US Customs is Cracking Down on Imported Land Rovers
Ever thought of importing a majestic Land Rover Defender? You certainly aren’t the first to go through the motions over such forbidden automotive fruit, but – if you haven’t already – perhaps put that notion on hold. On Tuesday morning, around 40 Land Rover owners woke up to police and customs agents at their doors, demanding they hand over the keys to their imported wheels. According to Jalopnik, the seizures are part of an ongoing investigation into the illegal importation of Land Rover 90s, 110s and Defenders from Europe to the US.
US Customs and Border Protection lays out stringent guidelines for those looking to purchase a vehicle abroad and ship it stateside, the glut of which focus on safety and emissions concerns. To be permitted, imported cars need to be brought up to agreement within the federal specifications – usually a costly proposition for car owners.
However, cars can be permitted if imported solely for ‘show’ and ‘demonstration’ purposes, or at 25-years of age when the vehicle qualifies for an exemption with the Department of Transportation and the EPA.
The latter has become the go-to route for buyers looking to get an earlier-series Land Rover stateside, but it appears a few mixed digits could separate owners from their trucks for good.
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According to the article, multiple owners were told by police that their vehicles featured forged or incorrect VIN numbers, a difference that – along with significant bodywork changes – could designate what was thought to be a 1979-1984 model as a newer 2000 model. One unlucky owner even had the authorities track his Rover to his parents' house– an address not even listed on the car's title.
We probably haven’t seen the last of the seizures yet either, as the investigation progresses. Click on the link below to read the article in its entirety.
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