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Thread: My experience in importing Toyota Altezza to BC, Canada.

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    Default My experience in importing Toyota Altezza to BC, Canada.

    Hi everyone!
    Just wanted to tell my story of how I imported my dream car - Toyota Altezza.
    I was considering on buying Toyota Altezza locally but after little research I came to the conclusion that importing a modified Altezza is a little cheaper than buying it here in Vancouver.
    It took me a while to choose a right exporter in Japan. Since there are so many of them, Derek's videos from Pacific Coast Auto on YouTube helped me to use his services. During the whole process, Andrew, one of Derek's employees, was helping me to choose the right car.
    There are so many awesome Altezzas go through the auction that it was really hard to choose the one I liked the most. It took me about 2 months to win the right Altezza. Once the car was purchased, I sent the rest of the money to PCA using PaylineByIce services. A week after, Andrew sent me around 50 photos of the car and another week later I got the arrival dates to New Westminster's port.
    I was doing customs myself and started doing the research on how it is actually done. Thanks to JdMvip for a good guide topic. Here is what you need to do the customs yourself and save $200 for brokerage fee:
    1. Wait until you get an email from WWL with documents - IN BOND and Soil form documents are the ones you need from them. (The soil release form doesn't need to be faxed to customs because they stoped inspecting the cars for it. This is what the customs officer said, however, I filled it out and asked them to put the stamp on it, just in case - step 4).
    2. Wait until you get the original documents from PCA.
    3. Call NYK to make sure that they sent your Steamship document to WWL.
    4. Take all of your documents to customs in Vancouver. It is good idea to download form 1 from JDMvips topic and fill it out. When you come to customs they will ask you to fill out their form 1 since every form has its own number. Pay the taxes and duty fees.
    5. Send the preferred pick up dates to WWL (you will get the contact number/email from step 1). Now wait until you get approved for picking up your car.
    5. Call your shop for the OOP inspection and make an appointment for the day you pick up your car from docs.
    6. Go to the insurance company to get the TOP A to B. I recommend Sussex insurance at superstore on Westwood st. in Coquitlam. These guys know what they are doing.
    7.Come to the port, pay $125 fee and pick up your car.
    8. Get your car inspected and drive it home to add/fix/replace parts you need.
    9. Bring your car back for final inspection and get a sticker on the windshield.

    That is it! So easy, right ?!
    I strongly recommend doing customs yourself, because the only real thing you need to do is to come to customs and pay the taxes. You save $200!!! It easier that it seems to be.

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  3. #3

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    Excelent write up. I've been stressing over Steamship release and Soil sample, since I read the RORO guide. I wasn't sure if it was needed now and where to have the documents from NYK sent. The more forums I read, to find the specifics that I was wondering about, the simpler self importing and customs clearing was looking. I phoned CBSA a few times and got mixed answers on weather or not I had to actually go to the Vancouver office to clear customs. But each time they were in agreement that they didn't need soil sample to pass customs, and that it was only a concern to CFIA (Canada Food Inspection Agency) I called them that they said the vehicles would be checked upon arrival, for dirt. but that there wasn't a fee for that or any paperwork that I needed to do related to it. Did you have to pay a fee for soil inspection? Did WWL check for a customs stamp on the SOIL form? My car hasn't shipped yet even but I am wanting everything to go very smoothly as I am Flying my family out to pick up our Toyota Raum together! They seem almost as excited as me.

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    Hey man, thanks for the comment.
    I filled out the soil form and faxed it to the address indicated on the form (with my credit card information). I didn`t hear anything back from them and wasn`t charged.
    I brought this form to the customs (when I was paying the taxes) and asked them for the stamp. They said that this form is not needed anymore. However, I asked them to put the stamp on it just in case.
    At the port, I don`t remember them asking me the soil form.

  5. #5

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    3. Call NYK to make sure that they sent your Steamship document to WWL.



    I just talked to a friend of my dads who's picked up over 70 cars from port. but his most recent experience was 8 months ago. So Nikita I wanted to ask, when you were dealing with NYK did you have to take your form1 and soil exam(stamped) to their office in order to get a steamship release? or have they changed that?

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    No, I didn't have to bring any documents to NYK. However, I did call them regarding the steamship release and they said that it was already sent to WWL.
    Interesting fact is that NYK will email you prior the arrival of your car and offer you their brokerage services. In their price they include $45 for the soil inspection, Which I didn't have to pay since there is no more soil inspection (as customs officer said).

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikita View Post
    No, I didn't have to bring any documents to NYK. However, I did call them regarding the steamship release and they said that it was already sent to WWL.
    Interesting fact is that NYK will email you prior the arrival of your car and offer you their brokerage services. In their price they include $45 for the soil inspection, Which I didn't have to pay since there is no more soil inspection (as customs officer said).
    That's great news, sounds like there have been several recent changes for the better. It seems almost too easy now. I will have to make sure to make a new thread outlining my experience as well. After I have successfully imported my Raum into Alberta. One nice difference for Alberta is the "in transit" temporary registration lasts for 7 days, and you can pick the date that you want it to start ahead of time. Also it's under $30 😊

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    How is converting headlights to right-hand traffic with the Altezza? Is it just a matter of adjustement or do you need a new light assembly?

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    I'll tell you my experience... The LHD JDM beam pattern is wrong. I see people using the JDM light assemblies, but they are not the best and may not pass OOP inspection unless you aim them at the ants.
    I used aftermarket USDM lights, cut off one of the light's mounting studs, cut out all the fender mounts, then used a metal strap to retain the outer corner of the housing inside the fender. Not for the faint of heart! I then used a cheap HID ignitor, Amazon 9006 male wiring adapters and D2R bulb adapters with Phillips HID D2R bulbs. Excellent light output, but semi crappy beam pattern. Not quite as good as OEM.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by CameronR View Post
    I'll tell you my experience... The LHD JDM beam pattern is wrong. I see people using the JDM light assemblies, but they are not the best and may not pass OOP inspection unless you aim them at the ants.
    I used aftermarket USDM lights, cut off one of the light's mounting studs, cut out all the fender mounts, then used a metal strap to retain the outer corner of the housing inside the fender. Not for the faint of heart! I then used a cheap HID ignitor, Amazon 9006 male wiring adapters and D2R bulb adapters with Phillips HID D2R bulbs. Excellent light output, but semi crappy beam pattern. Not quite as good as OEM.
    Thanks for the info! Altezza would be my dream car but it's going to take a couple of years at least before I'd actually buy one. So is the mounting really different on Altezza compared to Lexus IS? Or is it just the aftermarket kit that caused you problems?

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