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    Thread: I'm importing a 1989 Y31 Nissan Cedric Gran Turismo SV Turbo. (whew!) Let's see how this goes.

    1. Junior Member Tim.W's Avatar
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      11-08-2016 06:22 PM #251
      Sorry about the quick post earlier everyone. I was at work standing around on my phone just out of the blue checked this thread and I thought it had died down like most threads. It's a pain to post from my phone, so I had to wait until I could get home to the laptop. Sorry guys!

      The Primera turned out great. I sold it at a profit to a guy in Georgia who flew up here and drove it all the way back. He was using it for mailbox newspaper sales flier delivery. Unfortunately, he hit something in the road a few weeks after buying it, and it smashed up the front. He says it may be totaled. It was like a time capsule from 1990. I have never seen original black paint 26 years old that still shined as it did and had virtually no damage at all. It really showed it's 30K miles.







      Quote Originally Posted by Crispyfritter View Post
      So what prompted the sale? Bored with them? Not what you were expecting, or is this a side hobby for you?

      Just curious.

      Chris
      No problem. Yes, this is my hobby. Also, I've been a auto tech for 15 years (this car stuff really gets in your blood) and I have some skills with buying/selling/fixing/etc cars. Oh, it also helps to have a wife that puts up with it.

      Quote Originally Posted by GodSquadMandrake View Post
      I'm confused here. Importing a JDM car was a pretty expensive and involved task for me. Its more personal than any other car buying decision I've had to make so I'd be a bit reluctant to sell mine unless the price was right. What gives?
      I totally understand, I guess I look at it differently. It wasn't much for me to do this, just a little extra paperwork is all it really was in the end. And, on top of that I hope I helped everyone who bothered to read the entire first post. That was really my reasoning for even making this thread that I never thought would get this long. I also don't like having my new (to me) car parked outside.

      Quote Originally Posted by kickapoo View Post
      Thank you for that! I was going to post it. If anyone is interested please bid. I put everything in the listing that I have done with the car. I'm pretty sure that it's the only Y31 in the country.

      Should you import a car from Japan? Sure. I have
      Last edited by Tim.W; 11-08-2016 at 06:33 PM. Reason: pic links

    2. Member GodSquadMandrake's Avatar
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      11-08-2016 10:47 PM #252
      Quote Originally Posted by Tim.W View Post
      I totally understand, I guess I look at it differently. It wasn't much for me to do this, just a little extra paperwork is all it really was in the end. And, on top of that I hope I helped everyone who bothered to read the entire first post. That was really my reasoning for even making this thread that I never thought would get this long. I also don't like having my new (to me) car parked outside.
      I might have to try it your way, the cheap way, next time. It doesn't make sense paying an auction company 100,000 yen when you're buying a 150,000 yen car.
      "It would take a cross-wired star trek replicator, if not an act of God, to make a left-hand-drive Skyline GT-R for the U.S." - Don Schroeder

    3. Junior Member Tim.W's Avatar
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      11-09-2016 07:58 AM #253
      Quote Originally Posted by GodSquadMandrake View Post
      I might have to try it your way, the cheap way, next time. It doesn't make sense paying an auction company 100,000 yen when you're buying a 150,000 yen car.
      The way I did it was way cheaper than the auction route for sure. You don't have to pay all the little fees they have. It's just the price of the car, shipping, customs costs. Depending on the car, it's the same price of a late 90's Civic.

    4. Member GodSquadMandrake's Avatar
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      11-09-2016 09:36 AM #254
      Quote Originally Posted by Tim.W View Post
      The way I did it was way cheaper than the auction route for sure. You don't have to pay all the little fees they have. It's just the price of the car, shipping, customs costs. Depending on the car, it's the same price of a late 90's Civic.
      Didn't you go through a company that bought the car off the auction or where did you get it exactly? Sorry the details of this thread are hard to follow. I didn't even realize it was 2 cars.
      "It would take a cross-wired star trek replicator, if not an act of God, to make a left-hand-drive Skyline GT-R for the U.S." - Don Schroeder

    5. Senior Member dubdaze68's Avatar
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      11-09-2016 02:15 PM #255
      Sad face. Well, keep us in mind in this thread if you decide to do it again. It was a neat process to watch.
      DCIVW
      CE.

    6. Junior Member Tim.W's Avatar
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      11-09-2016 03:33 PM #256
      Quote Originally Posted by GodSquadMandrake View Post
      Didn't you go through a company that bought the car off the auction or where did you get it exactly? Sorry the details of this thread are hard to follow. I didn't even realize it was 2 cars.
      I went through Tradecarview and bought two cars from the same seller.

      Quote Originally Posted by dubdaze68 View Post
      Sad face. Well, keep us in mind in this thread if you decide to do it again. It was a neat process to watch.
      Thanks, I plan to do it again next year when the '92's become more readily available. Lots of cool stuff came out then, the EG Civic, AE101 Corolla Levin, Y32 Cedric, etc.

    7. Member GodSquadMandrake's Avatar
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      12-06-2016 06:34 PM #257
      Quote Originally Posted by Tim.W View Post
      The way I did it was way cheaper than the auction route for sure. You don't have to pay all the little fees they have. It's just the price of the car, shipping, customs costs. Depending on the car, it's the same price of a late 90's Civic.
      Did you import it yourself or did you hire a customs broker to do that for you? I'm having some trouble at the port and it looks like I just fired my importer so I either have to do it myself or get a new importer.
      "It would take a cross-wired star trek replicator, if not an act of God, to make a left-hand-drive Skyline GT-R for the U.S." - Don Schroeder

    8. Member Crispyfritter's Avatar
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      12-06-2016 07:45 PM #258
      Quote Originally Posted by GodSquadMandrake View Post
      Did you import it yourself or did you hire a customs broker to do that for you? I'm having some trouble at the port and it looks like I just fired my importer so I either have to do it myself or get a new importer.
      Yeah, we're going to need details.

      Chris
      | 2017 Korean Appliance SE | 2008 Suburban LTZ | 2003 Dodge Ram | 2002 BMW 530i con mañuel | 1974 SuperBeetle x 2 | 1979 Camaro | 1975 Scout |
      The poster formerly known as 200HP4dr

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      12-10-2016 02:04 AM #259
      Sold for less than 2k?


      Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

    10. Geriatric Member Aonarch's Avatar
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      12-10-2016 07:03 AM #260
      :'(

    11. Member GodSquadMandrake's Avatar
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      12-14-2016 01:30 PM #261
      Quote Originally Posted by Chapel View Post
      Sold for less than 2k?


      Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
      I'm finding out A LOT about this import process that isn't documented anywhere.
      Some of this only applies if you are picking the car up yourself.

      You have to pay a Harbor Maintenance Fee of .125%, so $4.77 in my case. Not sure if that's restitution for harbor bombing or what. Then you have to pay a Merchant Processing Fee of $25 or 0.3464 percent, whichever is greater. Then there is the regular duty at 2.5%. If you use Tacoma, there is a WHD/Offloading fee and mine was $127. In order to pay this fee, they only accept old fashioned wire transfers or a money order. So you should send this via a USPS money order certified mail. This goes directly to the ship company and then the ship company releases the car to the terminal, or not in my case until I forwarded the email.

      Before you can pay the customs fees, you have to pay a fee to get a number to write on your form to pay the fees. Yes, you pay a fee to pay a fee. After you've paid that fee, they'll give you the release paperwork. Then you have to hire a TWIC escort at the rate of $50-60 an hour to escort you into the secure area where the car is stored, known as Terminal East Blair 1 in this case, that is also a 10 minute drive from the customs office. Once you do that and get the car, you have to drive back to customs and get the car inspected and get the paperwork stamped. Now you have to drive to the gas station because it as shipped with an empty tank. After that, you have to go to the Washington DMW and get a temporary 3 day pass for $30. Then in Minnesota state in this case, you need to find their government sponsored translator to translate the export certificate which is already in English. You won't get the export certificate for 2 weeks however so you have to wait and they won't title it without that. Customs isn't supposed to release it without that certificate, but you'll get a copy and apparently they've been releasing cars on that. You can't have the car sit at the port for longer than 15 days however or else it goes into a General Order warehouse (jail) and you'll pay a lot to get it out.

      If the value of the car is under $2500, you can do an informal entry and you don't have to pay duty as well as there is a relaxed MPF. I'd suggest this route if you can.

      Either way, paying the broker to do all of this for you is well worth it. I think the fees you pay to the broker would be less than paying for the entry number and escort. The only unknown part is the bond. Supposedly, I will have to pay a bond in order to import this car and it has to be at minimum %100 of the value of the car plus duty but it could be as high as 300%. I've asked customs about this and they're really unclear about it. So I might have to pay a $10,000 bond just to get the car according to what I read.

      There's a 4 hour lecture on youtube by a Ukrainian professor on how to fill out form 7501, the CBP entry form. That's one of the hardest parts of this whole process.
      "It would take a cross-wired star trek replicator, if not an act of God, to make a left-hand-drive Skyline GT-R for the U.S." - Don Schroeder

    12. Senior Member dubdaze68's Avatar
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      12-14-2016 03:28 PM #262
      Seems messy when you involve all of the states.
      DCIVW
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    13. Member GodSquadMandrake's Avatar
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      12-15-2016 03:40 PM #263
      Quote Originally Posted by dubdaze68 View Post
      Seems messy when you involve all of the states.
      A little bit. I'm actually stuck at customs right now. The certificate of export shows May of 1992 as the first registration date but we know the car was manufactured in November of 1991 because thats what the chassis number shows. Customs won't let me import the car however because they need something that shows that. The serial number plate on the firewall doesn't show the date of manufacture either. So I'm not sure whats going to happen here but the exporter is probably still asleep in Japan so I doubt much can be done. This is really turning into a nightmare.
      "It would take a cross-wired star trek replicator, if not an act of God, to make a left-hand-drive Skyline GT-R for the U.S." - Don Schroeder

    14. Senior Member dubdaze68's Avatar
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      12-15-2016 04:16 PM #264
      I am so sorry.
      DCIVW
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    15. Member Pnuu's Avatar
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      12-15-2016 06:16 PM #265
      Note to self: hire a broker if I ever import a car.

    16. Member GodSquadMandrake's Avatar
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      12-15-2016 07:26 PM #266
      Quote Originally Posted by Pnuu View Post
      Note to self: hire a broker if I ever import a car.
      Actually in this case it wouldn't have mattered because they aren't letting the car into the country either way. According to the export certificate, the first registration was May of 1992 and thats all they have to go off of. According to that the car isn't old enough to be imported yet. The date of manufacture isn't stamped on the serial number plate.



      Sorry OP, whoever you are, I'm not trying to thread jack too hard. I'll make my own thread once I have a result here.
      "It would take a cross-wired star trek replicator, if not an act of God, to make a left-hand-drive Skyline GT-R for the U.S." - Don Schroeder

    17. Member bc's Avatar
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      12-16-2016 07:46 AM #267
      the seatbelt will definitely have a date on it. Maybe not month/year but year at the very least.

      Here is a beat for reference:

    18. Member GodSquadMandrake's Avatar
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      12-16-2016 10:46 AM #268
      BC you da man! They tore the whole car up looking for something like that and I bet they never even thought to check.
      "It would take a cross-wired star trek replicator, if not an act of God, to make a left-hand-drive Skyline GT-R for the U.S." - Don Schroeder

    19. Member Lifelong Obsession's Avatar
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      12-16-2016 04:19 PM #269
      This is a long shot, but is there any way to find out what dealer originally sold the car new in 1992, and have them obtain a certificate of origin from Toyota?

    20. Member GodSquadMandrake's Avatar
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      12-16-2016 04:57 PM #270
      I got some paperwork from Japan by miracle last night and customs grudgingly accepted that, but then they asked for a bond and I haven't been able to get a customs broker to issue me a bond. So it looks like I might not be able to get the car today at all.
      "It would take a cross-wired star trek replicator, if not an act of God, to make a left-hand-drive Skyline GT-R for the U.S." - Don Schroeder

    21. Junior Member Tim.W's Avatar
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      12-17-2016 01:05 PM #271
      Sorry again guys, I don't follow this every day.

      Quote Originally Posted by GodSquadMandrake View Post
      Did you import it yourself or did you hire a customs broker to do that for you? I'm having some trouble at the port and it looks like I just fired my importer so I either have to do it myself or get a new importer.
      I hired a broker here in the states and the seller took care of everything else in Japan for me. What did you buy? What port are you dealing with? I think my broker can help you at any port, but in your case I'm not sure what can actually be done. Let me know if you need any help and I can ask my broker what they might be able to do.

      Quote Originally Posted by Chapel View Post
      Sold for less than 2k?
      After all the frustration that car caused me, I was happy to just get rid of it. I didn't feel bad selling it at that price too. It was a fun car though, and would have been completely fixed with a manual transmission conversion.

      And, here's a couple pictures of the Diamante. It's pretty much funded from the RHD cars.. I was thinking of making a separate thread for the build, but it's not too involved so enjoy:

      Mods:

      - 20% tint on all side and back windows
      - Front smoked indicator lights from Aussie Ebay from an Australian spec Verada
      - Pictured with Vogtland springs and KYB shocks, I swapped the springs to King Springs I imported from Australia - Dropped the front an extra inch and the rear an inch from what is pictured
      - Wheels are AME Shallen LX, 18x8 et43 F 18x8.5 ET 38 R - Imported myself from Japan.
      - Upgraded the stock blown infinity speakers to new infinity speakers, and installed a Android 7" touchscreen headunit, but I may just put in a single din unit instead.

      Stock wheels:


      Shallen's:

    22. Member GodSquadMandrake's Avatar
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      12-17-2016 10:38 PM #272
      Quote Originally Posted by Tim.W View Post
      Sorry again guys, I don't follow this every day.

      I hired a broker here in the states and the seller took care of everything else in Japan for me. What did you buy? What port are you dealing with? I think my broker can help you at any port, but in your case I'm not sure what can actually be done. Let me know if you need any help and I can ask my broker what they might be able to do.
      Yep. This is where everything went wrong. The broker that I was assigned was rude so I fired them, not realizing that they were the only broker that my exporter was bonded through. I couldn't find another broker last minute because brokers are suspicious that you're trying to smuggle something if you change brokers last minute. I was in Sound Brokerage's office at Tacoma for about 6 hours yesterday but we still couldn't get the car out. So I'm back in Minneapolis, took a last minute flight (wasn't cheap), and the car is still sitting on the dock. Its a 1991 Toyota Aristo (4 door supra).

      Quote Originally Posted by Tim.W View Post
      After all the frustration that car caused me, I was happy to just get rid of it. I didn't feel bad selling it at that price too. It was a fun car though, and would have been completely fixed with a manual transmission conversion.
      I can understand that. If I could return my Aristo right now, I would. I'd never get what I put into so far though and I haven't even received the car. Pics aren't working.
      "It would take a cross-wired star trek replicator, if not an act of God, to make a left-hand-drive Skyline GT-R for the U.S." - Don Schroeder

    23. Junior Member Tim.W's Avatar
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      02-17-2017 12:32 PM #273
      Quote Originally Posted by GodSquadMandrake View Post
      Yep. This is where everything went wrong. The broker that I was assigned was rude so I fired them, not realizing that they were the only broker that my exporter was bonded through. I couldn't find another broker last minute because brokers are suspicious that you're trying to smuggle something if you change brokers last minute. I was in Sound Brokerage's office at Tacoma for about 6 hours yesterday but we still couldn't get the car out. So I'm back in Minneapolis, took a last minute flight (wasn't cheap), and the car is still sitting on the dock. Its a 1991 Toyota Aristo (4 door supra).



      I can understand that. If I could return my Aristo right now, I would. I'd never get what I put into so far though and I haven't even received the car. Pics aren't working.
      Just checking in, did you get your car in the country?

    24. Member GodSquadMandrake's Avatar
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      02-23-2017 01:23 PM #274
      "It would take a cross-wired star trek replicator, if not an act of God, to make a left-hand-drive Skyline GT-R for the U.S." - Don Schroeder

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      06-22-2017 05:41 PM #275
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