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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here is a thread for all of you trying to import a skyline back to the states "Legally". I currently live in Germany and plan on bringing one back with me in 2015. I have done quite a bit of research on this subject so below are emails I received directly from the NHTSA, EPA, and Customs reguarding the 25+ year importation rule. Hopefully this will help put some rumors to rest.

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Here is the email I received from the NHTSA:

Dear Mr. *******,
A motor vehicle that is at least 25 years old can be lawfully imported into the U.S. without regard to whether it complies with all applicable FMVSS. Such a vehicle would be entered under Box 1 on the HS-7 Declaration form to be given to Customs at the time of importation. If you wish to see that form, you may download a copy from our website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import. You should note that the 25 year period runs from the date of the vehicle's manufacture (month and year). If the date of manufacture is not identified on a label permanently affixed to the vehicle by its original manufacturer, to establish the age of the vehicle, you should have documentation available such as an invoice showing the date the vehicle was first sold or a registration document showing that the vehicle was registered at least 25 years ago. Absent such information, a statement from a recognized vehicle historical society identifying the age of the vehicle could be used. For information on duties and fees you will want to contact Customs directly.

I hope this information is helpful.

Kristi Bragdon
Infologics Corporation
On assignment with NHTSA

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Here is the email I received from the EPA:

Mr. *******,

Thank you for your inquiry. If the vehicle is at least 21 years old, there are EPA compliance requirements upon importation listed below. The age of the vehicle is determined by subtracting the calendar year of manufacture from the calendar year of importation. If the calendar year of manufacture is unavailable, the importer may substitute the model year or year of first registration. For instance, to qualify in 2001, the vehicle must have been manufactured in 1980 or earlier. The vehicle must be in its original unmodified configuration. Vehicles at least 21 years old with replacement engines are not eligible for this exemption unless they contain equivalent or newer EPA certified engines.

No approval or Customs bond is required by EPA. The importer must also prove to Customs, as required, that the vehicle or engine was manufactured prior to EPA regulation. Documents such as a title or letter from the original manufacturer may be used for this purpose. The importer must file with Customs, upon entry, an EPA Form 3520-1 and declare code "E" on that form. The EPA form and other importation information can be found at www.epa.gov/otaq/imports.

Importers of vehicles must also comply with the requirements of other Federal Agencies (e.g., Department of Transportation for safety requirements, IRS for gas guzzler taxes, U.S. Customs Service for tariffs, duties, etc.) as well as those of the state and local governments.


David C. Hurlin
URS, Contractor
EPA Imports Line
Imports Group
Compliance Division
Phone: (734) 214-4100
Fax: (734) 214-4676
2000 Traverwood Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

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** My next stop is US Customs, I will update this accordingly with the duties and fees. **
 

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great post, this is what i had planned on doing (1989 GTS-T) but i got orders to Langley after my assingment here in England ends in 2012.. best of luck... guess im just gonna have to make a drive up to Canada in 2014 :)
 

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Spoke to the NHTSA as well, and the shipping office on base

Long story short, 25 years and older no problem to ship to the U.S. No emissions, safety, etc

I'm assuming your military based on your location, and would use transcar, they will get the paperwork squared away, just make sure you tell them it's being shipped as a classic car.
 

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hey quick question. Are skylines like cars in the states, where as if it is a 2009 model by the time 2009 comes it is actualy a year old? i ask because i have a 91 and my orders in japan are up 2015 so if manufacture date is 1990 im in the clear.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
hey quick question. Are skylines like cars in the states, where as if it is a 2009 model by the time 2009 comes it is actualy a year old? i ask because i have a 91 and my orders in japan are up 2015 so if manufacture date is 1990 im in the clear.
your chassis number and original title / registration should have a month and year that it was manufactured. A lot of people do not realize this even exists, they just go by "well the dealer said it was a 2008" or "I know its a 1996"... All vehicles have a "birthday" for lack of a better word. If it does not then they go by the first month and day that it was originally registered / purchased, you could call the title / registration its "birth certificate". It will be clearly stated on the paperwork what the month and year is and if it is not you have to go through official channels to find out the true manufacture date. Sometimes it's easier to think of it like the US drinking laws. If the law states that a person must be 21 years old for them to purchase alcohol that doesn't mean just anytime that year. It means on that exact day that they turn 21 they are then legally allowed to buy alcohol. Same goes with vehicle importation, when the car has its official 25th birthday it can legally drive on US highways.

This quote was in an official letter strait from the NHTSA.

"You should note that the 25 year period runs from the date of the vehicle's manufacture (month and year). If the date of manufacture is not identified on a label permanently affixed to the vehicle by its original manufacturer, to establish the age of the vehicle, you should have documentation available such as an invoice showing the date the vehicle was first sold or a registration document showing that the vehicle was registered at least 25 years ago. Absent such information, a statement from a recognized vehicle historical society identifying the age of the vehicle could be used."

Hope this helps.
 

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that was helpful, thanks man. im gona look into deciphering that date out of the vin/serial number.
 

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@ the GTR Shop, you say you can help source skylines that are available in the US. i am going to me deploying within the next few months and when i return i would like to purchase an R33 GTR. Would you be able to assist me with this?
 

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BKKN,

Thanks for the post. I have been looking at 91's and older and some 96-98's based on "false" info I received.

Will post some pics once I find the right one and buy it.

Chris
 

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great thread pal.. i also have a 1990 R32 that i will be bringing back with me in 2015... stationed over at Lakenheath... i PCS in august my car was first registered in march of 1990 :D !! woop woop
 

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I am in Korea and due to PCS in Dec of 2014 I will be taking my 89 R32 GTR with me. My question is does the car have to be in stock condition to import under the older than 25yr "classic" rule? I ask because mine is far from stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am in Korea and due to PCS in Dec of 2014 I will be taking my 89 R32 GTR with me. My question is does the car have to be in stock condition to import under the older than 25yr "classic" rule? I ask because mine is far from stock.
I honestly do not have a clue on that one. Technically in the EPA paperwork it says that an engine older than 21 years does not have to meet regulations, then it gets all fuzzy talking about "in original unmodified condition" but it never really states if that is a pre or post 21 year. I would just watch and see what happens with other people's cars once they start rolling in. Like I've said before, it's extremely difficult to find the correct answer b/c everyone writes about how to attempt to import things illegally so very few people ever write about the little details about a legal importation.

I have a friend that just PCSed from Germany with an 80's RX-7 and he said he pretty much just showed up at the port and tailored it away. His issue was getting plates b/c he's a dumb ass and owes a bunch of state taxes and such. To my knowledge his car was 100% stock anyway so it really didnt help other than knowing as long as the paperwork was strait he didnt have any issues. Depending on what state you come from will determine how easy it will be to actually get it on the road.

Mine has quite a bit of work done as well so i'll be watching what happens too, if I end up having to pull the engine and just ship that shell that's what i'll do; although obviously not the preferred method lol...
 

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EPA form 3520-1 under code E, 21 years but still have to pass state emission laws.. NHTSA form HS 7 under box 1, 25 years from the manufacture date... These two documents need to be submitted to Homeland Security/US customs upon entry.. Going thru customs you will get your last form, the CBP 7501 clearing it.. Bring that to your home state MVD office with you out of country registration or title.. no bull **** bond release.. Modifications don't matter!!
 

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Hey everyone this thread has been very helpful I've heard about the 25 year law but I was having trouble getting all the details. I'm currently in the states and I leave for Japan next month and my goal was to get a 89 or 90 r32 gtr to bring back with me in 2015 which I see a lot of other people plan on doing which I think is great :). I do have a question so that way I'm prepared if anyone may know what I may expect or should expect to pay for a 89 or 90 r32 gtr? I don't want to get ripped off and I want to have a rough idea so I have my money straight.
 

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Theyve been goin for around 10k over here lately. Obviously the price will vary with condition. And keep about 1k extra for licensing fees and misc.
 

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Awesome that price is about what I expected. Troek do you have to get another driver's license in Japan or will your U.S. drivers license work?
 

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Well im assuming ur military, if so you will get another license through the military. U also have to be e-4 at least to own a car.
 

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25 years old cars do not have to meet any emission , is that only your state or all states . Because i heard someone said that though the car pass 25 years old regulation , it still need to pass the emission in Cali .
 

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jalopnik did an interesting article about importing a car over 25 years old. It's totally do-able and easier than importing a 1996-1998 R33 and upgrading it to meet federal guidelines. You still need to jump through a few hoops and deal with general govermental stupidness, but I think that's always going to be the case. I think once the R32 becomes 25 years old (starting in 2014) we'll start seeing a bunch of Skylines on the streets of the USA.
 

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Hi please delete if i am bumping an old thread and is not authorized here. I know about the 25 year exempt rule now for both safety and EPA regs, but bringing one to Cali is a different story right.... still needs to pass SMOG check. any tips for that if youre in Japan...
 
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