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Thread: Importing

  1. #1


    I'm in the throes of deciding whether to import my RS when I return home from Germany, or just sell it there.

    Can anyone out there tell me exactly what is involved to get it approved, licensed, etc? I'm hoping this is less onerous these days since it is now "old".

    The car will ultimately end up in NC, CA, or NJ if that matters.


  2. #2

    from what I know....

    if you find the right broker it should not be a problem at all. I've heard horror stories from folks who've tried to manage the process on their own. but if you find hte right broker... the $ spent will actually save you $ and headaches.

    I know a guy that has imported a few rare vintage bmw and the broker he uses got him quickly around every obstacle.

    paul schuster
    santa cruz

  3. #3

    The broker is the thing


    We import from the Far East. That is our business. The broker makes it all easy, or at least, when things go awry, they find and fix the problems - if they are good.

    I have an insurance agent in New York that deals with Interational Shipments who could give me the name of a broker he trusts, or I could pass on the name of the broker that we use - but we are in Chicago, if that matters to you.

    If I can help, let me know. But I think that the hassle of finding another RS in the US that compares to the one that you left behind would make it easier to import. Just my $.03

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  4. #4
    Member lilacrs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003

    I used a broker and it was easy

    When I bought my RS five years ago, I used a company called Auto Shipment International, based in Miami to handle the shipping transaction. They arranged the pickup in Vienna and trucking to Bremerhaven, loaded into a container, got it out of customs in Miami and I had my trucker pick it up. Another company to consider is Cosdel International, 415-543-5112 I've never used them but I've heard good testimonials about them.

    Things to consider when bring in from overseas:

    Import duty is 2.5%....I also had to pay my state's sales tax as well. But since you already own the car, I'm not sure how that is determined.

    My broker charged me $400 to get the car through customs.

    Insurance is not included, so if the boat sinks you're out of luck, but you can pay the shipper to insure your car for the voyage at a rate of about 1% of the value of the car. You should check if your auto policy will cover the voyage.

    On a driver quality car, consider RO RO, which is Ride on, Ride off. Much cheaper than getting a container. People will tell you that you may get dings and scratches, but its pretty unlikely (new cars are all shipped RO RO). The shipping cost of the container cost me 2.5 times the cost of the RO RO quote.

    Be sure to have your tool kits, manuals, jack sent separately. The port guys often take the tools (don't ask me how I know)

    Make sure you have all the original, not copies of the customs paperwork....I had to take a few trips to the license office to get my car registered. Otherwise, the whole process was easy since cars over 25 years old are DOT exempt, and depending on your state, 25 year old cars are also exempt from emissions.

  5. #5
    My wife works at the Port Of Long Beach at the stevadoring co where the RO RO ship docks. This one is the "Wilhelmsman" (sp?). From what she sees from her office, I wouldn't ship a car that way unless it was already in bad shape. But, they do have to run and start up readily. Lots of old Minis are coming in to get rehabbed and sold to the unsuspecting.

    Back on topic, luck of the draw will get you some longshoreman to drive the car off the ship. When they get around the corner, out of sight, they love to do burnouts on a cold motor. And, yes, they steal everything that isn't bolted on and then some.

    Everyone at the port hates the longshoremen, they are a bunch of gangsters and have no respect for anything. They throw trash on the ground whereever they happen to be to the extent that the port has a street sweeper running 8 hours a day.

    Put the car in a container and put anything else you want in there along with it to defray the costs. How 'bout some nice European antiques? Or bring over some 3.6's.

  6. #6


    If you decide to bring the RS back, let me know. I have been a licensed importer of non-U.S. model cars for about 20 years.
    In the case of a car 25 years old or older, the car is EPA and DOT exempt anyway.
    If you sell the car in Europe, you will receive Euros. Then convert those to U.S. dollars and you will be ahead of the game due to the weak dollar.
    Container shipping to the states with customs clearance and duty will run about $4500. That includes inland frieght to the port over there. (probably Rotterdam).
    If you trust your car to handlers, and the open elements, then you can ship Ro Ro. (roll on, roll off). That will be a lot cheaper.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003

    rs import

    my rs#254 is leaving Germany on 3/4 to arrive on 3/14,I am expecting no problems.the car is exempt as stated;duty is 2.8 % based on what you paid not whst it is stated use a broker you'll have no problems.RS's are becomong rarer and rarer over here but the exchange rate may make it more valuable over there. good luck .......frank

  8. #8
    I sure appreciate these responses - thanks guys.

    Yes, the current state of the Euro makes selling it there attractive, but this decision is more a matter of whether I want an RS long term. I looked for just the right one for years, and can't imagine doing it again. I thought if the importation was a huge deal (which it doesn't seem to be), that may help me decide.

    Why would I even consider selling the best Porsche ever, and one that I've dreamed of my whole life? A good question, and one that my somewhat amused and mystified wife asks often! I won't ramble on this thread, but the pros/cons of such a car (different for every indivdual, of course) may make an interesting discussion...

    Thanks again,

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