How do you import a vehicle from Japan?

There are lots of different vehicle auctions in Japan which you can purchase vehicles from. Auctions are the most common way of purchasing from Japan as the sites are available in English and buying privately has the language barrier, making it more difficult.

There are many reputable companies your can use to assist with purchasing from the Auctions

JUMVEA: Japan Used Motor Vehicle Exporters Association

JUMVEA Members

If you use a Japan Export Agent in Japan you will still need to arrange your own import permit and compliance on arrival. All Imported vehicles require compliance but not all vehicles can be imported. The make and model of the vehicle determines which compliance companies you can use, as they have to be registered and approved to comply your vehicles specific make and model.

You can find these companies on the RAWS Australia website

Finally, there is lots of Japanese car dealers in Australia selling Japanese imported cars where you can turn up inspect the car & take it for a test drive before making the purchase.

Regardless our how you purchase your imported Japanese vehicle you need to take the right steps to ensure you are getting what you paid for. There are services available to check the odometer  (ODO) readings when the cars were de-registered. The best way to do this is to request to sight the original export certificate. This contains the ODO reading at the time the vehicle was de-registered in Japan so there should only be slight increase on this for driving on and off the ship etc

Shipping cars from Japan to Australia

Japan to Australia Vehicle rates 


These rates are per vehicle and based on shipping from Moji, Nagoya, Osaka / Kobe and Yokohama to Brisbane, Port Kembla, Sydney, Melbourne, and Fremantle Ports.


Service Details

  • Drivable Vehicles
  • 2 Roll On/Roll Off Sailings (RORO) per month to Brisbane & Fremantle
  • 4 Roll On/Roll Off Sailings (RORO) per month to Port Kembla (For Sydney) & Melbourne
  • Weekly Container Sailings from KOBE (for Osaka) & Yokohama to SYDNEY, MELBOURNE BRISBANE











Up to 11 CBM AUD 1550 AUD 1650 AUD 1650 AUD 1650 AUD 1750
Up to 20 CBM AUD 1700 AUD 1800 AUD 1800 AUD 1800 AUD 1850

*We can ship vehicles larger than 20 cbm but all quotes will be done on case by case basis and we will require the L x W x H

*Heat Treatment is mandatory from 1st September to 30th of April each year for Roll on Roll Off Services

*Heat Treatment AUD 250 per vehicle upto 2000kgs.

*Please contact us for quotes for vehicles over 20 cbm



Delivery if requested for up to 20 m3 in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth metro areas: AUD 180.00 + GST. Melbourne metro areas: AUD 210.00 + GST.


Rate Inclusions


Yard Survey Origin Document fees Freight port to port Current BAF (Fuel Surcharge)
Gate In Photos Australian Port Service Charges & Unloading Fees Australian Document fees Customs Clearance
Bio Security  pre clean Any Biosecurity re-clean Biosecurity clearance & Inspections Full Risk Insurance for container Service (RORO is Total Loss only)


Rate Exclusions


Import GST

(10% of the CIF Value and Duty)

Import Duty

(5% of the FOB Value) if applicable

Customs entry fee

AUD 92.00 if the total clearance value is under AUD 10,000.00, or AUD 194.60 if the value is over AUD 10,000.00 (note that the Import Exchange conversion rates are decided by Australian Customs)

Vehicle Import Approvals

(you can click on this link to apply for one CLICK HERE , BUT we highly recommend you ask a compliance workshop to get it for you. Please follow this link to find a list of RAWS Workshops)


Luxury Car Tax (LCT)

*if applicable, which is the CIF Value + Duty + GST minus LCT threshold x 33%, and this only applies to passenger vehicles, not commercial vehicles To see the current LCT threshold CLICK HERE


(To check if your vehicles can be complied CLICK HERE . Please note this list does not include vehicles made before 1989 because they can all be complied)


FOB charges

from the suppliers door to the Japanese port of export, but note that most suppliers pay for these costs as part of the purchase price of the vehicles and give you an “FOB price” per vehicle


Air Conditioning

Importers can apply for a gas license through the department of sustainability

Low volume exemptions are available importers shipping no more than one vehicle per 25 kgs of CFCs in a calender



Special Note


To use the above DAFF pre-cleaned & pre-cleared system and pricing, you either cannot ship other items in the vehicle, or we have to get pre-approval from Japan to allow a small amount of items to be shipped. All vehicles containing too many other items to use this service must go through the normal DAFF process after the vehicles arrive in Australia, which normally requires steam cleaning to be done after arrival, incurring extra costs of approximately AUD 300.00 per vehicle (including DAFF’s processing charges).