Letter of Compliance in Australia

Letter of Compliance in Australia

Letter of Compliance in Australia


Japan used cars import in Australia is a complex process that includes a great deal of paperwork. Vehicle meeting certain criteria or compliance qualify for the permit from the Department of Infrastructure and Transport. 

Australian Government is very strict and particular about implementation of rules and regulations in the Country. The body that takes the responsibility for monitoring the import of cars is "Department of Infrastructure and Transport".

They work in conjunction with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. Recently, the government has revised the standard and introduced Compliance.

Under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989, the department makes sure that all the new and used vehicles entering Australian market must be safe,

environment-friendly and anti-theft to achieve the regulatory outcome of improved vehicle safety that delivers economic safety.


What is Compliance?

A document certified by a competent authority specifying required specifications for the imported vehicles. It is also called certificate of conformance or certificate of conformity. This regulation protects domestic industries, consumers, and the environment from harmful and dangerous goods imported from overseas.


Who can issue Letter of Compliance?

Letter of Compliance is issued by a certified holder of an Identification Plate Approval (IPA) stating that a vehicle assembled with Australian Design Rules (ADRs) at the time the vehicle was first delivered for use in transport. The details of IPA holders and the persons permitted to issue a Letter of Compliance are available via the RVCS Certification Unit Search.


Important Note:

  • Documents and/or approvals produced by this Department do not constitute a Letter of Compliance.
  • And also it is compulsory to know that not all IPA holders will issue a Letter of Compliance.
  • Don’'t get confused by certificate of conformity issued by an overseas vehicle manufacturer or motor vehicle dealer is not a Letter of Compliance.


What a vehicle needs to be granted under Letter of Compliance?

The vehicle's manufacturer held a valid IPA under section 10A(1) or 10A(2) of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 at the time that particular vehicle was manufactured, and vehicle should covered the approval of vehicles types specified in the application.


What is in the IPA under section 10A(1) or 10A(2) of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989?

There are conditions for the approval of the placement of identification plates:

  • The first conditions is if new vehicles of a particular type, or vehicle components of a particular type, match with the national standards, the Minister must give written approval for identification plates to be put on vehicles or components of that type.

The second situation is if :

  • New vehicles of a particular type, or vehicle components of a particular type, do not vary with the national standards.

  • The Minister is satisfied that such noncompliance is only in minor and inconsiderable respects; the Minister may give written approval for identification plates to be put on vehicles or components of that type.

  • The applicant should hold an age (i.e. 17 years old) to a license for the vehicles of the type.

  • Under these arrangements, importers can import only one vehicle per year.


The specified vehicles which can get import approval in Australia:

You'll have to import your vehicle under a specific option. There are a number of options, not all of them apply to those who wish to import a car as a daily driver and some of the options available are:

  • The vehicle you are going to import should made before 1 January 1989. You are allowed to import a vehicle made before this date only, which many car admirer will use to import classic cars, older Japanese imports and more.

  • Personal imports :This applies to those who are moving to Australia and want to bring their cars with them. In that case you must have owned that vehicle for 12 months, and it must've been garaged at a location near to your home and you must be holding a valid driver's licence in the country.

  • Cars exported from Australia but re-imported. If you exported a car from Australia, for example, for a long overseas trip, you can bring it back into Australia under this option.

  • One can import the cars which are not available in Australia. As part of the Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicle Scheme, you can import vehicles which are not officially sold in Australia. Each car is subject to approval and must be listed on the SEVS Register.

  • Importing a luxury car, as cars in Australia are much more expensive in comparison to European, Asian or American counterparts. However, if the car is supplied in full volume it's not possible to import it into Australia unless it's a personal import.


How to apply for import vehicle approval  under the letter of Compliance option?

  • First of all you need to register with department, this step involves providing photo identification having legal stamp on it like passport identity page or driving license for assuring the applicant or company presentor is a genuine person.

  • After the registration, the turn comes of completing and submitting your vehicle import application by logging into your client portal.

  • You will be notified on your email address in both the cases whether your application has been approved or rejected.


Role of Plating Vehicles under Letter of Compliance?

If you are importing your vehicle under the option of Letter of Compliance, and wishing it to register for road use than you will require to fit a plate to the vehicle. Registration if vehicle is a very vital factor when you are importing a vehicle, this part is handled by State and Territory registering bodies. It becomes very important to determine registration requirements from the concerned body in the State or Territory where you are intending to register your vehicle. There is no certainty that a vehicle (once imported) can be registered for road use. For example, vehicles are generally required to be right-hand drive to suit Australian road conditions.


Vehicles Imported under Letter of Compliance:

One must need to collect a letter of compliance plate from the plate provider before going for registration. At the time of issuing a vehicle import approval, the Department contacts to  the plate provider to authorise the issue of the plate. For ordering your plate you will need to provide the following information to the plate supplier:

  • A copy of the approval document.

  • Change of address form (if applicable) Photo ID (Driver's license or Passport). This is only required if you completely the change of address form.

  • A valid phone number.

  • Payment of $77.00 by (Visa, MasterCard, Amex), direct deposit or money order (no personal cheques accepted).

  • You may submit above documents by emailing to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or posted to: Niddrie Nameplate Pty LTD P.O. Box 106 NIDDRIE VIC 3042

  • After receiving all documents and payment, the compliance plate will be dispatched to the address nominated, via courier. A signature is required at time of delivery.

  • Fitting in instructions will be dispatched with the compliance plate, once fitted; you may then apply for registration of your vehicle.


For further information, you may contact to Niddrie Nameplates:

Phone: +61-39-335-2977 

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Fax: +61-39-335-4357


Compliance and Its Implementation:

This is implemented under the Motor vehicle standards Act 1989, the department monitors and regulates compliance with the Act by uplifting voluntary compliance, undertaking informed risk-based compliance activities and applying proportionate implements responses when non-compliance is detected.   

The department also assesses safety and non-compliance reports received from the general public, industry and other regulators and assists the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in monitoring the progress of motor vehicle recalls.


Road vehicle Compliance update:

The Road Vehicle Compliance Update provides you the information regarding department's road vehicle compliance latest activities. This compliance update focus to spread the awareness of regulatory obligations and promote voluntary compliance. These updates may include information about department’s major areas of compliance focus for the current financial year information of common compliance issues the department is monitoring.


Compliance with Road and Health Standards:

Importing your car in Australia has to meet strict safety and pollution standards for it to be given an Import Approval Permit, which include a range of requirements including:

  • Seatbelts
  • Child restraint anchor points
  • Personal Compliance Import Plate
  • Replacing the driver side door mirror to Australian standards
  • Emissions standards

If your car is less than 30 years old and meets all the requirements of the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, it will be issued a Compliance Certificate.




Related Links:


Share post