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How to import car into the USA

Updated: Apr 15, 2021

The importation of a car can be very stressful if you do not have any experience or understanding of the process of importation. Importing cars is enforced by CBP, EPA, and DOT. This blog will show the process of importation and the requirement needed when importing a car.

Before you import a car, you need to know if the car complies with U.S. rules. such as EPA emission standard and DOT safety standard. Usually, you can find EPA and DOT stickers in your car to check if the car complies with EPA standards, EPA is looking for a Test Group Name on the Emission label to match in their system.

EPA label - image: EPA Website
EPA label - image: EPA Website

Car importaiton documents

When you driving your car crossing the border. You need to let CBP Officer know that you want to import your car. Below are the documents you may need to clear your car through U.S. Customs.

  • Bill of sales - purchase value of the car

  • CBP form 7501 entry summary - entry documentation form

  • EPA form 3520-1

  • DOT form HS-7

  • Proof of ownership - car title

  • Customs bond

Exemption of EPA filing

According to EPA form 3520-1, the car can be exempted from EPA filing if the car at lear 21 years old from the manufactured date and in an original unmodified condition.

Why do you need to clear your car through customs?

If you need to register your car in the USA and obtain a state license plate. Proper importation of your car to the USA for permanent use or resale is very important. When you want to register your car with DMV of a foreign car. DMV will request customs documentation to show proof of importation of the car. DMV will not register your car if the car has not cleared customs.

How much is the duty of import a car?

Car duty: 2.5%

Motorcycle duty: 2.4%

Truck: 25%

CBP will assess the duty basic on the purchase price or Kelly Blue Book value of the car.

Duty is not assessed on cars manufactured in the U.S. Canada or Mexico.

Customs bond

Check out customs bond information on this link:

Temporary car importation

Temporary car importation clearance is required for tourists, business trips, trade shows and etc. Which allowed the importation of a car to be used in the USA for less than one year and obey local laws.

Do you need car insurance when importing a car?

If you driving your car to the port to file importation of the car. Yes, you will need to purchase insurance at the time of importation when the car is on the road. If you shipping your car through the port then you do not require insurance at the time of importation. However, you will still need insurance when registering your car with DMV.

What kind of car can be imported.

All cars can be imported into the USA as long as it meets EPA and DOT standards.

Created by Fast Customs Clearance

Contact us below for free consultation: Fast Customs Clearance

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