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Importing Stuff Yourself

     This is written simply to help some people understand a few facts about  importing..  mainly for Aussie & New Zealand restorers, but equally applies in common experience help to anybody around the world.  It pretty much pertains to restorers importing parts or cars, or pretty much anything out of the USA or from anywhere in the world for that matter, as the  rules are much the same. Tax's change / duties may vary etc, etc etc. Hopefully it'll help give an honest insight into private importing traps.

   Simple questions are  continually asked like:

  •  Q:  Do we really  need to pay tax...??  A: Yes ....different countries have different citizen allowances US is about US$40.. (this all depends on current dated exchange rates but just for comparative talk) ,,. Canada about US$40, NZ less then $100. Australia..hummm... about US$20 .. freight and product combined. in 2016/17.. on freight and goods combined.
  •  Is Duty applicable on everything..??.. NO.. with certain countries a FTA or Free Trade Agreement is in order but ONLY for products MADE in that country the FTA is active in ... but not for say something made in Taiwan but sold brought in the USA..its not made by the FTA country... so by the book .. its NOT duty free.... if paying GST.. should also pay Duty at the rate of between normally 4% & 15%, then compounded by the value of the freight totalled up.. the hit with 10% GST... thats a simple way of saying it..  Different countries.. different amounts.
  • ... and idiot statements like "we don't pay tax as we write bodgy invoices!" .. you will NOT get away with it for long... don't be a dickhead...!

Where do we start...?    Everybody can be an expert these days with the internet.. with invisible people on forums steering people this way & that.. but there's  years of experience to be gained before every question can often  be answered properly .. and most questions have  a bundle of angles & off-shot answers, so there is more and more after this too.

     In this guide I'm simply trying to give  you something I never had, and long before the internet helped the guy in the street... it was a broad hard earned experience ....a here's a  free guide  Years back,  even though I'd asked some importers to explain it.. importers whom I'd been a customer of for years.... and then some, the truth is they steered me away & with mumbled ridicule - never wanting to give away trade secrets.      In reality I guess they were just looking after their own & you can't blame them...

     Bringing in a Car...??... Simple Answer..if you have not done it before... find a GOOD importer.. get a firm WRITTEN Quote.. check they are well regarded... &  that is MORE then just a web site.....  maybe talk to any friends and go with it.. or talk to me.. we don't bring many cars in any more on purpose but do know people that have been in the industry and do the right thing... they may not appear to be the cheapest either.. but be careful there too.

    Looking for internal USA car transport.. there are many, some good ones too...and some who don't give a rats.  To work out your transport costs.. Say the Long Beach area zip code is 90221   - you need to add a code from the pickup location's Zip Code.

      Shipping companies costs are all over the place.. but on average.. a secure vehicle transport will cost you between A$3000 & $6000.. depending on the "ship too" location and ability or want..  of service provider.


   One thing though... be aware of BS... with all the great stories you get to hear in the pub, internet unidentified persons on forums  or car clubs ... your got to keep an open mind for hero stories like

  • ”I  rang America and the parts were here the next day.”.  Sorry.. simply bullshit. (ie impossible & freight charge's not mentioned)
  • I  don’t pay tax’s.    I  send the parts to my friend and he writes a new invoice for them.... another one...  My  friend /supplier  write's it up as a gift” .    The Alternate thought..... means they run the gauntlet with  Customs who are  smarter with years of training and experience the Customs guys & ladies get ! Write a false invoice.. your a bloody idiot!
  • Everything I get myself from overseas, its ALWAYS cheaper & I don't mind waiting or being off the road ”. The Alternate thought.....   remember you seldom ever hear anybody saying “I’m a dickhead, I paid twice as much in the end for a part that was defective anyway & now I have to send it back to the USA for a refund at my expense or just wear it.” .
  • I brought it on Ebay.... The Alternate thought..... then the guy who  took Paypal & posted it with tracking (always insist on tracking - costs more but you MUST have it)... but the part was wrong.. so I complained to paypal & the seller they denied my international statis and the seller is gone..
  • "I brought it online.." The Alternate thought..... then the cost by the time it was here was OK but 3 months later I have no warranty. ..+ The Alternate thought..... and it happens.... I left the seller good feedback and the seller does not respond now - too late.. gone...
  • I brought it online and everything went fine.... The Alternate thought..... yep.. it works too.. no doubt about it.. but at times very simply its cheaper and quicker to buy local..not ALL the time for sure.. but do your  homework properly.

     Nobody wants to look stupid. Especially at a club meeting or in front of friends etc.  Keep it in mind eh. There are pro's and con's to all those stories.

           One more thing.. DON'T BUY CRAP and import it.. there's enough rubbish here...... buy decent parts and get decent service from decent established people  here and overseas.

    NO decent long term stockist of parts ANYWHERE .. ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.. alway's has the cheapest parts from anywhere in the world.. there will always be somebody probably cheaper..  Quality parts are hard to see on line. Good feedback .. like suppliers that have been around for decades.. show you're probably going to be ok.. you can pretty much count on that.

  Cheers, Dave

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