Pubished on December 23, 2017 | Import Cars From USA

Local shipper has certification system in place for USA imports

A Queensland-based shipping business, Dazmac, has set up a viable solution for importing vehicles under the current crackdown on asbestos across the border.

Managing Director Daryl McIntyre told Unique Cars magazine that his business slowed when Border Force recently suddenly started applying a hard line approach to car imports, including classics. “Our business stopped for three months and we decided we had to get into it and sort it out,” he said.

Several importers – both business and private – reported expensive inspections that rejected brakes, clutches and gaskets, with the result that some dealer importers simply stopped bringing in cars. The Border Force attitude was uncompromising and the department was unable to provide any risk assessment of the new regime, when requested by Unique Cars. (See our May 2017 story.)

The general belief is the change in process was brought about by scandals where large quantities of asbestos-ridden building materials were imported and used, despite a ban being in place since 2003. At least two new vehicle makers have also been caught out.

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Dazmac meanwhile says it has been consulting with Border Force to find a solution and believes it has succeeded. The company’s prime concern at this stage is USA imports and it has set up a process at its depot in Los Angeles to deal with the issue.

There, cars are cleaned and have wheels removed (brakes are the primary area of concern for asbestos), and are inspected. Any suspect brake components are removed. Other components are dealt with on a case-by-case basis – for example mechanics are hired to replace gaskets, where necessary.

“The most common item is rear drum brakes,” McIntyre said, “We have also removed and replaced engine gaskets and removed hood liners, at customer cost.”

At the end of the process, the vehicle is given a NATA (National Association of Testing Authorities) certificate, which meets the Border Force requirement. As McIntyre points out, nothing is 100 per cent and the vehicle may still be inspected at this end.

If that happens and there is an issue, the owner can at least demonstrate they have done everything possible to mitigate the problem. However the experience so far is the NATA certificate is generally accepted.

McIntyre quotes $3300 for a single private import car depot-to-depot from Los Angeles to Brisbane or Sydney.

That assumes there is no major remedial work required and includes:

  • Export Clearance including title clearance vehicles;
  • 30 days of storage at origin depot;
  • Freight depot to depot;
  • NATA approved asbestos testing;
  • Two hours of cleaning;
  • Approved quarantine inspection;
  • Loading/unloading;
  • Port charges both ends;
  • Container drayage both ends;
  • Insurance up to Au$30,000 per consignment;
  • Photos for gate in survey/gate out survey;
  • Customs clearance;
  • Dunnage disposal;
  • Three days of storage at destination.

The company offers special rates for regular and volume importers.What it has done is provide a workable solution for importing a vehicle from the USA which has the potential to revive an industry that was being starved of its livelihood.

Dazmac also ships between Australia and the UK and Japan and is working on solutions for those routes.

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