Importing a Boat to Australia
We have some of the best rates for RORO-shipping to Australia in the U.S. and we serve the ports of Brisbane, Adelaide, Port Kembla, Fremantle, and Melbourne. Whether you are a repeat customer or a first-time buyer, here’s a few tips and reminders about buying, shipping, and importing boats and yachts to Australia from the U.S.
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Finding the right boat.
Buying a boat from another country often means dealing with people that you never met or dealt with in the past. There’s tons of free classified ads and Craig’s list-type re-advertisers on the internet with deals just too good to be true. If it sounds too good, then, you’d guessed it, it probably is a scam.
Do your research. Be realistic. Partner up with a Pro (like us).
We suggest you deal with us. Each week we get shipping, export, and certification inquiries from some of the country’s well respected marine dealers. We work in close cooperation with country-wide brand name retailers such as Marinemax and with the brand stores of Regal, Chaparral, Monterey, Bayliner, Larson – just to mention a few.
We are a fully licensed Non Vessel Operating Common Carrier by the Federal Maritime Commission and as such we operate our own in-house shipping company. We have exclusive contracts with some of the largest steamship companies in the world. As one of the rather few NVOCC’s we have the authority to buy and resell space on ocean-going cargo ships and issue our own bills of lading. What does this mean for you? As an individual? Well, by contacting us directly you are likely to save considerable time and money by dealing directly with the contract holder (as opposed to a string of middlemen).
Buying a boat directly from us or through our brokerage division
Boats International, Inc. is our own in-house discount boat dealership. We buy bulk trade-in’s from the big retailers but we also buy from banks and individuals as well. For the past 20+ years our focus have been to absorb distressed inventory and floor-plan boats from cash-strapped dealers and resell these locally and overseas. As we now are completing our store expansion project (September, 2011) we will be able to take on even more inventory then in the past and also have space over to showcase brokerage and consignment boats.
Most of our international buyers rely on our reputation and expertise as a key player on the U.S. domestic and international boat market and they seek our help to source the boat(s) that they seek. If we do not have what they seek in stock we’ll be sure to find it through our network of dealers and banks for the right money.
Whether your buying a stock boat from us or one from another dealer we are well equipped to assist you with every step from inspection to final delivery of your boat or yacht to Australia. For example we can help you or your client with:
Finding a Boat or Yacht that meets (or exceeds) your requirements in terms of condition, equipment, and of course price
Negotiate the Deal (including but not limited to title searches, accident reports, previous owner status, etc)
Survey & Physical Inspection (we have a longstanding partnership with a number of accredited marine surveyors, mechanics, and experts in most regions of the country)
Closing the Deal – we often act as intermediary for international buyers as most of our overseas clients prefer only to work with one turn-key partner
Pre-shipping Logistics – once the deal is done and the boat paid for we assist in coordinating haul-outs, marina loadings, boat ramp pickups and inland U.S. land transport/trucking through our in-house logistics company Boatlogistic.com, Inc.
Pre-Export Preparation – Sanitation, Fumigation, De-gassing of refrigerants.
Australia has (as you probably know already) very specific and strict import restrictions for boats and vessels. The governing body is the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) which is part of the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. Depending on the geographical location of the boat and the required preparation of the vessel we can either prepare the boat for export to Australia while underway, or we can have it completed at our marina in Pompano Beach, Florida.
Australian Shipping Services Team – our Australian Shipping Services Team assist with
- Sanitize boats & yachts prior to port delivery – AQIS will stop all boats that are dirty and soiled to check for insect/parasite infestations
- Fumigation of boats and cradles according to AQIS-standard (Methyl Bromide 3.0 lbs / 1,000 cubic feet / 24 hrs)
- De-gassing of
- Air-conditioning Systems (AC)
- Providing HVAC Customs Certification
With our certificates our customer are NOT REQUIRED to obtain the otherwise very expensive Australian import licenses.
Trailer Import Permit Assistance
The Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure and Transport requires that all imported boat trailers have an Import Approval. You can read more about the approval at the Department’s website or you can download the .pdf-application “Import a Small Road Trailer” here.
Import Duties and Goods and Services Tax (GST)
You must pay 10% GST on all costs associated with the purchase of the the boat, ocean freight, duty, wharf charges, customs broker fees, and destination port fees. In accordance with the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA), U.S.-made boats are NOT subject to the additional 5% Duty (normally applicable on imported pleasure boats to Australia).
ISPM-15 – No Worries Mate – We Fumigate All Wooden Cradles & Provide Proof of Fumigation
International Standards For Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (ISPM 15) is an International Phytosanitary Measure developed by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) that directly addresses the need to treat wood materials of a thickness greater than 6mm, used to ship products between countries. Its main purpose is to prevent the international transport and spread of disease and insects that could negatively affect plants or ecosystems. ISPM 15 affects all wood packaging material (pallets, crates, dunnages, etc.) requiring that they be debarked and then heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromide and stamped or branded, with a mark of compliance. This mark of compliance is colloquially known as the “wheat stamp”. Products exempt from the ISPM 15 are made from alternative material, like paper, plastic or wood panel products (i.e. OSB, hardboard, and plywood).
Customs Broker Fees & Destination Charges in Australia
There’s tons of websites out there claiming to be the know-it-all for import questions concerning boats & yachts to Australia. Fortunately, we are not one of them. While we can recommend quite a few competent companies in Australia it is ultimately up to you to pick a customs partner in your home port. As is true for all facets of our business we believe that there are no shortcuts to sustained success in business (or life for that matter). That said we recommend that you seek the advice of an Australian Customs Broker who is licensed by the “Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia Inc” – CBFCA-Australia Website to inquire about recent legal and import changes pertaining to your planned import.
Please contact us for more information