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Thread: My Import Saga

  1. #1

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    Default My Import Saga

    Well, I've decided to go ahead and take the plunge. I have sufficient funds saved up (I think) and I have the car I want picked out and have begun making contact with others who have the experience, government offices etc etc etc. It is my solemn intent to keep this thread updated with 100% of the information I glean from my experience in an effort to facilitate the process for anyone else who wants to attempt the same thing. So far I have the following:

    1. Biggest stumbling block overcome... approval from the wife
    2. Basic info on US importing rules.
    a. Must have in writing from the manufacturer that this vehicle meets FMVSS standards (ie it must be on a govt approved sticker on the driver's side door jam) or else have an RI certify that it does.
    b. Must have in writing from the manufacturer that this vehicle meets US emissions standards or have an RI certify that it does.
    c. Generic information about using a title bond to accomplish the above, but nothing specific to my state.
    3. The car I'm interested in. While initially I wanted an EVOIII I have looked into them and don't think I'd be able to ever get the car certified in the USA just based on the requirements so I'm going with a 1994 Impreza RA.

    Here are the rules I know of and my status so far:

    (a) All passenger cars less than 25 years old that were manufactured
    before September 1, 1989;

    Nope, therefore:

    (b) All passenger cars manufactured on or after September 1, 1989,
    and before September 1, 1996, that, as originally manufactured, are
    equipped with an automatic restraint system that complies with
    Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208;

    I know it meets this standard, but proving it is the problem.

    (c) All passenger cars manufactured on or after September 1, 1996,
    and before September 1, 2002, that, as originally manufactured, are
    equipped with an automatic restraint system that complies with
    FMVSS No. 208, and that comply with FMVSS No. 214;
    (d) All passenger cars manufactured on or after September 1, 2002,
    and before September 1, 2007, that, as originally manufactured, are
    equipped with an automatic restraint system that complies with
    FMVSS No. 208, and that comply with FMVSS Nos. 201, 214, 225,
    and 401;
    NHTSA-2007-28692
    (e) All passenger cars manufactured on or after September 1, 2007,
    and before September 1, 2008, that, as originally manufactured,
    comply with FMVSS Nos. 110, 118, 138, 201, 208, 213, 214, 225,
    and 401;
    NHTSA-2007-28692
    (f) All passenger cars manufactured on or after September 1, 2008
    and before September 1, 2011 that, as originally manufactured,
    comply with FMVSS Nos. 110, 118, 138, 201, 202a, 206, 208, 213,
    214, 225, and 401;
    NHTSA-2007-28692
    VSA-80
    (g) All passenger cars manufactured on or after September 1, 2011
    and before September 1, 2012 that, as originally manufactured,
    comply with FMVSS Nos. 110, 118, 126, 138, 201, 202a, 206, 208,
    213, 214, 225, and 401.

    n/a

    So I'm armed with a list of RI's
    http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/impo...list120508.pdf

    A couple phone numbers, some e-mail addresses and the allmighty power of Google... wish me luck guys ' gals I'm going into the breach!

  2. #2

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    wow, fantastic. I'm looking forward to hearing from you how this goes, and it's good to have the community support, as if this doesn't go well, I'm sure someone in Canada will help you out to take it off your hands if it doesn't work.

    If it does work, that will be most excellent!!!! You'll be one of the EXTREME few driving a JDM WRX!! imagine the Envy of the subie brothers south of the border!

  3. #3

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    Oh, I'll absolutely be keeping this thread updated. I'm hoping to get the one Braveauto has listed on their site but I might not get my shit together before it sells... we'll see!

  4. #4

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    Hate to be negative, but you won't legally get a newer than 25 year old vehicle to the US. Many have tried, many have failed. There are loop holes, but none that are 100% legal. Believe me I have looked into it. Would be nice to sell to a crowd of 300 million rather than 30 million.....

    My ex business partner is in Florida sending cars to Japan from the US now but initially went there to import Japanese cars to the states. Tried / talked to everyone with no result.

  5. #5

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    Hmmm, I keep hearing so many contradicting stories and info. William, do you think it's possible that some states have different policies and that's how some cars are on the road very easily?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    Hate to be negative, but you won't legally get a newer than 25 year old vehicle to the US. Many have tried, many have failed. There are loop holes, but none that are 100% legal. Believe me I have looked into it. Would be nice to sell to a crowd of 300 million rather than 30 million.....

    My ex business partner is in Florida sending cars to Japan from the US now but initially went there to import Japanese cars to the states. Tried / talked to everyone with no result.
    You may be right... but here's a title bond and a legal US inspection for a 1992 Civic titled under the 10 digit VIN... so I'd say it's worth a shot!




  7. #7

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    Oh, additionally I'm not trying to do this as a business; I just want a vehicle for my own personal use. I can see how it might be more difficult for someone to make a business importing thousands of JDM rides a year but I think it's possible for individuals to do so in a legal and legit fashion. You just have to have the patience and perseverance. Hopefully

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdmvip View Post
    Hmmm, I keep hearing so many contradicting stories and info. William, do you think it's possible that some states have different policies and that's how some cars are on the road very easily?
    I don't think the process is EVER easy. I think it's difficult on purpose and that's probably why companies don't have success importing thousands of cars. I know for a fact different states have different registration laws, but there should be national standards too...

    I have e-mailed a half dozen RI's and have yet to hear back from any of them. Hmmmm....

  9. #9

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    Very very interesting. I got my first response today:

    Sorry, we can not help with that car. It is not on the DOT Vehicle Eligibility list and it will need to be EPA certified by an ICI. http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import/



    My response:

    What is an ICI? I actually got your e-mail from that website where it states:

    A vehicle without a certification label cannot be imported as a conforming vehicle. In this case, the importer must contract with a Registered Importer (RI) to modify the vehicle and post a DOT Conformance Bond in an amount equivalent to one and a half times the vehicle's dutiable value. This bond is in addition to the normal Customs entry bond. Copies of the DOT Conformance Bond and the contract with an RI must be attached to the HS-7 form.
    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/...list120508.pdf

    So I thought maybe you would be able to help me certify the vehicle... is the document above just misleading?

    We'll see what happens....

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdmvip View Post
    Hmmm, I keep hearing so many contradicting stories and info. William, do you think it's possible that some states have different policies and that's how some cars are on the road very easily?
    Yes for sure they do, but getting them into the country legally is a different story. Some states can register them without questions, but it will never be 100% legal

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