Importing a car from Germany is not a simple process. There are a number of variables that affect the legality and cost of importation. Compliance is key when importing a car into the United States.
The general process for importing a car from Germany is to
Verify that the vehicle is in compliance with all federal regulations
Compile and submit all relevant documentation
Set up shipping services
Pay import duties and fees while submitting the required CBP documents
It is vital to be as thorough as possible during the import process. Any inconsistencies in the shipping process can result in additional costs, delays, or even seizure of your shipment. When importing, time is of the essence. If you're not careful, time can be costly.
Before shipping a car from Germany to the U.S., check the vehicle's eligibility first. Returning vehicles and U.S. spec vehicles that have not been modified will be easy to enter. The United States imposes strict regulations on all other vehicles entering the country. Therefore, your car cannot enter unless it meets the import requirements.
1. The cost of importing a car from Germany
The cost of importing a car from Germany is not cheap. In fact, the average price of a vehicle imported from Europe is about $1,800 to $3,500 per vehicle. And that's just shipping costs.
Another variable to consider is the import duty that is levied when the car enters the U.S. port of entry. Import duties are the responsibility of the property owner (also known as the shipper). The tariff is a tax that is designed to make cheaper foreign products less desirable.
Tariff cost description:
The tariff rate is calculated as 2.5% of the total value of the car.
For example, the tariff rate for an imported Porsche 911 would be higher than that of a Volkswagen Golf GTI.
Ultimately, the cost of importing a car from Germany will vary. The only static cost figure is the tariff of 2.5% of the vehicle value. These imposed import tariffs are intended to protect U.S. products from cheaper products elsewhere.
2. DOT Import Requirements
Before considering importing a vehicle into the United States, you must first ensure that all import regulations are met in advance. DOT import requirements state that all imported motor vehicles must have a certification label that complies with 49 CFR Part 567.
The DOT import requirements in 49 CFR Part 567 should be noted at the time of importation:
Import requirements of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 and the Vehicle Safety Act of 1986. Import requirements of the Motor Vehicle Information Act and the Cost Savings Act. Vehicles need to meet federal motor vehicle bumper standards, anti-theft standards, and all safety standards. 3.
3. EPA Import Requirements
The EPA's import requirements for vehicles are designed to protect people and the environment in the U.S. The Clean Air Act of 1970 (CAA) provided the EPA with the opportunity to establish regulatory standards for harmful emissions.
With the 1977 and 1990 amendments to the CAA, the regulations governing vehicle imports will become more stringent. However, there are a few things to keep in mind whether or not your vehicle is in compliance with the law.
EPA-compliant vehicles may still require the following:
A customs bond may be required for imported vehicles.
Oxygen sensors and catalysts have been replaced with EPA-approved models.
The driveline, emission control system, engine and fuel system are EPA compliant.
Vehicles that do not meet EPA standards may still be imported if
Vehicles less than 25 years old must comply with all safety and emissions regulations. If the vehicle is more than 25 years old and does not meet EPA standards, you will need to consult with ICI to import the vehicle.
The EPA no longer provides a special one-time exemption for vehicles less than 5 years old.
Before you consider importing a car from Germany or another EU country, first make sure that the ICI has made the necessary changes and has been approved by the EPA. You will need to provide this information in writing before attempting to import a vehicle.
Importing a car from Germany must be EPA compliant. Look for a customs specialist who can verify that the vehicle you are attempting to import is EPA validated.
4. CBP Import Requirements
The CBP import requirements are very simple. CBP requires strict compliance with all DOT and EPA regulations prior to the start of the shipping process. Also, make sure you get an arrival date from the shipping company so you can process your import efficiently.
CBP Required Documents:
DOT Form HS-7 and EPA Form 3520-1
Bill of Lading
Bill of Sale
Other relevant documents
Before loading the vehicle into the shipping container, the landing gear must be clean and free of any contaminants, such as foreign biological substances like dust. The interior of the vehicle (including the trunk) cannot be considered as additional storage space and must be free of any additional items.
If you are storing goods, such as parts or other items, inside your vehicle, you will need to declare them before you can successfully import your vehicle. If you are importing parts such as engines and transmissions, additional requirements will need to be met. Seek an import consultant for more information.
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