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    Default Importing or exporting a car? then you better read this....

    Australia, Asbestos and Collector Cars

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    Are we sure this isn't a joke? Then again, since TA formed the 'Border Farce' they have been basically out of control.
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    It's certainly illegal to import asbestos. There have been a number of Chinese items imported over the last few years where asbestos has been present. Some locomotives, control boxes that workers then started drilling into and all those exhaust gaskets on, I think it was, Great Wall a few years ago.

    Yet, many NOS pads, clutch plates and gaskets that are laced with asbestos would probably sell via eBay and make it through the international mail without any dramas. It's not legal to post any asbestos with Aus Post and probably most other carriers too. Although businesses here can no longer sell asbestos materials, I'd guess there are many small vendors out there dealing in NOS parts and taking them from swap meeting to swap meeting and mailing them around with buyers just not even thinking about asbestos.

    The stuff is certainly present in most old cars and not just in friction linings and gaskets. Some body sealants and underseals may contain asbestos, there will be some cars with asbestos laden sound deadener inside doors etc., scuttle panel sheeting at the back of the engine bay (look at a 1970's Jag XJ6), battery shields and more. A MkX Jaguar has a large slab of the stuff riveted to the aluminium battery heat shield where it is exposed to battery vapours and flakes off. The throttle body heat shield on an EFI DS has a thin sheet of what can only be asbestos riveted to the aluminium shield, although most of it will have been lost by now and the loose rivets remain and vibrate. The crank seal will be asbestos rope in most cars before proper seals arrived. And so it goes on ...

    It is ironic that Norway might want to eliminate ALL new and used fossil-powered cars given their wealth is based on oil and gas. It would be like Australia exporting coal and making it illegal for domestic use.

    p.s. http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/aus...-asbestos.html
    has the person involved explaining his situation at the bottom of page 1.

    General info from ABF on asbestos importation:
    http://www.border.gov.au/Busi/cargo-...icted/asbestos
    The stuff could be anywhere on an old car. I've seen it in the back of vintage headlamps and in cable wrapping routed near the exhaust. There would be residual asbestos dust present in wheel arches, components and body cavities of cars that used asbestos friction linings too.

    The onus is actually on the importer to ensure they are not importing asbestos and fines are potentially large.
    Last edited by David S; 17th July 2017 at 11:57 AM.
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    The application of these existing rules seems over the top but it certainly could have implications for anyone wanting to import a Classic car such as a Citroen or exporting as well...Now one must take this in to account and I can see the prices of existing classics rise of the back of this reflecting import costs...one can only hope common sense prevails
    As an ex customs officer we used to be able to use some discretion...unfortunately customs is now been politised into Border froce
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    Border Farce do seem to have a way with things. It is amazing the amount of damage that can be done by an officious muppet with a clipboard.

    This said, mesothelioma is a particularly nasty way to go, one really gets to savour every minute of it, but there has to be some sense of proportion.

    In thinking about proportionality one story might illustrate the way we have got it wrong.

    Relative of mine is lighting expert. Was working on installation at big new hospital being built. One of the tradies on site said "don't drill into the walls" Asked "why?". Answer was "we were drilling a while ago and it drilled strangely and the dust looked wrong. Got it tested. Full of asbestos. "

    This was the ( presumably el-cheapo ) prefabricated concrete slabs imported from China for all of the vertical walls in the place.

    Tipped off a mate who is department head at the place, who pursued it up the chain. Nothing said but about a month later a "no drilling, no touching walls" edict came out, reasons unexplained.

    As one who has gone through the build of another hospital and who has learned what the big builders get up to, I find the initial report absolutely credible. Apparently similar issues in a couple of other hospitals.

    Still, always easier to make life impossible for the little guy rather than the biggies. It's what Border Farce do best

    Why can't we be reasonable about such things ?- not many mechanics died of mesothelioma in the day, it was mostly those in other trades which involved really heavy exposure to blue asbestos. We have to take it seriously , but some sense of proportion is needed.

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    Andrew,

    Import regs cover a variety of vehicles.

    Passenger buses included.

    Consider the hazard of a bus cabin insulated with asbestos could pose.

    It's not easy for regulations to "reasonable", this would require the interpretation at the coal face. A skill which the inspectors don't have.

    Sometimes it worth taking a look at the bigger picture.
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    Rob, our Harris trains were full of asbestos, and carried a squillion passengers every day from 1956 to 1988 and beyond. Did you ever ride in one and are you suffering from any asbestos related problems? If so Slater and Gordon would love to hear from you..........
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    Rob, our Harris trains were full of asbestos, and carried a squillion passengers every day from 1956 to 1988 and beyond. Did you ever ride in one and are you suffering from any asbestos related problems? If so Slater and Gordon would love to hear from you..........
    I suggest it would foolhardy to perpetuate the risk.

    Asbestos has been used in many products and not every one exposed suffers.

    It is all about common sense and risk minimization.

    If you think asbestos OK, then bully for you.
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    Considering the first Harris trains were insulated with blue asbestos, and that a huge amount of everyday products contained forms of asbestos up until the eighties, the risk to our health appears have been ever so slightly overstated. A different and much worse risk for the actual miners, though..............
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    The man behind James Hardie thought it was fine to flog the stuff for years with the knowledge, meanwhile made squillions.
    and ran away when faced with litigation.

    as for Lang Hancock and Wittenoom......................................... .......
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    Howdy all,

    The asbestos over-reaction, has (in no small part) been bought on by a variety of dubious practices of those importing stuff on a larger scale. The New Perth Children's Hospital problems were an example of the poor taste left in the mouth of the community with this.

    I think we all applaud restrictions. Some common sense would be nice though.

    The difficulties realised by the two examples on the Ferrari-on line article, were aggravated because the relevant departments were confused about the way forward to implement the zero-tolerance. No doubt this will improve.....and we will all be just left with another layer of inconvenience....to add to the others.

    The difficulty for me is the requirement to strip items off classic cars, in an environment not conducive to the task. It can be hard to get the bits off.....and you want to assess and re-assemble in an orderly fashion. So hopefully, vehicles can be sent to proper workshops for this work in the future.

    In the absence of this, I'd have the work done on cars before they leave. Unless the departure environment is equally dubious....then I'd roll the dice and just bring it in and face whatever random consequences are provided.

    Regards,
    Rhys

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    Asbestos is in the same category as Cigarettes, except that cigarettes have killed more people worldwide and it's still not illegal to sell or consume them.......apparently risk is in the hands of the legislators. There was little tax to be raised on asbestos compared with tobacco. Just sayin'........
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    And with cigarettes it's your choice to smoke the coffin nails.

    Not so with asbestos.

    Another of your bizarre comparisons

    Intended to "wind up" the discussion rather than making a meaningful comment ?
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    This is the list of regulations for the Customs Act 1901 regarding prohibited imports.
    www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_reg/cir1956432/index.html
    It's a good list of items you are not allowed to import. Asbestos is 4C.

    It may make worrying reading for those wanting to import things like cat and dog fur. Taxidermists? Knitters? They would tend to be mostly short staple fibres, so maybe not so good for making your next jumper?

    Contrary to what someone was suggesting in that Ferrarichat link, I doubt there would currently be any exemption based on the date of manufacture being before 2003 as it is the importation, today, being controlled and that is not a retrospective application of the laws. Without some (ministerial? Dutton) concession on age and/or non-service components, this will be huge hurdle to navigate and will potentially kill the import and export of old cars, parts cars, parts and machinery stone dead. It may however, create a new industry for the specialist removal of asbestos from old cars followed by certification.

    This situation would be a dream outcome for those who want to keep stinky old cars out of the country and force everyone to buy a Prius.
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    And with cigarettes it's your choice to smoke the coffin nails.

    Not so with asbestos.

    Another of your bizarre comparisons

    Intended to "wind up" the discussion rather than making a meaningful comment ?
    What is so "bizarre" about passive smoking? You didn't have a lot of choice in it......
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    Asbestos is in the same category as Cigarettes, except that cigarettes have killed more people worldwide and it's still not illegal to sell or consume them.......apparently risk is in the hands of the legislators. There was little tax to be raised on asbestos compared with tobacco. Just sayin'........
    Kim, the legislation is there and it's not going away, regardless of the real vs perceived dangers of the different forms of asbestos. It's pointless making the cigarette comparison. The only issue of interest in this thread is what rigid enforcement of the 2003 laws mean and how to comply with the requirement that asbestos is not imported (or exported). The onus is on the importer (exporter) to ensure compliance before the movement of the item. That's going to be extremely difficult and potentially expensive in many cases.
    Last edited by David S; 17th July 2017 at 01:17 PM.

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    Accepting that the control of importation of asbestos material is a positive , the clumsy and ludicrous actions outlined above are negative to the campaign and will only push non - compliance underground. For instance Most head/ exhaust gaskets pre a certain year contained asbestos related material. So is it logical to dismantle a functioning engine in this case ? Absolutely over the top.

    IMO they should employ the same rules that exist in our community where asbestos is still everywhere which is 'its OK if its not disturbed and then precautions have to be taken when its time to renew'. Other wise forget about importing old cars.
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    There are plenty of books and internet blogs that retrospectively look back at these issues and what was known, speculated to be known, by those that sold the products, authorised the export of products and so forth and these days owners of older buildings come across small (and large) discoveries of such materials where they were used for fire safe installation, convenience, durability (termites don't eat it) and above all they were cheap, hence almost universally used in cheaper housing, bungalows, additions and the list goes on. Most owners either buy insurance to cover the costs of discovery and removal.

    For those that were and are involved in the building and renovation of older building all of this is just another thing to be handled or left alone, and sanctioned officially by painting or ensuring a no dust environment as the asbestos sheet is removed, but also at the same time, a closed industry has also developed that feeds into a state of hysteria that is statistically over and above the known issues, but understandably no one wants to be incapacitated or die from bad handling asbestos 40 years before and as an apprentice fitter machinist I am reminded by the use of asbestos wadding used in the casting of the whitemetal bearing shells on Doxford marine engines and how we used to marvel at the big cloud of dust that was released when the boring machine tool hit a pocket of the asbestos wadding. That sort of relieved the boredom of long coils of shining whitemetal (Babbit bearing metal) piling up behind the machine.

    So far so good, no known bad effects, maybe there is good asbestos and very bad asbestos? And then there was blowing or washing out the brake dust from brake shoes and drums on all sorts of machinery. It seems the initial solution was to export all those asbestos industries to China and India where other lowly paid workers used brooms to sweep up the asbestos without any masks or other protection being worn.

    But really all of this is historical fact that only comes home to us when our own hobby and habits intersect with the reality of historical use and the stuff that is still around. I note that in among my old parts there are lots of asbestos electrical insulation sheets, old woven brake shoe material, rope and packing and electrical wire with dioxin lubricated protection (among other toxins) I am not scared of the stuff, but handle it carefully and this thread is a timely reminder that there are those that want to scare everyone because they can then charge more for their closed industry services, Insurance companies can jack up prices too, and then there is the professional lobbyists, the regulators who use hysteria to back calls for more regulation, more regulators. and that industry is growing on the back of scares, rather than statistical evidence.

    Maybe the less a problem becomes the more hysteria to boost the "specialist removalists" and experts we must have.

    In the meanwhile take care as a redback spider might bite you (as those New Zealanders running their Border Farce found!!) Common sense usually fails where a buck is to be made, or extorted from someone else.

    Regards

    Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego View Post
    There are plenty of books and internet blogs that retrospectively look back at these issues and what was known, speculated to be known, by those that sold the products, authorised the export of products and so forth and these days owners of older buildings come across small (and large) discoveries of such materials where they were used for fire safe installation, convenience, durability (termites don't eat it) and above all they were cheap, hence almost universally used in cheaper housing, bungalows, additions and the list goes on. Most owners either buy insurance to cover the costs of discovery and removal.

    For those that were and are involved in the building and renovation of older building all of this is just another thing to be handled or left alone, and sanctioned officially by painting or ensuring a no dust environment as the asbestos sheet is removed, but also at the same time, a closed industry has also developed that feeds into a state of hysteria that is statistically over and above the known issues, but understandably no one wants to be incapacitated or die from bad handling asbestos 40 years before and as an apprentice fitter machinist I am reminded by the use of asbestos wadding used in the casting of the whitemetal bearing shells on Doxford marine engines and how we used to marvel at the big cloud of dust that was released when the boring machine tool hit a pocket of the asbestos wadding. That sort of relieved the boredom of long coils of shining whitemetal (Babbit bearing metal) piling up behind the machine.

    So far so good, no known bad effects, maybe there is good asbestos and very bad asbestos? And then there was blowing or washing out the brake dust from brake shoes and drums on all sorts of machinery. It seems the initial solution was to export all those asbestos industries to China and India where other lowly paid workers used brooms to sweep up the asbestos without any masks or other protection being worn.

    But really all of this is historical fact that only comes home to us when our own hobby and habits intersect with the reality of historical use and the stuff that is still around. I note that in among my old parts there are lots of asbestos electrical insulation sheets, old woven brake shoe material, rope and packing and electrical wire with dioxin lubricated protection (among other toxins) I am not scared of the stuff, but handle it carefully and this thread is a timely reminder that there are those that want to scare everyone because they can then charge more for their closed industry services, Insurance companies can jack up prices too, and then there is the professional lobbyists, the regulators who use hysteria to back calls for more regulation, more regulators. and that industry is growing on the back of scares, rather than statistical evidence.

    Maybe the less a problem becomes the more hysteria to boost the "specialist removalists" and experts we must have.

    In the meanwhile take care as a redback spider might bite you (as those New Zealanders running their Border Farce found!!) Common sense usually fails where a buck is to be made, or extorted from someone else.

    Regards

    Ken
    Well said, Ken!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    Well said, Ken!
    I have my doubts if the ex owners of the "Mr Fluffy" insulated houses would share your endorsement.
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    Icon9 Conflating two issues but why...

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    I have my doubts if the ex owners of the "Mr Fluffy" insulated houses would share your endorsement.
    What did I say that was wrong, incorrect, or had anything to do with modern choice to use asbestos based products Rob

    I do see that there was reference to Chinese modern building materials that are imported into the country earlier in the thread, but those incidences just seem to confirm that the Border Force policy is misdirected given the extraordinary and some may say "over the top" enforcement of what may be a minor car restoration/import problem, rather that some scary crisis.

    A problem that could be easily resolved by the individuals being advised and dealing with the issue, themselves and meanwhile obviously the same departments are missing the real problems with insufficient scrutiny of building and insulation products as you raise.

    Perhaps you don't think that knee jerk enforcement as over the top. I do, as it is always better to work with ordinary people to make them aware of a problem and then work with them to resolve it safely. Commercial profit making and introduction of outside products, food, etc, you would think given the impact on our own supply and marketing, would be a better direction for those tasked to protect Australian citizens!!

    Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego View Post
    What did I say that was wrong, incorrect, or had anything to do with modern choice to use asbestos based products Rob

    I do see that there was reference to Chinese modern building materials that are imported into the country earlier in the thread, but those incidences just seem to confirm that the Border Force that is going to extraordinary and some may say "over the top" enforcement of what may be a minor car restoration/import problem..

    A problem that could be easily resolved by the individuals being advised and dealing with the issue, themselves and meanwhile obviously the same departments are missing the real problems with insufficient scrutiny of building and insulation products as you raise.

    Perhaps you don't think that knee jerk enforcement as over the top. I do, as it is always better to work with ordinary people to make them aware of a problem and then work with them to resolve it safely. Commercial profit making and introduction of outside products, food, etc, you would think given the impact on our own supply and marketing, would be a better direction for those tasked to protect Australian citizens!!

    Ken
    You said absolutely nothing wrong. You expressed an opinion.

    A right in a free and fair forum.

    I did the same, in the hope it may encourage some reflection about the thread topic.
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    Thanks Rob, I was just surprised at your response to Kim's post.!

    usual confusion of issues I suppose.

    Regards
    Ken

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    Dear Rob

    Nowhere did I say that asbestos should be thrown around willy - nilly ( hence my comments about a new Melbourne hospital )

    Have treated people dying from mesothelioma and it is not good. It was mostly due to blue asbestos, which was mostly cleared a long time ago. There is apparently some evidence for the current focus on white asbestos too, but absolutist "zero tolerance " policies don't work for anything ( one only has to look at drugs )

    The approach taken by customs in the case of these cars is somewhat over the top and creates pressure that will lead to people finding other ways around the problem, thus worsening the big picture. FIne, clear the cards of it, but create a path for them to be cleared before shipping or find a less destructive way on arrival.

    One has the distinct feeling of people making it up as they go ( although the DKW was probably riddled with the stuff - I have a piece ofthe Berlin wall in my collection that is high quality asbestos - it was used everywhere in Eastern bloc )

    If customs etc were really worried about the big picture we wouldn't have hospitals being built with asbestos in 2017 in at least three cities around Australia

    It smells of making life impossible for the little fish while giving the big ones free passage.

    A total destruction of a car by amateur bureaucrats is hardly the way to engender cooperation from either the industry or the amateur car lover.

    Best Wishes

    Andrew


    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Andrew,

    Import regs cover a variety of vehicles.

    Passenger buses included.

    Consider the hazard of a bus cabin insulated with asbestos could pose.

    It's not easy for regulations to "reasonable", this would require the interpretation at the coal face. A skill which the inspectors don't have.

    Sometimes it worth taking a look at the bigger picture.

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    A total destruction of a car by amateur bureaucrats is hardly the way to engender cooperation from either the industry or the amateur car lover.
    Is that the way it works ? Checked in Australia ?

    The two (JDM) cars I've imported have both been let through Customs both as being free from R12 and asbestos on paper work provided by the exporter in Japan

    Without a burly customs vandal even coming near them in Australia.

    For the records they both needed to be pressure washed and disinfected in Japan as well, to comply with Australian quarantine requirements.

    It was necessary to "comply" them, by submitting them to RAW for checking and mods and obtain a Rwc for registration.

    From my experience the vehicles don't even get unloaded in Australia unless the paperwork is cleared with both customs and Department of Infrastructure, usually prior to loading in Japan.

    I guess other countries may allow "A total destruction of a car by amateur bureaucrats" but I would have to suggest the import rules and regulations and processes are likely to be pretty much the same for all countries of origin.

    And it kinda makes sense that the asbestos checking task be offloaded to someone other than Australian customs.
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