Importing a car to the US soil isn’t that easy as it would seem, there is a lot of bureaucracy you have to deal with. The rules and regulations of importing a car are rigid and very costly as well.
The endurance and crash tests and several other tests will also definitely take their toll on the cost of importing a car.
Some of the cost is too expensive that one might consider buying within the United States. The cost doesn’t just relate to the port.
The cost most likely occurs with the tests that are required to pass the basic requirements for the vehicle to eligible to be imported in the United States.
Guidelines for Importing Cars from Overseas
The most likely reason US citizens import cars from Europe or Japan is that of the unique features these cars offer. The features are not offered in American made ones.
Even if the car has the same manufacturer, there would still be some distinct features of these foreign automobiles. These distinct features would be sufficient for an individual to import and bring it on the US soil.
In order to import a car from overseas, you would need to follow these guidelines.
Selecting a Car
When you are looking for an automobile to import from a foreign land, you would have to aware of the availability of that vehicle. There is sometimes the same vehicle could be available within the United States.
And unknowingly, you would be searching that car in the foreign land. It’s better to have a thorough search over the internet for that vehicle within the US soil first.
Once you have set your mind to your desired foreign vehicle to import. You are required to check the car’s emission compatibility with the US emission standards.
In other words, your desired vehicle should comply with the US federal and emission standards in order to set foot (or wheels) on the US soil.
Dealing with Auto Brokers or Manufacturers
There are many auto brokers who deal with the importing of vehicles. If you have not got a broker already, then it’s better to google them up. Check what they are offering for your vehicle and what additional service they are offering the vehicle.
Here you need to make a rational decision. This is the critical point, because here on out will be the decisive factor on the rest of your importing process.
If you have dealt with the reliable auto transport broker, you would have nothing to worry about. It’s better to pay a few dollars extra for a better service and a peace of mind.
Same goes for dealing with the manufacturers. On the contrary, dealing with the manufacturers could sometimes be a lot easier than dealing with auto brokers.
These manufacturers deal with import and export all the time. Since you are negotiating with them, it will not be a surprise if you get a better deal with them.
Hiring Auto Shippers
Once you have sealed the deal and bought the car, you would now have to hire a reliable auto transport. The cost of hiring a car transport company would be exclusive, obviously.
There are many car shipping companies in the United States who have affiliations with foreign auto shipping companies.
It is entirely up to you whether you want to hire the local ones or the foreign ones to transport your vehicle to the port.
If you hire an auto shipping company that only deals with shipping your car to the port. You would definitely require an auto transport to ship to your desired location once it landed on the US soil.
When that happens, you don’t need to worry about it. Because you can easily find a decent car shipping company at Auto Transport City (ATC).
Auto Transport City is basically a marketplace where hundreds of car shipping companies who offer their expertise of shipping services to all over the United States.
All you have to do is sign-up at ATC, and post your shipment there and see hundreds of shipping companies bidding for gaining the shipment job of your vehicle.
Fill out the Paperwork
It goes without saying, you are liable to completely fill out the paperwork in order to import your vehicle into the United States. It depends on which country your vehicle is being imported. You would have to deal with the export documents and taxes also.
Besides dealing with the export paperwork and taxes, you would also have to deal with the import duties, paperwork and duties as well. To assist you with these enormous amounts of paperwork, contact either your shipping company or the manufacturer.
You can also try taking help from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
How to Import a Car from Japan?
Japan is the leading country in the automobile manufacturing industry. How can it not? With the names like Honda, Nissan, and Toyota. Japan is born for greatness with these high-class automobile manufacturing companies.
Japanese have been pioneers in making automobiles that offer quality and superb value for money. That is the reason…
Japanese made vehicles are fuel efficient, cost-effective, durable, have easy and low maintenance and many other features which make them the most reliable automobile manufacturers.
Now, importing a car from Japan is not that easy but it isn’t that complicated either. We will try to share with you all the aspects and procedures to import your car from Japan to the US.
Since it’s kind of a lengthy process, we request you to have patience and bear with us. While we try to answer all the necessary questions that you might have or the knowledge who might not be aware of.
Customs Duty for Importing Cars from Japan
Importing cars from Japan and from many other countries is highly expensive. Considering the cost of customs, sales tax, Japanese export tax, and the shipping cost.
Customs duty is a tax collected on imports (and sometimes on exports) by the customs authority of a country. It is mainly based on the financial worth of the goods that are being imported.
Customs Duty of Foreign-Made Vehicles.
The rates of vehicles imported from overseas are applicable below,
- Automobiles at 2.5 %
- Trucks at 25%
- Motorcycles at either free or 2.4%
(Source: US Customs and Border Protection)
The customs duty rates are applicable to the price paid for the vehicle. These duties will at a higher potential rate if bought for selling purposes, mainly the car dealers have to pay more.
Furthermore, if that particular foreign-made vehicle has a low average mileage of fewer than 22.5 miles per gallon. Be ready to pay an extra tax due to the vehicle being a gas guzzler.
The duty rates are calculated on the basis of the cost of the vehicle you paid for, plus the shipping cost and then adding the percentage rate. The final price must be paid in full upon pick up.
Or else, you will not be allowed to leave the vicinity of the port along with your vehicle without making the full payment of your imported shipment.
There is an exception for not paying a hefty amount of import duty for a vehicle. The US citizens who are coming back from foreign countries with their respective vehicles have eligibility to apply for a customs exemption.
Customs exemption fee is only $800 which would elude the US citizens from paying such a hefty amount of customs tariff. These citizens are mostly college students going abroad for studies and coming back either permanently or at the end of their semester.
If you require further information, you can visit the official website of US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).
How to Import Cars from Japan?
You can be eligible for importing cars directly from Japan. In order to import, you are obligated to abide by the rules and regulations mentioned below,
Pay the Customs Tariff, You will only be able to do pay the customs and retrieve your car from the port when you have acquired the bill of sale.
Clean the Chassis and Interior, Many times vehicles have been confiscated and stuck at the port for mundane objections such as cigarette butts becomes the importing illegal drug or any unknown bugs comes in the US soil. It’s imperative the clean the interior and the undercarriage of the vehicle.
Render All The Legal Documents, You cannot import any goods or items without obtaining and rendering legal documents mandated the US government. These documents include
- The Bill of sale
- The bill of lading
- Japanese registration of the vehicle.
- HS-7 and 3530-1 forms for DOT and EPA respectively.
Besides the aforementioned documents, you would also require obtaining the tags and user’s manual in the English language. Assuming, you are not a Japanese speaker or reader. If obtaining these documents are difficult, you can contact with your state’s DMV to assist you.
Other Ways of Buying Imported Japanese Cars
If importing cars personally is not your cup of tea, we suggest you to try indulging into the following ventures,
Dealers of Imported Cars, There are specific car dealers who only professionally deal with on buying and selling imported Japanese cars. You can give them a visit. You would find various famous showrooms of Japanese brands such as Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Mazda.
Gray Market, There are some specific models that are available to buy in the US officially. However, you may these models on the gray market. Mind you that you will not be able to get a proper warranty of these automobiles as these deals are sold unofficially.
Online Marketplaces, One of the better ways of finding Japanese made cars is by looking them up online. The places like eBay where you can get a Japanese made car at a very fair price.
Furthermore, there are several other types of vehicles you can buy whether new, old or even a classic. There are hundreds online sellers from where you can match and compare prices from.
View the seller’s credibility by viewing their past reviews made by actual human beings. Online marketplaces like eBay is the future of buying any kind of vehicles online.
Complying Your Japanese car with the US import laws and rules
You are not able to import a Japanese car into the US soil unless it is standardized under the US import laws and rules. This procedure is easier said than done. Standardizing the vehicle into US import laws and rules take a great deal of money and effort.
For starters, before importing a non-conforming car in the US soil requires a great number of crash tests. Since this would a safety and security test, you would not be requiring just one vehicle to do the testing.
Oh, no, my friend. It would require several cars for to go-through crash tests in order for it be with the compliance under the US federal law.
By now, you would get a pretty clear picture of how much it will going to be heavy on your pocket. The tests require as many as it would take to pass muster the crash tests and comply with the US import laws and rules.
And It doesn’t end here, there are still tons of other requirements that you have to fulfill.
You can start by…
- Converting your speedometer from kilometers to miles.
- You have to Install orange reflectors on the front side and red reflectors on the back side of the vehicle.
- Ensure that your headlight angles meet the US standards.
- Make sure that your vehicle has an adequate set of a third brake light.
- There will also be an endurance check of the bumpers.
- The tolling sound when the seat belts aren’t fastened must also be present.
- Fuel prevention device during the accident must also be present in the vehicle.