Here's a quick warning to everyone about another fee the Australian authorities will potentially apply against anyone importing a yacht to Australia
It's called the "Pre charged equipment license", and is levied by the Department of environment
. If your boat has any refrigeration
or air conditioning
, you will be liable for this extra $400AUD fee while your boat is under customs
control. We were totally unaware of this, so had provided them with our fridge model and coolant
info when requested. Our compressor
(and coolant) is a very common type, and not restricted in any fashion. They didn't even want us to change it, just pay for an "import license".
When my wife politely questioned them over the phone
about why we needed an importers license
for a tiny fridge, the woman simply made threats about not releasing our vessel from customs
control. "Pay it, or else" was the bottom line with these guys. I feel I should also mention that all of our dealings with Customs so far has been fantastic, It's just the workers at the department of environment
that generally seem like soulless drones.
I would strongly recommend that anyone undertaking the import
process claim their system arrived de-gassed, and not use the fridge or AC until you're clear of customs control. You could even drain the gas yourself if you're paranoid about anyone checking it. It would probably be cheaper to refill later.
One more point that I nearly forgot... They also tax you on the volume of coolant
in the system. We paid $0.05 (yes, 5 f'ing cents) total for our volume of r134a, which we had to calculate. Total bill: $400.05AUD
Just doing my bit to hopefully decrease the revenue stream of these agencies/thieves