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Importing a car?


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IF the cars is an American Manufacture, it will pass Customs Inspection quickly. If NOT, then you need to ask the Customs Office that will be clearing the car, just what is required. I have worked with Customs Offices in Texas, California and the east coast and NONE of them play by the same rules! So you MUST talk to the local office! 

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Work with a forwarding company or broker that knows how to handle all the necessary forms and paperwork. 

 

Vehicle must be dry meaning cooling system, engine oil, transmission and rear greases, and fuel removed

 

any wood used in packaging must be heat treated and stamped as such.   or made from processed wood like plywood or chipboard.  This is a big/pest control requirement that must be followed.  

 

It is is probable that a fumigation is also required for similar reason. 

 

None of the the above are difficult to tackle. But the wood issue is one that is very difficult to address once the vehicle and parts are already in transit.          

 

Best of luck.  

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Spend the money and use the right import/shipping company. Have one company handle everything from door to door. Is this cheap? No, but it is worth it. 

 

If the right company is working for you then there are  NO hassles because they do everything. All you do is pay them and wait for it to arrive.

 

Hire the wrong company, or try to subcontract the different phases yourself and there will be lots of hassles.

 

Should you do it?  Yes, if you want the car and the value of the car justifies the price to import.

 

If the car's value doesn't justify these costs, its not worth it.

 

If it is a 50K or more car, it probably justifies the expense.  If it is 0 to 50K, it might be wiser to wait for something to appear stateside.

 

Just my thoughts.

Edited by motoringicons (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, motoringicons said:

Spend the money and use the right import/shipping company. Have one company handle everything from door to door. Is this cheap? No, but it is worth it. 

 

If the right company is working for you then there are  NO hassles because they do everything. All you do is pay them and wait for it to arrive.

 

Hire the wrong company, or try to subcontract the different phases yourself and there will be lots of hassles.

 

Should you do it?  Yes, if you want the car and the value of the car justifies the price to import.

 

If the car's value doesn't justify these costs, its not worth it.

 

If it is a 50K or more car, it probably justifies the expense.  If it is 0 to 50K, it might be wiser to wait for something to appear stateside.

 

Just my thoughts.

 

Spot On Advice

 

Few automobiles are worth the money & time required to import

 

Unless you are 101% sure of the condition  - ownership history - actual cost

to import .....

 

You are are better off to buy stateside

 

 

Jim

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Thanks all! Good advice here as always. The car is a late 30s Buick that was exported to Sweden in the late 1980s. I have spoken to the customs officials in Baltimore. I have also gotten quotes from brokers and the rates are all over the map. I just got in touch with a gentleman here who does a lot of importing of old Volvos into Baltimore so hopefully I can get it all worked out. Will let you all know how it goes.

 

Cheers, Dave

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I've brought in several cars from France over the years. Some left from Le Havre, some from Rotterdam. One car was shipped RO/RO (roll on/roll off) even tough it didn't drive. The others went in a 24' container. I cleared U.S. Customs with them myself. It was not difficult. You need to fill out forms from the Dept. of Transportation and Dept. of Environmental Protection. If the auto if 25 years old or more, it need not meet current pollution & safety standards. You will need a freight forwarder in Europe to handle the paperwork there. Everybody who touches the paperwork or the car gets paid something. Ten years ago, I figured to spend about $5,000 per car, all told, to bring them from Europe to Baltimore. 

 

You can make it easier if you get a Customs Broker here in the U.S., but does add to the cost. You're allowed to have fluids in the car. The freight forwarder will tell you the rules. Customs may give you trouble, or not. Get Bill of Sale, Title forms and as much paperwork as you can. You'll put a lot of time into it, it can be frustrating, but stay enthusiastic and you'll succeed. 

 

Phil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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