We recently had a person in the US want to buy a Corrado that we originally aquired for my spouse, it was originally from Japan.
It seems that there is a trick that is often used to get a vehicle into the USA, it seems to mainly pertain to LHD vehicles that had similar models sold in North AMerica, so it may not pertain to a Delica but as I already had the following resources I thought I may as well pass them along in case they can help. THe US citizen buys a vehicle, from a Canadian. As the vehicle has a Canadian registration, the logic is it is easier to import because the buyer can represent it has having the required documentation. Following are some articles of interest that we sent the person to discourage them, and they have valuable information of a general nature. All this info is available via Google, but having it here in a condensed form may save you some time:
Each vehicle sold in the United States carries a Vehicle Identification Number, as required by NHTSA regulation — Title 49, Part 565 of the U.S. Code. The VIN identifies the vehicle's country of manufacture, and the company responsible for its production. Vehicles manufactured in the United States have VINs beginning with the numbers 1, 4, and 5 — regardless of where the company is based. Thus, a Toyota Camry made in the U.S. will have a 1, 4 or 5 at the start of its VIN, while one imported from Japan will begin with the letter J.
Motor vehicles not more than 25 years old must conform to the Department of Transportation (DOT) motor vehicle safety standards that were in effect when these vehicles were manufactured. Passenger cars manufactured after September 1, 1973 must also meet bumper standards. The importer must file form DOT HS-7 at the time of entry, indicating whether the vehicle conforms to applicable safety and bumper standards. The original manufacturer is required to affix a label to the vehicle certifying that these standards have been met if the vehicle is intended for sale in the United States. Vehicles that do not bear a certification label attached by the original manufacturer must be entered as a nonconforming vehicle under a DOT bond for one and a half times the vehicle's dutiable value. This is in addition to the regular Customs entry bond.
Unless specifically excepted, the importer must sign a contract with a DOT Registered Importer (RI), who will modify the vehicle to conform with all applicable safety and bumper standards and who can certify the modifications. A copy of the RI's contract must be attached to the DOT HS-7 form and furnished to the Customs Service with the DOT bond at the port of entry. A list of RIs is available from DOT and should be obtained before you decide to import a vehicle. Furthermore, DOT requires that the vehicle model and model year must, prior to entry, be determined eligible for importation. A DOT RI can advise you whether your vehicle is eligible; if it is not, the RI can submit a petition in your behalf to have your vehicle considered for eligibility, if you so desire. Understand, however, that fees must be paid at the time such petitions are filed.
So the following would seem to apply to our Corrado:
There is no OEM label on it, so it is a “Nonconforming vehicle”
You will have to sign a contract with an RI.
I read some posts that in Canada they reassign a new VIN and that makes it possible to sneak the vehicle into the USA. While they may do that in B.C., they do not in Alberta. In Alberta they simply use the chassis number for the VIN on the Alberta registration.There is some more info here:http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/imp ... index.html
VEHICLE IMPORTATION GUIDELINES
(Imported From Canada)
All passenger cars less than 25 years old imported for personal use (not resale) into the U.S. on a permanent basis from Canada should follow this procedure. This process may also be followed if a vehicle was originally imported from Canada on a temporary basis or if prior DOT or U.S. Customs clearance was not obtained.
Contact the manufacturer of the vehicle, and ask if the vehicle complies with all applicable U.S. Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS). The letter from the manufacturer must identify your vehicle by the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). READ THE LETTER CAREFULLY.
If the manufacturer letter states that the vehicle complies with U.S. FMVSS, except for minor labeling requirements, you have an acceptable letter. This letter along with your vehicle registration should be presented to U.S. Customs at the border. U.S. Customs will review the manufacturer letter to assure that the vehicle complies.
If the manufacturer letter states that the vehicle meets all U.S. FMVSS, except for the speedometer, or headlights, you may have these components replaced at a dealer authorized by the factory to repair your vehicle. In addition to the documents cited above, you must present the invoice for the speedometer or headlight replacement to obtain U.S. Customs approval.
If the manufacturer letter states that the vehicle meets all U.S. FMVSS except for FMVSS No. 208 (automatic or passive restraint requirements) you WILL NOT be able to bring your vehicle into the U.S. on a permanent basis unless it is modified by an RI. If an RI is willing to modify the vehicle, it may be expensive and may change your desire to import the vehicle.
If the manufacturer will not issue a letter for your vehicle, the only method to import your vehicle on a permanent basis is to contract with an RI.
EPA approval is also required. You may call the EPA information line at: (202) 564-9660.
VEHICLE IMPORTATION GUIDELINES
(Imported from a country other than Canada)
The following provides information concerning the importation of a passenger car built to comply with the standards of a country other than the U.S. or Canada. Importers of motor vehicles must file form HS-7 (available at ports of entry) at the time a vehicle is imported to declare whether the vehicle complies with DOT requirements. As a general rule, a motor vehicle less than 25 years old must comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) to be imported permanently. Vehicles manufactured to meet the FMVSS will have a certification label affixed by the original manufacturer in the area of the driver-side door. To make importation easier, when purchasing a vehicle certified to the U.S. standards abroad, a buyer should have the sales contract verify that the label is attached and present this document at time of importation.
A vehicle without this certification label must be imported as a non-conforming vehicle. In this case, the importer must contract with a DOT-Registered Importer (RI) and post a DOT bond for one and a half times the vehicle's dutiable value. This bond is in addition to the normal Customs entry bond. Copies of the DOT bond and the contract with an RI must be attached to the HS-7 form.
Under the contract, the RI will modify and certify that the vehicle conforms with all applicable FMVSS. Before an RI can modify a vehicle NHTSA must have determined that the vehicle is capable of being modified to comply with the FMVSS. If no determination has been made, the RI must petition NHTSA to determine whether the vehicle is capable of being modified to comply with the FMVSS. If the petitioned vehicle is not similar to one sold in the U.S., this process becomes very complex and costly. A list of vehicles previously determined eligible for importation may be obtained from an RI or from the NHTSA web site.
Since the cost of modifying a non-conforming vehicle, or the time required to bring it into conformance, may affect the decision to purchase a vehicle abroad, it is recommended that you discuss these aspects with an RI before buying and shipping a vehicle to the U.S.
For federal regulations concerning vehicle emissions contact the Environmental Protection Agency, Manufacturers Operations Division, EN-340, 401 M Street SW, Washington, DC 20460, Tel: (202) 564-9660. Information concerning duty or other Customs matters can be obtained from the Classification and Value Division, U.S. Customs Service, Washington, DC 20229, Tel: (202) 927-0300, or http://www.customs.ustreas.gov/travel/auto.htm
For information regarding registration or operation of a properly imported vehicle in a specific state, we advise you to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles or other appropriate agency in that state since the requirements vary by state.
As a general rule all motor vehicles imported into the United States that are less than 25 years old must comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS), or be brought into compliance with the FMVSS by a Registered Importer. The following temporary importations are exempt from this requirement and do not have to be modified to conform to the FMVSS. A form HS-7 (available at ports of entry) must be completed.