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  #61  
Old 30.01.2008, 20:54
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Re: Importing a car from the US

You raise a number of good points on differences between European cars made in the US and the challenge of importing back to Europe. Anyone have experience with importing BMWs. Am thinking of bringing my new Z4 over from the US to Switzerland.
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  #62  
Old 31.01.2008, 13:54
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Re: Importing a car from the US

BMW
Sorry, I have no experience with BMW, but if the car's lighting is controlled by a CAN Bus System, it is likely that all it will need is changing out the headlamp units and tail light clusters for 'E' Code (EU Type Approved) equivalent and either reprogramming or reflashing your car's ECU (computer) with the European defaults.

Make an enquiry with your dealer in the US to see if this is possible, then contact a dealer in the location you are moving to for sourcing the parts and having the work done.

'E' code parts are not legal for use in the USA so you may have a hard time sourcing them from US dealers, all depends on how well you get on with your dealer.

Voyager/T&C
If it is a 3.3L T&C there will be no problem sourcing engine parts or most other parts. The biggest problem will be the AWD system. There are a few around, but I'm not aware of how many European countries sold them, if any.

Second tier specialist garage services in the UK are often a lot cheaper than franchised dealers anywhere in Europe. These are one make outfits run by time served ex-dealer trained mechanics. They are often better skilled and faster than the apprentices that are happy to work for low pay at the dealerships. They also have the benefit of not being constrained by source of supply for parts. Importing parts next day from the USA is not uncommon. If you fancy a short break to England once in a while, I can recommend a few companies that have many happy USAFE customers. You may spend the same or even a little more than having a service/repair done in Switzerland, but you could make it into a sightseeing trip. Send me a PM.

Last edited by MoabMan; 31.01.2008 at 13:57. Reason: typo
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  #63  
Old 31.01.2008, 19:26
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Re: [Import] Bring car to Switzerland?

Please can anyone help we are DESPERATE to get rid of our Nissan Primera it is sat in the garage not being used ,can anyone advise any contacts . Please PM if any details of the car is needed
many thanks
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  #64  
Old 03.02.2008, 09:02
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License Plates [import car]

I'm importing a new car from the US, however, the dealer there does not issue, or probably have not heard of, export license plates, the only thing that he would give me is a drive away paper sticker valid for only 14 days. Needless to say that the sticker would expire while the car is still on the boat.

My question is: Has anyone been through a similar situation and what would be required to drive the car in Switzerland during the period until I could have the car inspected and obtain Swiss plates?
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  #65  
Old 05.02.2008, 15:28
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Re: [Import] Bring car to Switzerland?

I have brought my BMW 328xi wagon from the US to CH. I am in the process of registering, but am struggling with the front headlight issue. In Europe, you must not have yellow 'parking' lights. The yellow light is reserved only for turn signal. You would think this would be an easy change - especially with the increase use of cumputers, etc. Not in a BMW. My upgrade to EU light package will set me back CHF2,300. This is a quote from the BMW dealer in Basel. I am looking for an alternative BMW guru who may be able to rig something for me. But, if I do need to pay the 2300, it is still less expensive than buying new in CH.
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  #66  
Old 05.02.2008, 15:44
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Re: [Import] Bring car to Switzerland?

Have a look on eBay in Germany. There are usually lots of second hand headlights banging around there. The german word you will be searching for is Scheinwerfer. Or you could try an new aftermarket Klarglas Scheinwerfer for a lot less than BMW is quoting you. But sticking with genuine parts may be safer.

Though, if it just an yellow bulb you may be able to just replace that. Or else there is probably just a yellow cover over the lens that may be easy to remove.

You may also need to replace your taillights, as the US has that strange thing of flashing the brake light as the indicator instead of having a seperate yellow indicator light. In German this is either Rücklicht, Rückleuchte or Bremsleuchte.

EDIT: Oh, and welcome to Switzerland
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  #67  
Old 05.02.2008, 16:36
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Re: [Import] Bring car to Switzerland?

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I have brought my BMW 328xi wagon from the US to CH. I am in the process of registering, but am struggling with the front headlight issue. In Europe, you must not have yellow 'parking' lights. The yellow light is reserved only for turn signal. You would think this would be an easy change - especially with the increase use of cumputers, etc. Not in a BMW. My upgrade to EU light package will set me back CHF2,300. This is a quote from the BMW dealer in Basel. I am looking for an alternative BMW guru who may be able to rig something for me. But, if I do need to pay the 2300, it is still less expensive than buying new in CH.
Was your car used or new when you imported it? I'm trying to import a new car from the US but the dealer would not issue export license plates, so how would you be able to drive the car especially if you have to pick it up from a port outside Switzerland without license plates on it?
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  #68  
Old 05.02.2008, 21:32
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Re: [Import] Bring car to Switzerland?

The vehicle is new, 2007. I purchased in June of '07, so I owned for longer than 6 months, and therefore, no duty to be paid. I am currently driving on NJ plates and am allowed to for 1 year.
You must have insurance to drive in Switzerland secured before you pick up your vehicle from the importer, but otherwise that is it. My understanding is that within Switzerland I should expect no issues on the NJ plates, but will probably be hasseled crossing the border. For this I carry with me copies of my customs forms and (very important) my green proof of insurance card.
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Old 15.02.2008, 14:34
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Re: [Import] SUV to CH?

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Sorry I was wrong about the import taxes. If you bought the car longer than 6 months ago (in the US), you can import it tax-free as a "personal relocation item".
I just brought my car over from the states and the Swiss customs people will not accept the 'time on the water' as part of the 6 month rule. My exact scenario is that the car was purchase on June 16, 2007 and arrived at Swiss customs on January 3rd, 2008. The leave date from Newark was December 13th, 2007 (3 days prior to owning the car 6 months). They are refusing to budge on this ansd insist that I pay VAT for the car. Has any had experience debating and winning with Swiss customs?
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Old 15.02.2008, 14:40
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Re: [Import] SUV to CH?

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I just brought my car over from the states and the Swiss customs people will not accept the 'time on the water' as part of the 6 month rule. My exact scenario is that the car was purchase on June 16, 2007 and arrived at Swiss customs on January 3rd, 2008. The leave date from Newark was December 13th, 2007 (3 days prior to owning the car 6 months). They are refusing to budge on this ansd insist that I pay VAT for the car. Has any had experience debating and winning with Swiss customs?
Yes I have managed to win the argument many times with them, but only ever when I was in the right... And I am afraid they view travel time for ownership purposes as not counting...
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Old 15.02.2008, 14:44
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Re: [Import] Bring car to Switzerland?

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Please can anyone help we are DESPERATE to get rid of our Nissan Primera it is sat in the garage not being used ,can anyone advise any contacts . Please PM if any details of the car is needed
many thanks
put an advert in mobile.de for export or stick it in Autoscout at a price lower than the average. Either should work. Might I ask why you are desperate, and how desperate?
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  #72  
Old 15.02.2008, 15:01
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Re: [Import] SUV to CH?

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Yes I have managed to win the argument many times with them, but only ever when I was in the right... And I am afraid they view travel time for ownership purposes as not counting...
Good to know that they are willing to discuss.

As for the travel time, they specifically spell out that the vehicle must be owned for 6 months prior to importing to Switzerland ( with no mention anywhere regarding travel time) However, we discussed and they let me have the car without paying VAT with the stipulation that I export within 2 years (or have the choice of paying VAT at the end of 2 years at the vehicle's value at that time). I still may go discuss with them to see if they will waive the VAT since I enjoy wallowing in red tape and paperwork.

btw...thanks for all your posts on tax. I appreciate it.

regards
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  #73  
Old 15.02.2008, 15:03
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Re: [Import] SUV to CH?

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However, we discussed and they let me have the car without paying VAT with the stipulation that I export within 2 years (or have the choice of paying VAT at the end of 2 years at the vehicle's value at that time).
btw...thanks for all your posts on tax. I appreciate it.

regards
Dare I disappoint you... This is actually a right that you have to defer VAT on payment of cars. A "quirk" of Swiss duty law if you like.

And glad I could be of help, assuming that I was.
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  #74  
Old 16.02.2008, 22:57
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Re: [Import] Bring car to Switzerland?

BJRock 99:

My scenerio was very similar to yours (purchase Jun30, left Newark Dec 26, arrived CH Jan21), but I was not asked to pay duty. I have not yet registered my car, but figured I was clear because all of my customs forms were stamped. When did they request you to pay, at time of importation or at time of registration within your canton?
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  #75  
Old 17.02.2008, 15:05
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Re: [Import] Bring car to Switzerland?

Payment was requested at time of import if I had chosen to do so. Since I elected to deferr, they issued me 15.30 paperwork. Check you paperwork info and if you received a form 13.21 (I believe that is the form number) then your goods came through with no problem and you do not have to pay VAT.
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  #76  
Old 17.02.2008, 16:14
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Re: [Import] Bring car to Switzerland?

Ok. This is a similar question. I imported a UK car here 10 mths ago, (it was 1 year old) and want to continue to keep it since it is a good car and I have got used to being on the wrong side. Do I have to do anything?
Thanks
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  #77  
Old 17.02.2008, 17:20
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Re: [Import] Bring car to Switzerland?

Did you import it or just drive it over ?

I brought my car over in 1995 and drove it in Switzerland for 5 years on English plates with UK insurance and an annual visit to the UK to do the MOT. Never bothered to tax it as it only went to the UK for the MOT.

I returned with the same car in 2002 and was stopped at the border and informed that as I had a B permit I needed to register it in Switzerland but as it was owned by me for years there was no duty or Vat to pay.

I then went to the strassenwerkehrsamt in Aargau and they called the car for an MFK and eventually I got Swiss plates after spending large sums of money on modifications.

ash
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  #78  
Old 17.02.2008, 18:12
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Re: [Import] Bring car to Switzerland?

I have Swiss plates already, we did that on importing so is that it?
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  #79  
Old 17.02.2008, 18:58
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Re: [Import] Bring car to Switzerland?

Then you just need to wait for the MFK which should arrive in the next few years
ash
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Old 17.02.2008, 19:03
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Re: [Import] Bring car to Switzerland?

Ok, thanks for this. What is an MFK? I ask because we have wondered about the hassle of trying to sell the car versus the cost of modifying - it is a Mercedes, so if it needs work, it is bound to be expensive.
Sorry to be so dim.
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