Chris, the really helpful guy at Dynamic International proved to be a fountain of useful information and (especially) contacts. Without being asked, he contacted somebody he knew in the business who then sent to me a link to the website of a very informative Government Agency called CBP (Customs and Border Protection) about importing vehicles into the States. It looks as if the CBP are part of the Department of Homeland Security.
The website http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/basic_trade/importing_car.xml
takes a bit of reading but essentially it says that if you are a non-resident and you want to import a vehicle into the USA for a period of less than a year, then the vehicle does not need to be tested to check it’s conformity with U.S. safety and emission standards and therefore it can be imported. As far as I can tell (and believe me I am no expert in this, so if you are thinking of doing this, please re-assure yourself) the important clauses are those I have highlighted below…..
1 In the section called Free Entry it says “Nonresidents may import a vehicle duty-free for personal use up to (1) one year if the vehicle is imported in conjunction with the owner’s arrival. Vehicles imported under this provision that do not conform to U.S. safety and emission standards must be exported within one year and may not be sold in the U.S. There is no exemption or extension of the export requirements”
2 In the section called Exceptions it says “Those [vehicles] imported by nonresidents for personal use not exceeding one year. The vehicle must be exported at the end of that year – there are no exceptions or extensions.
From my reading of this, it means that I can import my motorcycle into the States for my tour without too much trouble. Even from the non-standard pipes. Great news!
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