Importing a classic car from another country can seem like a daunting task due to the many rules and regulations involved. However, with proper planning and research, it is certainly possible to bring your dream vintage ride across international borders. This guide provides an in-depth look at the various considerations and steps required to legally import a classic automobile into the United States Automobile From Overseas.
Automobile From Overseas – Deciding on a Vehicle
The first major decision is selecting the specific classic car you wish to import. Some factors to take into account include the vehicle’s year of manufacture, value, rarity, and whether it meets U.S. federal safety and emissions standards. Cars manufactured after 1968 generally have fewer hurdles to clear. You’ll also want to thoroughly research the country of origin’s export rules and paperwork requirements.
Applying for an Import Permit
With the vehicle chosen, you can begin the import documentation process. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) both play a role. For cars at least 25 years old, you submit an EPA “Evidence of Conformity” application and a NHTSA “Importation of Motor Vehicles and Motor Vehicle Equipment Subject to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety, Bumper and Theft Prevention Standards” application. Approval can take several months.
Meeting Safety and Emissions Standards
|Cars at least 25 years old are exempt from crash tests but must have things like seat belts, turn signals, proper VIN number
|Vehicles older than 21 years are considered “export models” and exempt from emissions tests
Special exemptions may also apply based on the vehicle’s rarity, historical significance, or other factors. The standards ensure the car will be road legal once in the U.S.
Paying Import Duties and Taxes
Customs duties are assessed based on the car’s value, with rates varying depending on its country of origin. Expect to pay duties of around 2.5% for vehicles from countries the U.S. has trade agreements with. You also need to pay a gas-guzzler tax if the car achieves low fuel economy. Finally, applicable state taxes will be paid when you register the vehicle.
Shipping and Taking Delivery
Arrangements must be made to transport the car by land, sea, or air. Professional car shipping services can help navigate import restrictions. Once the vehicle arrives stateside, you’ll submit final importation paperwork to CBP for release. After a final inspection, you can drive off with your new classic ride!
Automobile From Overseas – Additional Licensing and Registration
The last major step is properly titling, registering, plating and insuring the vehicle for legal road use. Requirements vary significantly based on the state, so research your local DMV processes thoroughly. International title transfers may also need facilitating through organizations like JECFA to receive branded state titles.
With perseverance and diligent preparations, collecting your dream import car is quite achievable. Proper planning for each phase of the importation procedure helps avoid unpleasant surprises or delays down the road. The rewards of driving a unique vehicle with an intriguing backstory are well worth the effort involved.