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  1. #1 Riding a CJ750 into the US as a foreigner 
    Senior C-Moto Guru euphonius's Avatar
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    OK, here's a request that will challenge the legal eagles in this forum.

    Here in Shanghai there's a group of Changjiang 750 owners who are getting more and more ambitious with their travels. Last year they did a big circumnavigation of Southeast Asia, exiting from Yunnan province and transiting Laos, Thailand and maybe Vietnam before re-entering China. Now they want to do North America!

    It's my understanding they want to fly their sidecar bikes to Vancouver, tootle around British Columbia a bit, then cross into Washington state for a long, leisurely ride down the Pacific Coast Highway and exit into Mexico, where they'll either sell the CJs or ship them back to Shanghai.

    They also have heard of some big summertime sidecar festival somewhere in the US, and are thinking they'd die to include a stop there as part of their trip. I don't know anything about this festival, but assuming it's nowhere near the west coast, this trip will start to look like a circumnavigation of the United States! (These guys have the funds and the time to do this, which tells you a lot about how China is changing. No, it's not your father's People's Republic!)

    They understand they'll need tourist visas to enter the United States, but they have no idea what requirements there might be for temporarily importing the CJs. I've googled around and found very little, though this site seems to indicate it's legal even if the bikes don't meet US emissions standards as long as the import is temporary (less than one year). Here are the relevant paragraphs from that site:

    Free Entry
    NONRESIDENTS may import a vehicle duty-free for personal use up to one (1) year if the vehicle is imported in conjunction with the owner's arrival. Vehicles imported under this provision that do not conform to U.S. safety and emission standards must be exported within one year and may not be sold in the U.S. There is no exemption or extension of the export requirements.
    Cars Imported for Other Purposes
    Nonresidents may import an automobile or motorcycle and its usual equipment free of duty for a temporary stay to take part in races or other specific purposes. However, prior written approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required and such approval is granted only to those racing vehicles that EPA deems not capable of safe or practical use on streets and highways. If the contests are for other than money purposes, the vehicle may be admitted for 90 days without formal entry or bond if the Customs officer is satisfied as to the importer's identity and good faith. The vehicle becomes subject to forfeiture if it is not exported or if a bond is not given within 90 days of its importation. Prior written approval must be obtained from DOT. A vehicle may be temporarily imported for testing, demonstration, or racing purposes. A vehicle may be permanently imported for show or display. Written approval from DOT is required and should be obtained before the vehicle is exported from the foreign country to the U.S. Information on how to import a vehicle under show or display is available at DOT’s NHTSA Vehicle Importation Regulations website. A vehicle permanently imported for show and display must comply with all U.S. emission requirements as well, and in general must be imported through an EPA-authorized ICI for modification and testing. EPA will not allow the vehicle to be released to its owner until ICI work is complete.
    (Do these paragraphs contradict each other?)

    I'd be most grateful anyone has any ideas about how to confirm what's actually legal and appropriate.

    Oh, and if anyone knows about the sidecar festival, my pals would love to know about that too!

    thanks!
    Last edited by euphonius; 05-11-2010 at 09:12 AM.
    jkp
    Shanghai
    2010 JH600 "Merkin Muffley" (in Shanghai)
    2000 KLR650 "Feezer Ablanalp" (in California)
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  2. #2 Re: Riding a CJ750 into the US as a foreigner 
    C-Moto Guru
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    I have no idea about the rules in the US (and Canada & Mexcco) but maybe the users of the HUBB can help you:
    http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/
    Lots of people with Round The World trips and other crazy trips & ideas...

    (Yes, I'm a bit jealous)

    Maybe here is also help available:
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/
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  3. #3 Re: Riding a CJ750 into the US as a foreigner 
    Senior C-Moto Guru culcune's Avatar
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    I live along the southern US border near Mexico. I see many Mexican-plated cars and motorcycles/scooters (Itallika seems to be the primary Chinese derived motorcycles/scooters in Mexico-not sure manufactures for them ) driving on the US side of the border--cars that don't meet the US DOT/EPA rules, such as the last years of the VW Bug. The are allowed in as vistors or working commuters. Keep in mind they are from Mexico, and many US plated cars drive south into Mexico, too, so I am assuming there is some sort of agreement that allows this.

    Coming with Chinese-plated bikes would probably be allowed, although I am not sure on the process--would they be allowed I could try asking one of the many US Customs Agents that live and work here, although they might be clueless. I think, but don't hold me to it, that it would be no different than Mexicans, Canadians or others. I have seen British-plated cars on the road in California, for instance, and a German-plated car in Arizona.

    The two paragraphs don't seem to contradict each other, because the second one is talking about racing vehicles for racing purposes, while the top one is talking about personal vehicles for up to a year. It does state that the owner and vehicle arrive together. Worse comes to worse, the bikes have to be exported if they don't meet EPA emissions, but I know that some of these bikes have come into the states, so might even be able to be sold here if the riders don't want to send them back!
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  4. #4 Re: Riding a CJ750 into the US as a foreigner 
    grumpy old sod jape's Avatar
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    This may seem daft but I have had great help from Embassies on such matters in the past. They aren't all CIA I am sure and the Cultural Attache would be a start if this is promoted as a social exchange. Maybe get some social group in USA to sponsor the trip, not financially just to ease things. Maybe even a magazine or something.
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  5. #5 Re: Riding a CJ750 into the US as a foreigner 
    foreign China moto dude bikerdoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by euphonius View Post
    OK, here's a request that will challenge the legal eagles in this forum.

    Here in Shanghai there's a group of Changjiang 750 owners who are getting more and more ambitious with their travels. Last year they did a big circumnavigation of Southeast Asia, exiting from Yunnan province and transiting Laos, Thailand and maybe Vietnam before re-entering China. Now they want to do North America!

    It's my understanding they want to fly their sidecar bikes to Vancouver, tootle around British Columbia a bit, then cross into Washington state for a long, leisurely ride down the Pacific Coast Highway and exit into Mexico, where they'll either sell the CJs or ship them back to Shanghai.

    They also have heard of some big summertime sidecar festival somewhere in the US, and are thinking they'd die to include a stop there as part of their trip. I don't know anything about this festival, but assuming it's nowhere near the west coast, this trip will start to look like a circumnavigation of the United States! (These guys have the funds and the time to do this, which tells you a lot about how China is changing. No, it's not your father's People's Republic!)

    They understand they'll need tourist visas to enter the United States, but they have no idea what requirements there might be for temporarily importing the CJs. I've googled around and found very little, though this site seems to indicate it's legal even if the bikes don't meet US emissions standards as long as the import is temporary (less than one year). Here are the relevant paragraphs from that site:





    (Do these paragraphs contradict each other?)

    I'd be most grateful anyone has any ideas about how to confirm what's actually legal and appropriate.

    Oh, and if anyone knows about the sidecar festival, my pals would love to know about that too!

    thanks!
    it's possible, but usually vehicles have to be covered by a carnet, which is taken out for each vehicle/individual importing said vehicle. This is often provided via a car/motorcycle club, where the carnet will be issued and the bond will be held in a trust account, pending the return of the vehicle. To make this a little clearer. I exported a BMW motorcycle from NZ into Australia some years ago, temporarily. I had to put an amount of money (based on a percentage of the market value of the motorcycle) as a bond, which would be forfeited to the Australian government should I fail to a). export the bike back out of Australia at the end of the allotted time, or b). had not applied for an extension beyond the initial period of the original carnet. The issue that I'd see from the Chinese side, is that there are not really any fully fledged motorcycle clubs with the right infrastructure and setup to be able to legitimately provide carnets (but then I might be mistaken). I think the first port of call would be to approach the American Embassy/Consulate and ask.

    Also based on the wording of the first paragraph concerning "Free Entry" it clearly states that vehicles failing to meet U.S.A. safety and emission standards must be exported within one year and may not be sold in the America, which means that your friends will HAVE to export them back out of the country.
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