Below we have detailed the most important steps for Importing a boat, yacht or catamaran from overseas to Australia. If you follow these steps when importing your boat to Australia you will minimize your risk and increase your savings on your imported boat!

Please follow this link Import a boat from the USA If you are planning to import a boat or yacht from the USA and we have dedicated page which explains the process specific to the USA market.

Step 1 – How do you find an imported boat, yacht or catamaran?

find imported boat yacht catamaran

The first step is to decide on the type of boat you would like to import. If you are upgrading or renewing your current boat this will be easy. If you are buying your first boat or yacht there are many different types of boats & yachts you need to consider, Water skiing, cruising, speed, fishing, monuhull or catamarans.

Once you know what type of boat or yacht, you will then need to find it. There are few ways to do this, which the most common way is the complete DIY approach by searching the internet for private a sellers, contacting a boat or yacht dealer to find the boat for you or buying a new or used from an Australian imported boat or yacht dealer.

We have a page which lists some popular websites to find boats to import to Australia

Each method contains pros and cons which are listed below;

1. The DIY approach has the most risk, and takes up the most time but can offer the most savings and gives you the most control

2. Buying from a overseas boat or yacht dealer saves you the time of searching for the boat and can reduce the risk of the international transaction. Of course the dealers need to be reputable and they will charge a fee for their services which will reduce your saving.

3. Buying from an authorised Australian dealer of course is the safest way to purchase a boat or yacht. New boats will come with warranty and often 2nd hand boats and yachts will as well. You can go on a sea trial to try before you buy. This again comes with a premium price.

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Step 2 – Surveys and Inspections

surveys inspections

Once you find a boat or yacht overseas you want to purchase. You need make sure the condition is what it is advertised. We strongly recommend that you do not get the seller whether it’s a private or boat dealer to arrange your survey inspection. We would also not advise you to get your freight forwarder whether they are an Australian or overseas company to survey inspection either. It is a conflict of interest for them as they want to sell or ship your boat which means the survey is not completely independant. You also want to make sure the surveyor is accredited to ensure they are reputable and qualified.

We recommend using either the SAMS or NAMS accredited surveyors they have surveyors throughout the world including the USA, Europe, our find a surveyor page has the details for these associations.

For the shipping purposes we request you get the surveyor to do the below

1. Measure the boat or yacht’s overall dimensions including outboards, T-tops, Hard tops, trailer drawbars, guide poles, swim platforms, the keel.This is because your shipping costs are in most cases charged per cubic metre. Shipping quotes can only be as accurate as the information you provide so it is vital to ensure you have the correct measurement to avoid unexpected price increases.

2. If the boat or yacht has a trailer get the surveyor to take a photo of the compliance plate or sticker on the trailer. This is because all trailers require an import permit to clear customs in Australia. You must provide evidence of the trailer GVWR (ATM) is under 4500 kgs or 9928 lbs to get the import permit.

3. If the boat or yacht has air conditioning you will need to either get the gas removed or obtain an import permit. The surveyor should take a photo of the compliance plate on the air conditioner which will show gases used and the amount the unit holds. This is important for the import permit but also some gases are forbidden and must be removed prior to shipping to Australia.

Also a survey or pre-purchase report is vital for insurance. Insurance companies will not pay out a claim unless you provide evidence of the condition of the boat or yacht prior to shipping.

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Step 3 – Obtain a comprehensive shipping quote

comprehensive shipping quote

Once you know the location & type of boat, as well as its overall dimensions, you can get an accurate price to import your boat. Its best you use a company in Australia for your shipping as overseas shipping companies will generally only quote up until the port, there are port fees, customs clearance, import taxes, possibly cranes transport and quarantine charges which also needs to be included in your costings.

When shipping with DAZMAC there are no hidden fees. All our quotes are up front and include everything from end to end including any extras you may have wanted. Please go to our request a quote page and enter in your boat or yacht details. You will either receive a quote instantly or one within 24 hours. If you have some information you cant enter into the form, then contact to us via email.

Insurance is very important, whilst damage, and theft are very rare there are many 3rd party providers which will handle your boat or yacht transport. Including; the transport company in the country of origin, the shipping terminal, crane operators, the shipping line, the destination terminal, and then any transport company if required to get your boat or yacht to you.

You can request an insurance quote by simply ticking the “insurance” box in our quote request page. DAZMAC offers full risk marine insurance. A Survey is also critical in regards to insurance cover. If insurance is taken out and a claim is made, any insuring company will require a survey as proof of the original condition of the vessel before it was shipped.

Additional Services

There are several additional services you need to consider which DAZMAC offers. These will depend on individual situation 

  • Road Transport for boats or yachts on trailer or cradle in the USA and Europe
  • Boat/Yacht Cleaning in the USA
  • Import Permits All trailers and air conditioners with gas require import permits in Australia
  • Crane Fees All boats and yachts over 10′ wide will require crane lifts at the Ports
  • Cradle Construction for boats/yachts without or too large for boat/yacht trailers
  • Full Risk Insurance to/from anywhere in the world for boats and yachts
  • Reduce Boat/Yacht Dimensions by removing radars, windscreens and other parts of the boat/yacht to reduce the overall dimensions to either reduce shipping costs or to fit your boat or yacht into a container
  • Escrow Secure Payments – Our transporters can present a cashiers cheque to the seller in exchange for your boat/yacht for guaranteed payment security
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Step 4 – Time to Buy your dream boat or yacht and import it to Australia!

buy dream boat yacht

Once you have found the right boat and know the final costs, you can proceed with the purchase. If you are not comfortable with making an international payment, DAZMAC can assist as we offer an escrow (secure international payment service) in the USA.

Once you have finalized the purchase its time to book the shipping to Australia

Step 5 – Time to receive of your boat, yacht or catamaran!

receive boat

Once your boat or yacht is booked DAZMAC will handle the shipping and you have nothing to worry about as we will also arrange your entire import permit, customs & quarantine then contact you before the arrival with your invoice for payment then you can just pick up your boat or receive delivery.

For used boats and yachts a quarantine inspection will happen on the port before further transport can be arranged or you can pick up your boat. Also for used boats and yachts it is possible for that quarantine will demand additional cleaning at the importers expense. The costs and process is different in each state so please enquire within if you have any concerns.

For containerised boats the containers will be taken back to an approved depot for unpack and quarantine inspection. If further cleaning is required it will take place at the depot after inspection. Once again these charges are additional.