Here at Machines4U, we are all for buying second hand machinery. It’s great for the environment, keeping your expenses down and keeping perfectly good machinery in use. We could go on about the benefits for days; but there is one major consideration you should always keep in mind, particularly when purchasing secondhand agricultural equipment or parts.
If you’ve been hunting for a particular piece of machinery at a bargain price, you’re statistically most likely to snag yourself a good deal in the farming machinery pages on Machines4U. However, if it’s in another state or territory, you have more than just the transport costs to consider.
Australia has strict regulations around the interstate import and export of any machinery that’s been in an agricultural setting. This includes parts and accessories.
Import permits: what you need to know
While you might think of your machine as just that—a machine—the government thinks of it as a potential carrier for all sorts of bio hazards. And different states house different pests which other states are not keen to let in.
Used farming equipment has plenty of nooks and crannies for pests and diseases to nestle into. Knowing this, Australia’s state governments have varied entry restrictions, sometimes with strict controls and the requirement for extensive cleaning, followed by permits and certification.
Cleaning: more than just a hose down
Agricultural machinery is generally large, with lots of components and parts. Cleaning something like a harvester and its processing equipment to quarantine standards is a time-consuming endeavour.
According to the Grain Research and Development Centre (GRDC), it can take up to seven days to get a header cleaned to the standards of border quarantine station inspectors. And, taking the harvester as an example, it can set you back a whopping $10,000, with the onus on the importer (aka, you).
The whole machine needs to be pulled apart to get to the hidden spots where plant matter can collect. Common problem areas include:
- the chassis;
- driver’s cabin;
- in the radiator;
- and under the guards.
What to do before you buy a used machine
If you forego the cleaning and your machine is classed as unacceptably contaminated, it’ll either be sent back, or you’ll have to fork out for the full cleaning process. For these reasons, it is vital to do your research before you purchase an interstate machine. There are some regions which have area freedom certification, meaning you don’t need to worry about any special requirements. However, you need to be certain this is the case, as uninformed assumptions can end up costing you a bundle.
First off, check with the seller. Ask if the costs associated with transport, cleaning, permits and certification are included in the price of the machine. Regardless of their answer, its worth double checking with your state government’s department of agriculture to make sure you’re up to scratch on any specific requirements.
Sorting this out before you buy will put your mind at ease and make sure you don’t end up with any expensive delays in getting your new old machine.