With a thriving US$31bn machinery production industry, it’s no surprise that you may be considering importing some of the great machinery that is produced in the United States.

Home to some of the biggest names in the heavy machinery manufacturing industry such as Caterpillar, John Deere and Komatsu, you can find top-quality equipment for use in residential, commercial, highway, street and other infrastructure construction.

But while the temptation is real, the challenge is how to import this great machinery into Australia. What is the process? How long does it take? Do I need an import permit? Where do I start?  It can be a daunting and challenging process, especially if you have no experience with it.

At Dazmac, we’re customs brokers and we’ve been importing machinery into Australia, from small forklifts to more complex jobs, for years, and we can share our experience to help you understand the import process a little bit better.

What Machinery can be Shipped?

There are few limits to what can be shipped into Australia, whether you’ve purchased your items from a dealer or acquired them from one of the online major machinery auctions, it can be shipped.  Or perhaps, if you live in the United States and you want to export something to Australia, it can be shipped. We’ve been importing;

  • Cutters and Shredders
  • Harvesting Equipment
  • Bulldozer
  • Forklifts
  • Scissor Lifts
  • Boom lifts
  • Excavators
  • Construction equipment
  • And much much more

Rules and Regulations for Shipping Machinery from The USA

​​Australia has strict biosecurity measures for all imports designed to protect plant and animal health:

  • All imported machinery requires it to be free from contamination (e.g. seeds, soil, plant and animal materials). Your import may require an effective cleaning before being released directly to you. This cleaning will be at the importer’s expense.
  • The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment may return contaminated machinery at the owner’s expense
  • Most used imported machinery will require an import permit that will be issued by the department before arrival

The Process for Importing Machinery from the USA

Step #1: Get started

All smooth shipments start with a good plan.

What are you shipping? Where is it located? Where are you shipping it to? Do you need in-country transport to bring it to or from the port? What permits are required to prevent delays?  Most transport companies will offer the popular routes for arriving at the main ports of Brisbane, Sydney (Port Kembla), Melbourne and in Fremantle.

Having a good plan, and ensuring your shipment is well organized, will help ensure your machinery arrives in excellent shape.

machinery import from USA to australia

Importing Heavy Machinery USA to Australia

Step #2: Shipping

Shipping from overseas is a lengthy process, so make sure that you give yourself enough time to get your machinery transported safely.

In most cases, you’ll be provided with tracking details to monitor the shipment as it goes for complete peace of mind.

Ensure that you have all of your import permits ready so that once it arrives you are ready to meet all of your import conditions.

Step #3 Customs

While we handle the many logistical steps that can complicate your import process on your behalf, it can help your understanding of what is involved by being aware of the strict custom and quarantine measures that are in place by the Australian government.

In most cases, this will include extensive cleaning of your machinery so it is free of plant material and other items that would flag it as contaminated machinery and a biosecurity risk.

How Long Will It Take?

Timelines can vary with each shipping company, due to the specifics of your import requirements. The elements that can contribute to your timeframe include:

  • Permit applications
  • Customs
  • Meeting import conditions
  • Machinery cleanliness
  • The route/direction

If you want a rough estimate, most routes from the USA to Australia will take around 45 days. Our RORO Shipping Schedule provides examples of the length of shipping times across various vessels.

How Much Will Machinery Import from the USA to Australia Cost?

There is no one size fits all pricing solution that can give you a general cost, as there are many contributing factors that will determine or alter the cost of your import, including;

  • The Cargo: The size and weight of your cargo will be the most significant factor if there are provisions to have it broken down into smaller, more compact items, the cheaper the overall price will be.
  • Departure/Arrival Ports: The pick-up ports in the USA and the arrival ports of your cargo will alter your costs dramatically, especially if inland transport is required.
  • Fees: These can include clearance requirements, border quarantine controls, taxes, GST, levies and more as part of your import.

Once these have been determined, then a more accurate costing can be provided. Check out our online quote system for a free no-obligation quote that will help you to understand how differences in these elements alter the costs of your shipment.

heavy machinery importers USA to australia

No matter how big or complex your machinery import is, DAZMAC has you covered.

Why Choose DAZMAC

Avoid tricky import conditions and other stresses with a skilled and experienced freight forwarder like DAZMAC. We can handle any shipment, from a small used vehicle to more complex jobs, providing a complete end-to-end service, that is your most efficient way to ensure your item arrives safe and sound.

As Australia’s leading importer of heavy machinery into Australia, our experienced team can handle the entire import process, including all permits, customs, and ensuring you meet all import conditions.

We offer competitive rates with NO hidden costs. Get an immediate quote for your next shipment; call our knowledgeable team on 1300 329 622, or access our online quote system for a free no-obligation quote today!


What’s the easiest way to import machinery from the USA to Australia?

The easiest way to import machinery to Australia is by leaving it to professionals, like DAZMAC. We’ll tick all of the boxes for you so you won’t have to lift a finger after your first conversation with us.

What kind of shipping vessel will transport my machinery?

Take a look at the inside of the vessel that transports your machinery from the comfort of your home with our virtual tour of a RO/RO vessel. This will give you an in-depth understanding of how your heavy machinery will be transported.

Do I need to do something different for used machinery?

Yes. Border Security will go over used machinery with a fine-toothed comb to ensure it does not present a biosecurity risk. This is why it is important for used machinery to be in a clean and dismantled state, to help with the inspection process.

How do I avoid delays when importing used machinery?

Complex jobs will always run the risk of delays, but you can help yourself by contacting the relevant Border Force department prior to shipping to understand all of your obligations to meet import conditions. Knowing the importer’s responsibility towards customs clearance will go a long way to avoiding delays.

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