Something that a lot of people dream about is having their own boat, and if you managed to find the perfect one outside of Australia that you would like to import into the country, there are a few things you should know. We will cover all of the important steps of the importing process when it comes to boats, and while it may seem overwhelming at first, the process is actually quite easy to understand.
Get import approval
If you are planning to import a boat into Australia, the first thing that you have to worry about is to have the permit approved for the trailer for your boat before it actually arrives in Australia. Of course, you do not necessarily need a trailer for the boat or yacht, but it is highly suggested to do so.
For those who are wondering why a trailer is suggested, it is because, without it, you will not be able to remove the boat or yacht from the port. This will make you pay for mandatory storage charges, which can sometimes cost thousands of dollars. Even for those where money is not an issue, there is no reason to waste thousands on something that can be easily avoided.
In order to get a permit for the trailer which will carry your boat or yacht around, all you have to do is apply for a trailer at the Department of Infrastructure. The procedure is more or less like registering for a vehicle but not as complicated. Receiving approval does not take too long, and you will usually receive all the necessary documentation electronically.
Something that nobody is a fan of when it comes to importing a boat or any kind of vehicle is the quarantine requirements. If you are planning to do boat shipping USA to Australia, it is suggested that you hire a company that specializes in importing vehicles so they can help assure that the boat passes quarantine with ease.
Of course, if you are planning to do it by yourself, make sure that the boat is cleaned spotless, both from the inside and outside. No dirt is allowed on the boat or the trailer, and blasting it off with high-pressured water is the best way to take care of it. Any kind of organic matter will give you issues at the quarantine check, so make sure that there are no barnacles or something similar anywhere in or on the boat.
Keep in mind that if the quarantine inspection finds something that is not according to the guidelines, you will have to pay a fee for cleaning, which can be a bit tricky. Sometimes the fee can be relatively small, but in some cases, it can be surprisingly big, so if you are not too sure about your boat cleaning skills, hiring a professional to do it for you beforehand is highly advised.
Tips for preparing your boat
While you do not necessarily have to do these things, these tips will help you with the shipping process by lowering the cost, and it will also help your boat pass various regulations once it arrives in Australia.
When it comes to the outside of your boat, make sure to remove anything that will reduce the volume of the boat, such as platforms, flybridges, radar arches, and other removable parts. This will reduce the shipping cost significantly. Also, make sure that everything is secured tightly and sealed with tape so the potential damage from the wind and sea can be prevented by opening the hatch.
Considering the inside of your boat, you should certainly not have any personal items on the boat when it is being imported. Make sure that all of the hatches are tight and that nothing is loose, and check the drain plugs so there is no potential water in them that could cause an issue with quarantine. You should also drain all fuel and water from the tanks, especially if you are shipping during the winter.
What documents do you need?
When it comes to documentation, you do not require that many of them. You will need the bill of sale, photo ID, boat title or ownership papers, and the certificate of origin. There are a few other special cases for boats that you are importing, such as boats with wooden cradles and boats with air conditioning, as they will require additional regulations to be used.
Importing a boat to Australia is certainly much easier than importing a land vehicle. However, there are a few “traps” that can increase the cost of the whole process, especially if you are doing everything yourself, so we suggest that you seek some guidance from professionals that do boat imports on a daily basis.