Monthly Archives: August 2018

Importing Your Vehicle to the USA: What You Need to Know (Part II)

EPA, DOT & CBP import requirements

The EPA has crafted a comprehensive manual (accessible on their website) on the emission regulations when it comes to the non-US version vehicles and US-version vehicles driven overseas.

Also, the US Department of Transportation has a set of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety, Bumper and Theft Prevention Standards which all vehicles have to pass to be imported from Europe.

Finally, the US Customs and Border Protection can ship your vehicle back to Europe if it doesn’t pass its smog, safety, and bumper check.

To be able to import a car from Europe and register it in the US, you must make sure it complies with all the standards and passes all the above-mentioned checks.

If you are importing a classic vehicle, there are specific differences. For instance, if the classic car is over 21 years old, it doesn’t have to comply with the EPA requirements. Furthermore, for cars over 25 years old, there is no requirement for compliance with DOT’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Important info to Ship a Car Overseas

Cars like this one can be imported to the United States if bought outside of the border following the USA’s specific guidelines. 

No vehicle can leave USA if it has a lien on it. This means your car has to be paid in full. The only individuals who can ship a car overseas and still have a lien on their vehicle are US Military and Government employees/contractors. For these individuals, a letter of authorization from the lender will have to be issued to get through US Customs. Otherwise the vehicle could be considered stolen.

If you bought a new vehicle, your name must be listed on the front of the title as the registered owner.

If the vehicle has been sold, then both the buyer and seller have to sign the back of the Title in the spaces as detailed on the back of the Title.

Importing Your Vehicle to the USA: What You Need to Know (Part I)

If you have bought a sport or exotic car in Europe and want to import it to the USA, you must familiarize yourself with all the regulations and rules necessary for a successful import. Not complying with some of the requirements can create unpleasant consequences, from more financial charges to the car being reverted back to its country of origin or even destroyed.

Moreover, if you select shipping as the way of transporting the car to the states, it’s recommended you know the shipping procedures.

Here’s an overview of car importation requirements for the U.S. and also the basic overview of the shipping process.

How shipping works

If you’ve bought a car outside of the United States you can import it by following the guidelines, procedures, and laws that are in place.

If you use a reputable international shipping company (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED), the shipping process begins with the customer offering the model, year, make, and location of the car, after which you get the shipping rate.

With the initial estimate, the importer has to be sure the vehicle will be able to pass the USA EPA, DOT and CBP standards. Once you’re certain your car can pass all the checks, you bring it to the nearest port or arrange for its transport. Based on the method of shipping, the transport can take up to 14 days.

After that, you should pick your preferred shipping method. Some ports support RoRo shipping and some support only container shipping. Check whether the port nearest to you offers your chosen shipping method.

Once the car is at one of the US ports (Long Beach, CA, Brunswick, GA, Tacoma, WA, Newark, NJ, Jacksonville, FL, Baltimore MD, Galveston, TX, Charleston, SC,) you can either pick it up yourself or have it picked up by a truck carrier and transported to the address you gave.

Duty-free import

There are certain people who can import a vehicle into the US duty-free. These are returning US citizens, US military and government employees.

How to RV With Babies on Board (Part I)

Traveling in your RV is fun and exciting especially when you’re little one is safe.

RVing is usually an activity that is ideal for families and has been discovered to enhance family bonds and make lasting memories. It’s no surprise numerous RVing parents like to introduce the world of RVing to their children early on. Doing anything with little ones takes patience and preparedness, even more so when you bring a baby along on an RV road trip. Below are some suggestions on RVing with infants, along with some advice on baby proofing your RV before your adventure.

What You Must Know About RVing With Babies on Board

Extreme care must occur when securing a baby while traveling in any vehicle and little ones require even more care while traveling in an RV. If you are using a towable, you probably won’t need to change your car seat options in the tow vehicle. However, you need to be cautious when traveling with your little one in a motorhome. Follow all rules you would adhere to when securing a child in an RV seat. Follow these guidelines when securing a child seat in a motorhome:

  • Be sure the car seat is made for the place it is attached to.
  • The car seat is never to be in the front seat of your motorhome.
  • Never put the car seat in a side-facing seat.
  • Be sure there are no loose objects that could hurt your child in their seat.
  • Be sure that the seat is secured to the chassis and not the interior of the RV

You might need to invest in a different car set for your RV, so check the manufacturer’s guidelines and the safety restrictions of your car seat for more information.

Pro Tip: Try to travel known routes instead of back roads. The odds you will have to pull over for any reason rises when RVing with babies.

Can You Take Your Dog on Amtrak

After a well-received short run along the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak has stated it will now allow pets aboard almost all its trains.

The move is made possible by a modification in legislation written into law in 2015 after Rep. Jeff Denham found out for himself that he couldn’t legally bring his dog Lily on an Amtrak train. Besides granting budget allowances, The Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act now lets Amtrak designate at least one car on every train as pet-friendly.

The Fine Print

With $25, as long as your pets aren’t over 20 pounds, they are welcome to accompany you on your travels.

However, Amtrak’s new pet policy isn’t without its bylaws. For an additional $25, passengers are allowed just one pet and the pet can’t weigh over 20 pounds. The pet’s carrier, in which the animal has to stay while onboard, is also part of that weight limit. Though, licensed service animals will face no such restrictions and will keep on traveling for free.

Two further bits of fine print: The Amtrak Auto Train, which goes from Lorton, Virginia, to Sanford, Florida will still be pet-free. And pets will only be allowed to ride the super-fast Acela train on weekends to avoid traveler chaos.

Acela passengers are usually business travelers who don’t require pet travel like leisure travelers. But on the flip side, Acela weekend service is predominantly leisure travelers.

Traveling with a pet can make things plenty more difficult. But having choices is a big help. Some folks prefer to travel by ground instead of by air. But recently, taking an Amtrak train was off limits to people with pets. Now, Amtrak is altering that policy thanks to a bill that necessitates Amtrak to accept cats and dogs as passengers on their trains.

The bill creates a pilot program that requires Amtrak to allow a furry family member in at least one train car as carry-on baggage. This means that your pet must be able to fit in a tote or kennel that you can carry with you.