Non-Commercial Vehicle Importations for Non-Residents
These instructions are intended to provide uniform guidelines for the importation of personal vehicles for personal use by nonresidents.
In the past, the Department of Motor Vehicles in each state, even within each county, have not had a standard, uniform requirement for Customs documentation from a person seeking to register a vehicle. In an attempt to establish uniformity, effective immediately the CF 7501 will be the official document used for the importation of vehicles. This information will be distributed to all Department of Motor Vehicle offices.
To facilitate the “entry” of vehicles into the U.S. by nonresidents who enter the United States and make oral declarations, then at a later date decide that they will remain in the United States with their vehicle, local Customs and Border Protection offices will allow the individuals to file a CF 7501 to document the “entry” of that vehicle. This “entry” will supersede the oral declaration.
These guidelines only apply to vehicles that meet the following criteria:
- Declarant's Personal Vehicle
- Imported for Personal Use
- By a Nonresident
- Conform with EPA and DOT Standards
- Not Intended for Resale
These “entries” will be filed as Type 11, Informal entries, and NO bond will be required, regardless of value, ONLY if all of the above-mentioned criteria are met. The individual entering the vehicle must write the following statement on the face of the CF 7501.
"This vehicle originally entered the United States at the port of _________ on (insert date) by the individual filing this CF 7501."
Vehicles imported for personal use by returning residents may also use the CF 7501, entry type 11, without a bond to make entry. In all cases, the duty rate will be determined by the appropriate part of 19CFR148 - Personal Declarations and Exemptions.
In the case of Military and Civilian Employees of the United States, the privilege of free entry under subheading 9805.00.50, HTSUS does not apply to "Articles which have not been in the direct personal possession of the claimant, or a member of his household, while abroad."  In the case of a vehicle, the claimant must have taken possession of and registered the vehicle while overseas. If proof of registration is not provided, the vehicle is not entitled to free entry pursuant to 9805.00.50 and the appropriate duties must be assessed and paid.
Individuals who have an exemption for a non conforming vehicle, such as foreign military with official orders or nonresidents who will export the vehicle within one year, and do not need to use the services provided by an Independent Commercial Importer (ICI) or Registered Importer (RI) may also use the CF 7501, type 11, without bond to make entry.
In all other instances, if the vehicle does not conform with EPA and/or DOT standards, a formal entry is required by an Independent Commercial Importer (ICI) or Registered Importer (RI). Interest will also be assessed on the duty due from the original date of import.
In all instances, the current requirements for the EPA 3520-1 and the DOT HS-7 apply. If required, these forms must be completed and submitted along with the CF 7501.
In the event that a third-party attempts to “file entry” for a vehicle that previously entered the U.S. by a party who did not follow the guidelines for importing a vehicle, the vehicle is subject to seizure under current guidelines.
See also: The CBP Inspection Process
Written by Filip Michelet
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