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F355 - Import to US

Discussion in '348/355' started by fboutlaw, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. fboutlaw

    fboutlaw Karting

    Dec 3, 2014
    60
    Woodside, CA
    Hey Ya'll,

    I'm very strongly contemplating the purchase of a F355 GTS located in Paris France and importing it to the US. Does anyone have experience importing a F355 into the US? Whom did you use for EPA certification... and does the vehicle need to undergo any changes to make it "US DOT Spec"?

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. bjwhite

    bjwhite F1 Rookie

    Mar 17, 2006
    3,428
    Seattle, WA
    Full Name:
    Brian White
     
  3. StanT

    StanT Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 10, 2007
    335
    Vienna, VA
    Just out of curiosity, is it 3 pedal or F1 paddles?
    PS - I've got the latter GTS.
     
  4. fboutlaw

    fboutlaw Karting

    Dec 3, 2014
    60
    Woodside, CA
    3 Pedal, Swatters Blue, GTS. A unicorn I've been unsuccessful finding in the states.
     
    Wsmatau likes this.
  5. greyboxer

    greyboxer F1 World Champ

    Dec 8, 2004
    10,481
    South East
    Full Name:
    Jimmie
    Speedo will be in kph - other gauges metric - no side lights/reflectors - glass & lenses may be CE marked not DOT

    Most compliance threads here have petered out due to cost and/or hassle even for cars valued at six figures
     
  6. KMR968Turbo

    KMR968Turbo Formula Junior

    Nov 11, 2007
    861
    Calgary, Alberta
    Full Name:
    Erik
    Are you sure it's only 21 years and not 25 years? I was selling a 1993 Porsche to the US that required an EPA certificate be signed stating the vehicle was unmodified. The penalty was a $250k fine or prison time for lying. So my sale fell through. Funny thing is the car was modified in the US, driven for years and then exported out of the country. It was simply going to go back in the exact condition it left originally.
     
  7. johnk...

    johnk... F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Jun 11, 2004
    7,446
    New England
    https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/278/~/importing-classic-or-antique-vehicles-%2F-cars-for-personal-use



     
  8. 355dreamer

    355dreamer F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 3, 2006
    9,957
    DC Metro
    Full Name:
    L.C.
    The car with the factory race seats?
     
  9. Robb

    Robb F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Feb 28, 2004
    11,083
    Mesa, Arizona
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    Robb Williamson
    That blue car in France is fantastic. Only 2 more years to go then can more easily import the 1994 builds with nothing more to do than the 2.5% Duty...

    Robb
     
    Dave rocks likes this.
  10. fboutlaw

    fboutlaw Karting

    Dec 3, 2014
    60
    Woodside, CA
    Yeah, the one listed on hemmings. Been searching for a while and haven't been able to find this particular combo, then magically it showed up... just on the wrong continent for me.
     
  11. bjwhite

    bjwhite F1 Rookie

    Mar 17, 2006
    3,428
    Seattle, WA
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    Brian White
    Yep, for a 94 GTS you need to wait two more years. And keep in mind that it's 25 years after the PRODUCTION date and not the "model year". For example, mine was produced in May 1992 and thus was eligible at that point in 2017. Mine actually entered the US the last few days of June 2017.

    I had to push a little bit because the shipper didn't want to load the car until the 25 year date passed, but really it needs to be 25 years old before it enters. (they were going by date of first registration, which was 11 June, 1992) For me, I was trying to time the 35+ days it would be at sea and in the container. I pushed them to go ahead and ship and ended up getting a certified letter from Classiche stating that the production date of my car was May 1992. In the end, I didn't need the letter anyway since I was after the date of first registration anyway. Cool think to have though...hand signed.

    94 should still be a 348 yes? Anyway--find out the production date--that's the key here for importing under the 25 year rule. After 25 years, it's super easy...just the 2.5% duty and it's all good.
     
  12. bjwhite

    bjwhite F1 Rookie

    Mar 17, 2006
    3,428
    Seattle, WA
    Full Name:
    Brian White
    And wow, I just looked up the car in question. That is a unicorn isn't it?
    Honestly, if you had the means, I would buy it in Paris and then put it in storage for a few years before importing it. It's unlikely you'll find that combination again--and with carbon seats too.

    https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/cars-for-sale/ferrari/355gts/1939665.html


    But it's a 97, which means you'll be waiting 5 years for it to be eligible. :(
     
    steved033 likes this.
  13. Yassa

    Yassa Formula 3

    May 23, 2011
    1,126
    US/Canada/UK
    Full Name:
    Dr Yassa Hughes
    What
    Thanks for sharing...good info. Ive been thinking about importing my 95 355 into the US but looks like waiting a couple more years will be the easiest route to take.
     
  14. fboutlaw

    fboutlaw Karting

    Dec 3, 2014
    60
    Woodside, CA
    From all the research and comments so far:
    Customs: 2.5% no matter what
    EPA: 21 year requirement, worth waiting and comes up within a year on this car
    DOT: 25 years no questions asked, but before that...

    I've found this document from DOT stating that the 355 is a certified non-conforming vehicle that had a substantially similar model for sale in the US at the same time. Does this mean that it could be imported without modification for DOT?
    https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/documents/elig120115.pdf
     
  15. johnk...

    johnk... F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Jun 11, 2004
    7,446
    New England
    From my read, NO. It means that it can be imported despite not being compliant but the caveat is
    The 355 was assigned a VSP eligibility number which means it is subject to
    30141(a)(1)(A):
     
  16. Jasonberkeley

    Jasonberkeley Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 23, 2017
    997
    New York, NY
    Full Name:
    Jason Berkeley
    Gorgeous car! Good lucking figuring it all out!
     
  17. Hoosier Daddy

    Hoosier Daddy Rookie

    Dec 10, 2006
    8
  18. fboutlaw

    fboutlaw Karting

    Dec 3, 2014
    60
    Woodside, CA
    Backup plan... backup plan. I tried buying that vehicle on ebay a month ago, but the offer I posted wasn't accepted... and it's not the GTS... and the seats... But after I added up the costs, it does seem a bit absurd to import.

    so comes to
    112k for vehicle
    2.8k for Customs
    6k for transit
    25k conversion (estimate)
    12k cali tax to register
    = 157.8k

    If the conversion cost could be eliminated, which it would be at 25 years old, then it would become an option for unicorn car status.
     
  19. bjwhite

    bjwhite F1 Rookie

    Mar 17, 2006
    3,428
    Seattle, WA
    Full Name:
    Brian White
    Some corrections to your math......
    My transit, in an enclosed container, was about $3000 from the London Gateway port direct to Seattle. I picked it up at the port and drove home. Since my car stopped in the SF port on the way up the coast, my bet is that your price would be about the same. And you could drive it home.

    I'm sure you could get it for less than $112k--probably get it right around $100k is my bet, which would also lower your duties and cali tax.

    But honestly, your biggest problem is not the transnit, duties, and taxes. It's the fact that it's not 25 years old and you have to mess with all of that crap.
     
  20. Robb

    Robb F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Feb 28, 2004
    11,083
    Mesa, Arizona
    Full Name:
    Robb Williamson
    I think the stuff that would likely need to be converted:

    bumpers with signals
    side impact?
    glass?
    speedo if required

    what other items could need to be done by the importer? No emissions at this point or would they also need to be messed with?

    Robb
     
  21. Hoosier Daddy

    Hoosier Daddy Rookie

    Dec 10, 2006
    8
    You could import it to Canada, or perhaps Mexico, and enjoy it temporarily in the US until it's 25 years old, then import without the conversion. The rule to bring in cars without condition for Canada is 15 years.
     
  22. KMR968Turbo

    KMR968Turbo Formula Junior

    Nov 11, 2007
    861
    Calgary, Alberta
    Full Name:
    Erik
  23. F129b

    F129b Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 6, 2004
    455
    oc, calif.
    Full Name:
    Robert
    I direct imported my ‘98 gated GTS from Italy in 2000.
    I used JK Technologies in Baltimore for my dot & epa work. This was advantageous for a few reasons:
    1)CA does (did) not charge any tax if the car stayed out of the state for 90 out of its first 180 days that I owned it. This was easy to prove was the case with customs docs date stamped in Baltimore then subsequent bill of lading from the trucking Co that brought the car to Calif
    2)JK Tech is located 30-40mins from DOT & EPA HQs in Wa DC. Jonathan-the owner hand carried the docs easily there to get it all processed & rubber stamped.
    3)I liked the idea of my car being on USA soil(and therefore off of a ship) ASAP

    The cost of EPA/DOT converting my car in ‘00 was about $15k. This included:
    -rollover fuel spill protection valve
    -welding bumper reinforcements to frame
    -cutting reflectors into F & R bumpers & refinishing as required
    -installation of DOT headlights
    -& some other misc things for compliance that I don’t remember

    Then JK sent my car to G & K in Santa Ana CA for California’s CARB testing and compliance procedures. IIRC this was another $2-3k + couple weeks wait.

    All in all, I saved wads of money because of the factors above as well as the fact that the Lire was at an all-time low vs the $. Irrelevant for you today, but I got a 6k mi Red/Blk gated GTS for $85k in Europe vs circa $135k+ tax(the going price in Orange County at that time.
    My car turned out perfect and is perfect to this day. It was prob 5mos after wiring the $$$ before it was in my garage though.
    *In retrospect, this whole process is not for the faint of heart or those who have no patience. But, it can turn out very well :)[​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  24. eyeman1234

    eyeman1234 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Dec 25, 2006
    1,512
    Boca Raton, FL
    Are the headers different on a Euro model? Catalytic converters? (Mine is a U.S. '98 gated GTS as well)
     

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