AADA has provided further indication to the Government of the risks associated with personal vehicle importing
The AADA has responded to the invitation from the Government to provide further feedback on proposals for reducing restrictions on personal vehicle importation.
Following the Association’s well-documented concerns surrounding the proposal – all of which can be found in our last major submission to the Review, the AADA reinforced its case.
In the supplementary submission, AADA states: ‘we do not support the proposal as we believe consumer protection and safety are at risk and the Government has not carefully considered the implications of the policy relaxation’.
The risks of ownership of a personal import vehicle (PIV) for Australian buyers were clearly spelled out, including:
• Lack of provenance of the vehicle
• No ANCAP safety rating
• Lack of Australian Design Rules compliance
• Lack of manufacturer’s warranty and notification of recall
• Vehicle may not be fit for purpose for Australian operating conditions (poor fuel quality, radiators, air conditioning suspension, dust protection)
• Lack of spare parts and specialised service and repair facilities
• Ability to insure the vehicle
• Limited recourse against supplier and limited protection under Australian Consumer Law; and
• Tradability of the vehicle
Considering these potential implications, AADA also mentioned that it would strongly object to any attempt by the Government to ‘legislate to transfer any ownership risk associated with the personal import of a motor vehicle onto the authorised dealer network which has not sold the vehicle.’
Instead, these inherent risks should remain with the ‘buyer beware’ consumer.
Another important issue covered in the supplementary submission was the definition of a ‘new car.’
AADA points out that the Assistant Minister’s proposed definition of a new vehicle includes:
• A vehicle is of a ‘light’ category and is right-hand-drive
• The vehicle must be manufactured no more than 12 months prior to import application
• The vehicle is purchased from an authorised Dealer located in a trusted vehicle source market
• And the vehicle is permitted to have a maximum of 4000 kilometres delivery mileage
The AADA is of the view that the proposed definition of a new vehicle (in respect to personal imports) is ‘inadequate and imprecise’ and would need adjusting if barriers are lifted.
The objectives of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (the MVS Act) are:
(a) To achieve uniform vehicle standards to apply to vehicles when they begin to be first used in transport in Australia; and
(b) To regulate the first supply to the market of used imported vehicles
The MVS Act makes a clear distinction between a new and used vehicle and under the proposed definition a PIV would not be ‘new,’ but rather ‘used’.
From the AADA Supplementary Submission:
‘A 4000 kilometre delivery mileage implies that the vehicle has been first used in transport outside Australia. We also submit the delivery mileage requirement to be reduced to 1000 kilometres with an understanding that there is potential for odometer fraud.
We also submit that if a vehicle is first registered in an overseas jurisdiction and is imported into Australia, it should be classified as a ‘used’ vehicle. This maintains consistency with the registration requirements in the States and Territories.’
Other considerations raised in the submission included a limit on the number of PIVs imported and regulation of ‘brokers and agents.’
Ultimately however, it is hoped that barriers restricting the personal importation of vehicles into Australia remain as they are for the good of consumers.
To view the AADA’s full supplementary submission, go to aada.asn.au.