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Importing an RV into Australia

In response to questions on the RV Forum messsage boards, forum member Ian Loxton provided the following information for folks contemplating taking their RV to Australia.

A response Ian received from a direct communication with Australian authorities

In regard to your inquiring regarding mobile homes and their use in South Australia. If someone is coming from overseas and hiring a mobile home to travel around it is pretty simple as the vehicle is a Australian complying vehicle and registered here anyway. If they are going to bring the vehicle with them then it gets a bit more involved.

If they are coming here as visitors and bring their vehicle with them and taking it back again when they are finished then it is not too difficult. They would have to arrange a Carnet (type of bond) from their motoring organisation before they left [home] and they would be allowed to drive in Australia for up to six months on their overseas registration, but they would be required to cover their vehicle with third party insurance for the period it is in Australia.

This can be done at any [Australian] registration branch. There is no requirement to modify the vehicle or to bring it up to Australian specifications if it being used under a Carnet. They just have to make sure that their overseas registration will cover the period they are in Australia.

If they are to be gaining residence status and moving here permanently then they would have to meet certain importation requirements and would need to bring the vehicle up to Aust specs including a left hand or rear access door.

In any case they should contact the Federal Dept of Transport and Regional Services in Canberra regarding gaining approval to import the vehicle into Australia.

Hope this helps, if you have any further inquiries please let me know.

David Gunner
Senior Vehicle Standards Officer
Vehicle Standards
Department for Transport, Energy & Infrastructure
Adelaide, South Australia

Ian's notes

3rd Party Insurance is a compulsory insurance that covers injuries to other people in case of an accident and it is taken out through the registration department in any State. It doesn't provide any cover for you, your vehicle, for any other vehicle, or for any damage that might be done. You would be well advised to undertake a Comprehensive Insurance that will provide cover for those other items. I would suggest checking this out with your nearest Australian Embassy, I'm sure they could fill in the info for you.

The DoTARS page that seems most useful is which provides Information, Standards, and Documentation requirements for Importing Vehicles into Australia.

A response Ian received from the Recreational Vehicle Manufacturers Association

It is imperative that anyone contemplating importing any RV thoroughly studies the requirements of the Department of Transport Vehicle Safety Standards, to ensure that the vehicle can be imported and registered. There are a lot of problems with non-complying imported RVs, not meeting dimensional requirements, having appliances and/or their installations not meeting the Australian Standards, etc.

Here are the two main web-sites for compliancing information:

Recreational Vehicle Manufacturers Association of Australia, Inc.
64 Harcourt Street, North Melbourne, VIC 3051
Tel: (03) 9329 3790
Fax: (03) 9329 3706
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