Navigating the Vehicle Import Maze
Importing a car from Canada into the United States can be a little like walking through a maze, it’s easy to lose your way, make a wrong turn and meet a roadblock.
A maze is much easier to navigate when aided by an accurate overview. Fortunately for importers, that’s where your qualified customs broker comes in. A.D. Rutherford International provides that overview to smooth the way for your imports and give clear direction through the maze.
Here are four ways an importer can successfully import vehicles from Canada into the United States.
First, if a vehicle is over 25 years old, it qualifies for the exemption provided for “classic vehicles”. A vehicle that is 25 years or older from the date of manufacture (month and year) can legally be imported into the United States without having to meet DOT standards (21 years to be exempt from EPA standards).
Second, if a vehicle is furnished with a label stating that it “conforms to all applicable U.S. federal motor vehicle safety standards in effect on the date of manufacture”, it will be admissible.
Third, if the importer has a letter of conformity from the vehicle manufacturer. This is only applicable to vehicles that are being registered personally in the United States. For instance, the U.S. buyer cannot be a company.
These options allow for the vehicle to cross into the U.S. and be titled right away. A.D. Rutherford International declares the vehicle with U.S. customs and all other government departments (DOT, EPA) electronically before arrival. This allows for the person to provide their barcoded manifest to CBP to pull up all the data in their system and have the client on their way. Once the vehicle is in the U.S. it can be registered at their local DMV where A.D. Rutherford provides all paperwork necessary for titling. It is also important for the buyer to have the original Canadian registration as provided by the seller.
The fourth way vehicles can be imported is through a registered importer. Using a registered importer allows for a Canadian conforming vehicle to go through the compliance process with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This process requires the vehicle to be free of all recalls, the instrument cluster to be converted to miles dominant, and have an OEM TPMS system, if applicable. The vehicle will be held in an NHTSA registered compound for 30 days during the DOT review process.
A.D. Rutherford International offers a one-stop Vehicle Importing Compliance Service covering everything you need to import a vehicle from Canada into the United States.
Our significant investment in customs automation and in-house technology allows us to streamline manual procedures, reduce costs and improve efficiency! Our automotive brokerage team is specialized in the nuances of vehicle importing and will gladly be there to answer any questions you may have along the way. Let us show you how A.D. Rutherford International can guide you through the maze and clear the road for your imports!