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SEVS importable model eligibility

The basics you need to know

Under SEVS only certain models of cars can be imported. The laws in this regard are somewhat complex and full of exceptions, but as some general rules, cars can only be imported under SEVS if the model of vehicle was not sold locally in Australia under any brand or badge. Cars sold with a different engine variant in Japan than in Australia are not considered sufficiently different to be eligible for import.

As well as all 1988 or older vehicles, click below for the list of vehicles which are elgible for import and for which compliance is available.

Go to Models allowed for import

Common cars which we get requests for which CANNOT be imported becuase of this are for example any BMW or Mercedes, Subaru WRX, Honda S2000, Honda Integra, Honda NSX, Toyota Landcruiser, Hilux Surf, Toyota MR-2, and many more. These cars were sold locally at dealerships in Australia and so cannot be imported.

In greater detail...

For those interested, here is how a car is deemed eligible under SEVS import laws. If the car was not sold locally it must then also meet 2 out of the following 4 criteria:

  • Appearance: the silhouette of a car must be different to that of cars sold locally. This is why a car which is the same shape but with a different engine is not eligible for import.
  • Performance: the car must have a power to weight ratio in excess of 105kW/ton or outstanding fuel economy of 4 litre/100km or better.
  • Unusual Design Features: unique design features which make the car suitable for an 'enthusiast' such as gull wing doors, a completely flat floor in a passenger van, or other unusual attributes.
  • Specialist Publication: there must have been an article about the vehicle published in a magazine or other form of media. This criteria is usually very easily met and is intended to exclude custom made or one off vehicles which are not really production cars.

Additionally some vehicles can be imported if they are converted to a campervan (which might be as simple as claiming the fold down seats are a 'bed' and the addition of a portable camping stove) and some cars are eligible automatically if the manufacturer has no presence or does not sell cars in full volume in Australia already (for example DeTomaso, American General Motors, Koenigsegg, Pontiac).

Note that although many vehicles should be eligible for import under SEVS (that is, they meet the necessary criteria to be permitted for import) only vehicles which have had a detailed application submitted and been approved by DOTARS make it onto the SEVS eligibility list.

Vehicles on the SEVS eligibility list are still only able to be imported to Australia once a RAWS workshop has collected the evidence necessary to apply to DOTARS, then imported, complied and had a test vehicle passed in order to get that model on their schedule for compliance.. Since it is quite a costly process to collect this evidence, although some models of cars are eligible under SEVS, if there is not great demand for them it is unlikely a RAW will ever be able to comply them as they will not recoup their initial investment.

For cars where there is only a small number of Registered Automotive Workshops who can comply them there may not be anyone in your state who can comply a particular vehicle. In this instance J-Spec can arrange for a vehicle to be shipped to the RAW to comply the car, and then arrange for delivery from the RAW once complied to you.