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Author Topic: Yet another way to import...  (Read 1685 times)


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Yet another way to import...
« on: April 20, 2007, 11:22:25 AM »
Read this in another forum and figured I would share this as well.  Take it for what its worth...  


Alright, I'm going to give this another shot. The last time I went to put this up I spent almost two hours breaking everything down barney style and closed my browser prior to hitting post. Needless to say I got pissed off and haven't attempted to spell it out again since.

This is my disclaimer: I've done this once so by no means am I the expert. I did my research and figured out a legit way to ship a car back as parts. As a courtesy, I am posting this info for reference. What you do with it is totally up to you.

Background: I am a Marine (not an air force cat like most people think). I came to Oki in the beginning of 2002 on a one year unaccompanied tour with intentions of staying one year. My second month on island I picked up a 92 FD for $4k from Nakamitsu on the 329. I stalked JSPECRACER outside of the Foster PX and met the No pistons crew and soon fell victim to the single turbo build from hell. After spending thousands of dollars on rotary bliss I ended up falling in love with Okinawa and my FD. My one year tour turned into a four year tour and there was no way in hell I was gonna leave the island without my car.

The plan: When I was about 18 months out from PCS'n I started doing leg work to get my car back to the US. I did the same **** every other kid on this forum does; searched the internet eventually ending up at the NHSC website, calling every importer on the list and ending up with a wasted phone card and lost hope. I came close on a couple of importers but it was all basically the same ****, no one could give me any guarantees. Their pricing was anywhere from 6K to 10K and they all said that it could be more depending on what goes down.
I got a hold of a guy in LA who told me he could do it for 4K. He said I would have to take it to Fukuoka where it would be disassembled, packed into a container with 4 other cars and shipped back to his shop in LA. He told me the catch was that it would be declared as parts coming through US customs. I was stoked because I figured out how I was gonna get my car back.
When I was 12 months out I called him to set my plan in motion. Bad news, he went out of business. His wife left him and took him for all of his money. He felt bad for me so he said he could do it if I found three other cars to go into the container with me. Well I put the word out to the people I knew in Oki and allot of people talked but talking was all that they were doing.
Finding myself between a rock and a hard place I said **** it, I'm gonna do it myself, I'm gonna cut the middle man out and take matters into my own hands. Here's how it went down:

1.) The Japanese exporter. Searching the forums I came across a post about this guy down in Naha that could ship parts back to the US. I called him and told him my situation. I told him that I wanted to disassemble a car and bring it to him and have it shipped to the US. He had never done it before but said he could do whatever I wanted. Basically he could get me a container and take care of everything that needs to happen to get it out of Japan. Here is his contact info:

Koji Komesu
Ryukyu Logistics

They are located in NAHA port next to Kinser. Koji is good people, he speaks perfect English and is a professional. His job is to make **** happen.

2. The US importer. Getting the container out of Japan is half of the battle. Koji recommended a company in LA called NIK & associates. I made contact with NIK and was put in contact with a lady named Esmeralda Avila. I explained my plan to Esmeralda and she told me what needed to happen. She forwarded a list of parts not authorized by the DOT for import into the US. She said that as long as the car was completely disassembled and had no unauthorized parts that everything was legit. NIK would take receipt of my container upon entry into the US, bring it through US customs, pay all applicable fees on my behalf and arrange for delivery to my US address. Here is the contact info for NIK:

NIK & Associates, Inc
800 S. Hindry Avenue
Inglewood CA 90301
fax 310-649-0324

There are a grip of other brokers. You can research it and find one that will work for you. NIK is corporate. They do big business and know how to handle ****. I would do business with them again. Who you choose is on you.

3. The time line and process:

I was slated to depart OKI on Jan 22 2006.

November 15:
Koji forwarded me two electronic documents. A Booking information form and a format for a packing list. The next step was to fill the forms out and send them back to him. Based off of what I was shipping I would require a 20ft container.

The booking form:
1. full name
2.your current address
3.the consignee's address and the custom broker's info (the person who will be bring it in on the US side)
4.What you are shipping and it's value
5.a permanent e-mail address

The packing list:

This is a list broken down by quantity, unit price, total price, item description, item weight and item size. Your car will be listed as a shell (ex: Mazda RX7 FD3S shell). All other parts will be listed as is (ex: Mazda 13BREW 1300CC motor, Transmission, turbo charger and manifold, drive shaft, doors , hood, fenders, dif, plastic interior pieces, aluminum car rims, ect etc.)

NOTE* Anything that is on the unauthorized parts list cannot go into the container.

NOTE* All of my small items, electronics and anything else I couldn't put in the container went back through my TMO shipment. I acquired two large plastic foot lockers and packed them with loose parts to alleviate a complicated packing list for my container. (ex:my computer, ignition, defi gauges, instrument cluster, radiator, intercooler, intercooler piping, lights, misc interior pieces, ect ect)

December 15:
Went to VEH REG on Foster and deregistered my car for shipment. You cannot have a lien on the car when you do this. I showed them my paperwork from Ryukyu Logistics and they deregistered the car. I then had to go to LTO to get the de registration title/export certificate. It was painless.

January 1-8:
Disassembled the car per my packing list and staged it awaiting transportation to NAHA.

Called Koji to set date for me to bring my parts to NAHA.

January 10:
TMO comes to my barracks room to take my household goods and send them to CA. All of my parts went onto the inventory and no questions were asked. I had contacted them prior to ensure that there would be no issues with me sending my parts back with my household goods. They said that it was straight as long as there was no HAZMAT or POL.

January 11:
With the assistance of a good friend and his flatbed truck (w/hoist), transported all of my parts to NAHA and staged them in the shipping yard. Koji met me there with the rep from Japanese customs. Customs inspected my parts and everything was good to go. Koji took possession of everything and started prepping everything for packaging into the container. They wrapped everything in cardboard and bubble wrap, took pictures and sealed the container.

Jan 12-16:
I went to the Tokyo Auto Salon bitches.

Jan 17:
Went to Ryukyu Logistics to make payment. Costs vary depending on what season of the year you ship. This was my cost breakdown:
-20ft container from APL w/ all fees: $3007.00 USD
-Ryukyu Logistics fees (customs clearance/customs inspection fee/packaging fee/delivery fee and handling fee: 111000 JPY
*Itís broken down completely on the paperwork.
-Koji faxed my paperwork to NIK so they could monitor my shipment and pick it up when it arrived to LA.

January 23:
-I leave Okinawa for a two week vacation in Fukuoka with my newly wed wife.
-My FD leaves Okinawa heading for LA.

Feb 11:
-My container arrives in LA. It takes a week to process through customs.
-NIK contacts me to make arrangements for delivery and payment. Payment broke down like this:

Duty fee:$185
Entry fee:$350
Pier Pass:$40
Exam fee:$120

Delivery charges(LA TO OCEANSIDE)
After hours delivery fee: $75 ( I held up the truck driver for two bad)
Grand total to NIK: $1514.09

Feb 15:
My TMO shipment arrives (everything intact)

Feb 17:
My 20ft container arrives(everything intact)

My after-action:
From begining to end, this entire process was a pain in the ass. I had to figure out everything on my own and I got sick and tired of dumb people telling me that I wouldn't be able to do it. Or, I would tell someone what I was planning to do and they would look at me like I was full of ****. Well, now everyone sees how full of **** I am. The whole process takes planning and action so if you lack abilities to do either I would say don't do this or you'll probably **** something up.

$5500 bucks is allot to dump on anything. Plan it out and try to get some other **** to put into the container so you can turn a profit off of selling parts when you get back or split the container with someone to alleviate the price.

Make sure you bring back enough spare parts for your ride too, just incase you break anything putting it back together.

Expect minor scratches on your body panels. My passenger door was dropped somewhere along the way and got a nice dent. Besides the dent everything else came through good.

I'll be glad to entertain questions. I'll try to check this out from time to time to see what the peanut gallery has to say. I wish you all the best of luck. Take care and drive safe.