mardi 24 février 2009

What's in the crate in my trailer?

The owner moved to Birmingham, AL from Canada to take a big shot job and wanted to bring his toy with him.
And we learned a few things.

We thought that since the bike was not being sold, it was a "free-entry" and didn't need all the regular custom brokerage and stuff.
Italian bikes are not covered by NAFTA.
My problem with that is that I found out at the border on Sunday night.
Even if the bike is not being sold into the States, just brought along, the owner still has to pay taxes and duty on it.
And being a $40000 bike, it cant be cheap.

By combining time spent at X-rays, having 3 Customs officers look at the situation, custom broker putting the bike in bond, finding out broker made a mistake, getting bond canceled and new bond done, having truck searched because while waiting for broker, I decided to go to my truck and get something to eat and another officer found that suspicious and then explaining the situation to another officer because the guys I dealt with when I arrived were now gone, I was in Port-Huron, MI for 5 hours.

Fast forward to today, Wednesday.
I get in Birmingham, called the owner of the bike and we meet at the US Customs office.
He's all happy even if he has to fork out some cash to Uncle Sam, his bike is here.
I give him the paperwork and up to Customs.
A nice officer comes down and needs to have a look at the bike, match VIN #'s and stuff.

New problem.
The bike doesn't have a USDOT sticker nor an EPA, because it's a Canadian model.
It needs them or the owner need a letter from Ducati stating it is US Spec compliant to get new stickers.
He doesn't.
He has a letter saying all the 1098Rs for North America meet the same standards but it doesn't specifically say it meets the US standards.

The officer says he can not release the bike.
If the bike had been in a container, shipped to a bonded warehouse and neither the owner or me, the driver there, the bike would have been seized on the spot and became property of the Federal government.
What we can do (and did) is put the bike in detention at the Custom warehouse.
In the next 30 days, the owner needs to obtain a letter of compliance from Ducati or ship the bike back to Canada.
If that is not done, in a month from now, the bike is seized and sold at auction for export only. And if it doesn't sell, it could be destroyed.

Now the bike is still in its crate and in a cage (serious) at the warehouse.
Couldn't even open the crate and admire the pretty Italian.

Then just to add a little, I forgot to give the key to the owner.
Luckily, the Flying J were I am is only 4 miles away from his office.

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