Arrival is 7/6!
Hey everyone! I thought I would share my personal experience with importing a 25 year old vehicle from Japan with everyone here.
After 10+ years of checking out the Japanese auctions (If you want to buy at auction, I highly recommend Derek and Paul at www.pacificcoastjdm.com) and tradecarview for cars that I’ve always dreamed of owning, one of them came available and I bought it. It just sucks we have to wait 25 years in the US. Also, the car I wanted is also a car that that doesn’t break the bank my first time doing this - If something major happens, I won't have too much invested.
The route I took was a seller on www.tradecarview.com that is in Japan. The service they provide is very good and your funds are guaranteed to be returned to you in case something happens. My particular seller wanted to make absolutely sure that I understood the process of importing to the United States before even answering my questions about the car. I guess they get lots of people who waste their time.
The buying process is simple. The seller sends you an invoice through the tradecarview message system, and you take the invoice to the bank and have them wire the funds directly into their bank account in Japan from your bank - My bank charged me $40 to do this. After negotiating with the seller, which was very easy and three (I guess a Toyota Century isn’t in my future) out of the four sellers responded to my inquires that I sent to them about some other cars quickly, were very straight forward with pricing, and easy to deal with. The seller will work with you. I got more high resoloution pictures and he took a video of the car running and driving showing the shifting and brief hard acceleration around their lot at the port to 60mph.
To import this car, I am taking the cheaper route of dealing directly with a broker myself and wading through the paperwork to see how bad it really is. Thus far it really has not been that bad - However, I don’t have the car yet.
Depending on what you are doing with the car, mine is considered “personal and informal entry.” If you do it this way, you will NOT have to pay the 2.5% duty when it gets here, and you avoid the 10,000 bond filing under “individual and personal effect.” Depending on the car, that will save you a lot of money. It has been verified by a customs officer at the port from my broker that this is true.
My best suggestion is get a broker who responds quickly, who is close to the port, and knows everyone in the area.
Here's what forms I was given on my end to fill out:
- Power of attorney from the broker who is representing you, notarized.
- Form CF3299 (Custom 3299, informal entry) $300 filing fee.
- Form ISF-10 (Security document filled out by yourself and the seller with shipping and vessel information) $50 filing fee.
- DOT Form HS-7 (Filled out with vehicle information) $50 filing fee.
-EPA Form 3520-1 (Same as above) $50 filing fee.
You may also be required to pay these fees:
- Security fee (might depend on your broker, not sure) $40.
- The ISF $10,000 bond is waived in my situation, but your broker can usually provide it for you for $100.
- Wharfage (this depends on your port and how long the car is going to be there, check the Wharfage laws with your port, I’m not sure in my case yet) $?
- Escort services onto the dock to pick up your car (this may depend on your broker) $250
In my case, it’s the price of the car + $740 up to this point.
This is not for the faint of heart, but with a little patience it can be done.
It's a little rough, but for the price it's more than worth it to have something so special. It only has 108,000KM - Around 70K miles. If you are wondering about parts, they are not impossible to find. However, what you can find is costly, and long wait times from Japan. Again, patience.
So, Here she is!
Now we wait.