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  #1  
Old 08-10-2017, 01:03 AM
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"Be Forward" the Japanese used supply of Merz' cars

So I discover there are Mercedes with incredibly low prices for sale and shipped into West Coast ports. I see W210's labeled as 2007 models long after this production was ended, and I see an E320 CDI wagon labeled as 2007 for 6,500 bucks! The only catch being that most of these cars are right hand drive. But there are a few left hand drive models. And some are rebranded and do not have mercedes insignia. They could be Korean rebranded cars with various refits..I noticed japanese characters on the dash panels. Mostly in kilometers too, but these parts can be changed or reprogramed.

Being on the West Coast I envy the East Coast their lower prices and yet now I see these cars available from the Pacific rim at ONE THIRD the usual cost..With a thousand bucks added for shipping..

Anyone care to comment. Im just beginning to look into this! That CDI wagon really caught my attention..

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  #2  
Old 08-10-2017, 03:05 AM
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Do they somehow skirt the 25 year import ban?
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  #3  
Old 08-10-2017, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by party View Post
Do they somehow skirt the 25 year import ban?
Minor detail lol.
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  #4  
Old 08-10-2017, 11:33 AM
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I see, to be specific for those not in the 'know' on this..Which is the purpose of a forum. not to talk down to those inquiring..?? Or is it??

the US bans imports on foreign used cars newer than 25 years. (safety claims but obviously protectionist)

All I see is they deliver very reasonably to West Coast ports. I wonder if these would be parts cars or if there is a loophole.

Its all about information. If this is impossible, well the ads must be directed at other than US markets I suspect.
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Old 08-10-2017, 12:11 PM
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I think you would have a really hard time registering them in US, especially in CA.
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  #6  
Old 08-10-2017, 02:39 PM
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Yep, I see its a no-go..Imports not allowed. No wonder they are mostly right hand drive. Maybe Europe lets them in but not the US. I saw some great vids by Japanese auto brokers online explaining the 25 year rule and its effect on the used market. The pit falls and procedures for protection clarified..

Its kinda like the ban on charter use for foreign made yachts..protectionist. Helps the industry and screws the consumer..

Policy is powerful stuff.
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Old 08-11-2017, 01:00 AM
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The law is 15 years in Canada AFAIK.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:47 AM
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Some cars are easier to import. As far as safety, there is a list of cars and models that NHTSA says are OK, and as far as EPA, if the manufacturer certifies (either through the official label or a letter from the company representative) that the car meets US emissions standards, then you can bring the car in directly. I know it works on a lot of Canadian cars - not sure about the rest of world.
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:09 AM
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I think you would have a really hard time registering them in US, especially in CA.
The states don't really care about the 25 year rule. You see all sorts of weird **** that shouldn't be here registered in California. Usually diplomats or foreign travelers selling off their car while they're in the US. Its the federal government that would have a problem at the border if a US citizen was trying to import the car. If the sale happens inside the US and the feds never find out about it its just your local state laws you have to worry about. It still violates federal law and the feds can come after you and crush the car but hey people do all sorts of stupid ****, why stop now.
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The law is 15 years in Canada AFAIK.
And a lot of those end up registered in WA state somehow.
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by tjts1 View Post
The states don't really care about the 25 year rule. You see all sorts of weird **** that shouldn't be here registered in California. Usually diplomats or foreign travelers selling off their car while they're in the US. Its the federal government that would have a problem at the border if a US citizen was trying to import the car. If the sale happens inside the US and the feds never find out about it its just your local state laws you have to worry about. It still violates federal law and the feds can come after you and crush the car but hey people do all sorts of stupid ****, why stop now.

And a lot of those end up registered in WA state somehow.
So could it be because the cars come into Seattle and Tacoma ports from the Pacific? Works for me and Im an hour from Tacoma! If I can legally purchase and register in Oregon or Washington Im in!

I tried buying from Florida and the seller had a 'flat tire' when my agent showed up for a test drive and then when I arranged someone else, they said he canceled and he said THEY canceled and its obviously not going to work!

If one finds a good deal, its always an attempt to sell you a pretty picture but who knows what the actual car you will get is really like! Smoke and mirrors.

These are not odd cars but regular models already approved by EPA, out of the German factory but shipped to Asia rather than the US..(mostly)
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Old 08-13-2017, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by puzzler View Post
These are not odd cars but regular models already approved by EPA, out of the German factory but shipped to Asia rather than the US..(mostly)
No, far from it. There are many detail differences between between a US market and and Japanese market car, even if its the same model, same engine, same year. A US market car will have a check engine light, a japanese car will have a catalytic converter temperature light. Ignition timing, compression ratio, EVAP system, EGR etc are all different. These cars are far from approved by the EPA. Then theres all the safety differences like lighting, different seatbelts, SRS, door beams, bumpers, knee bolsters etc. Even the ride height was different on a US market car vs the rest of the world for crash compatibility (US cars ride higher in the front). Most W124s sold in the rest of the world didn't get a 3rd brake light for example. None of these things are show stoppers for anyone wanting to drive one of these cars in the US but there are many detailed differences.
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:07 AM
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VERY informative! Thanks so much..The forum here is literally a wealth of information.
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  #13  
Old 08-14-2017, 11:28 AM
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State legal and federally legal are not the same thing.

What you can do is buy a less than 25 year old car in Canada, drive it across the border, when they ask if you have anything to declare, say no. Drive across the border. Some states or even just a lax location of the BMV will allow you to title a car without a customs clearance summary. Washington is on the Canadian border, so you'll see less than 25 stuff there that got driven across. Same with New York. Florida has exceptionally lenient titling rules so if you can show up with a car, they'll give you a title for it. There used to be a thread on one of the Nissan site where someone got a car title for a horse in Florida to prove how overly easy it is to do it. And how the people selling R34 Skylines as "legal" are full of it.

You now have a state legal, federally illegal car. You've committed a few crimes in the process. And customs could seize and destroy the car at any point if they found out you had it. Likelihood of customs coming after you over one car, pretty low, but its a possibility. Happens more with hot button cars like Nissan Skylines. There were two illegal R33 Skylines in my town, but had Ohio titles. When the owners listed them for sale feds showed up acting like they were there to buy the car and seized it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l7JCb3RDqQ This is a friend of a friend, had a state legal Ohio title. But the car is less than 25 years old and was somehow smuggled in a few years ago. Car had been on the road here for years before it was found, seized, and destroyed. Ohio seized a destroyed a blue one a couple weeks later.

I import cars from Japan somewhat regularly under the 25 year law, and have brought stuff through Canada less than 25 years old on letters of compliance. Been there, done that, and have 2 more cars en route. You'll never get a 2007 Mercedes into this country from Japan. Well, not until 2032. The car you mentioned isn't even legal in Canada yet.

Net effect. State legal DOES NOT EQUAL Federally Legal.

Sidenote, in Japan it is considered more prestigious to drive a car in the drive handle of the country it was built in. More than half of the Mercedes I see at auction in Japan are LHD. If you go into the main dealer in Japan you can order LHD or RHD, and the dealers mostly stock LHD. In affluent ends of major cities the parking garages will have payment kiosks on both sides of the lanes because so many people drive LHD Benzes and BMWs.
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Old 08-14-2017, 05:22 PM
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I'm guessing the Nissan guys are getting hit more for not paying import duty more than an "illegal" ( non DOT compliant ) car. ( RE: Not paying tax on the moon shine they are making. )

I wonder how the 25 year law addresses importing race cars built from a road car or cars built from scratch / body in white where a VIN doesn't exist.

A few years ago there was a small Mercedes high wagon / SUV for sale that claimed good title. This may have come in under " you are able to import one non conforming car in your lifetime. "

If you dig around the Kubota tractor web site, there should still be a blurb about how Kubota had a law passed " specifically " for them to ban import of Kubota brand gray market tractors regardless of year.

From a non Kubota web site
10 Myths about Kubota Gray Market Tractors | OrangeTractorTalks

Myth #1: Gray Market Kubotas are Illegal to Own
Gray market Kubotas are not illegal to own. In 1997 it became illegal to import Kubota gray market models into the United States. It is still legal to import gray models into Canada and many other countries. The General Exclusion Order awarded to Kubota by the US courts is to protect Kubota’s business interests in North America. The import ban on gray market models has nothing to do with their lack of reliability, performance or safety.

. . . . Kubota missed an opportunity to buy some goodwill. The right thing to do would have been to take those gray tractors in on trade or at the very least supported owners by offering parts and service. Build a relationship. Strengthen your brand. The import ban came about in 1997. For the last 13 years there are no more gray market models entering the United States. Eventually, the existing gray market models will die out and as they do those owners will likely not return to Kubota. . . . .
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  #15  
Old 08-17-2017, 02:37 PM
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If you look up the 3520-1 and the HS7 Forms used to import cars you can read all of the exclusions.

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