A Step-By-Step Guide To Import Cars To The US

Starting a luxury car dealership can be a very gratifying venture because of the beautiful mean machines you get to put on display. There are world-renowned brands that could become the star attractions of your showroom, gathering a high-paying customer base. These high-rolling brands often originate in other countries like Japan, Italy, and so on.  If you run a car dealership and wish to expand your collection to the best-imported cars, you may think there’s a huge process involved. And to your benefit, you’re absolutely right. The US customs clearance has stringent laws and regulations when it comes to importing vehicles and automobiles from other countries. So how do you do all the right things and get your imported cars to your warehouse in the shortest possible time? This blog will help you with a step-by-step guide to importing cars to the US in a few simple steps.

How to import cars to the US the correct way?

  1. Complete the US car import law compliances: Importing automobiles to the US implicates a list of rules and regulations to guarantee that your showroom has the latest models all set to hit the road upon arrival. This is where a customs expert can help you navigate the procedure into high gear. Get in touch with the leading customs broker in the country to help you gather all the necessary paperwork and documentation to get the process started. Here, imported cars along with their parts are required to follow the US  import laws and American standards. Who else to trust other than agencies and brokers who have been immersed in this work for years? It is far more convenient to lean on such professionals since they will ensure zero delays and shipment stoppages while crossing the borders.
  2. Take advantage of the Substantially Similar clause: While importing foreign-made cars to the US, you can use the Substantially Similar Clause if the model resembles a car already manufactured in the country. This clause can help to import cars from Canada since American and Canadian cars usually have similar or interchangeable components.
  3. Use the Show and Display rule: 25 years ago, Bill Gates, Ralph Lauren, and other US-based businessmen joined forces to have a law passed that permitted them to use European imported cars legally in the country. The Show and Display rule permits unique vehicles an exemption from U.S. customs regulations if they are being only used for show and display. This also helps them bypass the standards of the stringent component laws which means these cars don’t need their parts replaced.

However, all cars need to follow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. The show and display rule is only applicable to the expensive and highly unique editions of imported vehicles. This implies that there can’t be a sale of these cars and replicas in production. The sampling of these regulations involves models like:

  • Porsche 959
  • McLaren F1
  • Mercedes Benz CLK-GTR
  • Bugatti EB110
  • Aston Martin One-77
  1. Try the 25-year age threshold for cars: There is a simpler route to import a car to the country based on its age. A car is legally permitted to pass the US customs clearance without restrictions the day it reaches its 25th birthday without any inspections. Essentially, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS).do not apply to old cars, which can work well if you’re looking to bring in vintage models. Your present is no inspections whatsoever! However, the state to import your car may impose a strict assessment of the parts used, emission checks, and require a new registration.

Note: Understand the 21-year-old car benefits

If your dealership business imports cars that are 21 years old, they do not have to follow any EPA prerequisites by the customs authorities.

What are the safety standards that need assessment?

The import authorities have stringent regulations while checking the car components while permitting a successful import. Ensure that the cars you’re bringing comply with the US standards for components like:

  1. Displays and controls
  2. Windshield wiper and washers
  3. Brakes and air-brakes
  4. Hydraulic and electric brakes
  5. Defrosting windshield systems
  6. ABS brakes
  7. Flammability of interiors
  8. Larceny protection
  9. Brake hoses
  10. Lamps and reflectors
  11. Head restraints
  12. Rearview and side-view mirrors
  13. Seat belts
  14. Side impact protection
  15. Door locks
  16. External protection and panels
  17. Fuel elements

Wrapping Up:

Now that you have the basic rundown of how to get foreign cars imported to your US showroom, you can get started with the procedure. We hope you choose the right customs broker to work with you successfully!