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Author Topic: Regarding Importing Nissan Skyline  (Read 1657 times)


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Regarding Importing Nissan Skyline
« on: April 20, 2007, 11:05:45 AM »
Just figured I would pass on the info if you have not seen it:

 U.S. Department                                                                                                                                               400 Seventh St., SW  

of Transportation                                                                                                                                          Washington, DC 20590

National Highway                                                                                                                              

Traffic Safety

Administration                                                                                     January 29, 2007



Nik and Associates
800 S. Hindry Avenue, Unit �A�
Inglewood, CA  90301

Dear Nik:

This is in response to your letter of January 26, 2007 asking whether right-hand drive (RHD) Jeep vehicles manufactured in the United States for export only could be imported into this country for use by rural mail carriers.  In order to be lawfully manufactured for sale in the United States, a motor vehicle must comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  It is possible for a RHD vehicle to be manufactured in compliance with the FMVSS.  There were some RHD Subaru Legacies that were manufactured from model year 1992 through 1999 that were certified by their manufacturer as complying with all applicable FMVSS.  We are not aware of any other US-certified RHD vehicles more recently produced that are available for sale to the general public.    

A motor vehicle that was not originally manufactured to comply with all applicable FMVSS, and was not so certified by its original manufacturer, cannot be lawfully imported into the United States unless it is determined eligible for importation by NHTSA.  The agency makes these decisions on the basis of a petition from a registered importer (RI).  The petition must specify that the vehicle is substantially similar to a vehicle that was certified by its original manufacturer as conforming to all applicable FMVSS and is capable of being readily altered to conform to those standards, or, if there is no substantially similar U.S.-certified vehicle, that the vehicle has safety features that comply with, or are capable of being altered to comply with, the FMVSS based on destructive test information or other evidence the agency deems adequate.  The only RHD vehicles that have been determined eligible for importation to date are the 1996-1998 models of the Nissan CTS and GTR "Skyline" and the 1994-1997 Honda Accord Sedan and Wagon.

As previously indicated, an import eligibility decision can be based on the substantial similarity of a non-U.S. certified vehicle to a vehicle manufactured for importation into and sale in the United States, and so certified by its original manufacturer.   Please note that because the vehicle you are asked about is RHD, it might not be considered "substantially similar" to its U.S.-

certified counterpart for import eligibility purposes.   Our experience has shown that the safety performance of RHD vehicles is not necessarily the same as that of apparently similar left-hand drive (LHD) vehicles offered for sale in this country.  However, NHTSA will consider the vehicles "substantially similar" if the manufacturer advises the agency that the RHD vehicle would perform the same as the certified LHD vehicle in crash tests.  Absent such evidence, the petitioning RI would have to demonstrate that the vehicle, when modified, would comply.

An additional requirement for the lawful importation of a nonconforming vehicle is that it be imported by an RI or by an individual who has contracted with an RI to bring the vehicle into conformity with all applicable FMVSS.  A list of RIs can be found on our web site at  You might want to contact one or more of the listed RIs to obtain their opinion on the feasibility of conforming the vehicle you asked about to the FMVSS, petitioning the agency to determine the vehicle eligible for importation, if necessary, and the costs involved in petitioning the agency and conforming the vehicle.

Please note that we have no authority to grant a waiver or exemption from the importation restrictions described above for reasons financial hardship, physical disability, occupational need, or for any other reason.

I hope this information is helpful.




Coleman R. Sachs, Chief

Import and Certification Division
                                                                        Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance