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Q: How to import a 2002 diesel Toyota Land Cruiser into U.S. from Europe? ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: How to import a 2002 diesel Toyota Land Cruiser into U.S. from Europe?
Category: Sports and Recreation > Automotive
Asked by: sdchap-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 20 Aug 2005 01:05 PDT
Expires: 19 Sep 2005 01:05 PDT
Question ID: 557984
We live in Austria and are considering the purchase of a 2002 diesel
Toyota Land Cruiser originally made for the European market.
If we move back to the States sometime in the future, will we be able
to bring the car into the US?
If so, what is involved? (Our previous residency was in CA, though we
are more likely to move to either NV or FL if and when we return.)
Subject: Re: How to import a 2002 diesel Toyota Land Cruiser into U.S. from Europe?
Answered By: nenna-ga on 23 Aug 2005 10:03 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello sdchap-ga,

I?m going to give you an overview of how to import your car and some
agencies you should contact for more information.

You need to set up a way to ship the vehicle. You need to know the
arrival date so Customs can clear the car for entry into the US.
?Shipments are cleared at the first port of entry unless you arrange
for a freight forwarder abroad to have the vehicle sent in bond to a
Customs port more convenient to you.?

You will need the Shipper or carrier?s original Bill of Lading, the
Bill of Sale, the Foreign Registration, and any other documents
pertaining to the vehicle. You also need written prior approval from
the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Prior approval can come in
the form of an approval letter from the EPA, or a manufacturer's label
in the English language affixed to the car, stating that the vehicle
meets all U.S. emission requirements

You can also use a ICI (Independent Commercial Importer). ICIs can
only import certain types of vehicles, however, and in general, their
fees are very high. I would only recommend this if you?re REALLY
unsure of doing this on your own and can afford it.
(DOT Standards ? DOT = Department of Transportation)
(Plates and permits information)

If Austria has ratified the Convention on International Road Traffic
of 1949, you can drive in the US for one year with your own National
License Plates and with your driver?s license from Austria. Otherwise,
you?ll need to go to the Licensing Center in the state you move to and
take the test in order to be able to drive the car you import into the

You will need to have your undercarriage cleaned before importing your
car into the US. This is a Dept. of Agriculture Requirement.

You can not ship anything inside the car.

You may be taxed on entry of the car. The average rate is 2.5 % of the
value of the car on the bill of sale. HOWEVER, ?NONRESIDENTS may
import a vehicle duty-free (tax free) for personal use if the vehicle
is imported in conjunction with the owner's arrival? Conforming
vehicles imported under the duty-free exemption are dutiable if sold
within one year of importation.?

You must meet safety and bumper standards set by the DOT. You must
file DOT HS-7 (
) at the time of entry. ?Vehicles that do not bear a certification
label attached by the original manufacturer must be entered as a
nonconforming vehicle under a DOT bond for one and a half times the
vehicle's dutiable value. This is in addition to the regular Customs
entry bond.?
You should speak with a DOT Registered Importer (RI) to make sure you
car meets these standards and is eligible for importation. (List of RI?s)
?DOT requires that the vehicle model and model year must, prior to
entry, be determined eligible for importation. A DOT RI can advise you
whether your vehicle is eligible; if it is not, the RI can submit a
petition in your behalf to have your vehicle considered for
eligibility, if you so desire. Understand, however, that fees must be
paid at the time such petitions are filed.?

You may be subject to the Gas-guzzler tax. The amount of the tax is
based up on a combined city/highway Miles per gallon rating assigned
by the EPA. If the EPA has not assigned rating for the car you want to
import, a rating must be independently determined. 22.5 miles per
gallon is the magic number where you do not get taxed. It would be
wise to see if your combined MPG on the car you would like to import
is above that number to avoid the tax.

You must meet emission standards. You may want to find out the state?s
emission standards before you decide to import the vehicle and make
sure your car meets those standards or your willing to pay to have it
converted. You must meet the state and EPA standards both.
?Beginning with the 1974 model year, vehicles that were originally
manufactured to meet U.S. emission requirements, if driven outside the
United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, Taiwan or the Bahama
Islands, may be required to have their oxygen sensor and/or catalytic
converter replaced. You may import your U.S.-version vehicle under a
Customs bond and have any qualified mechanic perform the necessary
work. You should contact the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
directly for detailed requirements and options before shipping your
vehicle.? (EPA website regarding this topic)


Ask for a copy of the Automotive Imports Facts Manual(order
#EPA420B94006), which describes emission requirements for imported

Fax (202) 565-2057

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Manufacturers Operations Division 6405-J, Investigation/Imports Section
401 M Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460.

*****Both the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) advise that although a nonconforming car may
be conditionally admitted, the modifications required to bring it into
compliance may be so extensive and costly that it may be impractical
and even impossible to achieve such compliance. Moreover, some vehicle
models are prohibited from importation. It is highly recommended that
these prohibitions and modifications be investigated before a vehicle
is purchased for importation.*****

There are some exceptions:
The following vehicles need not conform to emission or safety
requirements but may NOT be sold in the U.S. and may require EPA and
DOT declarations:
?	Those imported by nonresidents for personal use not exceeding one
year. The vehicle must be exported at the end of that year-no
exceptions or extensions.
?	Those belonging to members of foreign armed forces, foreign
diplomatic personnel, and members of public international
organizations on assignment in the U.S. for whom free entry has been
authorized by the Department of State.
?	Those temporarily imported for research, demonstration, or
competition, provided they are not licensed for use, or driven, on
public roads. Parties responsible for such vehicles must submit proper
documents-that is, forms EPA 3520-1 and DOT HS-7 to Customs at the
time entry is made. Also, applicable written approvals from these
agencies must be obtained in advance and presented to Customs along
with these forms. Remember, the cost to return vehicles that have been
refused prior approval can be very high and must be borne by the
vehicle's owner(s).
Please look at the bottom the website this information is from for
more valuable information, links and addresses. (Austrian Consulate/Embassy)
U.S. Customs Service
Washington, DC 20229
Telephone (202) 927-6724 (DOT Import Website)
Telephone: (202) 366-5313
Fax: (202) 366-1024

U.S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Director of the Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance (NEF-32)
400 7th Street SW
Washington, DC 20590
(All information quoted or included in this answer is from this
website about ?Importing Your Car Into the US?.)

Google Search:
Import a car into the US

If this answer requires further explanation, please request
clarification before rating it, and I'll be happy to look into this

Google Answers Researcher

Request for Answer Clarification by sdchap-ga on 23 Aug 2005 11:18 PDT
Can you find any information related to the 2002 diesel Land Cruiser
specifically? ie, whether European models meet safety and bumper
standards set by the DOT; what the amount of the gas guzzler tax for
that specific model would be; and, whether that specific car has been
designed to meet state and EPA standards. (As I mentioned in my
question, while our previous residency was CA, our likely state of
residence will be either NV or FL.
Thank you.

Clarification of Answer by nenna-ga on 23 Aug 2005 11:52 PDT
Hello again,

I can't answer specifically for your potential car due to the fact
every vehicle is different. Due to a mechanical issue, you may not get
the MPG that is average. Your car may be damaged and not meet some
standards a perfect model would?etc.

I did find a page stating the combined MPG of the LandCruiser for 2002
is 14 MPG, so the gas guzzler tax seems a certainty, however, I?m not
sure this involved the diesel, which I know can get better gas

You may want to post another question with your three new questions
pertaining to this answer and review the pricing guidelines.
You may also want to call the agencies I listed above and ask them
these questions as well. You can also contact Toyota at (click Kontakt)

sdchap-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Very fine answer. Comprehensive, with additional leads.

Subject: Re: How to import a 2002 diesel Toyota Land Cruiser into U.S. from Europe?
From: darkblue1-ga on 23 Aug 2005 06:31 PDT
Search Terms Used in Google:
"United States Vehicle Import Regulations" (without brackets)

I reached this site:

Which refered to this document:

This document has all the information needed to know how to import (or
export) a car to (from) the USA.

Its 11 pages long (including table of contents) but seems to contain
all relevant information.

Subject: Re: How to import a 2002 diesel Toyota Land Cruiser into U.S. from Europe?
From: gnbull3-ga on 21 Sep 2005 08:16 PDT
Good answer in theory but in practice it doesn't answer much. 

In practice you can not import any vehicle into the USA unless it was
specifically built for the USA market and already has all of the DOT
and EPA complience stickers already on it. Even if the car you have is
identical to a USA model, (a 2002 Land Cruiser Diesel in not even
close) you can not import it if it was not specifically made for the
USA market, unless you get a letter to that effect from the
manufacturer. The manufacturer will not give that letter. The only
exceptions are getting the car imported and modified through an
registered importer (RI) which is extremely expensive and probably
much more than the car is worth, or importing a car that is 25 years
or older.

The gas guzzler tax etc is all moot since the DOT and EPA regs will
make it prohbitively expensive to bring into conformance (i.e. USD 10K
or more). You could easily spend the cost of a similar Land Cruiser
and a year of fuel trying to import yours.

You can import a car temporarily if you are a non-resident but the car
will have to be re-exported. So to make a long answer short, there is
no way to cost effectively legally import a 2002 Land Cruiser, or any
other post 1980 vehicle, into the the USA.

Subject: Re: How to import a 2002 diesel Toyota Land Cruiser into U.S. from Europe?
From: lollol83-ga on 29 Dec 2005 20:20 PST
LOL, no freedom in this world. And they use oil like mads.....

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