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Second hand machinery buyers urged to check additional costs

Purchasing second hand machinery from Asia might be a cheaper option but buyers are warned that hidden costs like cleaning and transportation fees could burn a hole in buyers’ pockets.

Customs brokering and freight management company Platinum Freight Management says an increasing amount of earthmoving companies are buying second hand machinery such as excavators and dozers from Asia where branded used machines are selling at discounted prices compared to those in Australia.

Platinum Freight Management founder Peter McRae says businesses prefer to purchase from countries such as China due to the low selling prices which could easily absorb shipping costs

“And a good customs brokerage can generally organise to reduce the import duties from five per cent to zero because the machines are not manufactured here in Australia,” he says.

“But the potential cost traps include cleaning and storage.”

As a result, ,earthmoving businesses are being caught out by massive customs and quarantine costs, which McRae says might still make it worthwhile but importers should check the risks first.

“The Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) will inspect the machine on arrival and in most instances direct it for a steam clean; as you can imagine the machine has intricate parts and those parts need to be cleaned thoroughly and the costs can easily top $4000.”

McRae says the additional costs are incurred by the buyers’ selected Quarantine Approved Premise (QAP) who is accredited by DAFF to undertake the work.

Other possible costs buyers might cop are fees for the transportation of the machinery from customs to the QAP if a cleaning is needed.

At worst, if the machinery is deemed too contaminated to be allowed into the country, the DAFF can order for it to be re-exported at the importer’s own expense.

According to DAFF, the department does not charge an export fee but the costs associated with the export process such as demurrage, storing and freight can be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Last year, DAFF has directed 19 consignments for export from Australia due to their excessively contaminated state.

Find out more about machinery import rules and regulations on the DAFF website.

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