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Rules ease barriers to importing

Although the five-year-old Takata airbag debacle doesn’t apply to classics, some of the cars it does affect might have become classics by the time the whole thing is completely resolved.

To say it’s taken a while is an understatement — and one of the reasons is consumer law alone wasn’t sufficient to support a recall of this kind.

When the Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 comes into effect on December 10 this year, not only will it tighten up some of the provisions around recalls but it will also introduce some changes for classic car enthusiasts.

By the time the Act comes into effect, compliance plates on new cars will have begun to be phased out. Specific vehicle details will instead be available online.

While this may initially be somewhat jarring to some enthusiasts, the regulation will only apply to all new vehicles imported to Australia from December 11, 2020, following a 12-month transitional period.

No doubt, there is something gratifying about having a metal stamped compliance plate attached to your car. Although it’s arguable whether all enthusiasts of cars built in 2020 will have the same view. They’ll be expecting a searchable database anyway.

Secondly, and a major plus for enthusiasts, is that the new rules will broaden the scope by which classic cars can be imported to and registered in Australia.

Where new cars will be imported to Australia under type approval (where manufacturers declare compliance), special and enthusiast vehicles will be imported via a concessional pathway on to a Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicles (SEVs) Register.

New vehicle import rules are set to expand the variety of enthusiast cars that can be imported to Australia, including cars such as this Suzuki Cappucino.New vehicle import rules are set to expand the variety of enthusiast cars that can be imported to Australia, including cars such as this Suzuki Cappucino.
Camera IconNew vehicle import rules are set to expand the variety of enthusiast cars that can be imported to Australia, including cars such as this Suzuki Cappucino.

The new rules (which are available online) are expected by the Federal Government to expand the range of vehicle makes, models and variants that are eligible for importation as specialist and enthusiast vehicles.

At the same time, it’s claimed the criteria for classic and specialist vehicles is expected to “better capture vehicles that are of a genuine specialist or enthusiast nature”.

This is a tacit acknowledgement of loopholes in the outgoing legislation which allowed the importation of vehicles which weren’t really specialist or enthusiast related.

So, as enthusiasts, it seems we’ve had a little win.

MOTOR MOMENTS

Today

Cranksters Hot Summer Nights 6. Claremont Showground, From 5-9pm. All pre-1978 hot rods, customs and classics are welcome.

Today-Monday

Children’s Week at the Motor Museum of WA, Whiteman Park. Final two days. Free entry to kids under 12 accompanied by an adult. See motormuseumwa.com.au

February 10

Perth Poker Run. Cruise from UWA business school carpark, Hackett Drive, Crawley, from 10.30am. See Perth Poker Run on Facebook or phone 0413 448 411.

February 17

Northam Vintage Swap Meet. Jubilee Oval, Northam. Public admission from 7am, sellers from 6.30am. Email splinter37@gmail.com or phone 0417 976 699.

Third Annual HQ Show, Shine and Cruise. Fremantle Sailing Club, 10am-2pm. All HQ Holdens welcome. Phone 0404 033 204.

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