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MG MGA - Australian Import Rules NEW

For those in Australia interested, the Australian Government has just added another hurdle to importing pre 1989 cars into Australia. Anyone importing must now ensure that there is absolutely no asbestos contained in/on the car. This includes clutch, brakes, heat shields etc. The clutch part is the most difficult, as it means the engine must be removed etc. If this is not done before the vehicle reaches the docks in Australia, then a "qualified" team of asbestos removal experts, plus mechanics etc. must complete this process upon arrival...someone in Perth has recently had this done at a cost of $15K! This sounds like the end of early imports into OZ, due to typical mad Government decisions.
Gary Lock

Gary, it would be interesting to know what evidence the government would accept that there is no asbestos in an imported car? Copy of receipts from parts suppliers, statutory declaration by SAE member, charted engineer, MOT officer? I believe this is something the Association of Motoring Clubs (AOMC) takes up and will raise with our representative. It could also affect cars temporarily exported from Australia in the future?
When you consider the number of cars that ran around in the world with asbestos in the brakes and clutchs over the years it's a wonder there isn't alot high incidence of mesothelioma in the general public and older mechanics.
Mike Ellsmore

Gary / Mike
Apart from the import side of this (which will be a pain in the --)Do you think this will effect people,for example like yourself Gary, moving your car in and out of Australia and say those that might bring their MGA or whatever in for holidays/national meeting etc
Or is it solely an import rule-----------

Mike on your comments on old mechanics---
I tend to believe-some people are prone to it and some not-
Back when I was starting out we would put the trucks up on them old hydraulic two post rail hoists and take all the wheels/brake drums off and blow the dust out--it would be that thick you couldn't see the truck through it and you would come out of the shop covered in dust, in your ears eyes nose,everywhere--as far as I know no-one from there has had a problem- those that are still alive anyway-
---it was a while ago
It's something you wouldn't think of doing now but back then it was the norm.

Then on the other hand there are some people that can be nailed with it just by being where it is--luck of the draw I reckon
I had a friend die from it(not from the motor industry)and I wouldn't wish an end like that to anyone so I guess there is a reason for banning asbestos but I think they're being a bit over the top--it's phasing itself out anyway as it is
William Revit

Gary / Mike / Willy,

Australia certainly likes making regulations. I was hit for a $350 cleaning bill when shipping the 'White Lady' - MGA for this year's Natonal Meeting, despite the underside being cleaned by the shipper in England before departure.

As you say Willy, I also wonder if this new regulation on asbestos will apply to a temporary import for holiday touring purposes? I was already making plans to bring the MGA for Tassie next easter.

If you have any further information please do share, many thanks!

I could not afford a $15k bill...

Doug Wallace

You certainly have some strict rules over there. I remember long conversations about it with Barry Gannon, even down to the illegality of good old fashioned British blackberry bushes.

I presume my plastic sportscreen would also not make it through customs.

Steve Gyles

Willy....reading the regulations, yes it will apply to vehicles taken in and out of the Country.

Doug...this cleaning thing is a total rip-off, just to keep the the clearance firms happy at the end of the year with the gifts of beer etc.from the cleaners.

Steve...the plastic screens are illegal here, but it would probably pass anyway without noticing.
Gary Lock

Gary-Thanks for the heads up on this--
A mate has a front engined v12 Ferrarri and a Super Seven sitting in the UK waiting for something else to fill the box up with so I guess next trip over it will be diff and gearbox out of the F. for a new clutch and brake pads replaced on both and check heat shields etc-----bugger,but,tis what it is
William Revit


How long ago did your friend pay $15K for an asbestos check?
The rules on the Government website go back to 2013 where this asbestos ban is mentioned but is it enforced?
I brought in a Jaguar XJ6 and a Jaguar XJ8 from the UK two years ago and only had the cleaning scam applied.
By the way, the Government website mentions brake linings, brake pads, clutches, heat shields AND head gaskets!

M F Anderson

Further to my comment of my experience at importing cars from the UK without an asbestos check I see that Doug Wallace brought his MGA into Australia this year without an asbestos check.
What is really happening?
Gary, could your friend have been the victim of a local scam in Perth?
It is important to have the legal position clarified.
Sometimes the Government introduces laws to take effect in the future. Sometimes there are exemptions.

M F Anderson


Yes, there was no mention of asbestos check when the MGA arrived in Adelaide, only the cleaning charges.

Gary, would you be able to send me copy of the regs. or a link, my email is Thanks!

I am still very keen to bring the MGA back next year, to Tasmania and do more driving in Oz, the experience this year was truly memorable.

Thanks for any further update on the asbestos issue.

Pic. the White Lady back at the logistics agent ready for return voyage to England. Aussie MGA Register badge prominent!


Doug Wallace

Mick, the regulations have been there as you say for a few years, but they only started to enforce them from 3rd March this year. All the car importers have the details on their web sites, and are now issuing warnings to new individuals importing cars. No, the WA guy wasn't scammed, and there is another one there in Perth with a DKW can read all the stories on Google. It is all above board.
Gary Lock

This thread was discussed between 16/07/2017 and 19/07/2017

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