Importing an old Beemer

Discussion in 'Australia' started by PeterWebtrax, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. PeterWebtrax

    PeterWebtrax Been here awhile

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    So I returned to Aus mid September and tried to find a job to pay the accumulated bills, confident that my little bike was wending its way back to Aus.

    After about 4-5 weeks I hadn't had any updates from Robin so called him to check when it was going to arrive. To be told that it hadn't actually left yet, due to the paperwork problem with the other vehicles.

    About this time I realised Robin wasn't the 'volunteering information' type of guy. I was going to have to ask to find out anything.

    Kept waiting, until finally advised that the bike was due in Sydney Dec 18th. Great, but what were the chances of getting the bike processed through customs in the days before Christmas, not good.

    Then a couple of days before it was due to arrive, when I rang to find out how to pay the fees, I was advised that it was actually arriving in Brisbane, 'cos the next ship going to Sydney would have taken too long'. Hmmm, not impressed.

    So it arrived in Brisbane on the 18th. On the 21st I got told the cost would be almost double what I'd been quoted. Really not happy now.

    Apparently, because I'd been a good boy and got the import approval done myself, the shipper agent decided to treat my bike as a totally separate customer to Robin's other vehicles in the container. So instead of sharing the cost of all the overheads, I got the lot.

    At least Robin waived any charges for himself, so all the money went to the agent. In the end it cost me about $700 more than I expected for the import.

    Moral of this part of the story. If you are going to come in with someone like Robin who is essentially bringing the vehicles in 'as his own', let him do the lot, including getting the import approval. And you shouldn't get slugged like I did.

    Anyway, now I needed to get the bike back from Brisbane, and he's shutting down for 2 weeks. At least it gave me 2 weeks to work out my best option.

    But that's the next installment. Not really relevant to the actual importation, but another challenge nonetheless.
    #41
  2. PeterWebtrax

    PeterWebtrax Been here awhile

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    Yeh, the last bit was step 4.

    After considering flying up to Brisbane and riding back, driving up and trailering back, and getting it shipped down, it was going to cost me much the same whichever way I went, so bit the bullet and decided to get it shipped down.

    Another $400+.

    Got some quotes, and Robin's normal trucking company Bikes Only were competitive, so decided it made sense to use them.

    Shouldn't be too difficult should it. Stick it on a truck going from Brisbane past Canberra, what can go wrong.

    2 weeks later it leaves Brisbane, next time I check it is in Sydney coming down in a few days. Hmmm, why did it get dropped off in Sydney.

    Then I get told it will be delivered late Thursday, no show.
    Then Friday, no show, the driver's off fighting fires in Yass, where's his priorities, my bike versus Yass, not a contest.
    Promises to deliver it Saturday afternoon. No show.
    Sent him a message Sunday morning, and get a call to say 'sorry, though you were someone else, you're bike is still in Sydney'. Aaaaah shiiiiiiiit.
    Apparently my bike got dropped off in Sydney 'accidentallly'.
    At least the lady I talked to on Monday was very apologetic, and admitted it was a cock-up, my words not hers.

    So, she promised it would arrive on Tuesday afternoon.
    And it did. Hallelujah.

    And it appeared to be in good nick. Had obviously been left outside for some time, minor corrosion on the aluminium, and after 4 months, it started.

    All the trials and tribulations disappeared.
    #42
  3. PeterWebtrax

    PeterWebtrax Been here awhile

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    Having postponed my registration inspection three times due to the delay in delivery, I was booked in again on the Thursday morning.

    Got a permit to ride the bike to the inspection. Did some basic checks, only realising that the brake light wasn't working an hour before the inspection.

    Inspection went fine until they asked for my 'engineering certification' or some-such thing. I said it didn't need it as it was pre 89, they said "don't think so, will check with the boss". He came out and said yes it did have to have a certificate to say that it complied with the ADR's as at 1988, not the full RAWS certification that post 89 vehicles required.

    Heart sank, pipped at the post.

    So they signed the paperwork, told me to go to someone nearby who does these inspections, but as I'm going out the boss says "meet me outside for a chat".

    He asks a few questions about whether the bike was the same in US as in AUS, whether the lights pointed right or straight ahead etc, and then says "I'll sign it off for you".

    Could have kissed him.

    So all that shit I've heaped on the folks at Dickson inspection station over the last 5 years, I publicly retract it all now.

    Did the paperwork, paid the mucho dollars, and became the new owner of the bike, almost 12 months after putting down the deposit.

    So, I'm still not sure what the actual inspection was that they were asking for. I suspect it was just the same 'roadworthy inspection' one does when trying to get a vehicle registered from another state. But could be wrong.

    And your state could have totally different rules. I had been assured by several people at the Registry when I was checking this side of the process that the bike did not need any special inspections etc. So check and double-check exactly what they mean.

    But all's well that ends well as they say.
    #43
  4. gsd4me

    gsd4me 90% bluff

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    A bit lighter in the pocket, but all worked out OK, that has to be a plus. Any damage to the bike on the way over?
    #44
  5. PeterWebtrax

    PeterWebtrax Been here awhile

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    For me, was it worth it financially, probably not. I was hoping to get it here for a couple of thousand less than it would have cost here. But with the extra costs of importation and trucking, it probably cost about the same.

    Assuming of course that I could have found one in this condition and low mileage, Jesse panniers etc. Probably not.

    And I got to use it for 3 weeks in the US, which would have cost me even more.

    If you could avoid the pitfalls I fell into, yes you could bring one in cheaper than you could buy one here. Also much easier if you are not going over there to use the thing.

    Would I do it again. Well, not sure, but there's a very nice CX650 Turbo for sale in Europe at the moment, very tempting.

    Anyway, hope this little story will help others contemplating the same thing. It is certainly doable, and there's a lot of bloody nice motorbikes over there to choose from.

    Happy to take questions, and/or be corrected if I got anything wrong, and hopefully this thread can become a comprehensive guide for others.

    Cheers
    Pete
    #45
  6. panhead_pete

    panhead_pete Gone riding

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    Hi guys

    I import Harleys and cars from the US and am happy to help anyone I can with advice etc for this sort of thing at no cost.

    Cheers
    Pete
    #46
  7. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

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    I have been in the USA for 3 months this time, thinking I was going to be here longer I bought a bike, 2011 BMWg650gs, now I am looking at maybe shipping it home but I have heard customs duties are a bit crazy? Just wondering if its worth it? Anyone have any experience with this? Or can recommend a good person to ship with?

    Thanks!
    #47
  8. atgreg

    atgreg Africatwinarama Super Moderator

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  9. panhead_pete

    panhead_pete Gone riding

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    In a word No. Will be at least $4k in costs perhaps more and thats if you can find someone here that has the approval to do the compliance on it. You only pay 10% GST when you bring it in. I use John Leggit at EDI Customs in Bris for all my importing and Qld Imports for compliancing. Both are VERY good at what they do.
    #49
  10. GodSilla

    GodSilla I did that.

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    You could pm Peter Webtrax (the OP for this thread), he just did it recently with an R100GS. Mucho detail already in here.
    #50
  11. PeterWebtrax

    PeterWebtrax Been here awhile

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    I'm afraid the answer is going to be no, it would be prohibitively expensive. If you notice the name of this thread it is about an 'old' beemer.

    Basically the vehicle has to be built before 1/1/1989 for it NOT to need full ADR compliance certification when it is imported. And that is where the killer cost is.

    Cheers
    Pete
    #51
  12. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

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    Thanks Pete. My original thread got put here to help me out. And yes I see now that selling here is the better option. Cheers for the advice.
    #52