Government opens discussion on import control and regulation act

The federal government has taken the next step in opening discussions on rewriting the Motor Vehicle Standards Act (MVSA) 1989.

On September 4, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs released an Options Discussion Paper to conduct a review of the act, which has far-reaching implications on regulation and import control.

The legislation provides standards that must be met to comply with the Australian Design Rules, and effectively dictates what vehicles can be sold, new or used, within Australia.

The government has given a timetable for the review, including five public workshops (see below).

The result will be one to watch out for among fleet managers, as both safety and price are generally two attributes highly considered when procuring new vehicles for their fleets.

Need for change?

Some debate is expected on the scheme, with The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) saying it will undertake a "comprehensive review" of the proposed options.

In a new media statement, the FCAI said the complex 1989 Act provides important safeguards that must be considered, and it will take time to consider the changes on the table.

Seemingly questioning the need for change, FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said: "Australia has the most competitive new car market in the world and this competition brings with it the very latest environmental and safety technologies."

The FCAI have been long-time advocates of the competitiveness of the Australian motor industry and the benefits it offers to consumers and fleet services.

In August, they released a report praising the local market for its low cost of new car purchases compared to other right-hand drive regions.


Mr Weber continued to say that the FCAI will be vocal once they have reviewed the Options Discussion Paper.

He said: "The FCAI and its members will respond to the Discussion Paper and participate in public workshops."

The date and location of the public workshops for the 2014 Review of MVSA are:

  • 23 September - Sydney.
  • 24 September - Brisbane.
  • 26 September - Melbourne.
  • 1 October - Adelaide. 
  • 2 October - Perth.