There are various reasons why one would choose to purchase a boat in USA and ship it to Australia. Firstly, the U.S market has a greater range of boats as compared to local dealers in Australia. Secondly, boats are cheaper in the U.S than in Australia. The latter is made possible by the fact that there is no import duty for American boats because of the USA Australia Free Trade Agreement (USFTA). This said, every country has its customs and regulations for imports so when shipping a boat USA to Australia, there are some crucial steps you need to follow. This article highlights the necessary process needed when shipping a boat USA to Australia (not only from Florida) without any problems.
Get a Survey Report before you purchase the boat
Once you identify a boat in the USA that interests you, get a pre-purchase report or a survey from a marine surveyor. Essentially, the job of a marine surveyor is to confirm that the vessel is in a worthy condition; that it’s fit for the intended purpose, and that it’s safe for export. Marine surveyors survey everything from small crafts, to yachts, to commercial ships. Part of a marine surveyor’s job is to ensure that the boat meets the international regulations and government classifications. You should never purchase a boat that hasn’t gone through a pre-purchase inspection and here is why:
- As you probably well know, there are plenty of cons online, so you need to take caution and guard against scams. The process of boat survey confirms that the boat is real and genuine.
- Some sellers use old photos that were taken when the boat was in a good condition. Having a pre-purchase inspection done will save you from purchasing an old or damaged boat.
- In case the boat got damaged while in transit, a pre-purchase report will confirm its initial condition and as a result, speed the process of having your claim approved and processed.
- Inspections help you know the real condition of the boat. If you’re buying a used boat which needs repairs, having the boat repaired in the USA before importing is often cheaper than importing it then repairing it locally. Furthermore, knowing the extent of damages will allow you to negotiate prices.
Taxes, Import Duties, and Permits
There is no import duty on American made boats shipped from the U.S to Australia. However, there are some variables here: If you buy a boat in the U.S which was manufactured in another country, you will need to pay a 5% FOB cost. And if the boat is American made but imported from another country other than the U.S, you will also incur an import duty of 5%. Then, import GST of 10% applies to all boats on the CIF value, which refers to the cost of insurance, cost of the boat, and any inland transport or repairs to the boat. If the boat is a 2nd hand one, it will be inspected by Australia Quarantine at a minimum charge of $139. And if it needs cleaning, they will add an extra fee.
All boats with air conditioning units need an import permit from the government. When shipping a boat USA to Australia, it’s advisable to de-gas and decommission the boat before exporting it. To avoid pre-charged equipment licenses on arrival, you will need to get a certificate from the service provider that degassed your boat before exporting. Alternatively, to avoid paying for this permit, get your boat dealer or whoever was involved in air conditioning inspection state in their report that ‘No air-conditioning or refrigeration was found on this boat’. Finally, regardless of whether you intend to use the trailer in Australia or not, boat trailers also require a permit from the department of infrastructure.
Some tips before you ship a boat USA to Australia
- To avoid additional charges when the boat arrives Australia, make sure the boat gets a thorough inspection before it leaves the U.S. You could also ask your transporter to confirm the boat condition before loading it. Ensure that you’re dealing with a transporter who is familiar with shipping boats to Australia. Otherwise, they won’t know what to be on the lookout for.
- If the boat is very dirty, it most likely won’t be allowed onto the ship. To avoid delays and inconveniences, make sure the seller cleans it beforehand.
- And finally, when shipping a boat USA to Australia, just know that the Australian customs are very strict when inspecting used boats, so when preparing yours, don’t leave any stone unturned.
If you have any questions regarding importing your boat from USA to Australia, we are here to help. Please contact us.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.