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Vital Info to Ensure Your Vehicle is NZ Compliant

Posted on June 1, 2015 – Shipping Vehicles

Vital Info to Ensure Your Vehicle is NZ Compliant

A couple of months ago we spoke to Tom Andrews who was bringing a stunning 1937 Bugatti from Paris to his Classics Museum in Hamilton and were keen to explore further his warning that the toughest thing for people new to importing vehicles into New Zealand was understanding compliance.

Because New Zealand’s border security makes such a song and dance about bringing fruit and veggies into the country – so much so that they even make television programmes about it – importers expect the thorough MAF biosecurity inspection. And everyone expects to have to clear Customs when they’re crossing international borders.

But compliance is another matter… so here are a few top tips to making sure you’re not caught out with a bill for thousands of dollars.

Know your standards
These standards for safety and environmental impact come as second nature to an experienced vehicle importer like McCullough and we understand the potential pitfalls and the fact that almost every vehicle and owner are a unique case. So get us involved in the process as early as possible and we’ll help guide you through the paperwork and all the latest regulations. In short, though, you’ll need to make sure:

Your vehicle conforms to the Euro 4 emissions standard – yes, there are exceptions and this standard can be changed at little notice, but New Zealand is keen to keep its clean and green image so is strict about vehicle emissions.

Your vehicle meets frontal impact safety requirements – some vehicles, especially made in Asia, don’t conform to our standards and won’t be allowed on New Zealand roads.

You have all the right paperwork – this includes vehicle purchase invoice, original registrations and title and a statement of compliance from an authorized representative of the vehicle’s manufacturer which lists the standards to which the vehicle was certified when it was made. For an example of a statement of compliance document, visit the NZTA website here.

Don’t be caught out by condition
General safety requirements such as corrosion, modifications, repairs and damage should be spotted by a thorough vehicle check before the vehicle is imported, but regardless of you meeting all the compliance standards, you can still be caught out by a vehicle’s structural condition.

The general inspection is thorough and invasive – meaning they’re likely to take out interior trim to check things such as seatbelt mounts, the chassis will be inspected for structural weakness and any subsequent repairs will require major work and staged sign-offs.

The NZ Herald outlined this case of a 1967 Mustang which had been driven legally in Australia for 10 years but failed on corrosion and chassis issues and had been converted to right-hand drive without changing the windscreen wiper sweep – all in all a very costly rebuild requiring a new firewall panel and work to most exterior panels.

The safest way to either ensure compliance or to understand the costs and bureaucracy involved in importing a car requiring compliance, is by talking to McCullough’s team of experts in vehicle importation. You can contact us on +64 9 303 0075.


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