You have a motorcycle and ---for either economic or personal reasons--- you want to ship it to Australia. However, international trade seems so overwrought with logistical and regulatory concerns that you sometimes wonder if it is even possible. Nonetheless, it is certainly possible because Australia sees billions of dollars in imports every year, consisting of everything from telecommunications equipment and computers to oil. There is a way for you to ship your motorcycle from your home country to Australia.
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Prepare your motorcycle for shipment. The Australian government, through the Australia Quarantine and Inspection Service, places every imported motorcycle into quarantine. There, it inspects imported motorcycles for insects, seeds, soil and other contaminants. The purpose is to protect Australia from pests and diseases that may enter from other countries. Failure to thoroughly clean the inside and outside of the motorcycle could result in it being exported back at your expense.
Choose an international shipping company. International shipping companies, also called carriers, can ship your motorcycle safely and cost effectively. However, you must shop around because some carriers offer services that are more extensive than others. For instance, some carriers provide door-to-door service. With this service, they will come to your home, pick up the motorcycle and handle the entire shipping process. Research these companies on the Internet to compare their prices and services before choosing one.
Apply for import approval. Imported vehicles must comply with Australia's Motor Vehicle Standards Act of 1989. Shipping a vehicle that does not comply with the Act is illegal. Applying for and receiving approval from the Administrator of Vehicle Standards before shipping your motorcycle to Australia will help you avoid negative legal consequences, including having your motorcycle destroyed. Visit the Australian government's website to obtain your application.
Clear U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Customs is a part of Homeland Security, and is commonly associated with immigration. However, Customs is also responsible for facilitating international trade. To clear U.S. Customs, you must present the motorcycle and required documentation, including your Certificate of Title to Customs. Customs agents will be located at the U.S. export port that your motorcycle will ship from.
Consider hiring a customs broker. There are an estimated 11,000 licensed customs brokers in the U.S. who can help facilitate your shipping process. Customs brokers help ensure that your shipment meets federal import and export requirements. They can also explain the duties, fees and taxes that will be associated with your shipment.
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