7.2 Purchasing a motor vehicle under privilege

7.2.1. Application

A separate Application for the Purchase of a Motor Vehicle Under Privilege form should be completed for each vehicle to be purchased under privilege, signed by the Head of Mission or other authorised person and sent to

Protocol Branch
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
John McEwen Crescent
BARTON ACT 0221

7.2.2 New imported motor vehicle under bond

Diplomatic missions, consular posts headed by a career consul and privileged individuals may purchase a new imported motor vehicle under bond from a motor vehicle dealer in Australia free of customs duty.

GST and (if applicable) LCT will still be payable. Depending on the ITCS package that applies, the mission, post or privileged individual may be able to claim a refund of GST and LCT.

7.2.3 New imported motor vehicle not under bond

Where a new imported motor vehicle not under bond is purchased from an Australian motor vehicle dealer, customs duty, GST and (if applicable) LCT are payable. Customs duty cannot be refunded but, depending on the ITCS package that applies, the mission, post or privileged individual may be able to claim a refund of GST and LCT.

7.2.4 Directly importing a motor vehicle

Motor vehicles directly imported (that is, not purchased from an Australian motor vehicle dealer) by a mission, a post headed by a career consul or a privileged individual (as part of the individual’s personal effects) will be free of customs duty, GST and LCT. To qualify for these exemptions, the mission, post or privileged individual must have paid for the vehicle and obtained legal title before its arrival in Australia. Vehicles paid for after delivery in Australia will not qualify.

Missions, posts and privileged individuals need prior approval from the Department of Infrastructure,Regional Development and Cities (telephone: 1800 815 272) to import a new or used motor vehicle. DFAT cannot override that department’s decisions.

The imported vehicle must also comply with Australia's biosecurity regulations. Clearance is obtained from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources after the vehicle has arrived at the port of entry.

7.2.5 New Australian-manufactured motor vehicle

Where a mission, a post headed by a career consul or a privileged individual purchases a new Australian-manufactured vehicle from a motor vehicle dealer in Australia, GST and (if applicable) LCT must be paid. If the ITCS applies, the mission, post or privileged individual may be able to claim a refund of GST and LCT.

Australian motor vehicle manufacturers ceased production in 2017.

7.2.6 Used motor vehicle

Where a used motor vehicle is purchased from a registered motor vehicle dealer in Australia, GST and, if applicable, LCT must be paid. For all ITCS packages, GST and LCT may be refundable on application to the ATO.

Privileged individuals who purchase used imported vehicles that are less than two years old from a registered motor vehicle dealer in Australia will only be eligible to claim refunds of GST and LCT if their ITCS package allows them to claim tax refunds on new imported vehicles.

Used motor vehicles purchased in Australia from private sellers are GST exempt.

7.2.7 Motor vehicle purchased from a mission, post or privileged individual

Where a vehicle originally purchased under privilege by a mission, post or individual is subsequently sold to another mission, post or privileged individual with the same or greater ITCS entitlements as the seller, customs duty, GST and LCT are not payable. The new owner may dispose of the vehicle free of residual customs duty, GST and LCT three years after the vehicle’s date of entry to Australia or delivery to the original owner.

7.2.8 Purchasing a motorcycle under privilege

Motorcycles may be imported into Australia free of customs duty.  Privileged individuals whose ITCS package allows them to claim tax refunds on new imported motor vehicles may seek a refund of GST paid on the purchase of new imported motorcycle in Australia, subject to the applicable limits on the number of vehicles and conditions of their sale being met.


Last Updated: 28 June 2018