As we mentioned earlier, the amendments to the 1988 Act of 1998 opened up the U.S. market to foreign cars over 25 years old. But in 1999, another change in the law was made that allows the importation of cars that are of “historical or technological significance.” This is called the “show & display rule”. The savings have often been spectacular. A legal review in 1990 found that retailers like K-Mart sold gray market products up to 40% less than officially imported products. If you bought a grey market Mercedes-Benz, the car you got had the same logo and was often mostly the same model sold by Mercedes-Benz in North America. However, the grey market Mercedes-Benz 500 SEL you owned was never allowed to be imported or sold by Mercedes-Benz. No, what this really has to do with it is the end result of the car manufacturers. Since they started doing politics, we lose as consumers and we can`t have what we want – at least until the car is 25 years old.
Then, in 1998, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released the 25-year rule. For example, vehicles over the age of 25 could be allowed to enter the country because they are “collectible” – which, in this case, is just another word for obsolete vehicles. Fortunately, epa regulations include their own “21-year rule.” So if your car is old enough for the Department of Transportation, it`s certainly old enough to meet EPA requirements – just fill out another form that we`ll come back to in due course. Reputable importers had a solution that could have solved this problem. Unfortunately, it was eventually ignored. Certain motor vehicles classified as being of unusual historical or technological significance may be imported for exhibition or exhibition purposes. Information about importing a motor vehicle for these purposes can be found on the NHTSA website in nhtsa.gov/importing-vehicle. When a vehicle is imported for exhibition or exhibition purposes, it cannot travel more than 2,500 miles per year. As a general rule, a motor vehicle is not eligible for importation for exhibition or exhibition purposes if more than five hundred vehicles of the same model have been manufactured, if a version of the vehicle was originally manufactured for sale in the United States and has been certified to comply with all applicable FMVSS, or if the vehicle is due to its ability to: to be modified to comply with all applicable FMVSS is eligible for import.
FMVSS applicable. For vehicles to be covered by this derogation, there must be no more than 500 of them. In addition, if the car is to be registered for use on public roads, the owner must be able to prove (through annual and/or random mileage checks) that the car has not driven more than 2,500 miles in a given year. Nevertheless, the IVSCA has been adopted, which allows registered importers to sell cars in the foreign market in the United States only if these vehicles fully meet U.S. safety and emissions standards and require rigorous new certification procedures, including crash tests of more than 10 copies of a vehicle. Just like with TVs and kitchen appliances, the demand for grey market cars was huge. Kiplinger notes that between 1980 and 1985, about 65,000 gray market cars were brought to the United States. Completed in 1985 with 66,879 vehicles imported from the grey market.
NHTSA does not regulate the export of vehicles from the United States We only regulate the import of vehicles into that country. Therefore, we cannot offer advice on this topic. If you have a question about exporting a vehicle, you can direct that question to the customs director of the port through which you wish to ship the vehicle or visit www.cbp.gov. Now that you know why the 25-year rule exists, let`s see how you apply it. Information on importing vehicles for racing purposes can be found under nhtsa.gov/importing-vehicle. Various Alfa Romeos have worn the Spider badge over the past five decades, but it is specifically the 916 series models of the 1995 model year that will be eligible for U.S. importation in 2020. Available as a 2+2 coupe (GTV) or two-seater roadster (Spider 916), the car is not particularly rare – more than 80,000 of them were built between 1993 and 2004. It should be noted that there is quite strong opposition to 25 years of rule among oil tankers in the United States – in fact, at the time of writing this article, there is an active petition on Change.org calling for its repeal, which has collected nearly 10,000 signatures. In recent years, the Ministry of Transport and customs authorities have even posted videos of these car crashes on YouTube to deter potential smugglers, and these have been widely circulated on automotive websites. While McLarens and Ferraris have attracted the attention of well-heeled and inaccessible rides like Audi`s RS2 Avant, they have captivated mid-sized cars. Benjamin Shahrabani, a petrol employee, investigated the importation of an RS2 in the early 2000s, but one of the few remaining registered importers was informed that the bill would be a huge one.
Fortunately, there is a huge industry built on importing gray market cars into the United States – the latest of which were built in the field of modern safety standards and can easily be treated like an ordinary car. But in the current state of the law, until the car you want is 25 years old, you can`t legally import it into the United States for road use. The grey market was largely forgotten until the late `90s, but a booming economy and a two-year waiting list for the Ferrari 360 and 550 created a pool of American buyers willing to pay to federalize cars purchased in Europe. The obvious example would be classic car dealers who will commit murder if a particular model is eligible for importation. In 2019, for example, the Audi RS2 Avants and Renault Clio Williams 2 were imported into the United States in 1994 and resold at a profit. In this respect, the 25-year rule did not so much prevent private importers from committing murder at the expense of American dealers (as was the case in 1966-1988), but threw the problem onto the streets a quarter of a century later! Vehicles built in places like Germany did not originally have the equipment and systems needed by the U.S. government. Unlike today, when converting a car to meet regulations is a huge, time-consuming and expensive process, back then almost anyone could import and rebuild a car. Grey market vehicles had to be equipped with U.S.-compliant bumpers, door bars, and power systems. European cars did not have catalytic converters at the time, so they had to be added. As mentioned earlier, an import admissibility decision may be based on the substantial similarity of a non-U.S. immigration decision.
vehicle certified for a vehicle manufactured for import and sale in the United States and therefore certified by its original manufacturer. If the vehicle you wish to import is an RHD, even if there was a U.S.-certified left-hand version of that vehicle, it may not be considered “substantially similar” for import eligibility purposes. Our experience has shown that the safety performance of RHD vehicles is not necessarily the same as that of apparently similar left-hand drive vehicles offered for sale in this country. However, NHTSA will consider the vehicles to be “substantially similar” if the manufacturer notifies the agency in writing on the manufacturer`s letterhead (not on that of an authorized dealer or other organization associated with the manufacturer) that the RHD vehicle would operate in the same manner as the left-hand drive vehicle certified in the United States during crash testing. In the absence of such evidence, the applicant`s RI would have to prove that the vehicle, if modified, meets the requirements. In this case, you can contact one or more of the IRs listed on our website to get their opinion on the feasibility of RHD vehicle`s compliance with FMVSS and the cost of vehicle compliance and ask NHTSA to determine if the vehicle is eligible for importation.