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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD)

VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old July 6th, 1999, 15:41   #1
diesel_freak
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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Troy, Ohio
Default Re: More info on importing a VW from Europe

Unless you have tons of money to pay a Registered Importer (US), forget about it. You will more than likely lose your car as it is impounded by US Customs.
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Old July 7th, 1999, 01:36   #2
VW Derf
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Default More info on importing a VW from Europe

Hi Everyone.

This is a copy of an email I recieved from David Kraus, and is posted here with his permission (who is unfortunatly not a registerd member, yet):

***********************
I'm glad to have found your TDI site. I've had a Rabbit pick-up truck diesel since 1981 a didn't consider replacing it with another diesel until I spent 6 months living in Duesseldorf in 1998 using a Audi A4 Avant TDI. I was so amazed at the development of the diesels that I tried to bring back a A6 Avant 2.5L TDI with me but was informed by US customs that I would have to pay for EPA certification to the tune of at least $5000 or likely more. For more than a year I have been pursuing such a feat by writing to Gerd Klaus in the US and several other Audi and VW reps in Germany. No luck so far that route, their plans consider US a non-diesel market except for the Beetle, Golf and Jetta.

I've also investigated the Canadian route. Not through VW-Audi North America but by having a Canadian resident import a vehicle directly from Germany. I'm getting mixed reviews for this idea. Because there is no
emission levels to pass, except for a few cities in Canada, I've been told all the cars have to do is have safety standards that meet Canada's requirements and they can be imported. The import tax of course exists.
Have you or your northern colleagues ever explored this? I would be very interested in such a collaboration.

In the mean time I'm trying very hard to find a 1996 or 1997 Passat wagon TDI for sale. They can be occasionally found on the web on various dealers lists such as autoconnect.com, but so far every one I've found is sold before I even call. These lists must be slowly updated. Do you have any suggestions as to sites which might be updated quickly or would include private classifieds? Or is there a better approach to finding such a vehicle? I've even search a variety of newspaper classifeds but that is
tedious task.

It has been quite gratifying to find your site and the various enthusiastic comments and I look forward to further interaction. By the way the 2.5L TDI as you remarked, is worth dreaming about, when I drove the A6 Avant with such an engine it had impressive power to push a 3200 lb vehicle and we could still achieve 45 mpg on the abahn at 75-80 mph.

************************

He has since purchased a 1996 Passat TDI with 32000 miles and had it shipped to Birmingham, AL from California, sight unseen, and has been happy with it. I haven't looked into importing cars from Europe to Canada, but I asume many of the same pitfalls will arise. Canada now requires ODBII as well (since 97 or 98). Also, for those in the US, it would still have to be imported to the US, and since it isn't truely a Canadian car, it would not be as easy to import it into the US.

Fred
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Old September 6th, 2002, 09:40   #3
kadocs
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Default Re: More info on importing a VW from Europe

Quote:
Originally posted by 16vforever:
Unless you have tons of money to pay a Registered Importer (US), forget about it. You will more than likely lose your car as it is impounded by US Customs.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">
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Old September 6th, 2002, 09:50   #4
Rob_from_Elkmont
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Join Date: Oct 1999
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Default Re: More info on importing a VW from Europe

A friend of a friend has imported new old style beetles from Mexico into Tennessee. I wonder if you could import a TDI from Europe to the US via Mexico?

Regards,

Rob
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Old September 6th, 2002, 10:05   #5
chopchop
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Default Re: More info on importing a VW from Europe

Fred -

In theory, according to Canada Customs, importation is possible, BUT ........ Transport Canada requirements also have to be met, and they are an ENTIRELY different kettle of fish......

This is the key section (extracted from the website....):

"The Motor Vehicle Safety Act and Regulations require that all vehicles imported into Canada comply, at the time of importation, with the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards in effect on the date the vehicle was manufactured. Vehicles manufactured for sale in countries other than Canada and the United States do not comply with the requirements of the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Act, CANNOT be altered to comply and CANNOT be imported into Canada. The only exceptions to this rule are vehicles fifteen (15) years old or older as determined by the month and year in which the vehicle was manufactured and buses manufactured before January 1, 1971."

So unless it's 15 years old, forget it! Period!

- Richard

PS - Any ideas anyone has that they are in a more advantageous position using a so-called "Registered Importer" is living in a dream world. Any Importer who says he can bypass these rules is spouting pure BS!

[ September 06, 2002, 09:29: Message edited by: chopchop ]
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Old September 6th, 2002, 11:08   #6
ss jimbo
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Default Re: More info on importing a VW from Europe

My brother is in the AF in Germany and is under the impression that he can bring back any vehicle he likes. I wish I had the money to have him bring back a sweet TDI.

jimbo
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Old September 6th, 2002, 11:14   #7
chopchop
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Default Re: More info on importing a VW from Europe

Quote:
Originally posted by ss jimbo:
My brother is in the AF in Germany and is under the impression that he can bring back any vehicle he likes. I wish I had the money to have him bring back a sweet TDI.
jimbo
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">.... He's quite WRONG as far as Canada is concerned, and I believe the situation vis--vis the US is no different (all this crap was dreamed up by NAFTA as Trade Protectionism, masquerading as safety considerations....).

I have been informed several times that Armed Forces concessions on importation were also withdrawn concurrent with the NAFTA arrangements.

- Richard
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Old September 6th, 2002, 11:16   #8
pharmerman
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Default Re: More info on importing a VW from Europe

but....it is open season if you'd like to ship in one of the early Land Rover Defender 110 diesels I believe.

There is a way around Detroit's "Big Three" and the insanely strict foreign vehicle importation checklist. As a part-time entrepreneur, I've toyed with pulling this off but my European network doesn't have the capital to help me get the ball rolling. Anywho, you guys wanna know how to get Passat tdi's legally across the border. Some history first: there is a place in Warren, Maine named East Coast Rover that can build to order Defender 90s using parts shipped from suppliers in UK. If you read the U.S. Customs literature, this is a big no no and the government ordinarily has the right to (gulp) destroy the vehicle. So how do they get away with it?? I placed a couple calls to the place and discovered that the titles they issue for these rebuilt vehicles are issued as KIT CARS!! These jokers use the essential body panels, lights, trim detail, engine and suspension geometry to capture the essence of the original, BUT they use U.S. galvanized steel for the new chassis and major component upgrades such that when they are complete, the new trucks have a "majority" of its componetry non-OEM. That's about when you can call it a kit. Guys want these Defender 90s and 110s so bad here in the States that they don't care and this is aided by the fact that East Coast Rover does a fabulous job of creating machines FAR superior to the original Land Rovers.

To pull this off with modern diesel cars, you'd roughly need body panels, electronics, interiors and engine from Europe and the team, suppliers and facilities to fabricate the rest. If all you want is the euro diesel version of what's on your local VW dealer's lot, then an engine and drivetrain swap would make way more sense. Now if you want a 2003 model Seat, Citroen or Peugot.....
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Old September 6th, 2002, 15:15   #9
FowVay
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Default Re: More info on importing a VW from Europe

So could I possibly buy a 15 year old used car in Europe and ship it to the US and get a legal title? That wouldn't be a bad option at all. I have seen some very sweet cars in Germany from the early '80s.
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Old September 6th, 2002, 16:21   #10
chopchop
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Default Re: More info on importing a VW from Europe

Quote:
Originally posted by FowVay:
So could I possibly buy a 15 year old used car in Europe and ship it to the US and get a legal title? That wouldn't be a bad option at all. I have seen some very sweet cars in Germany from the early '80s.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">NO! It's 15 years for Canada, & 25 for the US!

- Richard
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Old September 6th, 2002, 16:39   #11
Pat Dolan
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Default Re: More info on importing a VW from Europe

As already revealed, Canada is pretty much another 49 state car country. I understand that the US is also closing down (or has) the grey market. The only way left to go is to buy a complete car for "parts" out of Europe, and stick the parts on a legal titled car in N.A. If you live where there is no detailed compliance inspections, you will get away with it. Sometimes this is done by jacking up the serial number plates and driving the parts car under them - Pat
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Old September 6th, 2002, 23:47   #12
Indigo_Golf
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Default Re: More info on importing a VW from Europe

Interesting topic. I believe though that if a person has been out of the country (Canada)for a year or longer and had title to a car overseas during this period, and this person is returning to Canada, his personal belongings are allowed back in without restrictions ... and so is his/her vehicle.

This would be the only loop hole I can see to bring in a new car. Oh there is another one: for very exclusive cars, it is possible to bring them in as "museum or art items" [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] (So I have been told by a manufacturer)

My $.02

Martin
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