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Friday, September 12, 2014

49 CFR Part 565 - Code of Federal Regulations - AKA the Worst Chose Your Own Adventure Book Ever

Code of Federal Regulations

Title 49 - Transportation

Volume: 6Date: 2011-10-01Original Date: 2011-10-01Title: Section 565.14 - Motor vehicles imported into the United States.Context: Title 49 - Transportation. Subtitle B - Other Regulations Relating to Transportation (Continued). CHAPTER V - NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION. PART 565 - VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (VIN) REQUIREMENTS. Subpart B - VIN Requirements.

 565.14Motor vehicles imported into the United States.(a) Importers shall utilize the VIN assigned by the original manufacturer of the motor vehicle.(b) All passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, low speed vehicles and trucks of 4536 kg or less GVWR certified by a Registered Importer under 49 CFR part 592 whose VINs do not comply with part 565.13  and 565.14 shall have a plate or label that contains the following statement, in characters that have a minimum  height of 4 mm and the identification number assigned by the vehicle's original manufacturer  inserted in the blank: SUBSTITUTE FOR U.S. VIN: _____ SEE 49 CFR PART 565. 
The plate or label shall conform to § 565.13 (h) and (i). The plate or label shall be permanently affixed inside the passenger compartment. The plate or label shall be readable, without moving any part of the vehicle, through the vehicle glazing under daylight conditions  by an observer having 20/20 vision (Snellen)  whose eye-point is located outside the vehicle adjacent to the left windshield pillar. It shall be located in such a manner as not to cover, obscure, or overlay any part of any identification number affixed by the original manufacturer.  Motor vehicles conforming to Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 115 are exempt from this paragraph.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Los Angeles County Department of Public Works Fined $256,000 for Violating Air Pollution Laws

Yes that headline is correct. The state fined the County for air pollution law violations. 

SACRAMENTO - The Air Resources Board fined the Los Angeles CountyDepartment of Public Works $256,375 for failure to comply withCalifornia air quality regulations.
A routine investigation by ARB’s Enforcement Division documentedthat LADPW failed to:
Properly self-inspect its diesel trucks to insure they met statesmoke emission standards;Properly affix Emission Control Labels on the engines of theirfleet vehicles;Follow requirements of the Transit Fleet Vehicle and PublicAgency and Utility Rules.

“This significant fine reflects the serious nature of LADPW’sviolations,” said ARB Enforcement Chief Jim Ryden. “We holdpublic agencies accountable for their mistakes the same as we doprivate businesses. We hope that this fine sends a message topublic and private fleet managers that they must follow the lawand maintain their vehicles and records properly.”
LADPW provides regional bus service for Los Angeles Countyresidents and also operates a public works fleet to maintainroads and county infrastructure. Following ARB’s investigation,LADPW realized that the transit and public works fleet requiredmore hands-on management and its staff have since worked with ARBto ensure that both fleets are in compliance.
As outlined in the settlement agreement, the LADWP paid$192,281.00 to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, whichprovides funding for projects and research to improveCalifornia's air quality, and $64,094.00 to the Peralta CollegesFoundation to fund diesel education classes conducted by LosAngeles Trade Tech College under the California Council forDiesel Education and Technology (CCDET) Program.
As part of the settlement, LADPW must also comply with thefollowing:
Ensure that staff responsible for compliance with diesel truckmaintenance attend CCDET diesel education courses;Instruct vehicle operators to comply with California idlingregulations;Ensure that trucks have the most recent low-NOx softwareinstalled;Provide documentation to ARB that smoke opacity inspections arebeing conducted for the next three years; andEnsure that all 1974 and newer diesel-powered vehicles are up tofederal emissions standards for the vehicle model year and areproperly labeled with an Emission Control Label.

Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and more than40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, Californiaidentified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminantbased on its potential to cause cancer, premature death and otherhealth problems.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Registration and Title Guidelines for Vehicles Over 25 Years Old

International Vehicle Importers (IVI) will provide all the necessary legal documents needed to title and register your over 25 year old vehicle in most states. We recommend using a DMV service, if available, to help you with the process. Imported vehicles are out of the normal for most clerks, so having a service take the documents for you, helps. AAA, or look up “Registration Service” to see if anything is available locally.   The documents are as follows:

1. Customs Entry Summary (Customs Clearance)
7501 - Entry Summary (can be paperless)
For multiple vehicle entries, the information may be over two pages.
7501 International Vehicle Importers.PNG.jpg

3461 - Entry/Immediate Delivery Document(can be paperless)
For multiple vehicle entries, there may be only a single original of this document.
3461 International Vehicle Importers.PNG.jpg

2. DOT Entry Document- HS7 (this is not a requirement for paperless entry)
The HS7 is the NHTSA entry document for customs. Now days, with paperless entries, you might find that this document is not stamped by US customs.

HS7 International Vehicle Importers.PNG.jpg

3. EPA 3520-1 Entry Document
The 3520-1 is the EPA entry document for customs. Now days, with paperless entries, you might find that this document is not stamped by US customs.

3520-1 International Vehicle Importers.PNG.jpg

4. Export Certificate (also called Deregistration certificate)
Export Certificate International Vehicle Importers.PNG.jpg

The Export Certificate is the Japanese equivalent of a title. It has all of the vehicles pertinent information on it.  In the top middle of the document is the date of first registration. If a date of manufacture can not be determined, then this date can be used to prove the vehicle is over 25 years old, and FMVSS exempt. In this case the date of first registration is given as 6/1989.  The last box at the top has the chassis number. In this case it starts HCR32, showing this vehicle is a Nissan Skyline GTS. Right under there is the engine or RB20.  The owner and user with addresses are listed in the next section.  Under that is the cars dimensions and weight. Under that section are notes. You will often see mileage information here. This is a very important document, please do not lose it.

Translated copy of Export Certificate
Same items as on the Export Certificate, translated into English

5. DMV Document
Bill of Sale - Noting VIN, Purchase Price, Seller, and Buyer

Every state has its own requirements, fees, inspections, and taxes when it comes to titling and registering a vehicle. Prior to purchasing any vehicle, we highly recommend checking with your local authorities to verify the procedure, and documents required.

In most cases, the only documentation needed to transfer registration of the vehicle from us to you is the documentation above. Some states may require a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) verification. A 25 year old Japanese car doesn't have a 17 digit VIN/Chassis number. Vehicles over 25 years old are not required to meet FMVSS standards, so they aren't required to have a 17 digit VIN. Some states may have some specific title requirements, but please read this newsletter from the NHTSA before they "assign" a VIN to your vehicle.

Please make extra copies of the documents we provide for your records. The Japanese Export Certificate/Deregistration is not reproducible. Please do not lose it, there is only one original.

California - California has some specific Direct Import requirements that make it very difficult to register a vehicle. Please see this DMV newsletter. http://www.importavehicle.info/2014/06/california-vehicle-industry-news-2014-14.html

Hawaii - Hawaii has some specific requirements that make it very difficult to register a vehicle. Please see the following post about Hawaii regulations. http://www.importavehicle.info/2014/02/direct-import-vehicles-over-25-years.html

Friday, August 1, 2014

40 Land Rovers Seized in VIN Tampering Investigation

Last year US Customs crushed a Land Rover Defender in a video posted around the web. Now there are reports of up to 40 more Land Rovers being seized by DHS.

According to the National Review, Bill and Jennifer Brinkley had a 1985 Land Rover Defender seized. Even though the owners claimed the vehicle was over 25 years old, DHS says the VIN had been altered on the vehicle.

From another report, Patterson Auto Sales in Wilmington, North Carolina was the common link on these 40 seized vehicles.

Like many of the old importing stories, someone gets away with something, and then they do it over and over. Eventually they get caught.  Once they are caught, it isn't difficult to figure out all the vehicles that this person or business imported. In this case again, the 2nd or 3rd owners are the ones getting screwed. They are the ones losing both their money, and their vehicle. Some people may not have known the vehicles were later model vehicles, many people buying the cars probably did.
Range Rover that was crushed in 2013

Forty Land Rover SUVs have been taken away from owners around the country by armed federal agents descending on private property with overwhelming force. Agents for Homeland Security Investigations last month wrapped up the seizure of forty vehicles pursuant to a sealed warrant issued in May. The agency insists that there were discrepancies with the VIN numbers for cars imported by Aaron Richardet at Patterson Auto Sales in Wilmington, North Carolina, and that the Land Rovers violated Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and US Department of Transportation (DOT) standards. 
These regulations do not apply to cars that are at least 25 years old, but owners of the grabbed vehicles had no chance to present a defense before their SUVs were taken. The owners were only given until June 23 to file a formal contest to the seizures, which they could not have done because the court did not unseal the case until July 16. US District Judge James C. Fox denied a request to give owners more time to contest the seizure of their property.
Chris J. Benway paid $11,000 and invested another $23,607 in upgrading and servicing his blue 1984 Land Rover, which agents grabbed from his property on July 15.
"We cooperated fully with the forfeiture and will continue to cooperate," Benway told the court. "However, I do not believe this vehicle was imported illegally due to its being 25 years old at the time of purchase, and we have not seen any evidence of VIN tampering on the vehicle."
The government argued that the imported cars were actually 2000 model year and newer, and therefore subject to the EPA and DOT regulations. Daniel M. Harrington, an owner who wants his 1983 Land Rover Defender back says the government claim is nonsense.
"A basic visual inspection of the vehicle reveals that the same was manufactured far earlier than 2000," Harrington told the court. "I was advised that the Land Rover Defender YIN: [...] was manufactured in 1983 at the time I purchased it. My visual inspection of the vehicle reinforced this information as the vehicle exhibited correlative signs of aging and the vehicle's features were consistent with the features of Land Rover Defenders manufactured in 1983. Additionally, I had the vehicle examined by an expert in the field, who confirmed that the Land Rover Defender VIN [...] was manufactured in 1983."
Department of Homeland Security Special Agent Christopher M. Feldman said that he inspected the "non compliant" vehicles and found discrepancies in the Land Rovers imported by Patterson Auto Sales. He presented his findings to the court.
"The chassis was galvanized and Land Rover has not manufactured Defender vehicles with a galvanized chassis," Feldman claimed. "The engine was a 2.5 TDi 5 cylinder (Storm) engine, manufactured from 1997 to 2007, which cannot be retrofitted into a 1986 Defender Station wagon chassis; the vehicle color does not match the original Venetian red; a number of interior and exterior features were not introduced into production until significantly later model years."
Richardet, the importer, had explained the discrepancies to the Customs and Border Patrol agency in an email two years ago.
"The truck was taken down to the frame," Richardet wrote. "It was sand blasted then galvanized to prevent rust. The doors are prone to rust are scrapped and swapped out for newer ones. The old dashes have been out of production since 2004 so the newer dash is used if the old one is bad. The restoration shops try to make modifications and upgrades to the trucks to make them safer and more user friendly. Just like restoring an old Camaro old parts get junked and newer go one. I hope he will see that. All those parts are available from Land Rover and the truck has changed so little you can bolt them right on."

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