top of page

Proudly 100% Australian owned family business with NO financial backing from overseas corporations!

Old World Lamps

Importing into Australia

If you are looking to import anything from the United States we can assist, whether it is a 50’s Cadillac or 1903 Steam car, a jet ski, a pair of doors or just some heavy stuff you purchased on EBay, we can bring them into the country for you.

We have our containers professionally packed in Willmington, California departing from Long Beach port facility, arriving at Sydney port and un-packed and quarantine inspected in a privatle family owned operation in Rouse Hill (west of Sydney). We do not cram 3 or 4 cars into a container and 10,000 packages so as it gets the most out of everything, We pack vehicles so they have plenty of space to minimise potential damage and have them cared for every step of the way. All packages are thoroughly secured so as to minimise movement during the transit.

Shipping options

1/         Direct is quoted as being 19 to 21 day transit, direct from Long Beach to Sydney. It sometimes takes a few days longer but not often. Direct is considerably more expensive than transit but also quicker.

2/         Transit is cheaper and slower – generally 6 weeks and travels through one or more ports and potentially one or more ships in its transit to Australia. The cost factor ensures that this is the most generally used service.

Shipping Cost

We charge based on the size of the vehicle or the actual size of the parcel, please email us for a quote (click here).Our fee includes all documentation and import fees except in the case of a vehicle, The Australian Import Approval (click here) which is the owner’s responsibility. Our fee however does not include GST or Duty on your purchases and we will need a copy of your invoice for declaration. All charges are in Australian dollars, we provide you with a detailed invoice indicating all costs including the exchange rate used and GST etc. This is payable within 7 days of receipt or at time of pick up whichever is the lesser.


Everything in the container has to be declared, we provide the Customs agent with copies of all the invoices or EBay purchased page (as provided by you) for the products within the container. As mentioned our fee includes all documentation charges, (except in the case of a vehicle the Australian import approval, see below). We provide you with a simple form to assist you and streamline this process (click here to OWL Parcel form). The GST and duty (if applicable) will be calculated based on the rate of Australian Dollar v $US on the day of loading in the United States or as indicated by Australain Customs.

You should note it is a federal offence to falsely declare the value of products and it is our experience that this is false economy as if detected the products are siezed and sold on behalf of the Government and heavy fines or imprisonment are enforced.

Vehicle Import Documentation.

Vehicle Importation into Australia is regulated by the Department of Infrastructure and Transport. It is the responsibility of the owner of the vehicle to lodge this application with the office in Canberra as per the instructions on their website (click here). To down load a copy of the import approval application click here. It should be lodged and approved prior to the departure of the container. The vehicle import "approval" once issued to the owner of the vehicle must be lodged with customs at the same time as all the other documentation; we do this on your behalf so we need a copy of the approval as soon as it arrives. In the event that it is not approved and delays are experienced once the container arrives, the fees are horrific and mount up daily so please be prompt in getting this in, these fees are the responsibility of the owner of the delayed vehicle. These fees need to be paid in full prior to the release of the vehicle, so please be prompt to avoid costly delays. 

Vehicle Import

We pride ourselves in quality importing NO double stacking, if the car can't be tied to the floor of the container we don't put it in with that shipment. We use a private packing facility in Long Beach Ca. for export and our agent Mike at SSA Shipping does all the dealing with US Customs for the export. All vehicles are strapped 4 ways and 8 inch chocks secured at each wheel to ensure there is no movement within the container, likewise plenty of room is left between vehicles so there is not opportunity for damage.


We also use a private quarantine facility in Western Sydney, We personally un-pack and are generally there for quarantine inspection, in over a decade of importing car I've never had a damaged vehicle.


We don't do the B.S. of 4 or 5 quarantine inspections that never happened, for that reason we do a lot of Veteran and High end vehicles, that need the best care. We're probably more expensive than the guys that do double and triple stack getting 4 or 5 cars in a container and unload at the docks as mentioned we pride ourselves on quality international shipping.


Dangerous & quarantine sensitive Goods
As a rule we do not accept dangerous / flammable goods, please see our terms and conditions (click here). In the event that any dangerous / flammable goods are sent to our depot for export these will be treated as strickly "hazmat goods" and crated as such, at the customers expence. This (as we have learnt from experince) is not a cheap exercise. Quarantine are very sensitive to fruit, seeds & nuts, so any items that is packed in any box that is marked fruit or nuts is prohibited, and must be disposed of in an approved facility. Weather it has actually contained fruit or nuts / seeds in the past or NOT. Disposal of these items is expensive and is a cost that the purchaser must bare, so please make sure your items and not packed in this type of container.


The asbestos issue has had a lot of "air" over the last couple of months. In over a decade of importing cars, I can honestly say we have never been subjected to an asbestos inspection (thankfully). I have always maintained that asbestos was not introduced into automobiles in general until the late 1940's and as the large majority of our vehicles are veteran & vintage they should not be affected. In the few cases where Australian Border Security have conducted positive asbestos screening on other imported vehicles, it has however been severe on the importer.


Our attitude to Australian Customs and Quarantine has always been very conciliatory and as I personally un-pack all our containers, I am often in contact with the officials. I have found them to be honest, diligent, polite and as a rule fairly easy to get on with and interested in the vehicles we import. They have a sometime difficult job to do and have rules to follow, some rules are more important to some officer and we go with the flow as far as each officer is concerned. It should be noted the 100% no asbestos rule is a Federal Government policy carried out by Australian Customs and Quarantine, not a Australian Border Force edict. Australian Border Force have release a FAQ and this can be found here:


Copy and paste the link into you browser.


 The "quick fast forward" of what they are looking for is out lined below.

Australian Border Force are also targeting engine gaskets, hood gaskets, exhaust gaskets, hood liners, carpet liners, clutch disk, etc  and by solely removing the brake pads will not stop further inspections on arrival. If Asbestos is found in any component, just removing the brake pads does not show the required “Due Diligence” and will not protect the importer from an inspection or potential fine. The fines are substantial and several importers have been fined already.

In addition, Australian Border Force have confirmed, although new brake pads may be installed in the U.S. and the MSDS states the goods are “asbestos free”, Australian Border Force will not accept this as sufficient assurance of required 'nil asbestos'.  The reason for this non - acceptance is because the U.S. allows 1% and less to be represented as “Asbestos Free” and Australia is Zero tolerance.  The new brake pads will still have to be tested and a certificate issued showing an asbestos detection of 0% must be presented to the Australian Border Force to avoid further potential inspections/penalties on arrival

Exchange rate
We follow the dollar closely however the “official” import rate is general a few cents less than the rate indicated on the net, we use the website for indicative currency conversions (click here). As mentioned all calculations on GST duty etc are based on the rate of exchange on the day of loading. We receive official notification of the rate late in the transit process.

Quarantine within Australia

All goods entering Australia are subject to quarantine inspection. Experience say that some inspection are more intense than other and this may depend on the origin of goods or an "alert" regarding a particular bio diversity risk, a simple example of this is the seasonal requirement to treat for Brown Stink Bugs in goods coming form the USA.


We have an excellent relationship with Australian Quarantine and always act on the best behalf of the client in having goods cleared, however we will always obey all directions for quarantine officials. All goods are only released when quarantine forward a "Finalised & Released" direction and those directions are reflected on the Australian Customs web site.



If you have the items you purchased crated you should ensure the material used conforms to ISPM15 standards, to prevent delays or even forced disposal of the material upon quarantine inspection. Effectively the ISPM15 standards are manmade products or products that are approved heat treated. Click this link to the Australia Government web site or email us for information. Again please read the section on Fruit, Nuts and seed container in the Dangerous and sensitive goods section.


In early 2015 the Australian Government ruled that all containers leaving the USA for Australia must be fumigated, we prefer to have this completed prior to delivery to the dock in Long Beach as it simplifies the Customs process here in Australia. Previously we only fumigated where necessary ie excessive wood products. Whilst this assists the quarantine process at this end, it has caused extra shipping cost n each container.

bottom of page