Thursday, 17 August 2017 13:01

The Motor Trade Association of WA (MTA WA) welcomes the Turnbull Government’s announcement to scrap a policy change that would have allowed the personal importation of new motor vehicles from the United Kingdom and Japan from 2018. This follows a review of the existing Motor Vehicle Standards Act conducted from 2013 to 2015, the announcement of the changes proposed in response to the review in February 2016, and extensive industry consultation since that time.

The MTA WA along with the other state MTAs and Chambers have worked hard over the past three and a half years to ensure that Federal Politicians were made aware of the potential damage to the local industry by allowing for personal imports.

MTA WA CEO Stephen Moir said that the arguments that the ability for private citizens to personally import new cars would lead to greater competition and lower costs were fundamentally flawed.

“Australia is one of if not the most competitive new car market in the world with 69 manufacturers and in excess of 380 models available today. If the Federal Government is serious about reducing the cost of new cars then they only need to look at fundamental issues such as the maintenance of the luxury car tax, which is now effectively redundant and the broad range of stamp duty rates that apply across jurisdictions in Australia.”

The new Bill introduces reforms to modernise and strengthen the laws governing road vehicles when first supplied to the Australian market; clarify vehicle recall arrangements; accelerate harmonisation of vehicles with international standards; and provide more choice through streamlining and consolidating the regulatory pathways through which non-standard vehicles are imported.

Mr Moir said that it was a positive outcome that the new Act would better protect the community when it comes to vehicle recalls, by mirroring the safety recalls provisions in the Australian Consumer Law. This means vehicle recalls provisions will apply to all road vehicles sold in Australia, whether private or commercial. The Government will also move to require a secure vehicle identification marking on new vehicles which will provide a significant deterrent to motor vehicle theft and re-birthing.

Mr Moir said that it was encouraging that the Turnbull Government has decided not to proceed with allowing for the personal importation of new motor vehicles from the United Kingdom and Japan. The consultations completed by government, at which the MTA’s were very prominent highlighted the cost and complexity of providing appropriate consumer awareness and protection arrangements, including investigation of each vehicle before it was imported to Australia; ensuring consumers were aware that the manufacturer’s warranty may not apply in Australia; and establishing systems to deal with a manufacturer’s safety recall.  

“This is a real win for the industry and consumers” said Stephen Moir, MTA WA CEO “personal importation of vehicles is fraught with risk for consumers and we’re pleased that the Government has listened to the concerns of industry.”

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