How to import a car to the United States?
You are probably thinking of moving to the US and want to take your car with you. If so, you should know how to import a car to the united states, the requirements you have to meet and the taxes you have to pay. In this article we will explain it in detail. Keep reading.
- Why import a car to the United States?
- How to import a car to the United States?
- How to import a car from Mexico to the United States?
- How much does it cost to legalize a car from Mexico to the United States?
- What do I need to import a car to the United States?
- How to contact the environmental protection agency?
Why import a car to the United States?
Although there are many types of cars to buy in the United States, you can choose to take your car to the United States. Why? There are three main reasons for importing or transporting a car to the United States:
- You want to keep your car because it has an emotional value
- The car model you like is not available in the United States
- Buying the car you like in the US is more expensive.
If you are one of those who believe that taking your car to the United States is the best option, please read on. Next, we will tell you how to import a car to the United States.
Permission to travel to Mexico in an American car
How to import a car to the United States?
If you want to legalize a car in the United States, the first thing you should know is that importing a vehicle into the United States involves a complex and expensive process. Therefore, the advice of an experienced customs broker can be very helpful. If you want to do it all yourself, you need to be very familiar with the rates, paperwork and regulations that apply to importing vehicles into the United States.
Next, we will explain the process and requirements for importing a car to the United States.
Legalization of American cars: everything you need to know
1. Make sure your vehicle is eligible for vehicle import to the United States
To meet US import requirements, the vehicle must have an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sticker and a Department of Transportation (DOT) sticker. If the vehicle is 25 years old or older it is exempt from the DOT certification sticker. If you are over 21, you are exempt from the EPA certification sticker.
What's more, you must verify that your vehicle is included in the list of NHTSA approved vehicles. If you are on this list, you just need to make sure you meet the other requirements and submit the necessary documentation.
If your vehicle is not listed, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) authorized Registered Importer (RI) can help you make the necessary changes to bring your vehicle up to US standards. This way, you can petition the NHTSA to allow you to import the car into the United States. Remember that Only RIs are eligible to apply for NHTSA eligibility, and processing this application can take up to seven months.
We advise you not to arrange the shipment of the car until you have obtained the DOT approval. Keep in mind that in the event that it is not allowed, your car will remain in a bonded warehouse which can cost a real fortune.
If your import vehicle does not have a DOT sticker, but has Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) compliance, it may be eligible for import. In this case it is necessary to contact the manufacturer to obtain the "Confirmation Letter" which will only work for imports for personal use.
Commercial imports require the vehicle to be imported via a U.S. Customs Broker and Registered Importer. Additionally, the vehicle must be held for a minimum of 30 days after import.
Import vehicles that do not have the EPA sticker are not allowed in the United States. In this case, the option will be to contact the engine manufacturer to obtain a replacement that meets EPA requirements. Note that too if the vehicle engine is recovered, repaired, or rebuilt, it is not eligible for import into the United States.
2. Gather the required documentation
Since the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP Customs and Border Protection), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are involved in vehicle imports, the specific requirements of each of these entities must be met.
You must complete and submit the following:
- U.S. Customs or Commercial Invoice
- vehicle declaration form POINT (HS-7)
- vehicle declaration form EPA (3520-1)
- Copy of the vehicle registration number
3. Thoroughly clean the vehicle before shipping
You should thoroughly clean your car. CBP is very demanding with the soil as it may harbor some pests. They will check the bottom and wheels of your car, as well as its general cleanliness. Don't worry about chafing or blemishes, they don't care. They are just worried about dirt that could pose a threat to the American environment.
Remember to remove all personal items from inside your car. Most transport companies do not allow you to leave items inside the vehicles, as there is always the possibility that they will be stolen.
It is also important to know that your car cannot be used as a shipping container. Any undeclared item moved inside could result in a hefty fine or even the seizure of the car.
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4. Pay the corresponding taxes and fees
Taxes vary by vehicle type and the percentages are applied to the price you paid for your car.
- 2.5% applies to cars
- Trucks pay 25%
- Motorcycles are duty free or taxed at 2.4%, depending on the engine size
Most Canadian cars are tax free, as long as you take the car back to Canada at some point.
For all other countries, you can apply for a $ 800 waiver from CBP if you are a resident of the United States, if the car will accompany you on your return, and if it is imported as a personal car only. There are other exemptions for military and civilian employees, non-residents and US citizens who intend to stay for a short time and export the car when they leave. You can get more information about rights, fees and exemptions on the website of US Customs and Border Protection.
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How to import a car from Mexico to the United States?
The requirements and procedure we outlined in the previous section apply to vehicles that are imported from Mexico or any other country, with the added bonus that you can drive it and take it to the US via the southern border yourself if you wish.
How much does it cost to legalize a car from Mexico to the United States?
If you want to bring a Mexican vehicle to the United States, you have to pay a fee that is calculated based on the purchase value of the vehicle. Cars pay 2.5% of the purchase value, trucks 25%, and motorcycles are duty-free or 2.4%, depending on the engine size.
American citizens and legal residents of the United States can request an eight hundred dollar exception for their personal car or that of accompanying family members if:
- Take it with you when you get back.
- The vehicle is for personal use
- He bought it on the journey he is returning from
Military and civilian employees of the United States government are exempt from paying duties.
In addition to these fees, if you apply for them, you must pay for the services of the transport company.
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What do I need to import a car to the United States?
Car Title, Sales Invoice, US Commercial or Customs Invoice, DOT Vehicle Declaration Form (HS-7), EPA Vehicle Declaration Form (3520 -1) and a copy of the vehicle registration.
How to contact the environmental protection agency?
If you have questions about the status of your vehicle with the EPA, You can contact this entity through the following telephone number: 734-214-4100. You can also email them at email@example.com.
If you prefer to communicate via email, you can do so at the following address:
- United States Environmental Protection Agency
- Compliance-Imports Division
- 2000 Traverwood Drive
- Ann Arbor, MI 48105
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