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How to Import your own JDM Car into the United States?

[1st Nov, 2022]

Importing a JDM Vehicle to the United States : A Simplified Guide

Importing a Used Japanese Vehicle to the United States can be a lengthy process, but we at JPCTrade are here to help make that process an easy process that you can have confidence in every step of the way! Since 2003 JPCTrade has been an industry leader in direct Used Car exporting to every corner of the globe, and to date we have exported over 150,000 vehicles to over 100 different countries so you can rest assured that your next car is in good hands! 

First, what we need to do for a successful import is to determine the desired vehicle for Importation to the United States: The United States has a series of strict regulatory requirements for importing a standard JDM vehicle that includes a wide array of  mechanical, emissions, and safety guidelines. However, vehicles that are 25 years or older are exempt from many of these regulations, so we strongly recommend purchasing cars that meet this 25 year rule (I.e., cars made in this month in 1997 or before). 

Once you’ve selected the vehicle of your choice through our JPCTrade exclusive auction buying process, either through special order or through our auction access page, we can begin the procedure of getting the vehicle ready for shipping and import into the United States. Then, when we have bought the desired car, we will acquire for you the following documents: 

A bill of lading, bill of sale, and foreign expert deregistration. (B/L、INVOICE、EC)and Entry Summary 7501. Your JPCTrade associate will be able to provide all this information!

These documents must be accompanied by the HS-7 form which declares the vehicle to be compliant with EPA and DOT standards. EPA Form 3520-1 is also included as a regulatory document. Once the vehicle is in the United States at port, the Customs Border Protection agency will inspect and pass the car for entry into the United States. Additionally, the vehicle will need a certificate of cleanliness performed by the US Agricultural department which requires all imported vehicles to be free of bacteria, soils, sands, and plant matter which may spread onto US environments.  

JPCTrade Advantage! 

Unlike other companies which are only involved in the logistics involved with shipping vehicles, JPCTrade offers exclusive, comprehensive servicing for all aspects of the car purchasing experience!

Then, you will need to determine the landing port at which we should deliver the vehicle to:  

  • Baltimore, Maryland

  • Freeport, Texas

  • Honolulu, Hawaii

  • Jacksonville, Florida

  • Los Angeles, California

  • New York, New York

  • San Diego, California

  • Tacoma, Washington

Please let us know what arrangement works best for you! 

Once we have determined the port of entry, we will follow this up with the provision of additional supplementary documents: 

Final Purchase Invoice, Export Certificate from port, Bill of Lading. 

When the vehicle is on the way to the United States, we provide you with a scheduled itinerary of the vehicle so that you can bring all proper documents to the port in order to get custom clearance at port once it has arrived and has been unloaded. 

Depending on the port it will take two to five weeks to get to your destination port, As your vehicle closes in on port the shipping company will send us the required documents as the boat nears so the customs forms can be logged. Once the vehicle arrives at port we contact the arrival port of entry CBP office and inform customs of its arrival. The CBP will contact you within 24-48 hours and let you know when the vehicle will be available for pick up. DO NOT show up to port unannounced as you will be unable to pick up the vehicle unless arriving at a scheduled time. Finally, once this all is accounted for, cleared by the port, and certified by customs, your new car will be ready for the final steps! You can then drive your vehicle off the lot! 

In order to drive the vehicle directly from the port, buy car insurance and place it inside the vehicle– Make sure you purchase temp insurance/permit for the day of your pickup or amount of days it will take you to get your car home or to its destination! Otherwise driving the car in the US will be an illegal activity. 

Register the vehicle with your local DMV office and provide proof of customs clearance, car deregistration certificate, and a bill of sale. Your car is now plated and ready to enjoy!