the windows, left key in off position. Finally the agent found somebody who could steam clean it at short notice, had to go on a flatbed. I fitted rear towing eye so they could pull it with that -Mistake no 33.

Everything cleared today, went to pick up car and anything else I could carry in wagon. Now have a broken off towing hook (eye nowhere to be seen), key back in run position, and a big piece of stuffed paint on the front cover - the warehouse says 'oh yeah, I saw it run into the rubber buffer on the truck'!

Anyway, it fired up with a jump, and we left with steam (from ears) accompaniment. Then we found out hard it is to find petrol near old Essendon airport if you don't know the area...more steam. Out to get a quote on repainting front tomorrow/Saturday.

Anybody know how hard or $ to replace a towing eye?

Lessons learnt:

1. Don't let it out of your sight - try to be present EVERY time it is moved, towed, whatever. Disconnect the battery at every opportunity. Because mine was flat when it went on the flatbed, the steam cleaner wouldn't have been able to manoeuvre it readily, so they did it whilst on the flat bed. Tow truck cost - 4.5 hrs @ $60/hr. To cut a long story a bit shorter, I couldn't find a steam cleaner in Riyadh AND the only left they had at kero cleaners were 2 RSJ rails that fitted the underside where they touched, and I wasn't going near one of those.

2. Use a customs agent, it vastly simplifies the paperwork and time and stress from that area. I provided purchase papers, permit to import, cost of shipping, insurance etc, agent calculated everything, did the Entries, Customs accepted the figure, I paid agent - finish. Easy part.

3. If they say some low value stuff needs to be treated/cleaned whatever, ask carefully what the cost of treating vs. scrapping are. I opted to scrap my low value stuff as not worth cleaning, to be told later it was costing $275 to scrap it. It would have been a close run thing to hire a trailer for a day, take it to cleaner, and bring it back, probably cheaper, and I would still have the stuff.

John Pitman, '83, resting at home at last, but not well.

If you can do it, GOOD LUCK.

I really went through this about Oct '01 with a '90 GT from the UK, and finally gave up. If the car is not <15yo, I couldn't see how it could be done. The following web addresses may help:

I suggest you also clock onto the Landshark Yahoo site click on the "archive" button and do a search on "import" - this is a great facility.

Regards, Des Aldridge

If anyone finds a car they want to import, or if you need any advice on the subject, my next door neighbour has a company and would be happy to talk to you.

Coincidently he used to own an '81 S Hellblaumetallic, like mine and keeps saying he wouldn't mind getting another 928. When I spoke to him tonight, he basically confirmed John Pitman's post.

Peter Mathew,'81S Hellblaumetallic

From: John Pitman


Go to customs web site, and Dept of Transport & Road safety. Cars under 15 years old, you need to have owned and used OS for 1 year to get them in as a personal import - you have to prove YOU were OS with the vehicle for that year - no proxies etc.

Also, only 1 vehicle per year. Used to be 3 months until may 2001. Once you have paperwork to prove ownership and you being OS for the year, request permission from DOTRS, send $50. Cars imported without permission face confiscation and $12000 fine.

Over 15 yrs old, no problem, any number of cars.

In both cases, subject to 15% duty, then GST 10% on cost + freight +insurance + duty.

Not easy. I have my '83 ready to come, permission etc, but its over 15, so no problem.

Check the web sites. You can request a booklet from DOTRS that spells out the process, contains a form for requesting permission. They will post it out to you free.

Regards, and good luck - John Pitman, Riyadh '83 Euro S Auto White/White 

Please note: these comments are the writer's personal opinions. I take no responsibility nor give any kind of warranty as to the accuracy of the statements included on these pages. The information in Tech Tips is based on the extensive experience of Porsche specialists and owners who drive, service and even race their 928. Although this information is generally considered 'best practice' niether 928 Australia, Landsharkoz or the Webmaster will accept any liability for such information, or, for any use to which it is put. If you have doubts about a specific point, or if you have any questions, you should consult your Porsche specialist or post a question on the Landshark mailing list. - Leonard Zech, Webmaster.

928 Australia 2011