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Thread: Importing a kit into the USA

  1. #1
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    Importing a kit into the USA

    Hi
    I am sure that there are plenty who have done it, but can anyone advise if they have imported a kit into the US and then built it and registered it there successfully?
    If so is there a website that details all the procedures/requirements to go through in advance.
    I know that its almost impossible to do this into Canada as there is no kit car industry up there, I am guessing the US is more kit car friendly.
    Any advice welcomed
    thanks

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    Re: Importing a kit into the USA

    Quite a few members on here that have imported kits to the US (myself being one of them). The suppliers are quite familiar and experienced with the proper process on the UK end (eg Listerbell and Hawk). On the US side you do need to enlist the services of a broker (the shipper will typically be able to make recommendations) to deal with logistics, customs, DOT requirements, etc. In my case, never have done it before it all seemed pretty daunting, but was actually quite straightforward in the end with the broker successfully handling everything - apart from a few forms you'll need to complete, you just pay the money and arrange for pickup.

    Registration of a homebuilt car is a different story - the process is state specific and all over the place in terms of process, some being more difficult than others, but to the best of my knowledge there's no state where it's not possible. I registered my car in California in 2013.

    I'm not aware of any one website with all the procedures but there is plenty of info out there on various forums, etc.
    On the registration, don't rely on forums/individual experiences alone, but make sure to also read the actual process from your states DMV. For example, here are the requirements for California:

    https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/vr/spcnsreg

    What state are you in, and do you know what kit you're considering?
    Last edited by Paul; 26-09-2015 at 18:53.

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    Free user Darkspeed's Avatar
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    Re: Importing a kit into the USA


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    Re: Importing a kit into the USA

    great thanks, do you think there would be any issues if the kit was half completed in the UK?
    also thinking about the engine-gearbox which will be installed but obviously will have come from a UK registered car.
    Will that affect registration in the US.

  5. #5
    SEC Member LM mic's Avatar
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    Re: Importing a kit into the USA

    As soon as the engine have been fit into the chassis and all connection have been done ; say every single detail cut to dimension as pipes , cables etc and then as soon as the electric harness have been connected properly ( eventually with a fire up of the engine to be sure that all works perfectly).......it's only a matter of an hour to take off the engine and gearbox and put them apart on a pallett on side to the chassis !!!!
    If organised well you can have some good and detailed videos from someone during disassembling plus so many pics and this would help anyone who has no experience in refitting all the stuff together; specially if all connections have been numbered properly with stickers and labels !!!!!
    The difficult thing on your kit car is to built her for the first time and understand how to source built and connect all different circuits ; water , fuel , oil , gear linkage clutch lines , electric plugs
    Once fabricated it's a real lego !!!!!!!
    And this can be applied also to the 4 corners suspensions !!! each one being so easy to take off !! 4 bolts and brake line !!!
    Last edited by LM mic; 28-09-2015 at 07:38.

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    Re: Importing a kit into the USA

    As I understand it, and didn't want to chance it.....when you start to put an engine and tranny in the car, it's no longer a kit. It is an actual car and customs would not be obliged to let it in. You would also have to be careful about shipping items assembled somewhere else and then remated to the car in the US at a later date. Look up some of the issues with skylines being imported into the US. That may help too.

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    Re: Importing a kit into the USA

    bosmass is correct - if the engine is installed, it's no longer parts that you're importing but an actual car which is not allowed unless it's been certified and approved for the US market (definitely not the case). The only exceptions are a few categories like if you plan to declare it as a race car exclusively, or you're importing it to display at a car show, etc.


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