Boats – Arriving as cargo

Importing a boat into Australia, particularly those used from North America is currently very popular for Australian’s due to the difference in pricing when comparing to an equivalent boat sold in Australia. However, the customs clearance of such boats can be complicated and can involve numerous government agencies. This page should be used as a guide only, and after reading it we suggest you phone one of our brokers to ensure you understand all the requirements of importing a boat into Australia.

Quarantine – Boats arriving as cargo

The customs clearance of a used boat through Quarantine is not generally complex, however we suggest that all areas of the boat are thoroughly cleaned prior to shipping. Boats with substantial amounts of timber could also be subject to further inspection to determine if the timber on board is infested with insects.

Quarantine currently require these documents to assess the risk associated with the importation of a used boat, or one that contains wood;

  • Vessel travel history
  • Commercial invoices
  • Maintenance or repair/damage records and receipts (for used vessels)
  • Packing declaration (where vessel is containerised)

Department of Planning & Infrastructure – Vehicle Import Approvals

Every  trailer designed for use on roads and imported into Australia (Other than Temporary CPD/ATA Carnet) will require a vehicle import approval from the Department of Planning & Infrastructure to enable customs clearance. Not all  trailers are eligible for an import approvals.

We suggest phoning the Department of Planning & Infrastructure on 1800 815 272 to determine your eligibility prior to purchasing your trailer, and obtaining the Vehicle Import Approval (VIA) prior to shipping. Check out for further information

Department of Environment

The Department of Environment requires importers of equipment with pre-charged gas to apply for a Pre-charged Equipment License. Appliances which normally operate using pre-charged gas are air conditioning appliances and refrigeration equipment . Click here for more information.