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DoormanAustralian Customs and Quarantine (AQIS) requirements for Importing Excavators and Heavy Machinery.

NB: We are not the Australian Government we are private company that happens to be involved in international shipping, Australian customs clearance and marine insurance.

What do we do:

Well your job is to find the equipment, anything second hand you need to apply for an A.Q.I.S./DAFF Import Permit for the excavators / diggers. PDF Download

You send us email supplying all your details, your sellers details and a heads up on the machinery you are buying.

We will send an introduction email to our overseas representatives and copy you and your seller in so that everybody is formally introduced, then we step back and let the overseas seller and our overseas rep talk ling-ling, wing-wing in their own time zone.

Our rep will come back to you and advise methodology and price so you don't have to wait for us to get back into the office, very straight forward and you send money direct to the buyer for purchase and money direct to our overseas rep for all the overseas logistics and ocean freight.

Our job, and you pay us to provide you with Australian customs and quarantine clearance Marine Insurance so if you have an issue you pick up the phone and call us direct.

So easy, its not funny.

1. Import Permit for Excavators, Earth Moving Equipment

You are required to obtain an import permit from the Australian Government Department of Infrastructure and Transport if these vehicles are going to be driven on Australian roads.

If the machinery is second hand you will also require the A.Q.I.S./DAFF Import Permit.
PDF Download.

2. Import Documents Required for Australian Customs Clearence

* Suppliers Commercial invoice.
* Packing list. Word doc Download.
* Waybill / Bill of Lading (Telex release)
* If the equipment has air conditioning it is best to have it degased prior to shipping and supply a Degas Certificate.

3. Import Documents Required for Australian Quarantine Clearance

* Packing declaration for goods in containers (not required for Carships, Ro Ro)
* Fumigation Certificate for goods in containers, crates. Word Doc.
* You may also be required to present a Cleaning Certificate
*Mosquito Declaration –(Download Word doc) supplier has to ensure the tyres are free of mosquito eggs and larvae, they are dry, and that they have been stored under cover from the time of manufacture until the time of export.

If you are going to get a wooden/timber crates, pallets or skids make sure the timber is treated timber and is stamped accordingly with ISPM 15 and that you have treatment certificate.
You may wish to visit our page Import Declarations and Application Forms to see other pdf documents you may need.

This is where you get smacked pretty hard with Quarantine inspection charges per 1/2 hour
Wood or timber can refer to decking, trim, the aft floor board which is often removable so you can flush out the bung holes

You need to make sure your earth moving equipment arrives in Australia schmick, clean, virginal, above reproach otherwise you have moved passed the first wife who has taken you for 50 % off your hard worked assets, you didn't see the second wife (can you remember her name) she got you for 25 % and the third who is lining up for the 12.5 % .... so just to make my point A.Q.I.S is every one of those wives rolled into one .... suffice to say you should put one vacuumed packed transparent condom over your earth moving equipment.

When it turns up in Australia, A.Q.I.S can see that the earth moving equipment is clean free of debris and pass your earth moving equipment.
If you have used a tarpaulin on earth moving equipment quite often they have been tampered with which means debris has found its way inside and you will be up for wharf storage, cleaning and A.Q.I.S re-inspections.
For a ball park costing try the set up costs for first term semester at University.

If your earth moving equipment can be packed inside 20ft or 40ft general purpose fully enclosed container then you don't need to wrap it however if you have used timber or wood for bracing / packing and the earth moving equipment has timber trim. Do yourself a favour and get the container with the earth moving equipment inside fumigated and get it done overseas before it goes to the overseas wharf.
This will speed up the Australian quarantine clearance.

4. Import Duty & G.S.T

If excavator etc is NZ or USA made you will NOT pay Import Duty but you have to pay G.S.T
(NZ as per C.E.R agreement signed between former prime ministers Muldoon and Frasier)
Or America under Free Trade Agreement signed off by Bush and Howard

All other countries You will have to pay Australian Import Duty and G.S.T.

The Australian Customs Department have set the Duty Rate at 5% and G.S.T 10% on the landed price in Australia (landed price means purchase price, ocean freight and 1/4 of 1 % for Marine Insurance even though you may not have take out insurance) ... You have a product that can be sold in Australia that's why you pay Import Duty and G.S.T to Australian Customs via us when we do the Customs Clearance.

For the umpteen thousand time earth moving equipment or second hand machinery is not classified as Personal Effects or for Personal Use unless you have owned and used said item for more than 12 months, the magic words are owned and used so that means you have been living overseas for more than 12 months and you can show you owned and used said earth moving equipment for more than 12 months overseas. Now having said that you have owned and used earth moving equipment for more than 12 months you will still pay Import Duty and G.S.T.

5. Air-conditioning and or Refrigeration:

The former Australian Federal Labour Government are still looking at ways of making money over the climate change bullshit in Copenhagen so they are going to milk you for an import permit. They will want to charge you a AUD $3,000.00 for multiply items to be imported within a set time or AUD $400.00 for one off item. Originally everybody had R12 Gas (CFC) and then came along R134A (HCFC) now they found something that else that should be used for air-conditioning and or refrigeration.

We recommend you get your earth moving equipment dealer or a third party who is involved in air-conditioning and or refrigeration to inspect said earth moving equipment and write an inspection report on their letterhead stating NO air- conditioning or refrigeration found on this earth moving equipment or said earth moving equipment was degassed and said unit was removed. Degas Certificate.

You may choose to visit to get all the available info and get clarity before you purchase your earth moving equipment.
You may also visit they have an online application form etc.

6. Anti Terrorism Legislation.

You can not go on the Australian waterfront to pickup your earth moving equipment, or attend customs or A.Q.I.S inspection unless you have your M.I.S.C (Maritime Identification Security Card) which gets issued by A.S.I.O (Australian Security Intelligence Organisation) and A.F.P Australian Federal Police) Plus you will be required to do a wharf safety induction.

But this is a long and convoluted process taking up to 8 weeks or more. So you will have to sit this one out and realise that their are forces in the universe that don't want mankind to be responsible, thoughtful and accountable for their own actions.
The most practical option is for us to register you with terminal security for a fee payable (by credit or debit card only) to the terminal on the day. They will ensure that you will be escorted onto the wharf by someone who has their MISC card.
You will be required to wear Covered Footware, Hi Visability vest.

If A.Q.I.S knock back your earth moving equipment for a steam clean, fumigation, waste disposal or whatever you can expect a 3 and 1/2 week wait on the East Coast of Australia and 8 weeks in Fremantle (West Coast of Australia). If you stay on the wharf the storage costs will take the oxygen out of your lungs, you will feel nausea and light heading as if you are climbing in the rarified air of Mount Everest .... the bottom line is you will have to pay the wharf before they release your earth moving equipment and even then you can't get on the wharf because you don't have an MISC card, talk about getting hemorrhoids.

We suggest the following alternative .... that is to get a Customs under bond entry, book a transport company who is registered with the wharf and whose drivers have their MISC cards (you will have to pay for 2 days wharf storage) and get your earth moving equipment off to one of the local bond stores who have A.Q.I.S approved wash bay facilities. The bond stores live in the real world even though your earth moving equipment will have to wait 3 and 1/2 weeks (East Coast Australia) once it's been washed you can come down for the A.Q.I.S re-inspection (bond stores operated by Patricks and P&OTA will not let in until the unit is Customs and A.Q.I.S cleared) so you need to get the fair dinkum Aussie bond store operators as they seem to grasp the fact that your kids have finally left home at 28 years old and this is your baby and you want to see it as soon as possible so you can get an understanding where all your new found wealth went to (hello, I suddenly have money after all these years).

Once A.Q.I.S have signed off you will have to wait an hour or two for it come through on the ICS electronic system so you are best to go off and get a cuppa tea, coffee or something and then come back with dealer plates or road permit or your own truck so you can drive out the bond stores gate.
If you have your wits about you and the A.Q.I.S officer has his/her manual stamp you can ask the A.Q.I.S officer to stamp and sign the A.Q.I.S Direction. This is considered a manual clearance you will be required to present this to the delivery clerk at the bond store. (Note: some depots will not play the game and will ask you to wait till the clearance comes through electronically)

6. Brand New Vs Second Hand

Brand new earth moving equipment is one that was manufactured, built and shipped out of the overseas country within 60 days.

The Commercial Invoice and Packing List will have to show the manufacturing or production date and our ships bill of lading or waybill will have the date the ship left the overseas port. In other words its grade 1 mathematics you subtract one from the other to establish 60 day's.

Because of the GFC many goods have been sitting around on the showroom floor for more than 60 days, you can use this document New or Unused Declaration

Now having a brand new earth moving equipment is a wise choice and will make it that much easier when it comes to Quarantine inspections. A.Q.I.S will suddenly go from been your ex-wife's lawyer ie.. they will take their foot off your throat so that you actually grasp the reality that you can finally breathe and will get your earth moving equipment within days without any more money coming out of your pocket .. hooray for small mercies.

Actually probably spoke to soon .. you will need to pay for the transport company to go into the wharf to get your earth moving equipment (remember the Shappelle Corby 4.1 ounces of marijuana anti-terrorism legislation that basically gave the whole shipping industry (importers, exporters, custom brokers, transport, shipping, fumigation companies and insurance assessors) a paranormal headache.

7. For the USA Market

If you get hooked on the internet seeing those so called magical cheap prices on earth moving equipments in America
Do your self a favour the quickest way for a heads up price without annoying us and thereby saving your marriage is to get the Internet listed earth moving equipment price and x (times) by 3 (three) that should cover the purchase price, internal transport within USA, packing 20ft or 40ft container, USA Customs Clearance, cartage to USA wharf, USA stevedoring, ocean freight, Fuel levy, Australian stevedoring, cartage, unpacking, Australian Customs and Quarantine (AQIS) clearance and GST.

The Australian dollar is getting stronger against the US$ so when the Aussie dollar starts going over US$1.00 then the 3 (three) times rule starts dropping to 2.5

If you purchase your earth moving equipment in USA from a registered business, great ... because they can state said earth moving equipment is American made and they can issue the Free Trade Certificate (FTA) certificate of origin (required as per Australian / USA free trade agreement) ......... No Import Duty, I shall repeat that: No Import Duty. The earth moving equipment dealer will work in with our USA shipping rep who will give you the FTA certificate of origin or explain how you can secure one.

E Bay customers please don't bother talking to or emailing us .. the American E Bay sellers do not work or operate in the same business hours as our American Shipping representatives, (E Bay sellers work after hours or in weekends) American E Bay seller expect you or us to pick up your earth moving equipment from their location, E Bay sellers are known to charge you storage while you wait for your earth moving equipment import permits to come through.

A.Q.I.S /DAFF permit takes 10 days, using their online application.
Australia's Dept of Infrastructure takes 28 days.

We will not ship your earth moving equipment until you send us a copy of the Dept of Infrastructure Import Permit and A.Q.I.S./DAFF Import Permit by email or fax ..  the bottom line is we don't need the agro and temper tantrums when it arrives in Australia because you don't have the Import Permit ... your choice is to pay the wharf storage which is equivalent to ongoing divorce and alimony costs or you will be told in no uncertain terms by Customs via the Dept of Infrastructure or A.Q.I.S./DAFF to ship it out of Australia say to PNG, Singapore or back to where it came from, you can not take it to the dump, scrap yard or join the bottom of the harbour tax avoidance schemes, although having said that you could netherless make it a 50/50 deduction when you come to the divorce .. You and I mean You, can pay for costs to ship it out of the country and re-apply for another Import permit or since your goods are now untouchable, you might as well ship it to the French Nuclear testing site at Moruroa Atoll and join all the other unmentionable hot items ....... So you have been told, get the Import Permit so don't come whinging to us.

America do not have our container swing lift trucking system that drives out to your nominated premises and places said shipping container on the ground, leaves and comes back a couple of days later to pick up the full container. So you will have to make arrangements to work with our American Shipping agents to transport your pride and joy to one of our nominated container packing depots in America (and NO you can not come into our American depots and pack your earth moving equipment unless you are member of the Longshoreman's union) if you wish to use / pack our shipping container you will have to find another location that's got container forklifts or whatever it is you need.

It costs $200,000.00 to bring a ship into port and $20,000.00 a day so we are not going to do a milk run around all the ports of USA just for you. So listen up.

Container Ships that go direct to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne go in and out of:

West Coast Ports:
Los Angeles (also known as Long Beach),
San Francisco,
Seattle or Tacoma (they alternate between these ports) and
Vancouver BC.

East Coast Ports:
New York,

The USA have a major intermodal rail/road network so if you happen to find your Equipment in Montana you can truck to the nearest intermodal hub, get it packed at the nearest container depot and rail it to one of the nominated ports for shipping to Australia.

Western Australian Buyers ... you are going to do it tough, there is no direct container shipping service from USA to Fremantle. You will have to work with our USA representative and they will use a trans-shipping service via Asia most often Singapore.

8. Containers

Container Sizes

Right then, lets talk containers sizes

As a rule of thumb:

6 m (20ft) container internal measurement at the container door is
5.85 m long x 2.25 m wide x 2.35 m high

12 m (40ft) internals are
11.9 m long x 2.25 m wide x 2.35 m high

Container Services

Container Ships that go direct to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle
go in and out of:

UK Ports of

European Ports

Trans-shipment container services operate for
Le Harve
La Spezia

via Asia either
Port Kelang

New Zealand Ports:
Container Ships call into:
The Mount (Tauranga)
Lyttelton (Christchurch)
Port Chalmers (Dunedin)

9. Car Ships

So if your earth moving equipment can not go inside the container your next option is the Car Ships (you may need a mafi trailer)

We will need to know whether the earthmoving equipment is on tracks or rubber tyres.

Car Ships that go direct to Brisbane, Port Kembla, Melbourne and Fremantle

For the USA Market

The Direct Car Ship service goes from:
East Coast Ports:

There is a trans-shipment Car Ship service to Australia
West Coast Ports: via Panama (Manzanillo)
Los Angeles

West Coast Ports: via Japan (Yokohama)
Port Hueneme
Los Angeles
Vancouver BC

East Coast Ports: via Africa (Durban)
New York

For the New Zealand Market

The Car Ships only go from:

For the UK / Europe Market

The Car Ships go from:

So now that you have read everything and you are a full book on the subject Go ahead and click here for on-line quote

For Commercial Importers

If you wish to import earth moving equipments as a commercial business operation .. that's fine .. you just pay all the costs and charges as they fall due in the logistical chain.

You can bring as much earth moving equipment in as you like.

Please feel free to contact us at Australia Trade & Shipping.

Contact Us




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I wish a safe and prosperous journey for you and your loved ones.