How to register a 2012 Euro 5 hzj78 in the US?

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New Orleans
Toyota4-Runner1998449NHTSA-2004-18946
NHTSA-2004-19738
ToyotaAvalon1995-1998308NHTSA-1999-5733
NHTSA-1999-6623
ToyotaLand Cruiser1990-199621897-39
ToyotaLand Cruiser (manufactured
prior to 9/1/2006)
IFS 100
series
1999-2006539NHTSA-2012-0035
NHTSA-2012-0105
ToyotaMR21990-1991324NHTSA-1999-6601
NHTSA-2000-7436
From the nhtsa website
what's this about?
 
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what's this about?
These are the current exceptions to the 24 year limit import list from nhtsa.gov website. It looks like landcruisers up to 2006 are allowed to be imported. IFS 100 series only up to sept/2006. Note it did not mention anything about diesel vs. gasser. I interpret it as you can import a 2006 or older 100 series, with the exception to the solid front axle models(105 series)
 
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gilmorneau

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what's this about?
Just to clarify what @sogafarm said, the vehicles noted on the NHTSA list referenced above aren't, technically speaking, exceptions to the 25 year rule. That is, you can't just go buy one of the listed cars in Europe (or wherever) and import it to the USA in the same way you'd import an over 25 year old car. If a car is on the list, it means that said car can be legally imported, but only with caveats:

1. Cars less than 25 years old must be imported through a Registered Importer.
2, The car must be brought into compliance with NHTSA safety regulations (usually by equipping it in a manner consistent with its US model equivalent).

Being on the list only means that someone has gone to the trouble of petitioning the government, and has succeeded in convincing them that it's possible to modify the car to meet US regulations.

Note that the list only relates to NHTSA requirements. EPA requirements are a separate deal. If the vehicle in question can be shown to have the same motor as a US model, with the same emissions equipment (EPA certified), then you should be golden as far as the EPA is concerned. If the motor is the same as a US-spec model but does not have the same emissions equipment, it could likely be brought into compliance by swapping in the US-spec emissions equipment and retesting. If the car has a motor that was never offered in a US-spec car (e.g. diesel for a Landcruiser), things get more interesting. Less than 21 years old with a non-USA spec motor is pretty much a complete non starter. Don't bother trying.

While the NHTSA requires a car to be over 25 years old to legally import (without using a Registered Importer or modifying the vehicle), the EPA only requires it be over 21 years. Which is to say that it should be possible to import a car (from the list) that's less than 25 years old, but over 21 years old. It would need to go through a Registered Importer, and it would need to be brought into compliance with NHTSA FMVSS. But as long as the car is over 21 years old, the EPA will grant it an exemption from Federal Emissions requirements (though it would still need to meet any applicable State emissions requirements). Re: the Landcruisers on "the list", this would apply only to a late 80 series or very early IFS 100 series.

Also worth considering: None of this applies to models for which there was not a "substantially similar" US-spec version. So, for example, when it says on the list "1990-1996 Landcruiser", it DOES NOT mean just any old Landcruiser from that period. While it's not explicitly stated, it only refers to 80 series Landcruisers (for which there was a "substantially similar" US version). It does not apply to any 70 series 'Cruiser from that period. Sorry.

All of the above assumes you want to have your Landcruiser in the USA legally. If you're unconcerned with legality, and are willing to accept the calculated risk of fine, incarceration, and having your car seized and destroyed by US Customs, then you can pretty much have whatever car you want. Easy peasy. Bring it in in a container, lie on the import paperwork, and hope you don't get caught. Register it in Florida.**

** please don't do this. or at least, don't tell anyone I told you to.
 
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Just to clarify what @sogafarm said, the vehicles noted on the NHTSA list referenced above aren't, technically speaking, exceptions to the 25 year rule. That is, you can't just go buy one of the listed cars in Europe (or wherever) and import it to the USA in the same way you'd import an over 25 year old car. If a car is on the list, it means that said car can be legally imported, but only with caveats:

1. Cars less than 25 years old must be imported through a Registered Importer.
2, The car must be brought into compliance with NHTSA safety regulations (usually by equipping it in a manner consistent with its US model equivalent).

Being on the list only means that someone has gone to the trouble of petitioning the government, and has succeeded in convincing them that it's possible to modify the car to meet US regulations.

Note that the list only relates to NHTSA requirements. EPA requirements are a separate deal. If the vehicle in question can be shown to have the same motor as a US model, with the same emissions equipment (EPA certified), then you should be golden as far as the EPA is concerned. If the motor is the same as a US-spec model but does not have the same emissions equipment, it could likely be brought into compliance by swapping in the US-spec emissions equipment and retesting. If the car has a motor that was never offered in a US-spec car (e.g. diesel for a Landcruiser), things get more interesting. Less than 21 years old with a non-USA spec motor is pretty much a complete non starter. Don't bother trying.

While the NHTSA requires a car to be over 25 years old to legally import (without using a Registered Importer or modifying the vehicle), the EPA only requires it be over 21 years. Which is to say that it should be possible to import a car (from the list) that's less than 25 years old, but over 21 years old. It would need to go through a Registered Importer, and it would need to be brought into compliance with NHTSA FMVSS. But as long as the car is over 21 years old, the EPA will grant it an exemption from Federal Emissions requirements (though it would still need to meet any applicable State emissions requirements). Re: the Landcruisers on "the list", this would apply only to a late 80 series or very early IFS 100 series.

Also worth considering: None of this applies to models for which there was not a "substantially similar" US-spec version. So, for example, when it says on the list "1990-1996 Landcruiser", it DOES NOT mean just any old Landcruiser from that period. While it's not explicitly stated, it only refers to 80 series Landcruisers (for which there was a "substantially similar" US version). It does not apply to any 70 series 'Cruiser from that period. Sorry.

All of the above assumes you want to have your Landcruiser in the USA legally. If you're unconcerned with legality, and are willing to accept the calculated risk of fine, incarceration, and having your car seized and destroyed by US Customs, then you can pretty much have whatever car you want. Easy peasy. Bring it in in a container, lie on the import paperwork, and hope you don't get caught. Register it in Florida.**

** please don't do this. or at least, don't tell anyone I told you to.
Thanks for the info. Where are you getting this specific info from so that we all can verify these specific rules? Please list any citations and websites.
 

gilmorneau

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Thanks for the info. Where are you getting this specific info from so that we all can verify these specific rules? Please list any citations and websites.
Sure. I can do that. I'm "social distancing", so have a lot of time on my hands.

It's all found on the NHSTA and EPA websites.
That's the short version, for sure. But here come the gritty details......

the 25 year rule
Is found (among other places) on NHTSA form HS-7, the completion of which is required for importing a foreign-market car. You'll find the form here:


For over 25 year old cars, you would check box "1". You can go ahead and read through the options, but it's not easy to meet any of the other requirements with a 70-series Landcruiser that's less than 25 years old.

If a car is on the list, it means that said car can be legally imported, but only with caveats:
1. Cars less than 25 years old must be imported through a Registered Importer.
2, The car must be brought into compliance with NHTSA safety regulations (usually by equipping it in a manner consistent with its US model equivalent).
This information is in the NHTSA's own description of the list. What we've been referring to as "the list" is officially known as the "List of Nonconforming Vehicles That Are Eligible for Importation". You'll find it here:


Note that the list only relates to NHTSA requirements. EPA requirements are a separate deal.
It's an NHTSA list, so this should be obvious. The EPA regulations for importing foreign-market cars are here:


Follow the links contained in the article for more detailed information. Particularly this one:


the EPA only requires it be over 21 years
This requirement is found, among other places, on EPA form 3520-1, the completion of which is required for the legal importation of a vehicle. You'll find the form here:


Note that all imported vehicles must be declared conforming, exempt, excluded, temporary, etc. For the 21 year exemption, you would declare Code "E" on the form. Nothing else is likely to apply. For further specifics on each code, reference the links included on the form.

Less than 21 years old with a non-USA spec motor is pretty much a complete non starter. Don't bother trying.
It's not impossible, but it would be prohibitively expensive. It would require having the (less than 21 year old) imported motor certified by the EPA. Manufacturers don't do it for all their motors, the expense would be ludicrous for an individual. If you want to know more, the process begins here:


Which is to say that it should be possible to import a car (from the list) that's less than 25 years old, but over 21 years old.
This is an inference, based on all the above. If the car were on "the list", it would be possible (though perhaps not practical) for a Registered Importer to modify it to conform to NHTSA FMVSS, and it would have an EPA exemption (because it's over 21). Thus importable.

this would apply only to a late 80 series or very early IFS 100 series.
Logic. based on the "substantially similar" clause found in the introduction to "the list".

It does not apply to any 70 series 'Cruiser from that period.
Again, the pesky "substantially similar" clause. You'd be hard-pressed to convince anyone that a 70-series is "substantially similar" to a US=spec 80 series of the same vintage.

All of the above assumes you want to have your Landcruiser in the USA legally.
Look, I'm not an idiot, I know that people do illegal things all the time. We drive down the highway at 5 over the limit. We eat a couple grapes before we reach the checkout at the grocery store. Some folks maybe have one too many drinks before they drive home. Some people stretch the truth on their import documentation. Each illegal action carries with it a risk. In the case of illegally imported cars, the risk of getting caught may be statistically small (but certainly not zero). The Feds probably have bigger things to worry about, and the States don't really care much at all. But if you do get caught.....



EDIT: grammar and clarity
 
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