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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

Just asked BMW if the warranty from a M5 is valid in Europe. They told me it's valide worldwide.
So I asked the guy if I can import a M5 from the US to Switzerland.
He told me there are a lot of differences between a US and European car, he called it as "ECE" Standard:confused:.

Somebody knows what that is?
Are there really a lot of differences?
Maybe the Radio frequencies?

Thanks

Regards
 

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Hey guys,

Just asked BMW if the warranty from a M5 is valid in Europe. They told me it's valide worldwide.
So I asked the guy if I can import a M5 from the US to Switzerland.
He told me there are a lot of differences between a US and European car, he called it as "ECE" Standard:confused:.

Somebody knows what that is?
Are there really a lot of differences?
Maybe the Radio frequencies?

Thanks

Regards
My family has been expoting BMW to greece for years.and You must ask BMW is switzerland if they warrenty it dont ask the US dealers they dont know..in greece BMW did honor the warrenty after some converation with BMW in Germany yea there ae differneces in US spec and Euro.but you wont notice ANYTHING.it's all basically in US DOT specs..your radio will work...FM waves dont change when you cross the pond.....you shouldnt worry about anything.i brought over M3, last years model...i just did the Euro lights Euro liscense plate holder..Euro brakes..and a chip to take advanatge of the higher octane..........it's as good as any Euro M3...:applause:
dont worry about a thing
 

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You need to contact the equivalent of DOT in Switzerland. I bought a US Spec Cayenne Turbo in Germany, picked it up from Leipzig and sold it a year later. Even though the car never left Germany, I had it registered with NATO plates so I had to 'import' the car from US to Germany. That process included:

1.) Get a detailed build sheet from Porsche. Cost about $250 dollars.
2.) Bring that sheet and the vehicle to TUV (TUV is essentially a quality control agency....kind of like how the FCC regulates electronic equipment here in the US)
3.) My TUV inspection and certification specified all the differences between the cars and what, if anything had to change.
4.) After that, I had to pay the 19% tax on the deemed value of the car.
5.) With those paid, I was able to get paperwork for the car generated.
6.) With all papers in hand, I could get the car license plates and registration, etc.

For the record, the lights on the BMW should be the same. The tachometer in the Cayenne was in MPH but because I could change the digital readout to KPH, I didn't have to change that. The computer (PCM in Porsche) ran different firmware but that was ok. You'll just have to make sure that the service center you'll be taking it to is willing to work with you on TSB's or updates. They probably only get the Euro updates and would have to specially request a US update for you. Or you could do like I did and just forgo the updates.

Your M5 shouldn't have to change anything, including headlights. But the process is still tedious. The dealer may (but don't be surprised if he's reluctant) work with you, but you'll probably be doing all that leg work yourself. You should really get in touch with the government offices related to Transportation in der Schweiz. Good luck. Not sure if that helped or just added to the confusion.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the answers guys.

Yes I have spoken with BMW Switzerland and they told me warranty is 2 years worldwide with unlimited km.
Would be great if I dont need to change anything. What's about the software, can they put Euro Software on this US Car? For example if I want to change the language to german(anyhow, is it possible?):confused:

New price of a BMW M5 E60 is in the US about 100k$, in Switzerland about 155$k (including options).

So even, it's a big amount for exactly the same car.
Tachometer should be no problem to change it to km/h? (Yes I know there is a tacho with mph & kmh, but the km/h arrows are so small)

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Its many things tat are different on a US spec M5: mirrors, lights front and rear, interiour stickers and more.
 

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Where in Switzerland are you located?

I serviced my 2008' M6 at Titan in Zurich. Great service and they had no problem with my car being USA specification.

Here is my Service Advisor information.

Damir Zivkovic
BMW Seviceberatung Tel. 044 404 77 50
Email [email protected]

ps. One more thing. On Swiss BMW's they have free maintance for 2 years, not the case with USA specification cars.

:cheers:
 

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You need to contact the equivalent of DOT in Switzerland. I bought a US Spec Cayenne Turbo in Germany, picked it up from Leipzig and sold it a year later. Even though the car never left Germany, I had it registered with NATO plates so I had to 'import' the car from US to Germany. That process included:

1.) Get a detailed build sheet from Porsche. Cost about $250 dollars.
2.) Bring that sheet and the vehicle to TUV (TUV is essentially a quality control agency....kind of like how the FCC regulates electronic equipment here in the US)
3.) My TUV inspection and certification specified all the differences between the cars and what, if anything had to change.
4.) After that, I had to pay the 19% tax on the deemed value of the car.
5.) With those paid, I was able to get paperwork for the car generated.
6.) With all papers in hand, I could get the car license plates and registration, etc.

For the record, the lights on the BMW should be the same. The tachometer in the Cayenne was in MPH but because I could change the digital readout to KPH, I didn't have to change that. The computer (PCM in Porsche) ran different firmware but that was ok. You'll just have to make sure that the service center you'll be taking it to is willing to work with you on TSB's or updates. They probably only get the Euro updates and would have to specially request a US update for you. Or you could do like I did and just forgo the updates.

Your M5 shouldn't have to change anything, including headlights. But the process is still tedious. The dealer may (but don't be surprised if he's reluctant) work with you, but you'll probably be doing all that leg work yourself. You should really get in touch with the government offices related to Transportation in der Schweiz. Good luck. Not sure if that helped or just added to the confusion.

Matt
TUV is Germany equivalent to the DOT in the states
 

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There will be a few small issues with importing a USA car into Europe.

1. The radio in the USA works on .2 odd step, while in Europe it is .1 step. The radio will have to be reprogramed with a special engineering program that the dealer does not have.

2. A language conversion has to be done to switch the car from US English to Swiss-German. Yes, the option is there and it can be done at any BMW dealer that is willing to do it.

3. If you are interested in changing the instruments to Metric readings, you will have to replace the Instrument package and the climate control panel. The car would then have to undergo a USA ->Canada software conversion.

4. There might be issues with the side marker lights / reflectors. I'm not up to date on current ECE lighting laws, but, in the past I know that the red rear side markers had to be replaced with amber units...

5. I do know that when a language software conversion is performed that the navigation DVD has to match the area that the language is set. You will loose all voice activation and verbal navigation feedback otherwise.

6. This may all sound like a PIA, but, with the weak US Dollar and inexpensive ocean freight, the savings will still make it worth your while.

7. BMW assist will not work in Europe due to different mobile phone freq. My advice is to have assist deactivated in the USA before having the car exported. You can retrofit the car to the European version of assist and possible upgrade to the BMW Online "mobile internet via 3G GSM" and the Google map "push" options.

Hope this helps you make a decision...
 

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I'm lost here, no import taxes and duties in Switzerland when importing a car??
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys for your answers, very helpful :)

Import Tax you pay 12-15CHF per 100kg
Then the car tax is 4% from the value of the car
Then another tax(VAT) 7,6 % from the value of the car.

And I think I get the tax back from US? Is there any tax(VAT) ?? So how much is it??

1 CHF is around 1$ so it's almost 1:1
 

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The internet price on the BMW website is "pre-tax" and can be purchased without tax and license if the proper "procedures are followed"

If you plan on purchasing this car new in the USA I will warn you now that you cannot mention that this vehicle is for EXPORT! MOST DEALERS WILL BLOCK THE SALE!

Worldwide market forces / territory protections are in place. The export of European built vehicles has become VERY popular lately due to the weak dollar and new car re-exports are on the rise...
 

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You will also need a USA drivers license to buy a car new from a dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You will also need a USA drivers license to buy a car new from a dealer.
hmm I have an appartment in FL (St. Petersburg).
Actually I try to sell it at the moment.
Otherwise If I buy the car in Switzerland I need to convert the US$ in CHF and buy the car.
They don't accept international driving license?
 

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Go to FL motor vehicle department and get License.
 
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