There have been many recent incidents wherein the dangerous asbestos has been and is being detected in privately imported classic motor vehicles and incautious importers have risked and are risking thousands of dollars in repairs and fines.
Cars Caught with Asbestos Components
Australian Border Force (ABF) has seized over 50 vintage and classic cars having parts containing asbestos up to now this year, nearly double as many as the same period last year.
Precious collector vehicles like Rolls-Royces, Jaguars, Ford Mustangs and Bentleys, most of them being more than 40 years old, have been trapped in the Customs crackdown.
There is a risk of fines of over $3000 per offense for individual importers. However the largest expense is of getting the spare parts of the car tested and replaced. You can hire Dazmac for cleaning asbestos in imported cars for a reasonable price.
Importers have to pay for testing the suspect components and then substitute them with asbestos-free parts prior to the car can clear Customs – a procedure that may go on for months and cost more than $20,000.
As per the Customs Compliance department of ABF, latest history has revealed many incidences in the classic car import sector where asbestos has been detected in components like clutch linings, gaskets and brake pads from veteran and vintage cars.
Costs and Delays Associated to Testing and Repair
If it is suspected that there is asbestos present in items being imported, ABF will instruct the importer to make arrangements for testing at their expense. This involves surplus cost to them and also delays while the testing is being performed.
The importer is responsible for making sure if the asbestos components have been eliminated before importing the vehicle in the country. Importer should know that the complete ban of Australia on asbestos (enforced since 2003) refers to zero per cent asbestos.
What do the Importers Caught with Asbestos Containing Cars Say?
One of the importers who were caught with cars containing asbestos told that repairs and testing cost him $14,500, while another importer told that the whole procedure took him $25,000. One more importer had to spend $10,000 out of pocket.
Australian Border Force mentions that it has the discretion not to levy fines, but will make use of its powers to place cars in quarantine till asbestos components are removed.
One importer of a classic car who was caught out commented that it’s a matter of luck whether or not your vehicle undergoes a checking. Still he cautioned anyone thinking of importing a classic car to get it inspected first.
In such a situation, importing cars to Australia with Dazmac Logistics can be your safest bet.
Get the Car Inspected by an Authorised Asbestos Expert
Anyone who purchases an imported classic vehicle should get it checked by an authorised asbestos expert having qualifications that are recognised by the Australian authorities; or else you could waste your money in the first place by importing the car.
The Australian Border Force doesn’t take samples or disassemble vehicles suspected of asbestos contents. Instead, it’s the importer or their broker who are supposed to arrange testing by a recognised expert.
Asbestos testing needs microscopic analysis by “an occupational hygienist”.
If the testing is conducted in Australia, the laboratory should be recognized by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA); if the testing is conducted in a foreign country, the test results will be accepted only by a “NATA-recognised equivalent.”
The prohibition of asbestos in Australia has been in practice since 2003 and the prominent health hazards of asbestos are well known. Therefore, ABF makes no apologies for their work to safeguard the community from the dangers of asbestos.
It’s advised by the ABF officials not to rely on the assurance of the overseas sellers that their cars are asbestos-free. Instead importers should get it tested and replace or remove the suspected parts and a lot of their time, money and efforts will be saved when their cars will arrive in Australia.