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Importing Vehicles - Compliance Checklist

Posted on January 24, 2024

Importing Vehicles - Compliance Checklist

If you're importing a car to NZ, there are several steps you'll need to follow to ensure compliance with local law. This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about vehicle import compliance in NZ, from safety and environmental standards to the documentation you’ll need. Read our checklist below to ensure your vehicle arrives hassle-free.

NZ Car Import Rules: Key Compliance Considerations

Clean Car Programme

The Clean Car Programme is a regulatory framework implemented by Waka Kotahi in New Zealand. This framework has been designed to ensure that all imported vehicles meet certain standards of safety and environmental sustainability. As part of the programme, an Approved Inspection Organisation carries out a border inspection in either New Zealand or the location the vehicle is being shipped from. This inspection ensures that it complies with these regulations.

The clean car programme is crucial for reducing the environmental impact of imported vehicles and ensuring their safety for use on New Zealand roads. By mandating imported vehicle compliance with strict standards, the programme aims to safeguard the health and welfare of the public and the environment.

Entry Certification

Importing used vehicles into New Zealand entails a vital step called Entry Certification. This certification is mandatory and strongly affirms that the imported vehicle adheres to New Zealand's strict safety and emissions standards. It is crucial to complete this certification as it is a prerequisite to the subsequent registration and licensing processes.

Ensuring that the vehicle adheres to New Zealand's safety and emissions standards is important for guaranteeing the vehicle's roadworthiness and environmental compliance. The certification process involves a thorough examination to confirm that the vehicle meets or exceeds the specified standards. Completing the Entry Certification simplifies subsequent steps in the import process, ensuring a seamless transition to registration and licensing.

Vehicle Standards

As a part of the imported vehicles' compliance check, your car must meet various vehicle requirements standards set by Waka Kotahi. The requirements vary depending on a few key aspects, such as:

  • The class of vehicle.
  • The date of manufacture.
  • The country the vehicle is being exported from.

Some specific vehicle standards will relate to unique vehicles or situations in which you're importing, such as:

  • Scratch-built or modified vehicles.
  • Importing a left-hand drive vehicle.
  • Importing a vehicle temporarily.
  • Immigrants' vehicles.
  • Special interest vehicles.

To comply with the required vehicle standards, you must provide evidence to support your claim. You can find specific information about the vehicle standards on the Waka Kotahi website.

 Import vehicle compliance - A man with a clipboard looking at a car engine

Registration and Licensing

Importing a vehicle to New Zealand requires registering and licensing it to legally operate it on the roads. You must comply with the requirements set by Waka Kotahi and submit all required documentation. The registration process includes several steps, such as a WoF inspection, payment of registration fees, and obtaining license plates. Completing this process as soon as possible is crucial to avoid penalties or fines for driving an unregistered vehicle.

Gathering the Correct Documentation

One of the most important aspects of the import vehicle compliance checklist you must tick off is ensuring you have the correct documentation. Beyond documented proof of the vehicle's compliance with NZ vehicle standards, you will need a few other key documents.

Bill of Sale

Whether in the process of purchasing or already owning the vehicle, having a copy of the Bill of Sale is non-negotiable. This document serves as proof of transaction and ownership. In the event of misplacement, obtaining a "sight unseen" valuation from a reputable car dealer will reaffirm the vehicle's value and history.

Registration/Ownership Papers

Providing a copy of the registration papers showcasing ownership details is essential. For certain countries, original ownership or title papers are mandatory for exporting a vehicle. These documents validate the legal ownership of the car and are crucial for a hassle-free shipping process.

Photo ID

Include a high-quality colour scan copy of your passport's photo page. This ID is a vital piece of identification, ensuring that the shipper and relevant authorities can verify your identity during shipping.

Call the Vehicle Import Professionals

Completing every step on this compliance checklist will ensure your car gets into the country with no problem. However, if this seems like a lot of work, call the professionals. McCullough is your vehicle shipping expert and can assist you with getting vehicles into NZ. We’ll handle the intricacies of the import process, ensuring a hassle-free experience. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you.

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