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Vintage Maserati cars denied entry into Australia over asbestos testing

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Staff Writer | March 23, 2018
Six vintage Maserati sportscars meant to take part in an Australian tour will be sent back overseas because it's unclear if they contain asbestos.
Vintage Maserati
Autos   The cars were brought from England
The cars were brought from England for the seven-night Maserati Global Gathering, which began in Torquay on Tuesday.

But instead of being driven from the Great Ocean Road to Sydney as planned, the cars have been stuck in a warehouse.

"There was a shipment of eight cars that came from England ... some of them extremely expensive and some of them absolutely unique," Maserati enthusiast Mark Guterres told ABC Radio Melbourne's Jon Faine.

Two of the cars were allowed to enter Australia as they were built after it was made illegal to produce cars containing asbestos.

Border Force initially refused to release the other six Maseratis unless holes were drilled in them to test for asbestos.

"Six vehicles were identified as potentially containing asbestos and the importer could not provide appropriate assurances that they did not," a Border Force spokesperson said in a statement.

"The importer declined to have the vehicles tested for asbestos. The importer was given permission to export the vehicles.

"Testing can be avoided if importers provide sufficient assurance to demonstrate that imported goods do not contain asbestos or that suspect parts have been removed before import.

"We don't want to unduly penalise classic car importers, but asbestos can kill and we have an obligation to protect the community from any asbestos coming into the country."