Import Cars from Australia to UAE


Importing Your Car from Australia to the UAE? Importing Cars from Australia to the UAE starts at a cost of $2,649 USD with an estimated turnaround time of 30 days, depending on the make and model of the car and whether the destination in the UAE. Below, our 2022 guide for shipping cars to Australia will explore everything you need to know about importing a car from Australia to the UAE.

  • Australia to UAE Vehicle Import Checklist
  • Determining Vehicle Eligibility for Import to the UAE
  • Conforming vs. Nonconforming Vehicles
  • Australia to UAE Car Import Costs & Time Frame
  • Australia to UAE Vehicle Import Options
  • Additional Services
  • Ports Served in the UAE and Australia
  • Cleaning Your Vehicle’s Undercarriage
  • Driving Your Vehicle in the UAE
  • Other Australia/UAE Shipping Options

Australia to UAE Vehicle Import Checklist

Here’s a rough breakdown of the process you’ll need to go through to import your car from Australia to the United Arab Emirates

  • Determine your vehicle’s eligibility for import to the UAE, or determine the need to modify the vehicle to meet UAE standards
  • Understand the costs of shipping a vehicle, including:
    • Freight and insurance charges when shipping your vehicle

• Wharf, transport, storage and delivery charges after your vehicle arrives

• Duties, taxes and fees, including Australia’s GST (Goods and Services Tax) and LCT (Luxury Car Tax)

• Cleaning charges (for biosecurity, to prevent introduction of invasive species)

• Other charges such as import processing, customs brokers’, and logistics service provider charges

  • Select an international car shipping company and preferred shipping method to transport your vehicle from the Australia to UAE.
  • Determine your vehicle’s departure and destination ports
  • Confirm the vehicle is clean and free of biosecurity concerns
  • If you wish to register your vehicle for road use in UAE, you’ll need to get the vehicle plated in an UAE territory

More information on the process of shipping your car to UAE from Australia can be found in the Australian government’s guide to car shipping Australia.

Determining the Eligibility of Your Vehicle for Import to the United Arab Emirates

As you engage in the process for car imports, some of the most important questions to consider include:

  • Whether you are a UAE citizen, military or civilian employee of the UAE government, or a nonresident,
  • Whether you plan to permanently keep the car in the UAE or if it’s just a temporary move,
  • Whether the car was manufactured to comply with all applicable FMVSS, and, if not, whether it is a nonconforming motor vehicle eligible for shipment,
  • Whether your vehicle was manufactured after September 1, 1978, and
  • Whether your vehicle is a model year 1987 or later.
  • Whether your vehicle can be registered in your State.

These questions and more will determine the costs to import the car to the UAE, whether your car is eligible for import to the UAE, and finally, whether you will need to go through additional steps to make your car eligible for import. In some cases, such as temporary vehicle import approval for racing or other purposes, the usual standards for road vehicles may not apply. Reef Shipping can help you through the process of determining what will be required to import your car.

Conforming vs. Nonconforming Vehicles

Generally, if a car already meets the requirements for import to the UAE from Australia, it is because that model was originally designed for export and sale in the UAE, or was manufactured in the UAE for domestic sale. As such, nonconforming vehicles are required to be modified to meet all applicable FMVSS and EPA emissions standards.

Things to Consider

  • Vehicles more than 21 years old with their original engines may qualify for an EPA exemption.
  • Vehicles more than 25 years old may qualify for DOT.
  • All other vehicles must made for the UAE market and EPA/DOT compliant.
  • The undercarriage of your car will need to be clean and free of foreign soil. Therefore, you will need to have the exterior of your vehicle steam-sprayed or otherwise thoroughly cleaned before import to the UAE

If your car conforms to these standards, it will bear a manufacturer’s label on the engine compartment attesting to its compliance to emissions standards in English, as well as a certification label near the driver’s side door confirming that it complies to safety, bumper and theft prevention standards. You will need to complete EPA form 3520-1 and DOT form HS-7 attesting to your vehicle’s compliance. Additionally, you will need the shipper’s or carrier’s original bill of lading, bill of sale, foreign registration, and other documents covering the car, to be provided to your Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) inspector.

If your car is nonconforming, it may still be eligible for import with modifications by a DOT-registered importer, who modifies the vehicle and certifies that it conforms to all applicable FMVSS and emissions standards. Additionally, the importer must post a bond equivalent to 1.5 times the dutiable value of the vehicle (in addition to the normal CBP entry bond). A copy of the bond must be provided with the HS-7 form. The same is applicable for EPA, the list is here: EPA Independent Commercial Importers.

A nonconforming car may be shipped from Australia to the United Arab Emirates under certain conditions, such as re-importing a previously exported car, car imports for personal use not exceeding one year, shipping a vehicle as a member of foreign armed forces, diplomatic personnel, or other exceptions for importing cars authorized by the UAE State Department, bringing a vehicle into the country for testing, demonstration, or competition, or other special circumstances. The international car shipping experts Reef can help you identify if your vehicle falls into one of these categories to Import a Car from Australia to the UAE.

Car Shipping to UAE from Australia Costs & Time Frame

Using a baseline of a compact car being imported using the roll-on/roll-off method from the Port of Sydney in Australia to the Port of Jebal Ali, our estimate to Import a Car from Australia to UAE starts at a cost of $2,649 USD with an estimated turnaround time of 30 days, depending on whether the destination in the UAE.

However, the cost to import a car to United Arab Emirates from Australia can vary according to factors such as the model and make of your vehicle, your current location, the nearest departure port in Australia, your shipping method of choice, availability of your chosen services and your final destination. Additionally, you’ll need to consider costs such as storage, cleaning, other vendor car shipping fees, and American taxes & duties.

Duties on car imports are levied by Customs and Border Patrol before your car is delivered; if you are staying in UAE and the car is imported concurrently with your arrival in the country, you are permitted to import a car for up to 12 months without having to pay duties.

Generally, foreign-made cars imported for personal use or sale are dutiable at the following rates:

  • Auto: 5%
  • Trucks: 5%
  • Motorcycles: free or 2.4%
    Duty rates are based on price paid or payable, and most Canadian-manufactured cars are duty-free. If you are a resident of the United States returning to the country from travel, work, or study abroad, you may apply your $800 CBP exemption for car imports, and those of accompanying family members, towards the value of the car under the following circumstances:
  • The vehicle accompanies you on your return
  • You’ve imported the vehicle for personal use

Australia to UAE Vehicle Import Options

Importing a Car from Australia to UAE can be performed using a shared container, a sole container, or a roll-on/roll-off service car shipping method.

Roll-on/roll-off – This option tends to be one of the more affordable ones as you only must pay port charges and customs clearance charges in addition to the shipping charge. Your vehicle will be loaded into the holding area of a large vessel, one which resembles a big parking garage. This method is suitable for shipping and handling bulkier vehicles like work trucks.

Transits tend to be faster than with the roll-on/roll-off car shipping service as the containers depart on a weekly basis.

Shared container service – Several cars are shipped using a single container. The container must be processed, so more fees are involved than with the roll-on/roll-off method, however they are shared between several clients. Additional car shipping fees include customs clearance, trucking charge, terminal handling charge and a charge for unloading the cars at a warehouse.

You may be required to wait for a longer period before your car can be shipped as the container can only depart with a full load thanks to other clients

Full container load – This method is the same as the shared container load, your car or cars occupy the entire container, and the fees, which are similar to those for shared containers, are borne by you alone.

Container loading offers the benefit of added security. When the vehicle is received, photographs and a condition report are taken of the car itself as well as the loading process. Once the container arrives at the destination, our warehouse will take photos of the unloading process and of the vehicle itself. The vehicle is kept secure throughout the process, so clients may transport other items inside the vehicle, although they are advised to pack with care as we are not liable for any loss or damages sustained.

We choose not to use wood ramps like other companies but instead employ a steel loading system, which is more effective in preventing loss and damage.

Additional Services

Sourcing vehicles – Our long list of car buyers enables us to find and buy cars for purchasers located overseas for a commission or additional fee to be paid to the car buyer.

Other services – Some of the auto transport services we offer in overseas territories include domestic pickup, vehicle import assistance, tracking of your shipment, customs clearance in the USA and a full vehicle inspection report.

Ports Served in the UAE and Australia

Departure Ports – UAE

The location your car will depart from depends on the method of car shipping to Australia, where your car is located, your budget and which services the nearest port offers. We have multiple departure locations in the UAE, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, and Sharjah more.

Destination Ports – Australia

Here are the Australian entry ports that we can ship your car to.

  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Brisbane
  • Adelaide
  • Fremantle
  • Port Kembla
  • Geelong

Plating Your Car in Australia

If you intend to operate your vehicle on Australian roads, you’ll need to have the vehicle registered for road use. This is separate from your visa or driver’s license.

This requires you to fill out and submit an Endorsement of Compliance Certificate and register the vehicle in the appropriate State or Territory.

Visit the Australian Government’s resource page for more information about plating your vehicle in Australia.

Other Australia/UAE Shipping Options

  • Importing a Car from the UAE to Australia
  • Importing a Car from Australia to the UAE
  • Car Shipping to Australia from the UAE
  • Car Shipping to the UAE from Australia
  • Cargo Shipping from the UAE to Australia
  • Cargo Shipping from Australia to the UAE
  • Moving Household Goods from the UAE to Australia
  • Moving Household Goods from Australia to the UAE

his information was updated in April 2022. All information, time frames, pricing, and regulations are subject to change. Please contact a sales representative for the most current rates and information.

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