Import to USA advice please

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by STLrider, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. STLrider

    STLrider Adventurer

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    Hello ADV from BsAs,
    Bought/titled my wee strom in Colombia, rode to Ushuaia then up to BA where it will be air shipped to Miami or Houston. Seeking advice on what the import process will be upon arrival to USA for a moto with a Colombia plate and title. Also, how big a hurdle is the "no personal items can be shipped with the bike" policy? Thanks
    #1
  2. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Adios Mexico

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    This is a bike you bought new or used in Colombia? If it's a new bike you could have big problems registering it in the US due to a non-US market VIN and EPA non-compliance. That could be a complete no-go unless Suzuki sells US market bikes in Colombia that have all the required EPA mandated emissions crap on them. I would really doubt that though. Good luck.
    #2
  3. STLrider

    STLrider Adventurer

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    Bought it used. A 2008 model assembled in Colombia. The VIN has same appearance as bikes in the States
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  4. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Adios Mexico

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    Without the EPA certs you could be SOL. For a bike to get titled in the US you need to be able to show them the MSO (manufacturer's statement of origin). The MSO has to certify that the bike is in compliance with all EPA regulations in place at the time of it's manufacture. Yours won't have that. You might get lucky and get one of the more clueless DOL employees and slip it by, but I wouldn't bet on it. Your best bet would be looking for a US titled frame to migrate all your parts onto.
    #4
  5. GastonUSAChile

    GastonUSAChile Been here awhile

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    The only way to import your bike is by Temporary Admission up to one year in the U.S.

    Most probably Customs is going to request an EPA LETTER OF EXEMPTION but if you are importing the bike through Miami international airport, they won't ask for that letter.
    Getting the letter is a 3-5 days process and it comes from Michigan.

    Other than that, you need Form for unaccompanied baggage, title and your personal documents.

    The best suitable way for you is bring the bike and have it here for less than a year. Export it again to a close country , or rode across the border and comeback again. Or sell the bike abroad and buy another one in the U.S.
    Trying to convert the bike ot a US standards will be a headache and all kind of red tape with EPA.
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  6. STLrider

    STLrider Adventurer

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    the previous two posts conflict with what i am reading on the CBP.gov website. it appears from the website that a bill of sale or title will work instead of a MSO. also, per the website the duty would be a very reasonable $200 USD. IF the bike was manufactured to US EPA standards i might give it a go....i will contact Suzuki to find out.
    #6
  7. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    I don't know but if I were you I'd expect the process to be costly and a major PITA. :lol3

    Let us know how it works out.
    #7
  8. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    You read this: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/basic_trade/importing_car.xml and decided it would be easy and you won't need a MSO? I think you're dreaming, but I'm prepared to be proven wrong. I would definitely suggest a closer reading.

    Mark
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  9. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Adios Mexico

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    CBP will tell you what you need to import something into the country. The DOT, DOL, NHTSC, and EPA will tell you what type of vehicle you're actually allowed to operate on American roads. CBP will let you import any vehicle you want. They don't care if it's actually legal to operate in the US. That's not their job. They only make sure you pay the appropriate duties on it. Put another way, CBP won't give you an American license plate for it. You'll need to get that somewhere else and they'll have their own long list of requirements.
    #9
  10. GastonUSAChile

    GastonUSAChile Been here awhile

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    Unless the bike is U.S. certificated with a sticker on the frame 'up to U.S. standard' any other bike, must be brought to such standards for appropriate import in the U.S. (except those bikes imported for temporary admission up to 1 year).

    So, whoever is planning to do a import of a foreign bike into the U.S. better to quit. It will be time consuming, frustration and costly thing to get.
    It is a lot cheaper, selling the bike in Colombia and buy one here for less money, then sell it and loose a little.
    #10
  11. khpossum

    khpossum poster

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    Who has actually imported a bike in to the US? I am looking at a 1976 BMW with a Dutch license plate and bringing it to the US for registration in Colorado. Titling it in Colorado seems to be relatively easy if I read the CO DMV web site correctly (http://icsw.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/FAQ%20Site/index.html). I live in a non emission test county, so that makes things maybe easier.

    It's the feds who make things complicated at http://icsw.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/FAQ Site/index.html . Does it make a difference it is a 40+ year old bike?

    https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/de...c-or-antique-vehicles-/-cars-for-personal-use provides some good news since the bike is more then 25 years old and as such except from EPA / DOT / FMVSS requirements.

    So who has actually done this?

    KP
    #11
  12. khpossum

    khpossum poster

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    The more i look into it the more complications fall away, scary. Anything build before 1977 (EPA) or more then 25 years old (other EPA site and DOT) seems to be relatively easy. There has to be a catch somewhere I am missing. Import duty is 2.4%, so that isn't too bad either. They have RI's (registered importers) to do the import paperwork work, but it sure seems like I don't need them. These guys seem to get involved when you need to make your vehicle comply with US regulations, but it sure seems I am grandfathered in.

    Anybody has any experience with this effort?

    KP
    #12
  13. csustewy

    csustewy Motojero

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    I imported a 25 + year old Toyota a few years ago (1983 BJ60 diesel) from Canada and registration in Colorado was a breeze. The HS-7 form added about 2 min to the border crossing. Other than that, registration was the same as a domestic vehicle at the DMV (with completed HS-7). Every case is different, but I think this BMW could work out for you! Good luck!
    #13
  14. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Adios Mexico

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    2 years ago I imported a BMW R100GSPD and a Ducati Pantah that I bought while living in Mexico as well as a couple of smaller old Hondas that I'd bought while living in Vietnam. Zero issues getting them into the country. That's the easy part. Getting them plated is the trick. The BMW was easy because it was sold new in the US and imported to Mexico, so I had proof that it was a US market bike and complied with EPA and DOT regs when it was made. I had Mexican ownership docs for it too, so it was a breeze. The other 3 aren't US market bikes and I don't have any proof of ownership for them, so they'll be tricky.
    #14