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Old 02-03-2011, 11:21 AM   #1
smb_usmc
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Default Need advice on importing a 2000 Subaru B4 Blitzen from Japan to the U.S.

I'm new to the forums and to Subaru for that matter so be gentle lol. I live in Northern Japan with my wife who is stationed in Misawa. I just got ahold of a 2000 Subaru Legacy Blitzen cheap enough that I have been considering trying to import it to the U.S. If anyone that has done this or knows where I would need to start could help that would be amazing. If it's a lost cause just let me know now so I don't get my hopes up lol. Thanks ahead of time.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:58 AM   #2
Frogg
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I looked into importing a gtb but it looked to be a huge pain in the ass and I couldnt find any importers that would do it for me....You need to find someone willing to ship it, and someone willing to recieve it...
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:11 PM   #3
Opie
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It's not among the "eligible" cars to be imported to the U.S., ask your CO if the military will let you bring a vehicle back. Registering when you get here is a different story...
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:07 PM   #4
mattyl526
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opie View Post
Registering when you get here is a different story...
+1.
if you have the money id suggest find a nice BE legacy for cheap and just swap everything over. a 2000 legacy L can go for around 4k in the states.

itll be a PIA to swap everything over but it would be so worth it to have such a unique car
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:49 PM   #5
Huffer
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The only way you can bring it in legally is to have the chassis cut in half - otherwise they will not let you register it for road use... it's a shame.

The reason the NHTSA will not allow this is because the vehicle was "technically" manufactured here in the USA - ie. Subaru manufactured BE model sedans during 00-04; and the vehicle isn't 25+ years old.

You could import it on a "off road only" ie. race or show display car license but that expires after 12 months.

The only other way to do it legally is to buy and allow the NHTSA to impact test (crash) 100 models of the vehicle - that puts it on the vehicle compliance list; providing it passes the EPA tests.

One possible alternative to this is to import a car via the Canadian grey import market, and have it registered there, then sell it to yourself or import it from Canada. I haven't explored that option fully, yet.

If you do decide to bring one into the USA, you will have to cut the chassis in half, bring it in a container, and then pull the guts out and install it all into a USDM chassis. This makes the vehicle still road legal, but obviously with a completely different powerplant - it satisfies the NHTSA paperwork (VIN#) but it's doubtful if it will pass an EPA E-check if your residence has those.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:13 PM   #6
smb_usmc
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Wow, well that really sucks. I would love to bring this car back to the states just because it is so unique. But sounds like the big green weenie wins again. Hearing this makes me want to get rid of the Blitzen and find a nice R33 Skyline to import since they can actually be imported lol. Don't get me wrong, I love the Blitzen, but if I can't bring it back, may as well get something that can be brought back.
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:44 PM   #7
slapnuts
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I was always thinking about importing the car under the offroad/racing deal, bring it in, pull all the parts, swap it on to my car (they don't do the OBD tests here or visual inspections other than to make sure you have a cat on there), then sell the left overs to a junk yard or here after I am done. I have no use for a right hand drive, I just want the drive trail and the cool looking outside bits. That would be wicked awesome, and doable. Its just a cost thing, and unless someone pays off my house and gives me some fun money for myself, it will never happen . But its still fun to think about when rolling down the road.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smb_usmc View Post
and find a nice R33 Skyline to import since they can actually be imported lol.
not anymore they can't. we've even had some friends who had legitimate motorex cars taken away.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:56 AM   #9
mike-tracy
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Originally Posted by AQ Motorsports View Post
not anymore they can't. we've even had some friends who had legitimate motorex cars taken away.
The R33 is still on the list of cars that can be imported:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/

Here's that list:
http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/elig092210.pdf

So what gives?
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:03 AM   #10
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PM'd you, OP
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:39 AM   #11
Cervantes
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i also have a blitzen i would love to take back to the US
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:00 PM   #12
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Remove the suspension, brakes, drivetrain and engine. Put that into a crate. Ship the chassis over here. Ship the other parts over in another box.

Now keep your receipts and register it as a kit car. Which is perfectly legal if you do your homework. This is how others I know have gotten cars from other cars in the country and legal registered them.


Call your state DOT and see what they say or ask about loop holes. You just have to know the laws and what you can make stuff look like on paper and what you need to make it look like. You dont have to be dishonest but you also dont need to tell more than is asked of you in the paper work.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:31 AM   #13
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Subaru Stars I know this is a little late...

but I am looking into the same thing and this is one loophole i found.

Under one of the exceptions to this prohibition, found in 49 U.S.C. 30141, a motor vehicle that was not originally manufactured to comply with all applicable FMVSS can be lawfully imported into the United States, provided it is determined eligible for importation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and is imported by a registered importer, or by a person who has a contract with a registered importer to bring the vehicle into compliance with all applicable FMVSS following importation. Import eligibility decisions can be made either on the initiative of the Administrator of NHTSA or on the petition of a manufacturer or registered importer. One basis for determining a motor vehicle eligible for importation is that it 1) is substantially similar to a motor vehicle of the same model year that was manufactured for sale in the United States and certified by its manufacturer as complying with all applicable FMVSS and 2) is capable of being readily altered to comply with all applicable FMVSS. See 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(1)(A).

essentially it is saying if you can get Subaru to say that it is essentially the same car safety wise as a Legacy L of the same year, then you can submit that memo and some other forms to nhtsa and may be able to import the car. Or if the car can be easily altered to meet safety standards then the petition can also be made to import the car.
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:12 AM   #14
kay95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acid470 View Post
but I am looking into the same thing and this is one loophole i found.

Under one of the exceptions to this prohibition, found in 49 U.S.C. 30141, a motor vehicle that was not originally manufactured to comply with all applicable FMVSS can be lawfully imported into the United States, provided it is determined eligible for importation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and is imported by a registered importer, or by a person who has a contract with a registered importer to bring the vehicle into compliance with all applicable FMVSS following importation. Import eligibility decisions can be made either on the initiative of the Administrator of NHTSA or on the petition of a manufacturer or registered importer. One basis for determining a motor vehicle eligible for importation is that it 1) is substantially similar to a motor vehicle of the same model year that was manufactured for sale in the United States and certified by its manufacturer as complying with all applicable FMVSS and 2) is capable of being readily altered to comply with all applicable FMVSS. See 49 U.S.C. 30141(a)(1)(A).

essentially it is saying if you can get Subaru to say that it is essentially the same car safety wise as a Legacy L of the same year, then you can submit that memo and some other forms to nhtsa and may be able to import the car. Or if the car can be easily altered to meet safety standards then the petition can also be made to import the car.

Thats not getting it by the EPA though. You might be able to get it by the safety stuff but not the emission stuff.

I dont think it would cost any money to try. It might work but I am not that confident only because of the EPA stuff.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:44 AM   #15
garface
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My JDM STi swap runs cleaner than my RS on a sniffer. If you slap on the USDM emissions stuff it should be up to our standards. I don't know if the government would let that fly, but it might be worth looking at if you can get by the other stuff. Slapping on usdm bumper beams should make the car the same as a USDM model safety wise.

It's still probably not worth it when you consider how easy it is to just swap a drivetrain into a USDM car. My car makes me just as happy as an imported car would. The cool factor of it being a genuine jdm car probably will wear off fairly quick when you realize it's not that special compared to a swapped car.
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:49 AM   #16
oldmopwater
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I am also in Misawa and I was wondering the same thing. I'm leaning towards just junking my car when I leave, ripping out the drivetrain,body panels, etc and buying a usdm car.
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:03 AM   #17
mikewitdaspike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garface View Post
My JDM STi swap runs cleaner than my RS on a sniffer. If you slap on the USDM emissions stuff it should be up to our standards. I don't know if the government would let that fly, but it might be worth looking at if you can get by the other stuff. Slapping on usdm bumper beams should make the car the same as a USDM model safety wise.

It's still probably not worth it when you consider how easy it is to just swap a drivetrain into a USDM car. My car makes me just as happy as an imported car would. The cool factor of it being a genuine jdm car probably will wear off fairly quick when you realize it's not that special compared to a swapped car.
Is it RHD too? I think that would be the main incentive behind importing one to the US, that and you know how the motor has been treated for the last X amount of miles :/ Either way, when I get to come back to the US from Japan (after Korea lol), I plan on doing what my buddy did and import my JDM one, buy a same year USDM version, and swap everything over, so it's got an American VIN, but JDM everything else It's perfectly legal, at least in AZ it is, cuz he's been pulled over and had it checked out multiple times, and he still has it
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