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It is important to note that the situation in East Timor is very fluid. Information given here is correct as of
end-July 2003.

Vehicle cleaning

Entry into Australia with a vehicle, requires that it is spotless.

Jet blast
everything, especially the underside of the vehicle. Take the wheels off, blast the inside of the rims and the axles. Wheels off also gives better access to the wheel arches. Blast the radiator's fins thoroughly, as this will have souvenir seeds and bugs from every nation through which you've driven. Change your airfilter, empty all water (including windscreen washer bottle), remove your water filter, empty the loo, and drop a few chlorine tablets into all the empty water containers.

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When finished, if you have cleaned your vehicle away from the port, you will NOT be able to drive it to the port. You'll have to take it on the back of a truck so it doesn't touch the road.

Take photographs of the cleaning process, to show to AQIS (quarantine authority) in Australia exactly what you did.

There is a place on the port which has the contract for cleaning the Australian Army's vehicles. Called "Hera". I discovered this later, after I'd found another cleaning station. I used a company called "A1 Services". It is a company run by practical and enthusiastic Australian guys, specialising in mechanical repairs, cranage and trucking services. They had a pit and jet washing equipment: hence using them gave the full service. They also knew the requirements of AQIS.

Whichever company you use,
YOU should be in there, getting dirty and wet. This is the only way to know what has been done, and that it has been done correctly. Remember, your standards, and more importantly, those of AQIS are incomprehensible to most East Timoreans. If it fails the AQIS inspection, you'll be the one paying the high cost of the reclean or the re-export back to Dili, whichever AQIS insists on.

For a standard vehicle, allow at least a FULL day for blasting. I spent two and a half.

Scrub and jet wash. Get fully involved and soaked yourself too.

A1Services are contactable by


Tel: Eddie on 6707 230607

East Timor