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Alpina B5 for USA -

Sorry I did not see this thread sooner. I am the one that brought the Alpina B12 into the US and went through the entire process (2 1/2 years).

You have a BIG PROBLEM

To import an automobile as a Gray Market car, it HAS to be on the "LIST OF NONCONFORMING MOTOR VEHICLES
THAT ARE ELIGIBLE FOR IMPORTATION (BY OR THROUGH A REGISTERED IMPORTER) as of October 10, 2012"

This is listed at NHTSA as the following NHTSA publication: http://stnw.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/elig101012.pdf

Neither the Alpina B5 NOR the 2005 BMW 5 series are listed as importable vehicles. Therefore, neither you nor a registered importer, can legally import an Alpina B5 or a 2005 BMW 5 series.

To explain this better - for a car to be importable, it has to be demonstrated that it can either meet, or be modified to meet USA DOT and EPA standards. Only those cars that has been demonstrated can meet the standards, either by the manufacture as a US model, or by a registered importer through modification by petitioning NHTSA, are importable.

If the car is not on the list, and you decide to petition the government to demonstrate that the car can be converted, the car has to be brought into the US under a special bond while the petition is acted on. There is no guarantee that the Petition will be approved. The petition is an involved process (mine took 9 months), and has to occur before any other thing happens. In other words, the car has to sit while this happens. Every FMVSS (federal motor vehicle safety standard) has to be explained in the petition if it is compliant by the manufacturer (demonstrated with photographs and factory documentation), modifiable with supporting documentation and photographs by the Registered Importer (RI), or not able to modify. If the petition is denied, then the car has to be either destroyed, or exported and the export papers have to be sent to NHTSA. Once NHTSA receives the petition, and deems it to be worthy of importation, then the petition has to be published in the Federal Register, and the public has a period of time to send NHTSA comments or documentation as to why they feel the car can or can not be importable. This is an opportunity for manufacturers to weigh in as to the pros or cons if they wish. This period after publication usually is 30 - 60 days before a final decision is rendered. If the Petition is approved, then the federalization process begins. If denied the car has to be immediately exported. Plus - there is a fee associated with submitting a petition in addition to any federalization fees.

In bringing my B12 into the USA, my RI petitioned NHTSA to be able to import the car. This took 9 months in addition to the importation, and is why one can look up the B12 coupes on the above mentioned NHTSA document.

You MAY have one saving grace. IF you car is actually a 2004 model year car, then it can be imported as a 5 series, but not an Alpina. Please note that ALPINA Vins are different, and directly coded to Alpina, not BMW. I would suggest that you use the BMW VIN which is probably still on the firewall somewhere to import the car, as technically a BMW 5 series brought in with an ALPINA Vin will throw a conflict if NHTSA looks up the Alpina VIN - remember ALPINA is its own manufacturer in Germany, and the ALPINA Vin is destinctive to ALPINA, not BMW. Plus, the people at NHTSA are pretty smart people - I spoke with them often during the 2 1/2 year importation process of my B12 5.0 Coupe.

So - essentially you are going to have two options:

1. IF the car is a model year 2004, then it will be able to be brought in because 2004 BMW 5 series cars are listed on the importable list. Model year is based on the production date - not necessarily the euro model year date listed on your documents, so what you need to know is when the car was manufactured (I would find out both the BMW manufacture date, and the ALPINA manufacture date).

2. IF the car is a model year 2005, then either you will need to petition the NHTSA to import the car - at which time I suggest you petition them to bring the car in as a true Alpina B5, or you will have to export the car.

The last thing is for NHTSA to deny your importation, confiscate the car and crush it - it HAS happened in the past. Plus, you want to properly import the car, as NHTSA has the right to come and inspect the car at any time - either for you or any subsiquent owner. And, any subsiquent owner should demand proper importation documents, NHTSA and DOT releases.

DO NOT let any Registered Importer tell you otherwise that the notes listed above. They may say anything, but what is listed above is the LAW, and - pardon my bluntness - you do not want to be the one screwed in the process.

Please feel free to PM me, and we can discuss this much more in depth off line. Having just gone through this with an Alpina, and having personally imported 2 other cars, I have a pretty good working knowledge of what it takes, and what is legal.
 

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1. IF the car is a model year 2004, then it will be able to be brought in because 2004 BMW 5 series cars are listed on the importable list. Model year is based on the production date - not necessarily the euro model year date listed on your documents, so what you need to know is when the car was manufactured (I would find out both the BMW manufacture date, and the ALPINA manufacture date).
I just had a quick look and regrettably this won't work. The BMW manufacture date for this particular B5 is model year 2005.
 

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When one goes into importing a car, you have to go in with your eyes wide open, and know the facts.

Now that Kees has established the build date, then there are only two LEGAL options:

1. Have the importer do a petition to import the car - it can be done but only takes time and money added to the normal process

-- or --

2. Export the car

your importer is an experienced importer, and should know how to do a petition if you wish to go that route - just realize that it will take additional time and $$.

I knew that importing my B12 would require this going in, so I realized what was involved.

Good Luck, and PM me if you have any questions.
 

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We are talking about United States of America ?

' the free country,, were all kinds of opertunites are ,, were everything is glorius in the media

I cant stand this ,, i had to hiha

i am positive that before 1989 ,, importing an Alpina to USSR ,, wouldn´t be so tough
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I am the one that brought the Alpina B12 into the US and went through the entire process (2 1/2 years).
I read that post. It was inspiring for me... By the way I had a conversation with mr. Bill Fox about what guys at JK suggested me and he said they were right about how to bring this car here according to all the rules.

To import an automobile as a Gray Market car, it HAS to be on the "LIST OF NONCONFORMING MOTOR VEHICLES
THAT ARE ELIGIBLE FOR IMPORTATION (BY OR THROUGH A REGISTERED IMPORTER) as of October 10, 2012"

This is listed at NHTSA as the following NHTSA publication: http://stnw.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/elig101012.pdf

Neither the Alpina B5 NOR the 2005 BMW 5 series are listed as importable vehicles. Therefore, neither you nor a registered importer, can legally import an Alpina B5 or a 2005 BMW 5 series.

To explain this better - for a car to be importable, it has to be demonstrated that it can either meet, or be modified to meet USA DOT and EPA standards. Only those cars that has been demonstrated can meet the standards, either by the manufacture as a US model, or by a registered importer through modification by petitioning NHTSA, are importable.

If the car is not on the list, and you decide to petition the government to demonstrate that the car can be converted, the car has to be brought into the US under a special bond while the petition is acted on. There is no guarantee that the Petition will be approved. The petition is an involved process (mine took 9 months), and has to occur before any other thing happens. In other words, the car has to sit while this happens. Every FMVSS (federal motor vehicle safety standard) has to be explained in the petition if it is compliant by the manufacturer (demonstrated with photographs and factory documentation), modifiable with supporting documentation and photographs by the Registered Importer (RI), or not able to modify. If the petition is denied, then the car has to be either destroyed, or exported and the export papers have to be sent to NHTSA. Once NHTSA receives the petition, and deems it to be worthy of importation, then the petition has to be published in the Federal Register, and the public has a period of time to send NHTSA comments or documentation as to why they feel the car can or can not be importable. This is an opportunity for manufacturers to weigh in as to the pros or cons if they wish. This period after publication usually is 30 - 60 days before a final decision is rendered. If the Petition is approved, then the federalization process begins. If denied the car has to be immediately exported. Plus - there is a fee associated with submitting a petition in addition to any federalization fees.

In bringing my B12 into the USA, my RI petitioned NHTSA to be able to import the car. This took 9 months in addition to the importation, and is why one can look up the B12 coupes on the above mentioned NHTSA document.

2. IF the car is a model year 2005, then either you will need to petition the NHTSA to import the car - at which time I suggest you petition them to bring the car in as a true Alpina B5, or you will have to export the car.
This is a quote from the NHTSA office answer for the petition: "This is in response to your request to import the vehicle identified below for the purpose of petitioning NHTSA to decide that the vehicle is eligible for importation under 49 CFR Part 593:
2005 BMW 545i passenger car VIN WAPB544005RHI0096
Based on the information that you provided, we have no objection to your request and will permit entry of the vehicle under Box 13 on the HS-7 Declaration Form subject to your meeting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs) requirements".
So now the NHTSA administrator have the right to deny this petition even after the importation eligibility has been granted?

DO NOT let any Registered Importer tell you otherwise that the notes listed above. They may say anything, but what is listed above is the LAW, and - pardon my bluntness - you do not want to be the one screwed in the process.
Today I asked JK why they petitioned the vehicle as BMW 545i with Alpina VIN (actually this car was registered in Russia as BMW/Alpina B5 with Alpina VIN) and they replied with: "The vehicle should have two vin numbers in fact and we are petitioning the chassis that is substantially similar in the USA". And: "Chassis dictates production date which rules EPA as well. Again the manufacturer is not the tuner. The manufacturer in this case is bmw as it is substantially similar to bmw in the USA and we will be using bmw parts and programs to certify the vehicle for both agencies. In the petition process and certification process we provide both vin numbers plus copies of title and bill of sale to all federal agencies plus pictures parts lists parts receipts plus they have the right of inspection and further testing. They know everything about your car".Of course I understand that in the States Alpina is not designated as manufacturer. Also mr. Bill Fox mentioned that this car should be petitioned with "actual" VIN, not BMW VIN which is crossed out. What you can say about that?

Please feel free to PM me, and we can discuss this much more in depth off line. Having just gone through this with an Alpina, and having personally imported 2 other cars, I have a pretty good working knowledge of what it takes, and what is legal.
rogbmw, nfortunately as of now I can't send any PM because I have not enough posts on the forum. I would like to thank everybody who reading and posting in this thread!

135ti, that's what I thought of first.:blink:
 

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That looks exactly how my car was handled. The petition my RI submitted claimed my e34 was basically the same as a US e34. DOT agreed and allowed it in with minimal work required.
 

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Congrats on the progress. I want to help make sure you are clear on exactly what is happening:

This is a quote from the NHTSA office answer for the petition: "This is in response to your request to import the vehicle identified below for the purpose of petitioning NHTSA to decide that the vehicle is eligible for importation under 49 CFR Part 593:
2005 BMW 545i passenger car VIN WAPB544005RHI0096
Based on the information that you provided, we have no objection to your request and will permit entry of the vehicle under Box 13 on the HS-7 Declaration Form subject to your meeting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs) requirements".


....What the above NHTSA statement says and means is that they have granted authorization to bring in the car under a special bond so that the Petition can be made and submitted to them to demonstrate that your RI believes the car can be federalized. This is the first step. Remember - your RI has to show that the car can be federalizable. NHTSA then will decide if they agree or disagree. If they agree, then the next step will be to publish your RI's "Petition for Import Eligibility Determination" in the Federal Register for a minimum of 30 days to allow the public to make any comments for or against the determination. This usually is just a formality, and once something is published, I do not know if it has ever been turned down. Once the 30 day minimum period is passed, then NHTSA will make the FINAL DETERMINATION on the PETITION. If they rule in favor, then they notify the RI and the Federalization process (both EPA and DOT) can proceed. Remember - these are two distinct steps = the PETITION, then the FEDERALIZATION with supporting documentation. The Federalization step is comprised of two distinct elements = the EPA and DOT. EPA deals with clean air and exhaust emissions, DOT deals with safety/crashworthyness.

Remember what I said in the earlier post, neither the BMW 2005 5 series, nor the Alpina B5 is on the importable car list, thus - it requires you RI to PETITION that the car be added to this list. Once added to the list, then the "Federalization Certification Process" can begin. IF the 2005 BMW 5 series, or the 2005 Alpina B5 was on the importable car list, you would not have to do the Petition step, and the car could directly proceed to the Federalization Certification Process.

So now the NHTSA administrator have the right to deny this petition even after the importation eligibility has been granted?

...technically yes. It is two steps = they have NOT GRANTED "Eligibility for Importation", they are just initially allowing the car in under a Box 13 allowance so you can bring in the car and request (by way of the PETITION - that is step one) that the car can be modified to meet US regulations. If this is approved, then the "Eligibility for Importation" is Granted (step two of the petition), and then you (your RI) can proceed with the with the actual importation and conversion, and documentation to submit for approval for both EPA and DOT.

Today I asked JK why they petitioned the vehicle as BMW 545i with Alpina VIN (actually this car was registered in Russia as BMW/Alpina B5 with Alpina VIN) and they replied with: "The vehicle should have two vin numbers in fact and we are petitioning the chassis that is substantially similar in the USA". And: "Chassis dictates production date which rules EPA as well. Again the manufacturer is not the tuner. The manufacturer in this case is bmw as it is substantially similar to bmw in the USA and we will be using bmw parts and programs to certify the vehicle for both agencies. In the petition process and certification process we provide both vin numbers plus copies of title and bill of sale to all federal agencies plus pictures parts lists parts receipts plus they have the right of inspection and further testing. They know everything about your car".Of course I understand that in the States Alpina is not designated as manufacturer. Also mr. Bill Fox mentioned that this car should be petitioned with "actual" VIN, not BMW VIN which is crossed out. What you can say about that?

First of all, JK is wrong in them saying that ALPINA is a "TUNER". Since the 1984, ALPINA is in fact a Manufacturer and recognized by TUV classification as a manufacturer (just like TUV recognizes BMW as a Manufacturer0. But, for sake of demonstrating in the Petition (first), then Certification (second) process, they can reference the 2005 BMW chassis number as a basis to demonstrate that the car was for the most part built to withstand US DOT crash standards, or what specifically needs to be done to modify the car to meet these standards. It is much easier to do this by referencing a 2005 BMW with X,Y and Z parts, as opposed to a 2005 ALPINA with X, Y and Z parts - which NHTSA has no reference to regarding US FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards). Once they document that the ALPINA B5 is based on the BMW 5 series, then all FMVSS regulations can be cross-referenced to the 2005 BMW chassis (thus easier to document conversion as all you have to do is switch out necessary BMW OEM parts to those certified on the US model).

In my B12, both Bill and I wanted to bring the car in as a true ALPINA, with complete ALPINA VIN and Nomenclature only, so in our petition, the ALPINA chassis was cross-referenced with the BMW e31 to demonstrate parts ALPINA used which did and did not require change. Through thorough documentation in the petition, there left no doubt that the car was a true ALPINA, brought in and certified as an ALPINA with an ALPINA model number, not a car that was brought in under part of the BMW number/name and ALPINA name. Hence, all of my paperwork ONLY has the ALPINA VIN and ALPINA nomenclature. This is something I was adamant about, and something Bill and I worked together on to make happen.

It is actually easier for JK to petition the car as a BMW 545 so they can easily demonstrate the ability to make the car compliant to US DOT standards. This is just a technicality as long as it does not bother you what the paperwork says.

Sounds like you are well on your way. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #30
That looks exactly how my car was handled. The petition my RI submitted claimed my e34 was basically the same as a US e34. DOT agreed and allowed it in with minimal work required.
I am really glad to hear that! :)
How long did you wait for your petition to be approved?
 

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Discussion Starter #33
In my B12, both Bill and I wanted to bring the car in as a true ALPINA, with complete ALPINA VIN and Nomenclature only, so in our petition, the ALPINA chassis was cross-referenced with the BMW e31 to demonstrate parts ALPINA used which did and did not require change. Through thorough documentation in the petition, there left no doubt that the car was a true ALPINA, brought in and certified as an ALPINA with an ALPINA model number, not a car that was brought in under part of the BMW number/name and ALPINA name. Hence, all of my paperwork ONLY has the ALPINA VIN and ALPINA nomenclature. This is something I was adamant about, and something Bill and I worked together on to make happen.
I'm just curious but why you were so adamant to bring your B12 as a true Alpina? As it seems to be more complicated, more time and money involved.

It is actually easier for JK to petition the car as a BMW 545 so they can easily demonstrate the ability to make the car compliant to US DOT standards. This is just a technicality as long as it does not bother you what the paperwork says.
No this don't bother me at all.

rogbmw, thank you for all the information you've posted here! Now I can be sure that everything is going in the right direction.

I will keep updating this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Gerg,

I have found some pictures of Alpina B10 #362 which you sold and among those pictures was a photo of speed-o and it is in KMH... Did you do what I'm thinking of? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #36
My car is finally in Baltimore!
I just spoke to the customs broker and my charges for customs, including transportation to JK facility is $2700. My DOT bond is $600 based on the estimate current value of the vehicle in US that I put in proforma invoice.

Gerg, what was your charges for US customs?
Thanks!
 

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I'm just curious but why you were so adamant to bring your B12 as a true Alpina? As it seems to be more complicated, more time and money involved.

Actually - the cost of the bond from NHTSA is the same no matter what you petition it as. The was 101 Innovations who wrote the petition, it actually did not take any more time or effort than petitioning it as an 850. But, I just wanted it to have the Alpina VIN plus the ALPINA name on all the documents, including the releases from NHTSA, DOT and EPA, especially due to the fact that Alpina is considered a manufacturer, not a tuner. Just my 2 cents worth - but Bill and I went into the process with this goal and succeeded!!

I am excited about another true Alpina coming to the US!
 

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Discussion Starter #38
I am excited about another true Alpina coming to the US!
True Alpina but not by US documents. ;)

That's a sad fact that in US Alpina is not considered a manufacturer. In the very beginning of the process I actually tried to get an official letter from Buchloe for DOT and EPA but they refused because Alpina is not designated as manufacturer here.
 

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True Alpina but not by US documents. ;)

That's a sad fact that in US Alpina is not considered a manufacturer. In the very beginning of the process I actually tried to get an official letter from Buchloe for DOT and EPA but they refused because Alpina is not designated as manufacturer here.
I think you have misunderstood something. It is not that Alpina is not considered a manufacturer in the USA - because Alpina is recognized worldwide as a manufacturer, but rather that Alpina did not certify their cars for the US market. Therefore, they could not send you an official letter for DOT and EPA as they did not go through the process for your B5.
 

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My car is finally in Baltimore!
I just spoke to the customs broker and my charges for customs, including transportation to JK facility is $2700. My DOT bond is $600 based on the estimate current value of the vehicle in US that I put in proforma invoice.

Gerg, what was your charges for US customs?
Thanks!
Those are pretty close to what I paid. Some of the fees are based on the value of the car. My BT was imported as a $10k car.


Any update?
 
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