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

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Justin Pace - A Known Scam Artist in the Vehicle Import and Export Business

A legally imported R32, and R34 GT-R by importavehicle.com

Well, we can hardly call this piece of shit a business guy. However he has been around a while, and it seems he is still continuing to scam people.

Justin Pace. JDM Exchange

Just this week got this message from someone.

It seems like he might have sold someone a "track car."  However a track car doesn't exist. People don't like to be told they can't have something because its illegal.  They want some scam artist to tell them they can do it, and they have a "loophole."  The loophole doesn't exist. The scam artist gets his money, the buyer gets fucked.

There is a Facebook Group of people that have been scammed here - https://www.facebook.com/Justin-Pace-JDM-Exchange-jdmexchangenet-Is-A-Complete-SCAM-125451487570774/?__mref=message_bubble

The $96,500 scam.  Next Level Motorsports, and JDM Exchange.

 I had Eric send me his business license, and Eric’s business partner Justin Pace, who owns JDM Exchange and handles all of the logistics send me export certificates, HS-7′s, and Bill’s of Lading of other cars he (allegedly) imported. I extensively googled his name, and I found one, at most two posts of people who though he was a scam, but no one who actually stated that they were scammed by him. That seemed sufficient for me (In hindsight though, I should have listened to my gut instinct), so I went ahead and pulled the trigger. Now I realize that all of these documents were forged.

Despite nearly everyone’s warnings on this site in December, I went ahead and purchased the 2002 Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R V-SPEC II Nür, the cream of the crop of skyline’s, for $96,250 USD. There is no typo on the price there. That price included the car itself and compliance work. The car only had 12,000 km on it.
My plan was to hold onto it for a couple years, and then sell it for a profit so that I could buy a cheap house along with the money I earned in those 2 years. Now I’m nearly flat broke. If I am lucky, my car was illegally imported. If it’s not in the country (legally or illegally), then this will be a long and arduous civil case.

Just a little background about this deal. I have dealt with Justin primarily, and I’ll give him credit where credit is due, he is an EXCELLENT bullshitter. He acts like he knows a lot about importing, and he seems to have all of the answers. He is very good at diverting questions you ask him. I didn’t know a lot about importing, and what I did know he mentioned to me and “explained” how it worked, and like an idiot I bought it. He even has contacts in Japan, I actually talked to them and they told me that they had been dealing with Justin for a while. These are the extreme measures he took to fool me.
When push came to shove though, and I asked for the Bill of Lading which he stated he has, I noticed he started ducking me. I’ve asked for this document over a dozen times, and he has failed to provide it, each time providing a different excuse, such as power being out, internet not working, being sick, and this isn’t even a comprehensive list.

More stuff has popped up on the internet about these guys since I purchased the car. Justin Pace, owner of JDM Exchange in San Francisco and who lives in Antioch, CA and Eric Thomas, owner of Next Level Motorsport in Williston, VT are SCAMMERS.
I am former Marine with two year long deployments to Iraq, who is a combat veteran.
If anyone else is a member of other car forums, please spread this message along, I don’t want to see anyone else get scammed. Below are the following links of where I found connections to these guys (mostly Justin), they have popped up in the last couple months after I did further research. Apparently Justin used to own a company called JapImportUSA. I can’t find anyone who was scammed by them, but there is a lot of talk about them








Eric and Justins websites
http://nextlevelmotor.com (now gone)


Apparently there was a girl in Alabama who was scammed by Justin too


I’ve spoken to Justin dozens of times, and **** a few times, and all three of us even had a conference call last night to try to sort things out.

Message to ****. I know you locked down registration, but feel free to invite Justin and Eric onto the forums, it’s only fair to allow them to defend themselves, even though I don’t see how that is possible when I paid for the car, it was supposed to be delivered June 22nd, and I still haven’t received it, or any documentation. If you could make this a sticky it would be much appreciated.

Friday, January 22, 2016

My State Doesn't Have Emissions : Vehicle Import

We often hear from people interested in importing vehicles, that their state doesn't have emissions. Normally they think this would make it easier for import.  However there are more than one set of rules, and one set of government agencies to satisfy for vehicle import and registration.

For Import - Federal Agency
   a) US Customs - Department of Homeland Security
   b) NHTSA - Federal vehicle safety standards
   c) EPA- Federal emissions requirements 40 CFR Part 85

For Registration - State Agency
  Individual State Requirements
    a) Registration requirements - normally some kind of Department of Motor Vehicles
    b) Emissions Requirements - Vary state to state. Some are state run, some are not.

In order to have a road registered legal vehicle, you have to meet all 5 requirements above. That is US Customs, NHTSA, EPA, State registration, and State Emissions requirements.

You can have a vehicle that is imported to the US legally. That is, meet US Customs, NHTSA, and EPA requirements, and not be road registered. This would be a legal import. If you chose not to register or drive the car on the road, then that would be your own prerogative. Stick it in the corner, make it into wall art.

You can NOT have a vehicle that was NOT imported legally though US Customs, NHTSA, and EPA, and then road register it.  Although it happens all the time, this type of import is illegal. Cars get seized, cars get crushed. Most people get away with it, at least for a while, but eventually the illegal imports catch up to them.

So, your state doesn't have emissions.  This is incorrect. Your state doesn't set emissions standards, unless of course you are in California.  If you are in any of the other 49 states, then they follow the US EPA requirements for vehicles.

Without getting too complicated, when a state has emissions testing, this is called, In Use Testing. Its also called smog check, e-check, smog, IM240, etc.   What In Use Testing does, is verify that vehicles on the road are maintaining emissions requirements as set forth by the EPA.  So the state is verifying vehicles are continuing to meet Federal requirements for mobile sources.

Even if your state doesn't test, your car still needs to meet EPA requirements. 40CFR Part 85. Control of Air Pollution From Mobile Sources

Many states, or localities don't have In Use Testing. What surprises some people, are there are areas even in California that don't have In Use Testing.  Just because they don't test, doesn't mean that you are exempt from emissions requirements. They just don't have testing. This is a difficult concept for some people to grasp. A similar type situation would be speeding. You speed, you record video of it. While you didn't get caught or pulled over for it when breaking the law, later on the police use the information you posted publicly to charge you with a crime.

Some of this information has actually changed in the last few years in California.  Some examples of how complicated state emissions can be, are listed below for California.

All areas of California require Smog Check certifications when a specified model-year vehicle changes ownership or is registered for the first time in California. The Smog Check Program divides the state into the following areas:Enhanced Areas: These areas do not meet federal or state air quality standards for ozone and carbon monoxide. Biennial Smog Check inspections are required in these areas, in addition to the change of ownership and initial registration inspection requirement. Additionally, a portion of the vehicles in Enhanced Areas must receive their biennial Smog Check at a STAR station. In order to measure NOx emissions, specified model-year vehicles in Enhanced Area are subject to an ASM (Acceleration Simulation Mode) emissions test.
Basic Areas: Basic areas are less polluted then Enhanced Areas; however, due to their marginal air quality, biennial inspections are required. Specified model-year vehicles in Basic Areas require a Smog Check every two years during their registration renewal with DMV. Vehicles registered in a Basic Area must receive a TSI (Two Speed Idle) Smog Check.
Change of Ownership Areas: These more rural areas of the state require Smog Check certification only when an affected vehicle changes ownership (with the exception of gasoline vehicles four or less model-years old), or is initially registered in California. Vehicles within specified model-years registered in the Change of Ownership Areas are subject to Smog Check only upon change of ownership or initial registration in California. Vehicles registered in this area must receive a TSI (Two Speed Idle) Smog Check.

Californians getting Smog Checks today may notice that the traditional tailpipe test used for many years has been replaced by a quicker, computer-based test for gasoline-powered cars model-year 2000 and newer, and for most diesel vehicles that are model-year 1998 and newer.
This updated test uses the diagnostic capabilities of the vehicle's computer system instead of the traditional tailpipe probe to measure the vehicle's emissions. This On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) system gathers information and determines if the vehicle's emission control systems are operating properly. A visual inspection of emission control components is still required as well.

The OBD only method of testing vehicles is the result of 2010 legislation (AB 2289-Eng) which is designed to improve the Smog Check Program and further reduce air pollution. The Smog Check program removes hundreds of tons of smog-forming pollutants from California's air every day.
Gasoline-powered vehicles model-year 1999 and older will continue to receive Smog Checks using a tailpipe probe as well as the OBD test.

California Smog Check Requirements

A Smog Check is required every other year for registration renewal of:
  • 1976 and newer model-year gas-powered, hybrid, and flex-fuel vehicles
  • 1998 and newer model-year diesel-powered vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 14,000 pounds and less
  • Vehicles that are six model-years old and newer are not subject to the every-other-year Smog Check requirement since newer vehicles are considered cleaner, and less likely to fail a Smog Check.
  • Vehicles four model-years old and newer do not require a Smog Check upon change of ownership.
  • Note: These exceptions are not applicable to diesel-powered vehicles.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Track Car Importing : How To Import A Track Car : Importing A Race Car To the US

Nissan GT-R GT3 built as a racing car
Track Car - Does not exist in the eyes of the NHTSA or EPA
Race Car - Permanent import, Box 8. Temporary import, Box 7

The first thing you always need to be concerned with, on any imported vehicle, are Federal requirements.

3) US Customs/ICE/Homeland Security

Now we are getting into semantics when we say, there is no such thing as a Track Car.  People ask us constantly about buying or importing a Track Car. Track Car being a vehicle they drive exclusively on the track, aka not a street car.   However, for the NHTSA, or the EPA, there is no such car listed. They only list vehicles for racing, not track use. There are legal ways to import cars, and illegal ways to import cars. Any idiot can import a car illegally. Its much more difficult to do it correctly, get all the correct permissions, and have a car you can legally own, vs a car that could be seized and crushed.

Group A R32 GT-R. Built as a racing car.

For import, the form we need to fill out, when we legally import a vehicle for the NHTSA is called a HS7.On the HS7, you are giving a number of options, or boxes, for the vehicle that you are importing. The important ones for an off highway, or race car are box 7 and box 8.

Box 7 says the vehicle or equipment does not meet FMVSS, but is being imported for the purpose of research, investigation, demonstrations, training, or competitive racing events.  This import is also a temporary import, and the NHTSA must grant specific permission with a letter.  One important part is the "competitive" part of the racing event. AKA, your track day, even though you may think you are racing, is really not racing.  This is a temporary import, usually granted for a year, then the vehicles must be exported or destroyed.

Group A R32 GT-R. Built as a racing car.

Box 8 is for importing race cars permanently. These are vehicle that were manufactured as race cars, not as street cars, and converted to race use. Generally the NHTSA, and EPA both want to see statements from the manufacturers stating the vehicles were built as race cars.

Super GT racing car

The following sets forth the requirements for a vehicle to be imported as a racing vehicle. A vehicle that was originally manufactured as a racing vehicle can be declared as an off-road vehicle under Box 8 on the HS-7 Declaration form that is to be furnished to the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (Customs) at time of importation. Such a vehicle can be permanently imported into the United States. A motor vehicle that was not originally manufactured as a racing vehicle can only be imported on a temporary basis under Box 7 on the HS-7 Declaration form. The importer must obtain a letter of permission from NHTSA to import a vehicle on that basis. To obtain such a letter, the vehicle must be in full racing configuration at the time of importation and lack features associated with safe and practical public road use. Determinations are based on the capability of the vehicle to be used on public roads, not its intended use.

To import a racing vehicle into the United States on a permanent basis, you must:
Obtain from the vehicle’s original manufacturer a letter stating that the vehicle was originally manufactured as a racing vehicle.
File with Customs, upon entry, an HS-7 Declaration form on which Box 8 is checked, indicating that the vehicle was not manufactured primarily for use on the public roads, and is therefore not a motor vehicle subject to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety, Bumper, and Theft Protection Standards.
Attach a copy of the manufacturer’s letter to the HS-7 Declaration form that you furnish to Customs.
To import a motor vehicle into the United States on a temporary basis for racing purposes, you must:
Apply to NHTSA for a letter granting you permission to import the vehicle on a temporary basis. For that purpose, you should use the application form posted on this website.
File with Customs, upon entry, an HS-7 Declaration form on which Box 7 is checked, indicating that the motor vehicle does not comply with all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety, Bumper, and Theft Prevention Standards, but is being imported solely for the purpose of competitive racing events.
Attach a copy of the NHTSA permission letter to the HS-7 Declaration form that you furnish to Customs.
To obtain such a permission letter from NHTSA, you must submit to the agency the following information in the order stated:
  1. Importer’s name, address, and daytime phone number.
  2. Customs broker’s name, contact, and phone number.
  3. Vehicle information (make, model, model year, and VIN or identifying number).
  4. A list of the racing features of the vehicle.
  5. A list of the features lacking that are needed for use of the vehicle on public roads.
  6. Photographs showing the following views: front, rear, side, and interior. Racing features and/or features lacking for on-road use on public roads should be shown in the photographs.
  7. The name of the sanctioning body and competition class.
  8. Previous race history of the vehicle (if any).
  9. Schedule of racing events, including dates and locations where vehicle will compete (if any).
  10. Copy of the competition-racing license of the importer (if any).
Permission to import a motor vehicle temporarily is granted in annual increments for up to three years if duty is not paid, or for up to five years if duty is paid. No later than 30 days after the expiration of the period for which permission is granted, the vehicle must be either exported from the United States or destroyed. 


A racing vehicle may not be registered or licensed for on-road use. A vehicle allowed entry for racing purposes cannot subsequently be converted for use on public roads.

For the EPA, the form is called the 3520-1.

On the 3520-1 a racing vehicle exclusion is called code L.  You also need a permission letter from the NHTSA for a racing vehicle exclusion.


Email or call us for more information. info@importavehicle.com or 323-645-0229  http://www.importavehicle.com

Group A R32. Built by Nissan as a racing car. 

3520-1 : EPA Form : Revised 1-2014: Importing Motor Vehicles and Motor Vehicle Engines

The 3520-1 is the EPA form required when importing motor vehicles, and motor vehicle engines to the US. In addition to the 3520-1, you must fill out an HS-7 for the DOT.

Email or call us for more information. info@importavehicle.com or 323-645-0229 http://www.importavehicle.com

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