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  #1  
Old 12-31-2007, 09:28 AM
daleearl
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Importing a car from Europe ... prior experience?

Hi all:

I'm hatching a plan to retrieve a van from from Europe and am wondering if anyone here has gone through the import process. If so can you recommend a good shipping company to start conversations with?

Any other advice would certainly be appreciated...

Many thanks and happy '08!
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2007, 09:47 AM
KarTek's Avatar
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Hi, I got my UNIMOG from Switzerland through Bill Shima at unimogsales.com. VERY honest guy and still follows up with calls and e-mails to this day, 7 years later! It came in a container with another 'MOG and was delivered to my local area. You just have to have a ramp or a warehouse to unload the vehicle from the truck and a hefty pair of bolt cutters to remove the seal. Bill took care of all the paperwork.
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2007, 09:57 AM
ForcedInduction
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How new is the van and does it have any comparable counterpart sold in the USA?
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  #4  
Old 12-31-2007, 09:57 AM
C Sean Watts's Avatar
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LOTS of variables...

The make, model and year will have a large bearing on it all. If the car is from a year that had little safety requirements, emission control and US DOT requirements, there is less to be done. Vehicles from the mid 1960s are much easier to import. I found a great 1968 Alfa several years ago but I couldn't get the paperwork completed before the owner got a full price offer. My requirement would have been a PCV valve, seat belts and lockable doors (all already on the car.) I worked with a guy who kept is mid 80s M6 from when he was stationed in Germany. It needed $1400 (IIRC) in shop work to meet DOT standards (door impact bars, emissions system, non-metric speedometer, different seat belts)

Try to get a full price estimate on the conversion before you sign.
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  #5  
Old 12-31-2007, 10:22 AM
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It is 25 years old is the magic number. If it is older then 25 years then it is exempt from having to get crap added on! If it is newer then you have to go through the effort to meet US DOT laws!
I having been looking into importing a Trabant into the country so I have been learning the laws. Plus my friend has imported about 5 or 6 cars so I get info from him to.
Cheers
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  #6  
Old 12-31-2007, 12:16 PM
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T-R-A-B-I spells "trouble"

Quote:
Originally Posted by bus63kombi View Post
...I having been looking into importing a Trabant into the country so I have been learning the laws...
If you get a Trabi, remember to always keep it indoors so the cardboard doesn't mildew!

But seriously, there are 25-year-old Trabis? I thought they decomposed after five or ten.

This is one of those great projects that "someone else" should do. I look forward to seeing your pictures. I don't think you'll have a problem with a 25+ year old car as long as you use a reputable importer known to your DMV people.

BTW, there's a nice 601 "de luxe" Trabi, a 1988 model, ex-VW Museum, in eBay-Deutschland now, 2500 Euros, see this link.

Jeremy
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  #7  
Old 12-31-2007, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy5848 View Post
If you get a Trabi, remember to always keep it indoors so the cardboard doesn't mildew!

But seriously, there are 25-year-old Trabis? I thought they decomposed after five or ten.

This is one of those great projects that "someone else" should do. I look forward to seeing your pictures. I don't think you'll have a problem with a 25+ year old car as long as you use a reputable importer known to your DMV people.

BTW, there's a nice 601 "de luxe" Trabi, a 1988 model, ex-VW Museum, in eBay-Deutschland now, 2500 Euros, see this link.

Jeremy
HA! i drove a Trabi in Berlin once and nearly pissed myself laughing. They are very kitch but I personally would never purchase one. They do last if you take care of them, but it's a whole new world with a 2-cycle gasoline (lawnmower) motor in there.

I suppose if I were to get one though it would HAVE to be the wagon model.
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  #8  
Old 12-31-2007, 02:02 PM
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Trabant? Aren't those the miserable little things that Clarkson and his gang rip on all the time as the worst cars the communists ever pawned off on people?

Old Soviet stuff is junk, be it a T72 or a car.

Compared to that my VW is an S600!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrIH8oE1hzA
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  #9  
Old 12-31-2007, 02:45 PM
ForcedInduction
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East German.

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  #10  
Old 12-31-2007, 02:46 PM
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A lawnmower has more balls!
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  #11  
Old 12-31-2007, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForcedInduction View Post
East German.

That's an engine???
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  #12  
Old 12-31-2007, 05:15 PM
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List of Nonconforming Vehicles Decided To Be Eligible for Importation

http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-IMPACT/2007/September/Day-27/i19118.htm
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84 300D Turbodiesel 190K with 4 speed manual sold in 03/2012
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  #13  
Old 01-01-2008, 10:28 AM
daleearl
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Thanks!

Hi All!

Thanks all the leads.

Although the Borat-mobile might be good for {laughs | target practice | mowing} I'm hunting for a a TDI Caravelle/Transporter...

Happy '08!
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  #14  
Old 01-01-2008, 12:00 PM
F18 F18 is offline
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The last vehicle I imported was in 2000 and I believe some of the customs procedure may have changed since 9/11.

As some have already said vehicles 25 years or older are exempt from US emissions and some of the DOT Safety Standards. Less than 25 years and the vehicle has to be Federalized before it enters the country or US Customs will only release the vehicle to a DOT approved federalizing shop here in this country at your expense before you can touch it. You can choose from a list of DOT Federalizing shops that US Customs has. The car will not be released to you until the work is done.
Call US Customs.....they are there to help you and provide you with updated information on the Import Tax rate/Duty (a % of vehicle value), Custom Fees ( for paper work) and can provide you with a list of DOT SHOPs that may be able to give you an estimate of federalizing based on make and model before you bring the car over here.

I would recommend using an export agent at the point of origin to make sure paperwork and the shipping bill of lading and ships Port of Entry is correct. Once it leaves the port you do not have much control over it but you own it. You will need shipping insurance to cover any shipping damage (that was $300 to $500 in 2000).....The ship will get it across the water but they do not guarantee condition!

If you are not near the US Port of Entry into this country you can have a private import agent near the port do all the leg work and turn over your checks for the Import Tax and Customs fees and secure the release of the vehicle before you arrive (provided it does not need federalizing) The release process with US Customs can take an hour or 2 days depending on how busy they are.

You can ship two ways: RR which is Roll on Roll Off....it is the cheapest....the vehicles are just rolled down into the cargo hold (not all ships and Port of Entries handle this) (under $1000 per vehicle)
Then you have Container shipments which can be upwards of $4K to 5K per vehicle depending on how many per container. The more in the container the cheaper it is per unit. They say there is less chance of damage by salt water intrusion and impact....but still buy insurance!

It is an interesting process but do your homework. A mistake could have your vehicle sitting in a secured Customs or DOT lot with compounding daily storage fees that you are responsible for.
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Last edited by F18; 01-01-2008 at 01:05 PM.
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