Please help with my Customs battle...




UW8ANC

Registered
As the title says, I need some help with my Customs battle. I've posted it here before, but now it's really bad. They (Customs) have seized my Busa and now I must do 1 of 3 things.
1) Take no Action- This is where Customs takes full title to my property. #### THAT. I didn't spend thousands of dollars just to have Customs take it without a fight.
2) Administrative Relief- This is where I may submit a petition for relief from forfeiture to the fines, penalties and forfeiture officer within 30 days...
3) Judicial Condemnation- Have the matter reffered to the US Attoney.

A little history, I bought the bike brand new in 2001, had it shipped to Hawaii, and tried to have it registered. No dice. Customs sent a letter of redelivery and I was forced to give the bike up.... They came and got it based on the sole reason that it does not conform with US EPA regulations. I am now trying to prove through any means necessary that the bike does in fact meet or exceed the US emission limit of Homologation/Production (COP) Mass Emissions (g/km). The prescribed limit of CO is 12, and 5 for HC+NOx.

I would have already had it tested, however, there are no emission testing stations out here in Hawaii. Any info you guys can provide is appreciated, I'm sure you would be slightly pissed off if someone came to your house and drove your bike away... Thanks in advance...

Jim Lewis
 

cache

Banned
I would have already had it tested, however, there are no emission testing stations out here in Hawaii.
there may not be any testing stations, but most good mechanics use emission testing machines (sniffer) to diagnose engine driveability problems.  Call around to some good repair shops and see if they can check your exhaust gasses for you.

I don't know anything about customs, but maybe Thinker62 has some insight there as he travels the world occasionally (says its business, but we know about that don't we playa? )...

Hope this helps.
 

ks-waterbug

Group Buy Guy
Donating Member
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Where did you originally purchase bike? Or what spec's was the bike manufactured to?
 

UW8ANC

Registered
The bike was purchased in Australia and stamped with the Vehicle Certification. It didn't come from the shop that I bought it however. It was sent to me from Melbourne to Hawaii.
 

ks-waterbug

Group Buy Guy
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There are several avenues you can take here? Need a lot more info to try an point you in the right direction!
Do you know any ICI's? This would require them to take possesion of your bike for not less than 15 days. They would qualify the bike for USA EPA standards to the customs dept.
But, might be to late since you as an individual already brought the bike in. Next you could claim a hardship or as a last resort import the bike as a race vehicle. Either could buy you some time. What you really need is an Attorney to file all the motions and walk you through the legal jargon. I don't practice law, so this is only my opinion.
 

ks-waterbug

Group Buy Guy
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Do you know if this vehicle already conforms to USA standards? If not call Mr. Jeffrey Link (714)-996-7040 *201
Suzuki rep. He can tell you what to do to make it meet USA specks and then he can generate the proper paper to give the Customs Dept.
Now for the bad news! This should all be done prior to an individual importing a vehicle.
 

ks-waterbug

Group Buy Guy
Donating Member
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Hope this helps......I know this ain't much. Keep us posted and I wish you luck.
 

UW8ANC

Registered
My plan of action right now is to submit a petition which basically states my intentions. I am going to state that even though it has never been tested based on US standards, that alone does not disqualify it from being within emission standards. I am going to ask for the bike based on inconclusive evidence that it isn't within standards, meanwhile, I have emailed the Australian RVCS, or Road Vehicle Certification System help desk to find out exactly what emissions testing Australian motorcycles must undergo before it gets stamped with the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989. Hopefully this will get me some answers. if not, I'll give up the coin and call them.
Secondly, I'm going to ask to have the bike as a race vehicle that is exempt from emission standards. However, even though it is exempt from emissions, I still must obtain written permission from the EPA stating that they will allow it. I would sign up for the hardship aspect of it, but it would never fly. I own two vehicles right now, and have a fair amount of debt, just like every other American.

I have contacted a RI (registered impoter) and they told me that to have it comply, they would need to be told the parts ahead of time, and that would cost $2,500 for the paperwork and labor costs. On the other hand, if I didn't have a clue what needed to be changed, it would cost $8,000 which I suspect is taking the bike and replacing it with a US version.
 

ks-waterbug

Group Buy Guy
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Call the Suzuki rep's number I gave you. This is what his job desription is...................
 

ks-waterbug

Group Buy Guy
Donating Member
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© IDENTICAL TO U.S. VERSION VEHICLES

The vehicle, prior to importation, is identical in all material respects to a vehicle identified in an original equipment manufacturer's (OEM's) certification application. No Customs bond is required by EPA. See also Canadian Vehicles, Identical to U.S. Version)

Requirements

Importer must obtain a letter from the OEM's U.S. representative (see Manufacturer's U.S. Representatives for a list) stating the vehicle (make, model, model year, VIN), at the time of manufacture, conformed to all U.S. emission requirements applicable to the appropriate model year (except possibly for warranty and labeling).

Importer must file with Customs, upon entry, an EPA Form 3520-1 declaring code "EE" and attach letter from OEM's U.S. representative.

Restrictions

The vehicle may not be imported for the purpose of resale, except for Canadian vehicles.

An OEM may not import a vehicle using this exemption.

NOTES:

Regardless of the requirements above being satisfied, a vehicle is not eligible for this exemption if it has been modified or altered such that the vehicle configuration is not covered under the manufacturer's certificate of conformity.

Obtaining a letter from the OEM's U.S. representative is the responsibility of the importer. EPA does not have authority over manufacturers' non-U.S. version vehicles. Mercedes-Benz and BMW have indicated that except for their Canadian vehicles, they do not provide such letters. Other manufacturers have indicated that comparing foreign market vehicles to U.S. version vehicles is extremely difficult, or impractical. Failure to obtain such a letter is not justification for a hardship exemption.

This has to be cheaper in the long run!
 

UW8ANC

Registered
I've looked into this as well, and the two are not IDENTICAL identical.... ya know? The part numbers that are different are the speedo and Tach, the fuel tank assembly, rear fender, rear lamp assembly, ECU, and the L handlebar. All of these items however are not in question... it's just the fact that it has never been tested by the EPA. Singapore is one of the countries that fall under this catagory. I talked to a guy on here that didn't have any problems with two Harley's that he brought over here... I think that's why.

I have also talked to a representative from Suzuki USA (seeing as how Suzuki Hawaii didn't have any answers for me, and yeah, I found out that they were different entities) named Jeffrey Link who is the Certification Manager in the Government Relations department. He asked for a list of the part numbers that were different (above). I can't remember the last conversation that I had with him. It was a long time ago, and I was soon frustrated with my situation.
 

UW8ANC

Registered
Thanks for all the speedy replies ks-waterbug, I'm going to head home right now, but I'll jump on again in about 1 hr.
 

ks-waterbug

Group Buy Guy
Donating Member
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Before shipping a nonconforming vehicle for importation, EPA strongly recommends that the importer either make final arrangements with an ICI for modifications and testing or obtain EPA approval in writing for importation. Storage fees at the ports are costly, and the vehicle may not be eligible for importation.

A couple more numbers you may have already tried!
U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Director of the Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance (NEF﷓32), 400 Seventh Street SW, Washington, DC 20590 Tel. 1.800.424.9393.
or try contacting the Office of Regulatory Enforcement, Air Enforcement Division, at 202.564.8673 or 202.564.1019.
 

ks-waterbug

Group Buy Guy
Donating Member
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And finally, For Further Information: Environmental Protection Agency, Investigation/Imports Section (6405﷓J), Washington, DC 20460; Tel. 202.564.9660; Fax 202.565.2057.

Final Word of Caution. Modifications necessary to bring a nonconforming vehicle into conformity with the safety, bumper, or emission standards may require extensive engineering, be impractical or impossible, or the labor and materials may be unduly expensive. It is highly recommended that these modifications be investigated before a vehicle is purchased for importation.
 

race24x

Registered
God what a nightmare did Suzuki USA give you any info on the changes have you altered the busa in any way exhaust etc I can stand our govt some times it shouldnt be very hard to do they are all made in Japan for christ sakes and of course the people that took your bike are no friggin help . What did they tell you you would have to do to get it in the US can you have it tested by any garage if so I recommend a VW garage we used to have to use one of those hydracarbon sniffers to set the fuel injection on emission checks Good luck to you
 

Postal

Donating Member
Registered
Hey UW: I'm one block from the DOT building here in DC. If you want me to pick up any paperwork I'd be happy to do it. Once you find out what you need. My work number is 202-268-3258. Tom.
 

bacharles

Korrup~shun!!
Donating Member
Registered
As the title says, I need some help with my Customs battle.  I've posted it here before, but now it's really bad.  They (Customs) have seized my Busa and now I must do 1 of 3 things.  
1) Take no Action- This is where Customs takes full title to my property.  #### THAT.  I didn't spend thousands of dollars just to have Customs take it without a fight.
2)  Administrative Relief-  This is where I may submit a petition for relief from forfeiture to the fines, penalties and forfeiture officer within 30 days...
3)  Judicial Condemnation- Have the matter reffered to the US Attoney.

A little history, I bought the bike brand new in 2001, had it shipped to Hawaii, and tried to have it registered.  No dice.  Customs sent a letter of redelivery and I was forced to give the bike up.... They came and got it based on the sole reason that it does not conform with US EPA regulations.  I am now trying to prove through any means necessary that the bike does in fact meet or exceed the US emission limit of Homologation/Production (COP) Mass Emissions (g/km).  The prescribed limit of CO is 12, and 5 for HC+NOx.  

I would have already had it tested, however, there are no emission testing stations out here in Hawaii.  Any info you guys can provide is appreciated, I'm sure you would be slightly pissed off if someone came to your house and drove your bike away...  Thanks in advance...

Jim Lewis
Now go figure this sh^t out...Terrorists can get in this country easier than a motorcycle?  That just burns a hole in my a$$ (oops, I mean another hole).





                                                  Brian
 

UW8ANC

Registered
I know, I've been dealing with this crap for over a year now... and now it's escalated to the next level... They took it!
Postal, Thanks for the offer. Customs has only cited the emissions problem, and I'm not going to bring any of the other differences on the bike to there attention.
 

UW8ANC

Registered
Just to keep you guys up to date... I finished with my letter today the 13th. I'm going to let the wife proof read it and then I have an appointment with a Legal Assistant. After that I will make all the changes and send it out! This is what it looks like:

Petition for:
James R. Lewis
Case # 2003-3201-00001701
VIN # JS1A1131400101203

This is an informal petition prepared to state my intentions as the rightful owner of the motorcycle in question, A Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R bearing the VIN JS1A1131400101203.
I purchased the motorcycle without the knowledge of how to properly enter it for use on United States soil. Although this lack of knowledge doesn’t qualify me for an exclusion based on a situation of extreme hardship, I would like to state that at no time did I intend to illegally import or smuggle the motorcycle into the country. I had dreamed of owning this particular motorcycle for over a year, and was extremely discouraged to hear the dealer price of $12,000 out the door. When the USS Chosin pulled into Australia, I had a chance to own this magnificent piece or machinery for about $8,500 shipped to Hawaii. I had asked the dealer in Australia if I would have any problems with the importing process, and he told me no. (I have nothing in writing to prove this however).
Although the motorcycle has never been tested through American standards, this is not to say that it will not pass the EPA’s federal requirement of 12g CO/km and 5g HC+NOx/km. With the lack of proper testing stations available in Hawaii, compounded by the fact that emissions testing does not occur in the state of Hawaii, I am unable to prove the bike does pass a usual emissions test. I would like to ask that the motorcycle be returned to me, as an unregistered motorcycle, based on this fact until I can prove that it will pass an emissions test.
If this is not feasible, I would like to request that the bike be turned into a full on racing bike that will only see track time. In other words, a bike that lacks features allowing it to be safely driven on roads and highways, and only allowed on raceways designed for competition purposes. This will allow me to keep the bike as a recreational vehicle so it will not be a total loss.
Thirdly, if I am not allowed to keep the motorcycle in the country at all, I would like to send it back to the country of origin. This however is the last step I will take if all others shall fail.
Thank you for considering my petition for the motorcycle. I understand that it was not built for American roads, and not tested as such also. I do appreciate your cooperation and hope that we can resolve this with a mutual decision as soon as possible.


Respectfully,
James R. Lewis
USS Chosin (CG-65)
FPO AP 96662-1185



Wish me luck!!!
 



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