Japanese Car Emissions Codes for New Zealand Buyers

Cars sold in Japan in the last 10+ years have “emissions codes”. These two- and three-letter codes show which Japanese vehicle emissions standards the car was built to comply with.

These emissions codes will not be of much interest to most car auction buyers, but if you are purchasing for import to New Zealand it is absolutely vital that you understand them, as they are crucial to ensuring your car complies with import laws.

How to check the emissions code of a car in the auction

This information is almost always written on the car auction inspection sheet. It is usually written in front of the chassis type, as in the example below, although sometimes it may be written in a separate section.

Japanese car auction sheet showing emissions code is TA

As you can see in the above example, this Corolla has the emissions code “TA” and is chassis type “NZE121”. This kind of 2-digit emissions code CANNOT BE IMPORTED into NZ now.

New Zealand emissions code compliance

From January 1st, 2012, the only emissions codes that are permitted for New Zealand importing are the three-digit ones, such as CBA, DBA, ABA etc.

For Japanese cars, the 3-digit codes started to be introduced in late 2004 and into 2005. However, since non-Japanese makes have a slower product cycle than is typical for the Japanese manufacturers, cars made by non-Japanese manufacturers tended to have the 2-digit codes until later — some into 2006.

Don’t worry: You can use what you have learned above to find the right cars with the correct emissions codes, and remember that we are always double-checking for you as well to make sure you don’t get stuck with a lemon! We will warn you off cars that do not have the right emissions codes, even if you do accidentally bid on them.

Import regulation compliance

Although we like to help our customers as much as possible with information about importing into their countries, we know that it is best for each customer to make sure they research the importing requirements for themselves.

So, the information about emissions code compliance for New Zealand on this page is purely for educational purposes only, and New Zealand buyers are strongly recommended to check out the NZ Transport Authority website for the most accurate and up-to-date information about importing cars from Japan to New Zealand.

NZTA Emissions Compliance information

NZTA Emissions Compliance timetable

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