Permanent Import for Australia Granted
Its been a long road. Not the 42,000km covered in 2013 but the formalities throughout this year, of wanting to spend an extended period (more than 12 months) of time in Australia.
With 12 month working visa restrictions and 24 month Carnet restricts it is quite difficult to spend any time travelling Australia if you have not arrived with sufficient funds. Our plan has always been a long term one here in Australia so we have applied for Permanent Residency visas, however there are very few options for anything longer than 12 months and working visas are severely limiting. We basically didn’t have a choice other than to import the vehicle and trailer, and put it on Australian plates.
Once you have applied for residency the process of obtaining a personal import is surprisingly easy assuming your vehicle meets Australian Design Rules (ADR) and is right hand drive. For us the good news is that we are finally off the Carnet de Passage.
Like a noose around our neck for the last 12 months and a great deal of cost (1/5th of the total cost of our trip last year) the Carnet is due to expire in three weeks and would require us to export the vehicle. Extending the Carnet was initially an option but would have cost nearly double that of the permanent import and they dragged their heels when it came to the application. Both the RAC in the UK and the RACV here in Victoria took their time and required us to apply in full for the carnet again! When pushed they said we could use the extension part of our current Carnet and not issue new ones (trying to charge us an additional 400GBP) but still needed our insurance indemnity in full, even though it states nowhere that it is only valid for the initial 12 months. If the RAC in the UK are trying to put people off temporarily exporting their vehicles then they are doing a good job. There is a whole thread over on The HUBB dedicated to people from the UK currently travelling on Carnets and their dealings with the RAC.
As for us, well, we are awaiting our Residency Visas and in the meantime will register our vehicle and trailer here in Victoria and get the 90 through its roadworthy (The Aussie MOT). After that we can start saving and planning our next trip.