Automobiles are a hot-demand product in the United States. They are necessary for people to commute on a daily basis, and the demand for global brands is high. Importing automobiles from overseas requires several compliance factors to be met. Learn about the duties, paperwork, and regulations required in this beginner’s guide to importing automobiles.
US car import laws compliance
Getting customs clearance approval on foreign cars is easily done with a licensed Customs Broker. There are several compliance laws and regulations that need to be met when importing cars into the US. The imported vehicle’s parts must meet American standards. Things like speedometers, headlights, reflectors, and engine and emission modifications all need to be in compliance.
Substantially Similar Clause
For imported automobiles that are similar to American-made models, you can utilize the Substantially Similar Clause. This clause is predominantly used when bringing Canadian cars into the country. American and Canadian cars have interchangeable parts, which is good for compliance standards. If customs deems that an imported vehicle is similar to American models, they will approve importation.
The Show and Display Rule
This law was created to allow European cars to be imported into the US. The Show and Display Rule grants unique automobiles exemption from regulations, such as safety regulations. Unique automobiles won’t need to have parts replaced and they will not have to pass Environmental Protection Agency rules.
Only the most unique and expensive automobiles in the world can take advantage of the Show and Display Rule. These imports cannot be put up for sale within the US, they cannot be replicas, and they must be out of production. For example, Porsche 959, Bugatti EB110, and McLaren F1 all fall under this rule.
25-year-old age limit
Automobiles 25 years and older are considered ‘antique’ and therefore are legally allowed customs clearance and can be imported without restriction. This means no complying with Department of Transportation or Federal Motor Safety Standards. The state where the car is imported to may require safety modifications in order to receive a tag and registration. Automobiles that are 21 years old are exempt from EPA compliance.
If an automobile was manufactured before the year that EPA regulations for the vehicle’s class went into effect, it may not be eligible for antique exemption. Also, if an automobile is 21 years or over but has a replacement engine, it also may not qualify. It can only be imported if it has an EPA certified engine and emission control systems.
Duties and paperwork
Before importing an automobile into the US, know what duties and paperwork will be required. Duties depend on the type of vehicle, and the percentage is based on the price paid for the vehicle. Cars are charged a duty percentage of 2.5 percent, while trucks are charged a significantly higher 25 percent. Depending on cylinder size, motorcycles are either charged 2.4 percent or duty-free.
There are several customs documents required before an automobile can be imported. The shipper or carrier’s original bill of lading, the vehicle’s bill of sale, any foreign registration or the original title, EPA Form 3520-1, DOT Form HS-7, and any other documentation on the car are all required prior to shipping a car.
Used car auctions like Auto Auction Mall help buyers interested in used cars for sale in Ghana navigate the process. They help understand what documents and fees are involved, how to manage shipping costs and payments, and can answer any question about the importation process. Ghana has a booming car market; once an automobile is found on Auto Auction Mall, an agent will work with any buyer through every step of the buying and shipping process.