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Old 16.09.2009, 18:40
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Registering a car in Basel - STRANGE Emission Test request from MFK!!!!

A couple of weeks ago I imported a 2006 BMW X5 4.8is from California and I am currently going through the process of have it registered here in Basel. What a nightmare this has been!

Before taking it to the local Motorfahrzungkontrolle (MFK) (sorry for the spelling), I had an emission test done at a local garage which was not a problem. At MFK, they requested that I make some changes to the front and back blinkers, change a couple of tires, and get a noise test at the Dynamic Test Center (DTC) in Biel, which I have. The noise test cost was CHF465. When I took the car in a second time to MFK to get a clean bill of health, I was told that they had overlooked one item and I need to go back to DTC and get a special emission test done. They tell me that since the car was made after December of 2005, the car would have to meet emission EUR4. DTC folks told me that my car meets emission EUR3 and they are pretty sure once they do the test the car will meet EUR4. To make things really bad, the cost of this test is about CHF2200 and they will need to keep the car for several days. I really was not ready for this!!!! Is this test really needed or are they just trying to make additional money off of me.

I am wondering if anyone has had the same experience and if there is anything I can do or say to skip this costly test and eventually get this car registered in Basel.

If this test is a must do, can it be done somewhere else (Germany for instance) for a lower cost?

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by evilshell; 25.09.2009 at 17:42. Reason: fixed font for easier reading
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Old 17.09.2009, 08:05
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Re: Registering a car in Basel - STRANGE Emission Test request from MFK!!!!

You maybe able to get a test done in Germany however whether the MFK people will accept it is the real question and it is unlikely that they will. It will probably have to be done by some official body or tester. Don't forget, Switzerland is one big cartel........
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Old 19.09.2009, 08:17
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Re: Registering a car in Basel - STRANGE Emission Test request from MFK!!!!

The authorities are in control here.

They are telling you "get the test done or else you cannot register your car in Switzerland"

You have no choice.
You cannot skip the test.

Get it done and then post your results here of the total cost of vehicle import and registration, as everyone always asks...

If your BMW X5 is the E53 model, (made up to Sept 2006) then you will be pleased to know you can reprogram the radio (and navigation system) easily into Euro mode. If you drive into Zürich I can do this for you. Send me a PM for further details

If the BMW X5 is the E70 model (made after Sept 2006) then you'll be extremely disappointed to know that although it can be reprogrammed from USA to Euro mode, it is much harder and requires expert tools and knowledge, which unfortunately the BMW dealer won't have.

Benefit of Euro mode on the radio: it makes the radio work properly in Europe !!
Otherwise it misses some radios stations due to the different tuning steps between USA (0.2kHz steps) and Europe (0.1kHz steps)
Warning: may contain traces of nuts.
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Old 25.09.2009, 17:06
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Re: Registering a car in Basel - STRANGE Emission Test request from MFK!!!!


Not sure what your circumstances are, but if you have moved over with your personal effects, and the car was stated as part of your personal effects then it called Übersiedlungsgut and the emission check is waived. Link here

However if you have imported it alone and not with any personal effects, then you are subject to the various checks that are made during the MFK, one of which is the emission control.

You ask if the check is necessary or trying to make money. A combination of both really. For me the DTC is a money making project as it is an AG, charged with the task to ensure 'conformance' to Swiss standards. It does however, have its place here, preferably with lower charges.

I personally would try to talk with BMW Schweiz and ask for a CH conformance certificate for your model. This would avoid the emission testing, however there would be a certain reluctance on their part as you have imported the vehicle yourself, and thus they see no financial gain in the transaction, or they may charge you for the Certificate (which would be somewhat less than CHF2200). The suggestion to go to Germany is a risk which I would not take. The DTC/StVa is not obliged to accept a test from DE (TÜV), however if you catch them on a good day, it might get through. It essentially boils done to a Liability thing, and no Gov't Beamter is going take that on him/herself.

So in the meantime, if you have exhausted all other avenues, then as Kiwi said, you will have to get the test done whether you like or not.

Hope this helps a little.

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Old 25.09.2009, 17:41
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Re: Registering a car in Basel - STRANGE Emission Test request from MFK!!!!

This is normal when importing a car. You must pay and then it is done. Everything costs here. It is funny but eventually it becomes normal. Good Luck

Last edited by barryinc; 25.09.2009 at 17:42. Reason: spelling error
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