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Deregulation may allow Australians to import new cars from overseas



The federal government is considering a move to deregulate the importing of new cars from overseas to Australia. Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs, who is consulting on changes to the Motor Vehicle Standards Act, says that the Act has not been reviewed since 2000. At this time, 75% of new vehicles in Australia were being manufactured in this country, this is compared to 8% today and what is expected to be close to 0% by 2018.

Under the new regulations consumers would be able to purchase new vehicles directly from overseas dealers, should the car meet global design and safety standards. Deregulation of the market is expected to bring the cost of imported vehicles down for consumers. The government says that deregulation would also bring more choice and access to cheaper cars once local industry shuts down in 2017. However these changes to the Act are not being considered for used vehicles including cars older than 12 months.

Local industry has warned against the proposed changes saying that consumers may not receive basic protections such as the new car warranty. Mr Briggs has acknowledged that there would be risks involved with importing vehicles from overseas but he thought that these were not “insurmountable hurdles” and that the market would evolve to create products to help consumers. Local industry is also concerned that deregulation may threaten new car dealership jobs across the country. A formal decision on deregulation is expected by the end of the year.

Last modified on Friday, 17 April 2015 11:16

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