Importing foreign car (i.e. BMW 1er)

Roadster44

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Does anyone have any specific & detailed knowledge of how to do this? I read that taking the vehicle apart, bringing it to US in separate shipments, assembling it, and registering it as a kit car is one way of doing it. I know there are one year exemptions for cars, but that's no good. What about bringing the vehicle here for racing purposes, clearing it, and then registering it as a kit car? There have got to be overlapping laws which create loopholes.

http://www.epa.gov/otaq/imports/quiktext.htm
 

der_jackal

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Why would you want to do that? The 1 series is coming to the U.S. late 2007 early 2008.


The overlapping laws you're talking about limit your abilities to insure the car for starters.

I have a friend who imported a B5 RS4 Avant (never available in the U.S.), and the only way for him to get insurance (affordable, non-specialized insurance) was to have the car federalized and follow the steps appropriately. Ended up being a $110,000 car in the end. 70k to buy, the rest was shipping and process.

So why would you want to do that w/ a car that is coming to the U.S.?
 

thedguy

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Does anyone have any specific & detailed knowledge of how to do this? I read that taking the vehicle apart, bringing it to US in separate shipments, assembling it, and registering it as a kit car is one way of doing it. I know there are one year exemptions for cars, but that's no good. What about bringing the vehicle here for racing purposes, clearing it, and then registering it as a kit car? There have got to be overlapping laws which create loopholes.

http://www.epa.gov/otaq/imports/quiktext.htm

The One year exemptions depends on the person, you'd have to have been military stationed where you could have bought the car, or in the US living here temporary (i.e. under a visa).

The Epa is the least of your issue's. It's the NHTSA thats your problem. They require crash testing and then modification. EPA shouldn't be huge issue, atleast if you purchase a model with an engine sold in another BMW already available in the US.

Even if the car is easily able to pass crash standards you will still have to modify things like the lights. An Example is the E36 light covers, in europe they are glass, in the US those are illegal. Technically many of the bulbs and entire light systems are illegal (don't have DOT approval). Hell on the Audi RS4, those massive seats that Audi claims keeps the drivers head protected, are illegal in the US, and Audi has to change them out for sale here.

The only people who import cars like this are usually those with plenty of cash, and who want exotics not normally sold here, or there's a waiting list for. I doubt there are many people on this forum who are in that situation.

If the car is truely destined for the US in a year or 2, I'd just wait it out. It'll take that long to get the car otherwise. Customs puts several mandatory holds that last several months on the cars.
 

Janus

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Why would you want to do that? The 1 series is coming to the U.S. late 2007 early 2008.

Exactly what I was going to say.

Plus why would you be so desperate to he a 1 series. They really aren't that good. And by the time you went through with what ever complex plan would allow you to do it, like taking apart and rebuilding the entire car or buying it overseas and shipping it over a year later, it is probably going to cost you a small fortune, well over what the car is actually worth.

I could maybe understand it if you were some uber-rich business man who was importing an exotic Ferrari or something, but it just isn't worth it for a 1 series.
 

JediMindGamez

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You'd also have to have the car deregistered in the country of origin. Also in california, they only give 100 SB100 (kit car registartions) a year. So needless to say they're pretty much all gone on Jan 3rd, the first day the DMV opens.
 

Roadster44

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Its not that I want to import 1er, I was using it as an example. But it would nake sense to me to make UNECE & FMVSS as identical as possible. First off it would be beneficial to a consumer, secondly it would be beneficial to manufacturers cost wise, not having to make NA spec and then rest of the world. Especially for US manus where they need to have immediate flexibility. For example GM wanted to bring new Corsa here, but couldn't because of different laws.

Its absolutely ridicilous to have these laws being different. Its not as if US standards are worse/better than EU standards.
 

STi Nut

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I remember a guy in Perth that managed to buy 360CS in mint condition in Japan and sent it to Perth in 2 separate containers, 1 with the shell and the other with the engine and all. got it to Australia and put it back together and managed to register it as a ?Ferrari 360 CS?. he phoned up the dealer in Sydney that was allocated to bring in all the 360CS's to Australia(6 in total) and asked them if they wanted to buy it from him. The dealer checked the serial number and found that it was not one of the ones that he brought in and then the dealer told him to fuck off, so there is a 360CS sitting in Perth that is basically capable of doing almost 200mph and no one wants to go near it as everyone is basically scared of driving it.
 

thedguy

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Roadster44 said:
Its absolutely ridicilous to have these laws being different. Its not as if US standards are worse/better than EU standards.

Japan, OZ, EU, and the US need to get 1 set of laws going. You are right, it is pretty idiotic to have so many laws set out to do the same thing.

I've also been of the opinion their should be a special clause for people willing to accept the fact that a car is infact a machine perfectly capable of killing those inside it, and don't mind it. This would allow those of us who want the Skylines, or the Silvia's, or a Maserati Ghibli II, etc...
 

AG.Daiba

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american laws are needlessly stupid... but its designed to help out the hopeless american car manufacturers that cant design cars. since they can't compete in the first place, why increase the competition so they make all the foreigners spend vast amounts of money "americanizing" them.
 

thedguy

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american laws are needlessly stupid... but its designed to help out the hopeless american car manufacturers that cant design cars. since they can't compete in the first place, why increase the competition so they make all the foreigners spend vast amounts of money "americanizing" them.

Our safety laws were put in place because the US car manufacturers were doing everything they could to avoid making safe cars. Look into a little car company by the name of "Tucker".

The big three have done the same with smog laws, and now they are slowly dying out, seeing as they are behind most of the world on anyway to keep emissions to a minimum.
 
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