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by Christine Chehade
 

I recently had the privilege of sending a beautifully restored Jaguar to the United Kingdom. The man who had lovingly restored the car watched my staff gently push the vehicle into the shipping container and begin to secure it. As the container doors closed I saw a brief wave of anxiety flash over his face, as this beautiful vehicle passed into the care of the shipping line and out of our control. There is a strange bond that develops between a man (usually, but not always, a man) and a vehicle. After many years in the international moving industry I have come to respect this bond and have developed a little formula that I use when providing advice on sending vehicles overseas. There are also particular considerations to and from South Africa.

The three key considerations are

1. Import regulations

2. Financial viability

3. Emotional attachment.

The Jag was a no brainer. The regulations were well researched and these aspects mostly organised before it came into our care, it was a very valuable vehicle, and the owner was in love. If you let the third consideration take over the first two, it can be an expensive bureaucratic nightmare, and you will rue the day that you ever embarked upon the exercise. Following is my wisdom, for what it is worth, on sending vehicles between Australia and South Africa.

Importing Vehicles into Australia

Regulations

Before you send a vehicle into Australia you must have a vehicle import approval. Do not let the vehicle leave South Africa without this unless you have large piles of money that you want to give to a bond store operator like myself. For the application forms go to http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/ and click on ‘vehicle imports'. The main purpose of the import approval is to check if the vehicle is compliant with Australian standards. If you do not get an import permit the best case scenario is that you will have to pay some storage before it comes through, the worst case is that they can order your vehicle for re-export or destruction; yes, destruction. Either way it will cost you thousands in storage fees while you work out your permits.

Financial Viability

The magic formula for costing your vehicle move is: shipping costs + duties and taxes + relative loss.

1. Shipping costs vary greatly so these are just ballpark kind of figures. The most economical is if you are already sending your household effects in a 20ft container and you can upgrade to a 40 ft container and include the vehicle. It may add another $3,000 to $4,000 to the shipping costs. In a sole use container it can be about $7,000 to $8,000. It is cheaper to send a vehicle as non-containerised roll on roll off (RO RO), but it is not recommended by many international movers. South African ports, in particular, are known to be careless with vehicles in their care.

2. Duties and Taxes: Every country has their hand out when vehicles enter, and Australia is no exception. Many of my clients find it worthwhile to import vehicles. However, the taxes can make importing vehicles prohibitive, especially vehicles that attract luxury car tax. I recently had a client trying to import a valuable vehicle and my broker Cargo Network International, did the following calculations, which proved it not to be a viable exercise:
Customs Value(CV): $100,000

Import Duty @ 10%of CV: $10,000

International transport and insurance (T&I): $2,000

Sub Total Value: $112,000

GST (10% of Value of Taxable Importation (VOTI)): $11,200

Sub Total Value $123,200

Luxury Car Tax (LCT) = (Sub-Total Value - 57180.00): $66,020

LCT Payable = (66020 x 10/11 x 0.33): $19,806

TOTAL PAYABLE (Duty + GST + LCT): $41,006

As you can see, if you can fathom this, the tax keeps getting accumulated on the tax. You will need to take into account that high value new cars purchased in Australia (above $57,180) are also subject to luxury car tax so they are expensive to purchase within Australia. With the shipping costs the $112,000 vehicle cost around $157,000.

3. Relative Loss: You need to research what the car sells for in South Africa and what it will cost in Australia to buy a suitable vehicle for your requirements. A popular site for second hand private vehicle sales in Australia is http://www.carsguide.com.au/ or http://www.tradingpost.com.au/. For new cars you can use a broker like http://www.aussiecarbrokers.com.au/.

Emotional Attachment

If you have worked through the first two factors, then and only then, consider that it may be a comfort for you to have your vehicle with you in a strange new land. These things can really matter in adjusting, but not that much if you are broke and stressed. Your money and sanity may be more of a comfort.

Quarantine

If you have done all the sums and sought a quotation on the shipping and advice on duty, and have decided to send your vehicle, the last thing you should do is clean it like it has been contaminated by invisible radioactive material. They say no man is an island, but Australia is, and consequently has spared itself of a lot of the diseases that are in the rest of the world, particularly in relation to the cattle industry. It is a really good idea to check out the AQIS website (www.aqis.gov.au) when shipping anything to Australia.

Exporting vehicles to South Africa

So you are thinking about taking her back to the homeland as a souvenir of your time in Oz? It can be worth it; often it is not. But here is the deal. We may as well use the same formula:

1. Import regulations

2. Financial Viability

3. Emotional Attachment.

Rolland Pucher from Roebuck International Freight in South Africa has kindly helped me with much of the following information.

1. Import regulations

When importing into South Africa you will need a letter of authority (LOA) from the NRCS and an import permit. You can get more details as http://www.nrcs.org.za/. In the search facility type ‘vehicles and components letter of authority' and you will come up with an information page with forms and contacts.

If you are a returning South African resident, you must comply with all four of the following to be able to import the vehicle duty and VAT free:

1. The vehicle is owned and used for 12 months (registered in exporter's name)

2. The owner originally emigrated from South Africa

3. The owner obtained permanent residency status overseas

4. The owner is returning to South Africa permanently

2. Financial viability

Again we use the same formula: Shipping costs + duties and taxes + relative loss. For the first two points I will use a test case. Recently one of my clients asked me to investigate the possibility of sending a Honda Odyssey back to the South Africa and asked me to investigate. Roland did the sums for me. The vehicle was valued at R120,000. A 35% depreciation would be applied if owned under two years, bringing the value to R78,000 for dutiable purposes. The VAT was calculated at R15,360, general duty R2,106 and advelorem duty R2,846. With the additional shipping costs of around $3,000 the client decided it was not worth it.

Again it is worthwhile looking at what your car would sell for on http://www.carsguide.com.au/ or http://www.tradingpost.com.au/. Then check out similar websites in South Africa for the purchase price.

A word on insurance.

Before I sign off it is important to add a word on insurance. A lot of companies, like my own, sell insurance for vehicles moving internationally. It is important to read the product disclosure statement before making a decision on insurance. There are a few things for which to keep an eye out. Some insurance policies will not cover vehicles unless they are in closed containers, so roll on roll off is excluded. People often want to know if they can put things in the vehicle. The general rule is no, but some carriers will allow things like bedding and soft objects that will not act as a missile in the vehicle or be themselves damaged due to insufficient packaging, so don't forget to raise these issues with your shipper. Make sure you sign off on the condition report before it goes in the container and don't forget you can usually also insure for the shipping costs as well.

Christine Chehade, who holds a first class honours degree from Griffith University, is director of Ocean Sky International and a specialist in international moving and logistics.

 
 
 
Posted in feature |
Posted by Christine Chehade
02 Jun 2010



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I'm returning from Durban South Africa to Edinburgh Scotland. its a 2012 Nissan Juke.I bought it from new and I am a Citizen of UK returning home. can you give me an idea of price. Thank you
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Ina Smith on 31 Dec 2015

 
Hi ,just inquiring about cost of transporting 1948 Chev pickup from South Africa to Perth Western Australia
Rating: 4 / 5
 
by Rick Bryce on 29 Dec 2015

 
Can you assist me with a quote to import my 2009, Hilux D4D, 4x4, double cab, from Botswana, Africa to Sydney or Gosford? Thanks
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Anton Zeelie on 07 Dec 2015

 
I am interested in importing a 2nd hand camper trailer from sth Africa to Melbourne for personal use. Advice and estimated costs will be appreciated.
Rating: 3 / 5
 
by Geoffrey Parry on 15 Nov 2015

 
I have a Yamaha 600 tenere 1987 motorcycle and a town and country 2010 trailer that I would like to take to Australia in our container with furniture etc, what are the requirements and cost from south Africa side for exporting and what are the cost and requirement from Australia side for importing. And would these cost be for getting it onto the road in Australia
Rating: 3 / 5
 
by Marlon Scott on 15 Jul 2015

 
Hi, Can you please tell me how much cost me (approx.) to shipping Hummer Car from South Africa to India?
Rating: 4 / 5
 
by Simranjit Singh on 08 Jul 2015

 
Good day, I am looking at shipping my Conqueror Companion camping trailer from Pretoria South Africa to Melbourne. Any advice on this process and is worthwhile? To replace the trailer in OZ would set me back around $55000. Look forward to your feedback.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Martin Steyn on 18 May 2015

 
Hi, I would like to import a used 17ft catamaran fishing ski boat with two motors and a Jurgens caravan from Durban to Brisbane, they can be cone at separate times or together, I am in the process of getting a LOA. Can you assist. Thanks Rob
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Rob Watts on 17 Apr 2015

 
hi I want to bring some car parts from South Africa it only a Binet and a nudge bar , what's the best and cheapest way to get them to Sydney, I don't mind if they come mixed in with someone else's container , nedale@icloud.com
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Nedale hamdan on 15 Mar 2015

 
hi I want to bring some car parts from South Africa it only a Binet and a nudge bar , what's the best and cheapest way to get them to Sydney, I don't mind if they come mixed in with someone else's container , nedale@icloud.com
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Nedale hamdan on 15 Mar 2015

 
Please can you give me names of insurance companies who cover imported vehicles from Perth, Australia. We have a Toyota Corolla and a Toytoa Kluger both 5 years old arriving in SA in a few days time. Many thanks
Rating: 3 / 5
 
by Debbie Bell on 23 Feb 2015

 
Hi, thanks for info. I'd like to send my 1999 Toyota Prado to Durban South Africa from Perth, WA. We plan to drive to Egypt, sell the vehicle and fly back to Perth. Any assistance regarding cost will appreciated.
Rating: 4 / 5
 
by Ashraf Chohan on 30 Dec 2014

 
I want to ship a Mercedes 911 4 wheel truck 6 tonne to south Africa. What are the restricitions and how much will this cost>
Rating: 3 / 5
 
by carol on 14 Nov 2014

 
shipping car
Rating: 2 / 5
 
by usifo ajayi on 06 Nov 2014

 
Hi What would the cost be to import 2 vehicles from SA to Oz? Both are Ford Escorts with combined value of R40000. Are there any recommended shipping agents in the Durban port that I should contact?
Rating: 3 / 5
 
by Nadhir on 01 Nov 2014

 
I heard you cant register in South a Honda Odyssey originally from Japan. Is this correct
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Tim on 03 Oct 2014

 
Hi, Please could you let me know the forms that are needed to import a 4x4 from Australia to Durban, as well as the charges. I am a returning resident. The other thing I would like to know is how long does this take from beginning to end? Thanks
Rating: 3 / 5
 
by Alister Venter on 12 Aug 2014

 
I am interested to know the answer to the query of Brett McAlister in 2011 re importing a camper trailer (Conquueror) into Australia from South Africa. Is this sensible and economic. This is a pop-top but does have canvas awnings etc
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Bill Brown on 20 Jul 2014

 
Hi, I am returning to South Africa permanently in September and would like to know what costs are involved with taking my Toyota Camry 2010 with me from Australia. It is worth about $12 000. Please could you help me out with what duties and taxes I would be charged and if there is a clearance to pay in JHB. Can I pack the car with boxes of personal effects or is that not allowed? Thanks
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Bronwyn Bradley on 24 Jun 2014

 
Hi I am looked at send in ski boat to Auckland, could you direct me in the right direction? I am using Stutterfords to move my household goods but not sure they know the in' sand outs when it comes to boats? Thanks
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Jason Lawrie ross on 30 Apr 2014

 
Hi, what woudl the cost be to ship a boat on a trailer from Durban, South Africa, to Wellington, New Zealand. the boat is a 3.9 mt with a 30hp on a boat trailer. Cheers Roy
Rating: 1 / 5
 
by Roy on 14 Apr 2014

 
Hi there , I would love to import second hand used cars from U.K or USA to South Africa for profits (business) how much can that cost me on shipment and dute for a car worthy R20 000 .
Rating: 4 / 5
 
by Tinos on 02 Apr 2014

 
i would like to import my ML32O worth R5000 FROM Ireland to SOUTH AFRICA, as a gift of by brother in law who looked after my daughter here in ireland for four years.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by lovertgagisa on 07 Mar 2014

 
Hi, want to a japanees imported car in Durban, but I want to know which safety measures I should take in order to check if the vehicle is legite or stolen. Your advice will be highly considered.
Rating: 4 / 5
 
by james mntambo on 05 Feb 2014

 
Hello there.i am an Australian permanent resident.citizen of Botswana.i would like to export my Toyota landcruiser ute from australia to Botswana.not for resale but to use in Botswana.my port of shipping is Durban.what are the applicable costs?can you assist me?thanks
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Dimpho ramasoto on 05 Jan 2014

 
Tonight is the night I try and bake a cake for my husband. Maybe he will pay me some attention tonight.
Rating: 2 / 5
 
by Alice Zuma on 29 Nov 2013

 
I'm looking to begin exporting used vehicles from the USA to South Africa for profit. Where should I begin? Thanks for your help
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Chris on 13 Nov 2013

 
I am looking at bring over my dads vehicle .Its a 98BWM not worth more that R10,000 but I had it restored . I think it may be in my sisters name
Rating: 4 / 5
 
by mogan on 21 Oct 2013

 
I want to bring two med sized BMWs to NZ are you able to assist? I am assuming 1 x 40 footer.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Mike Anda on 01 Oct 2013

 
Hi looking to import 2 vehicles from JHB,South Africa 1 x 1970 Fairmont GT (RSA Value R30 000 1 x 1972 Ford Cortina(RSA Value R10 000 What can I expect to pay for both CIF + duty Or individually Who would be the best freighters Oz or RSA
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Peter Krichel on 07 Aug 2013

 
I want to ship my car from U.S.A to Africa
Rating: 3 / 5
 
by Dennis Makundi on 22 Mar 2013

 
I need an information of importing a BMW 530i, 5 sereis, 1992-1996 from South Africa to United Kingdom. I urgently need information about that. Please replay via email.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Samuel on 27 Feb 2013

 
hi there i just whant to asque you if you douwet africa i whant to send my car in tanzania dar es salaam thank you if yes please you can send to me your adresses
Rating: 1 / 5
 
by mustafa bel on 08 Feb 2013

 
im on a 457 and returning to SA, i have a 1998 holden frontera 4x4,is it worth taking back with me and what are the aprox costs?
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by charles bester on 25 Jan 2013

 
what would it cost to ship a car from Gauteng South Africa to Hawaii?
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by tony on 17 Nov 2012

 
Hi can I register a vw kombi from south Africa here in Melbourne Thanks jim
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Jim galat on 13 Nov 2012

 
Hi. I have 2 cars that I want to take with me to Australia from South Africa. 1986 Ferrari GTS (LHD) and 1988 Lamborghinni Countach replica. I would like to know who can do a turn-key service and a budget quote please?
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Eric on 23 Oct 2012

 
Hi,Christine I'm wanting to import a 1970 XW Ford Fairmont from South Africa to Australia. After reading your article I definitely need help to make this happen smoothly all help greatly appreciated. Regards Wayne
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Wayne on 04 Oct 2012

 
Pls contact me regards taking my 2006/7 BMW 330d from jhb to Perth.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Mark on 26 Aug 2012

 
Hi, I am looking at purchasing a 1972 Holden/Chevrolet El Camino off Gumtree in South Africa near Port Elizabeth and bringing it to Adelaide South Australia. Could you give me some tips and bal park prices. It is right hand rive and can be registered here. Thank you.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Simon Pinnegar on 29 Jul 2012

 
I do hope you might be able to guide me? We'd like to ship our owned from new, second hand Range Rover & CLK to our country of origin UK (we're permanent residents in SA. I've arranged necessary police clearances etc but no one can actually tell me what i may or may not require from Customs/SARS to have them let out of the country. Do you by chance know? Many thanks
Rating: 4 / 5
 
by Jeremy Lea on 05 Jul 2012

 
I do hope you might be able to guide me? We'd like to ship our owned from new, second hand Range Rover & CLK to our country of origin UK (we're permanent residents in SA. I've arranged necessary police clearances etc but no one can actually tell me what i may or may not require from Customs/SARS to have them let out of the country. Do you by chance know? Many thanks
Rating: 4 / 5
 
by Jeremy Lea on 05 Jul 2012

 
I have a Honda crv and would liketo ship it to Suth Africa would like to know the cost and the relevant papre work needed Thank You Zanele
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by ZANELE MABONA on 21 Jun 2012

 
I am returning to South Africa permanently after residing in Australia for 15 years. I am an Australian citizen and would like to take my car with me. It is a Holden Commodore S Pak VY 2003 model. I bought it new 9 years ago and it is registered in my name. What would it cost including shipping and duties? Regards Juanita
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Juanita Carlos on 20 Jun 2012

 
Thanks Christine. Being an international freight forwarder/Customs broker that specialises in the movement of cargo between Africa (in particular South Africa) and Australia the Customs and Quarantine formalities can be a burden to any commerical or personal importer/exporter. If we can be of assistance, do-not hesitate to make contact.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by David Denning on 24 Apr 2012

 
Sabona, how I miss South Africa!! I work in Australia and wish to have my motorcycle shipped from Pretoria to Brisbane. I already have a Vehicle Import Permit from Aus. Can you help me?
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Pieter Strydom on 13 Apr 2012

 
TKS THE SITE WAS INFORMATIVE BUT THERE IS STILL A BIG GAP IN INFORMATION REGARDS S.A. TO AUS IMPORTING
Rating: 4 / 5
 
by andre bewicke on 08 Feb 2012

 
very informative . Thankyou. i am pricing the importatoin of a camper trailer. (conqueror) Is the customs value what i pay for the camper as new in South Africa?
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by brett mcalister on 18 Aug 2011

 
 
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