Importing a vehicle into US for personal use (for 1+ years)

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tolek.kalik
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:45 am

Importing a vehicle into US for personal use (for 1+ years)

Post by tolek.kalik » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:03 pm

Dear colleagues,

This is my first post on this forum and I wish I did not have to start my presence here from a question, but I need some advice and guidance to get through the process of relocation into US. I have recently obtained an L1 visa, allowing me to work legally in US. I am right now trying to sort out whether it makes sense to bring my car with me to US and drive it there, or rather purchase a vehicle within US and just try to sell my car where I live right now.

I did quite some searching, both on the official governmental sites, as well as many fora, and came up with the following guidelines defining importation of a car for personal use:

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail ... rsonal-use

Nonresidents/visitors may import a vehicle duty-free for personal use up to (1) one year if the vehicle is imported in conjunction with the owner’s arrival. [b]Vehicles imported under this provision that do not conform to U.S. safety and emission standards must be exported within one year and may not be sold in the U.S. There is no exemption or extension of the export requirements. See Importing a Motor Vehicle on CBP.gov.[/b]

http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/ ... r-15-15421

15. Temporary importation by non-U.S. residents.
Nonresidents of the U.S. (including U.S. citizens living abroad) may temporarily import nonconforming motor vehicles into the U.S. for personal use, for a period not to exceed one year. The vehicle must be registered in a country other than the U.S. at the time of entry, must not be sold while it is in the U.S., and must be exported when the year is up. If you wish to import your vehicle under these conditions, you should check Box 5 on the HS-7 Declaration Form to be given to Customs at the time of entry. Your passport number and the country that issued the passport must be specified on the declaration. [b]An international convention governs the importation of these vehicles. The U.S. is a signatory to this convention. The convention provides that vehicles can be imported under its terms for a period of up to one year. NHTSA has no authority to extend the one-year period that a vehicle imported in this manner is allowed to remain in the U.S.[/b]

With that in mind, I was wondering whether anybody could answer a few simple questions, that I cannot really find answers to:

1) is the whole importing for personal use a one time deal, i.e., once the year expires, it is over and I need to get the car out of the country?
2) I was informed on some fora, that it was possible to submit a bond and have this one year period extended indefinitely. However, that conflicts with the statements made on the official governmental websites.
3) I was offered help with importing a vehicle and assuring that it can stay in US longer than 1 year under the personal use regulation - was I being scammed by any chance?

I am sorry if these questions are not in the appropriate subforum, but I do not believe this belongs to taxes.

Any help and suggestions would be most welcome. I have limited time to take decision and need to know whether it is an alley worth pursuing or rather just give up and buy a car in US.

Thank you

Tolek

nelsona
Posts: 15897
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2004 2:33 pm
Location: Nowhere, man

Post by nelsona » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:33 pm

This is a place for questions. we would not expect anything else from a newcomer.

This has been covered many times on many websites, so rather than read through what I'm sure is a well thought-out post, the fats are;

If you have a temporary work status that lasts a year or less you may bring your car in temporarily without importing it -- by federal regulations. If you are planning to stay longer that a year, you must import it.

The problem with NOT importing it, is that your STATE requires its workers (even temp ones) to get DL and plate and register their cars. You can't do this without importing your car federally. So you should import it fedearlly, which you can do at any port, even after crossing border, as long as you get the required letter from your Cdn automaker.

1. Yes, it is one time
2. The one-year temp non-importation is one time only, and really doesn't help you. It is mostly for students, since they are not considered as having moved to where they go to school.
3. once you import the car, you can do what you want, for as long as you want, including selling the car. You don't need help to do this, unless your car doesn't meet NHTSA standard and needs to be modified.

It is does need such modification, I would be tempted to simply seel the car in Canada and buy one in US.

So, the first thing you need is the letter from your carmaker.
Nelsona Non grata. Non pro. Search previous posts. Taking period between now and June off. Will only answer sporadically.

tolek.kalik
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:45 am

Post by tolek.kalik » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:43 pm

thank you very much for a quick feedback

Given that my work contract is 1+ years, I assume it does not make sense to bring in the vehicle under personal use and then seek converting its status into official importing already when within the US? To give you more info to work on:

- the vehicle I own was sold within US at some point of time, with the same engine type, make, model, etc. with the only difference being the transmission (manual versus automatic). the vehicle is not therefore something new on US roads
- having contacted several people who went through the importing process, I was under the impression that this process is best left to professionals (registered importers) rather than handled personally, primarily because of the paperwork load involved.
- are you aware of any specific requirements for the letter from the car manufacturer to facilitate the importing process? I have tried contacting them in US, but they have been - to be honest - less than helpful in this matter.

And yes, I did go through a number of threads on fora, postings, stories, etc. detailing individual cases of people who brought in cars into US. Most have imported from Canada or Mexico, in which case special privileges apply. Given that I would be importing from Europe, I did not find these very helpful, I' afraid.

Thank you for the thoughts and time spent reading my posts

Regards

Tolek

nelsona
Posts: 15897
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2004 2:33 pm
Location: Nowhere, man

Post by nelsona » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:49 pm

You need to come to the table with salient information If the car was in US at one time, then it need not be imported a second time -- it is a US car. Moreover if it passed a certain make year it bypasses many requirements.

The NHTSA and CBP website has all the info there is on importation.

if you cannot do this import yourself, then it is likely that it is not worth the trouble making mods, or the cost. bring it for one year at your peril, or sell it, or store it.
Nelsona Non grata. Non pro. Search previous posts. Taking period between now and June off. Will only answer sporadically.

tolek.kalik
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:45 am

Post by tolek.kalik » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:33 pm

thank you again for feedback

My car was never in US, I should have made that clear. What I was trying to (and failed to state clearly) is that exactly the same model was sold in US and in Europe, the only difference between then was in the transmission (automatic in US, manual in Europe). I own a car with a manual transmission.

The information that I got by contacting one of companies dealing with importing vehicles into US is as follows:
- import a car for personal use, pay the bond, get it for a year
- close to the limit, apply for the extension of the bond for the following year, providing evidence that the car remains in personal use and was not sold.
- after 3 years, the vehicle is supposed to be converted to a consumption entry provided you pay the duty and you havent sold the car during this time. A consumption entry means it remains permanent. This procedure is not listed in any regulation but that has been the practice.

I am not sure whether it makes sense since I cannot really find any regulations describing it, or even any references to anything like this being done in the past. This is why I started investigating it in more detail, since I got this kind of feedback from only one importer and it smells of some sort of scam

Marek

nelsona
Posts: 15897
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2004 2:33 pm
Location: Nowhere, man

Post by nelsona » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:20 am

You car has been in Canada however, correct? And that is where you are bringing it from? Otherwsie, I'm wondering why you are on this site at all. Then you can bring it in for personal use for one year. No bond required. One year only.

There is no one year importation. There is either importantion (permanent) or one-year NON-importation for personal use, provided you are a temp resident. This bypasses the NHTSA requirements. Thta is why it is only for one year.

One year non-importation costs NOTHING. Period. Why would you need bonding?

The problem with non-importation if you work (as opposed to student) is that your state considers its workers a s resident, and thus you need to resgister your vehicles in that state. The other problem, is that even if you manage to register and plate the car, if you ever total it, you will not even be able to scrap it, as you cannot transfer ownership.

I'm telling you, you need to find another RI who can back this story, and can give you a competitive quote, then you can be sure that this is on the up-and-up. Otherwise it does smell fishy.

Best sell this car. There is a reason only N american-sold cars can go through the NHTSA process, because only those sold in N America can be vouched for meeting NHTSA regs (or not) and which they specifically need to be modified for. Cars bought elsewhere need an RI. Expensive plus duty.
Nelsona Non grata. Non pro. Search previous posts. Taking period between now and June off. Will only answer sporadically.

Kroeran
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:54 pm

Re: Importing a vehicle into US for personal use (for 1+ years)

Post by Kroeran » Sun May 12, 2019 8:15 am

Another consideration is insurance for non imported car
in US for more than 6 months. My Canadian insurer
has a 6 month cap on US coverage. Doubt US insurer will
cover non imported car.

Another heads up, my 2008 Canadian sold Civic, which
was importable 5 years ago, became non compliant once
tire sensors became a requirement in US.

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