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Importing Classic Vehicle

August 14, 2016 08:56PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 90

Hey everyone, haven't posted in a few months. We have successfully moved and adjusted and everything is great! We are stateside for business until the end of August and I have fell in love with this 1971 Jeepster Commando. Working on the ins and outs of brining it to the island (STX) and some of the guides used in bringing my other vehicle don't apply in the case of this vehicle. The VIN does not conform to current VIN standards so using the first digit to prove US manufacturing does not apply. I do know that the vehicle was manufactured in the US, but the question is will they know that...anyone have experience with this type of situation?

Re: Importing Classic Vehicle

August 14, 2016 09:19PM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 90

My experience was quite a few years back. My jeep CJ was a 1977, so the vin# did not conform just like you are talking about.
When I was doing all the customs stuff after it arrived they told me I had to pay (i forget how much) i think like $350 it was. Because my Vin # started with J and they said that meant it was made in Japan. I tried to explain that on older vehicles the first letter was often the Manufacturer, thus J for Jeep in1977. They were having none of it. i tried till I was blue in the face. Then I took them to the Jeep where on the firewall in engine compartment the Vin# plate clearly stated Jeep Corporation USA, made in Toledo, Ohio.

They would not accept that either and I was told to pay the duty for the vehicle manufactured outside the USA and then I could write a letter and explain all this again and I would get the money back.

Wrote letters, called many phone numbers finally gave up. Never got a reply or an answer why I had to pay.

Hope you have better luck.

Re: Importing Classic Vehicle

August 14, 2016 10:40PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 90

That's more or less the hassle I expect to run into. In doing the math, worse case scenario, having to pay the 6% of the value won't be the end of the world. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Re: Importing Classic Vehicle

August 14, 2016 10:43PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,833

Maybe enlist the help of a customs broker to get all that figured out and pre-cleared but that may end up costing more than the stupid tax.

Re: Importing Classic Vehicle

August 14, 2016 10:48PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 90

Yea, perhaps that might work or I could end up paying the broker and the tax with my luck.

Re: Importing Classic Vehicle

August 15, 2016 06:25AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 462

Try Jeep directly. They can supply you with that information. I had to do it with my wife's car coming into the US from Canada. I had to prove that it met both safety requirements and where it was built. Some of the car companies will do it for free, but GM Canada required $100 fee.

Re: Importing Classic Vehicle

August 15, 2016 06:44AM

Registered: 13 years ago
Posts: 2,535

Be sure to check about insurance. I took a 1985 Bronco II down. I was told I could get full coverage IF it was worth $5,000 or more. I took it around to two different Ford dealers and got appraisals of over $5,000. When I got it there I was told they would not cover it fully since it was that old, no matter how much it was worth.
If you can get USAA, you can get full coverage.

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