If you want to import a vehicle, legally, contact: ImportAVehicle.com

Monday, July 31, 2017

Vehicle Industry News - Direct Import Vehicle Update 2017-15 - VIN - California

Not a California R32

California DMV Direct Import Vehicles Update. 2017-15.

In plain talk this memo fixes a mistake on VIN 2014-14 that said direct import vehicles were 1966 and newer, and replaces that with 1968. This is still not how they refer to these vehicles in the California Air Pollution Control Laws book.  They say a direct import vehicle is a 1975 or newer vehicle. This leaves these 1968-1974 vehicles in a limbo.  California Certification Procedures for Used Modifer Certified Motor Vehicles

1968 model year to 1974 model year vehicles: California does not recommend the purchase or importation of these years of NON-USA vehicles, even if currently registered in another state. These vehicles require compliance with USEPA requirements in effect on the specific date of 11/15/1972. This provision when written, was considered by the California legislature as a gradual phase-out of very dirty "non-collectable" types of imports, as this specific requirement was understood to become increasingly difficult to meet. Today, this requirement, while not impossible to meet, would require testing expenses and modifications that far exceed most vehicles value and would make little sense from a collectors standpoint to attempt. Some limited exemptions apply to individuals moving to California with vehicles of these years registered in their home state for at least a year before moving to California. Contact us for more information.

They also remove the exemption for owning a direct import vehicle out of state for a year, and then bringing it into California as per the Statement of Facts - Reg256F

California will be updating their 256F, Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures, and HTVR9A brochure. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Smuggle - How Does Someone Import A - R34, S15, (Fill in the blank) to the USA?

  1. move (goods) illegally into or out of a country.
    "he's been smuggling cars from Japan into the USA"

Smuggled R33 GT-R caught recently."The smuggling charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years while the other charges are punishable by fines or prison sentences of up to two years."

So how does that person have that car, that isn't 25 years old in the USA? There are several legal ways to import vehicles, and of course several illegal ways to import cars.  Once a car is illegally imported, scammers often find ways to illegally title cars, and pass them off to unsuspecting consumers as legal vehicles. Don't let yourself be a victim of one of the scammers. Know what is legal, and what is illegal, and make your own determination. Call the NHTSA if you have any questions about a vehicles legality. 202-366-5291

Non conforming R34 that was brought into NHTSA requirements under VCP-17
Legal ways

1) Over 25 years old is NHTSA exempt. Over 21 years old is EPA exempt. You pay the US customs tariff and you can legally import the car.  Box 1 HS7

2) Non-conforming vehicle capable of being MODIFIED to meet US requirements. Many people are under the misconception that a vehicle on this list can just come into the country. This is incorrect. Depending on the age of the vehicle, a Registered Importer has to be contracted to do the NHTSA modifications, and an Independent Commercial Importer needs to be contracted to do the EPA modifications. This can get very expensive. This could involve crash testing. It is not an impossible path, but it is a path. This process can often take years.  Status of pending eligibility petitions (May 2017)  Box 3 HS7

2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R Mspec Nur.  Eligible for Show or Display. Box 10 HS7
3) Show or Display.  This is a special NHTSA exemption for special cars. They still need to meet EPA requirements. The vehicles can be driven up to 2500 miles a year. This is not a "Show" car. This is not a "Track" car.  Each vehicle type must be approved. Each vehicle must be approved. Show or Display list  Box 10 HS7

4) Temporary. There are several reasons a vehicle can enter the US temporarily. There is normally a bond, and they must be exported within a certain amount of time. That is normally a year.  
Non-Resident of the US Box 5 HS7
Diplomat or member of an organization designated under the international organizations immunities act Box 6 HS7
Member of the armed forces of a FOREIGN country Box 12 HS7
Research, investigation, demonstration, training, or racing Box 7 HS7.
 Intended for export Box 4 HS7

Legally imported permanent race car

5) Permanent Race CarThe first thing to get straight with this "race car" is that just because you are going to "race" it does not it a race car make.  In order to import the race vehicle permanently you are going to have to meet NHTSA/DOT requirements and EPA requirements. Box 8 HS7

6)Incomplete vehicle. Requires further manufacturing operations. Requires letter from manufacture, and a list of FMVSS items Box 9 HS7

7) Conforms to NHTSA requirements Box 2A HS7, or meets Canadian requirements and has a manufacturer's letter. Box 2B HS7

Those are the legal ways to import a vehicle into the US. Of course anyone smuggling a vehicle into the US, is either going to fill that paperwork our incorrectly, or not declare the vehicle.  How can they possibly get past customs? Doesn't US customs check to see if cars are legal, and paperwork is filled out?  The truthful answer is of course not.  Do you have any idea how many containers, and vehicles come into the US every day?

CBP says on a typical day they process :

» 72,179 truck, rail, and sea containers
» 282,252 incoming privately owned vehicles

Asking stupid money on an illegally imported car. Don't be the idiot that buys this car. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

California to Receive $153M in Final Settlement with Volkswagen

California to Receive $153M in Final Settlement with Volkswagen

Payment includes penalties and cost recovery

SACRAMENTO — The California Air Resources Board (CARB) today
announced that it filed a consent decree for its final settlement
with the Volkswagen Group of America (VW). The company will be
required to pay an additional $153.8 million to California over
the company’s use of illegal “defeat devices” in 2009-2016, 2.0
and 3.0 liter diesel passenger cars. Before today, VW had paid
$533 million to California, of which $422 million will flow to
the state through a mitigation trust. Today’s additional consent
decree was negotiated by attorneys and technical experts from
CARB and the California Attorney General's Office, and is subject
to court approval.  The overall VW settlement is the largest ever
for violations of vehicle air quality rules.

“This payment to the State of California closes another chapter
in the so-called ‘dieselgate’ case against Volkswagen, but it is
not the end of the story,” said CARB Chair Mary Nichols. “There
are still consumers waiting to find out the future of their cars.
CARB is working with U.S. EPA to determine if the remaining
vehicles can be modified.”

“What Volkswagen did was categorically unacceptable,” said
Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “At the California Department of
Justice, we’ve been holding Volkswagen accountable since we
learned of their inexcusable actions. One thing should be crystal
clear: wrongdoers who believe they can run and hide are sorely

The $153.8 million dollars represents penalties for air quality
violations and the costs of CARB’s investigation. This Consent
Decree is in addition to:
1) More than $422 million dollars VW must pay into a national
trust to mitigate environmental harm in California
2) $800 million dollars in Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) related
investments that VW must perform in California pursuant to an
investment plan approved by CARB
3) $25 million dollars VW has paid to CARB to support ZEV
investment programs, including vehicle replacement programs, for
low-income residents
4) Consumer relief, including restitution and modification or buy
back of the affected vehicles
5) $86 million dollars it has paid to the California Attorney
General’s office for civil penalties and costs
6) Any additional mitigation payments VW is required to make if
it fails to modify or buy back at least 85% of the subject
vehicles in California.

The Consent Decree also includes an injunction requiring the
company to implement a corporate compliance program, conduct
enhanced vehicle testing, and undertake a series of audit and
reporting obligations to ensure future compliance with U.S. and
California laws and regulations.


The case began when VW made the decision to use illegal “defeat
device” software to bypass emissions control equipment in order
to create the appearance that its cars met California and U.S.
health-based air quality standards. This started with its 2009
model year diesel vehicles. As a result, the vehicles spewed
excess nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) in amounts up to 40 times
the legal standards. More than 500,000 of these vehicles were
sold in the U.S., of which approximately 85,000 were sold in

As CARB technicians pushed the company to explain the excess
emissions, it became clear that the company was not providing the
full story. At that point CARB technicians began running
specially designed test cycles independent of VW. When confronted
with the results of those tests, the company was unable to
explain what was happening and finally admitted it was cheating.

In California, VW’s cheating was particularly harmful because
California’s air quality is worse than anywhere else in the
nation. Ten million Californians live within the nation’s only
severe nonattainment areas for ozone pollution, and 12 million
live in areas with nation-leading levels of fine particle
pollution. These pollutants cause lung disease, heart disease,
and premature death, especially among our most vulnerable
populations. To put California on track to ensure healthy air for
all, California has adopted the most stringent air quality
regulatory and enforcement program in the United States.

After VW admitted to the presence of defeat devices in the
affected vehicles, CARB, the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, the California Department of Justice, and the U.S.
Department of Justice took legal action against the company,
resulting in billions of dollars in court judgements, and civil
and criminal penalties.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Thai Customs Seizes 15 Luxury Cars Reported Stolen in UK

Know who you are dealing with. We still see lots of illegal cars come into the US. Many stolen cars end up overseas The kind of people that don't care about the basic laws, don't care about any of the laws. If the documentation looks funny or strange, call US Customs. A Florida titled Skyline, you had better have a really good look at the HS7, 3520-1, and a copy of the foreign title document. This happened recently in Thailand, but happens all over the world.

Is My Imported Car Legal? 
16 Cars Seized by US Customs
Customs Seizes Porsche Stolen in 1988

Thai customs officials said Friday they have seized 15 of 42 luxury cars that British authorities said were stolen and sent to Thailand.
A request from British authorities to find stolen cars believed to have been transported to Thailand has led to the seizure of 122 vehicles imported by Thai dealerships. Of those, 15 were found to be stolen in the U.K. Thai customs officials say they are investigating about 300 other vehicles suspected to have been illegally imported.
Customs officials displayed a Mercedes GLE 350 and a Nissan GTR at a news briefing Friday, part of the batch sought by Britain. The customs bureau said the cars were seized when their Thai importer attempted to ship them out of Thailand to evade officials.
Kulit Sombatsiri, director-general of Thai customs, said the vehicles that British authorities are seeking were partially paid for in monthly installments by U.K. buyers before being sold on the black market.
"The buyers only paid around 5 or 10 percent of the car's cost and they would then sell it," he said. "In the United Kingdom, they classify these cars as stolen."
Police raids on May 18 and 22 resulted in the seizure of 122 cars that included luxury brands such as Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, McClaren and Lotus.
Of the 122 cars seized, 31 Lamborghinis and a Lexus were declared to Thai customs as cheaper models than they actually were, which amounted to around 650 million baht ($19 million) worth of losses in tax collection, police said.
Further investigations revealed that eight of 11 Lamborghini Aventadors imported from the U.K. were registered with Thai customs as the cheaper Gallardo model.
Two other Lamborghinis were registered as being shipped partially assembled from the U.K. and later assembled in Thailand. Police suspect the cars were fully assembled before they were shipped.
Cars that are delivered in parts to be assembled in Thailand can be taxed up to 80 percent of their value while authorities can tax fully assembled imports up to 328 percent.

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