SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, May 14, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Productivity Commission's proposal to lower barriers to car imports has apparently raised concerns in some quarters about vehicle safety.
For example, David McCarthy, Communications Manager for Mercedes Benz was reported earlier this year expressing concerns about the safety and history of imported cars.
"Australia has a fine history in enforcing vehicle safety standards and setting the bar high" said David McCarthy, the senior communications manager for Mercedes-Benz.
"The provenance of the vehicle, its safety and emissions [standards would all be unknown]."(Sydney Morning Herald)
In most cases this is just posturing and possibly even scare-mongering.
- Current RAWS Compliance System Ensures Imports Are Safe
There is already a well established and maintained system in Australia to ensure vehicles privately imported into Australa meet the same safety standards as cars built in Australia.
The RAWS Compliance system means that any car imported into Australia must meet Australian Design Rule (ADR) requirements. If it does not meet these requirements it must be modified by a Registered Automotive Workshop (RAW).
"A RAW checks each vehicle for damage against legislatively prescribed guidelines - if the vehicle doesn't meet the requirements it is destroyed or must be leave the country - even if the damage has been repaired or is repairable. That's a pretty strong safety net." says Garry Sandher for Top Secret Imports, Australia's largest and most experienced importer of exotic and high end cars.
- Stringent Laws Ensure History of Import is Reliable
Some of the most popular countries that private cars are imported from (in particular Japan, England, Singapore and Hong Kong) have stringent laws in regards to vehicle exports.
These laws require that anyone intending to export a car check to ensure the car is not stolen, written off, repaired or has a pre-existing financial interest in them.
As for odometers, there are plenty of services around that you can use to verify the authenticity of a vehicles mileage (or kms), notes Mr Sandher.
"You can actually contact most manufacturers (such as Mercedes Benz) in any country, give them the VIN of the vehicle in question and they can bring up the vehicles details and service history for you."
"Things like mileage, servicing and repair history, can be obtained with a single phone call."
- More Imports - Lower Prices and Higher Specifications
If the New Zealand experience is an indicator, lower barriers to car imports can only be good for the consumer.
"In New Zealand, once the used imports started coming in the price of new vehicles went down and the level of specification in cars increased considerably, injury accidents came down and the road toll was markedly reduced because the cars were safer", says David Vinsen, the chief executive of New Zealand's Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association.
Relaxed laws could also mean greater access to newer models and the associated advances in safety technology:
"Under the current RAWS scheme 1000's of vehicles imported are vehicles which are 10-15 years old. With relaxed laws we could import newer, and safer cars" says Garry Sandher.
Top Secret Imports is a family run, specialist car import business and has built a reputation as a selling of world class cars. A licenced Registered Automotive Workshop (RAWS) they are vehicle compliance and importing specialists.
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