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Importing cars basics

mikus

Well-known member
This seems to come up here and there, and I happen to come across a short article on it from a source reputable enough to grace my bathroom (for reading -- back issues of R&T are for spare paper)

Here's the highlights.
> The federal "Show or display" exemption is mainly for exotics & show/trailer fodder - you can barely drive the cars, it's limited to 42 models and the cars must still meet emissions.

> Canada allows anything to be imported after 15 years, but these cars are likely illegal in teh states.

> US customs collects 2.5% duty on all imported passenger vehicles and 25% on trucks.

> Cars at least 25 yrs old get a pass on safety requirements

> the EPA exempts all vehicles more than 21 years old, anything newer must meet standards for the model year including teh works, OBD, evap, crash standards etc.

> The feds decides what gets in but each state has its own requirements as well. Eg. CA requires smog on anything after 1976, vehicles without 17 digit VINs will have DMV issues, police inspections, etc etc.
 

I have a question.

Let's say that I permanently move to the US in about 6-7 years and that I take my cars with me. Does the US have exemptions for cars imported by people permanently moving to the US?? Or does the above rules/laws apply to all cars thats imported to the US??
 

mountaineerjeff

Well-known member
so, a vr4 should pass the safety test right? the crumple zones...etc are all the same between the USDM and JDM right? so what else would keep it from the safety part? I mean ABS isnt required, or PS, or even air bags right? So why cant I get a galant evo imported? my concern was always the emissions, but if thats no longer an issue (20 yrs) then we should be good? I guess the front and rear bumpers are different...so what if I had it imported without bumpers? and had the bumpers shipped separate, then just have my USDM bumpers 'arrive' and be put on. Or have the car come into Canada then have USDM bumpers put on, then brought over to US.
 

EgonOlsen

Well-known member
I dunno how your rules are, but here a car is not required to have ABS or airbags. BUT if it did have them you are not allowed to have them removed.
So if the car had ABS from new it is still required to have them.
 

mountaineerjeff

Well-known member
right, same here, and these cars are being considered imported in stock form. So they would be without airbags, or abs from factory
 

OMFGeofffff

Well-known member
Quoting mountaineerjeff:
so, a vr4 should pass the safety test right? the crumple zones...etc are all the same between the USDM and JDM right? so what else would keep it from the safety part? I mean ABS isnt required, or PS, or even air bags right? So why cant I get a galant evo imported? my concern was always the emissions, but if thats no longer an issue (20 yrs) then we should be good? I guess the front and rear bumpers are different...so what if I had it imported without bumpers? and had the bumpers shipped separate, then just have my USDM bumpers 'arrive' and be put on. Or have the car come into Canada then have USDM bumpers put on, then brought over to US.



The way I see it. We(US) should of gotten our vr4's just like the jdm ones but due to safety tests they needed more reinforced bumpers hence the difference between USDM and JDM bumpers/supports.
 

transparentdsm

Well-known member
so then buy a jdm one and take your bumpers and stuff off of your us vr4 and then you should be good.
 
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