International Car Shipping

Valuing Your Vehicle for Customs

Special consideration should be given as to the method of valuation that will be used by the Australian Customs Service for any particular vehicle. Despite Customs being a Federal body there are different requirements for eligibility to obtain a valuation in each state, and different allowable deductions from the valuation amount to determine the Customs Value.

Due to the complexity of the Customs Value determinations we recommend each case be investigated individually to determine the most appropriate in your particular case.

The Customs Value of an imported private motor vehicle is assessed by one of the following methods:


    Where the normal method of valuation is not used, then the Customs Value will generally be assessed using the Fall Back Deductive method. This involves obtaining an ‘Australian Landed Valuation’, as imported, and as valued by an independent Australian Motor Specialist less the cost of shipment and the figure remaining is deemed to be the ‘Customs Value’ upon which Duty and GST is levied. The Importer is responsible for obtaining, as well as the cost of, the ‘ landed’ valuation.

    In the majority of circumstances that the Australian Customs Service applies the ‘landed cost’ valuation method; it has normally been found that valuations of cars whilst they are still ‘As Landed’ sitting at the Australian Port have been very much lower than the actual ‘Market Value’ of the Vehicle once it has been imported, had duties / taxes paid and has been made roadworthy and registered.

    An expert appraiser may at first consider the Market Value of a similar vehicle in Australia and make a significant reduction for the fact that the vehicle will not have an Australian Compliance Plate fitted. From this figure can be deducted costs to land the vehicle and then deducting the 10% GST and then the 10% Duty. From the remaining figure Customs would allow deduction of all the costs of shipping the car to Australia to arrive at the ‘Customs Value’. The resulting ‘Customs Value’ can be as low as 50% of the actual ‘Australian Market Value’.

    In many instances this method of valuation results in a fair assessment for taxes payable as quite often it seems to equate to a figure very similar to the originating country Value at the time of shipment rather than the probable higher originating country price paid when the vehicle was originally purchased that may have been applied under the ‘Normal Method of Valuation’.

    We will appoint an approved valuer at destination that will be able to give an indication of an ‘As Landed Value’ to enable an estimate of taxes to be ascertained.

    A rough initial guide can be assessed from the New & Used Australian Market Values on the Internet at: , and at

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