Merged from GS Doc Index and GS Elec Docs FAQ
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Last updated: 25 August 2006, by Winter #1935
These pages contain documentation specific to the GS/Dakar. Please also check the GS Documentation Index for documents such as service data.
What about if I buy a
Canadian or German Bike? (and bring it into the US?)
Not an expert on the subject but have dealt with it quite a bit and talked to people like BMWNA about it.
Suffice it to say, I don't believe in the old axiom of "well the US is more
litigious so they must charge more." For 'most' given situations in business
there are simple and clear explanations even if you have to 'dig' a little
Definitely, prices are most often set based on what the seller believes is going to be a good market rate. That's where MSRPs are figured out, dealers are free to charge as much or as little (free) for the product as they like.
The baseline of the product cost is what it's at where BMW AG (manufacturing) finishes the product for it's customer BMWNA (the USA importer). Costs associated with complying with the different federal laws such as emissions, noise, tires, etc. are all then attributed to the model coming off the production line. You can have an F650GS for the US being made next to the F650GS for Canada or Japan. They'll look the same but on the internal BMW spreadsheet costs for FI development/testing/emissions compliance etc. make the bikes have slightly different internal build costs. The bikes even might have different fuel maps or slightly different tires so the cost isn't technically the same.
Marketing people do take into account the given market size and available
disposable income to try to figure out how much to spend to attract the
market to the product and how much they will have to spend to buy the
product. If the Canadian disposable income for this given type of product is
less and they want to improve the chance of sale then of course a lower
price does help (sometimes a higher price does but this is outside the
bounds of the normal economic theory that we're applying here).
After the build cost and calculated market price are set, there are the issues of getting the product to the market. The following is from the US Customs Service http://www.customs.ustreas.gov/imp-exp2/informal/car.htm
"Foreign-made vehicles imported into the U.S., whether new or used, either for personal use or for sale, are generally dutiable at the following rates:
Motorcycles. . . . . . . . . . 3% or 3.4%
So you can see whether BMWNA brings in a motorcycle or if you bring one in from Canada you're going to be subject to these rates. Often times there are larger global trade issues where tariffs for example on beef can cause penalty duties to be applied to another product such as motorcycles. Don't laugh, see the following from 1999. http://www.ama-cycle.org/magazine/1999/story2je.html
importantly besides price if you bring a vehicle in there is the big
question of certification. Thankfully the US is a bit easier than the
extremely strict German TuV or the UK Ministries. Bikes that are similar
like the F shouldn't have any real problem.
"You can obtain additional information on emission control requirements or on ICIs from the U.S. EPA Manufacturers Operations Division 6405-J, Investigation/Imports Section, Washington, D.C. 20460, tel. (202) 564- 9660, FAX (202) 565-2057.
Individual state emission requirements may differ from those of the federal government. Proper registration of a vehicle in a state may depend upon satisfaction of its requirements, so you should contact the appropriate state authorities prior to importation. Be aware, however, that EPA will not accept compliance with a state's emission requirements as satisfying EPA's. "
are the other issues though of speedometer and other misc. sundries.
Whatever the case there is also the case of lots of paperwork and the
shipping costs (and your time for dealing with all of this).
"For Customs clearance you will need the shipper's or carrier's original bill of lading, the bill of sale, foreign registration, and any other documents covering the vehicle. You will also need written prior approval from EPA, which will be evident to the Customs inspector at the port of entry in the form of an approval letter from the EPA, or a manufacturer's label in the English language affixed to the car, stating that the vehicle meets all U.S. emission requirements.
Or, you may make arrangements to import your vehicle with an Independent Commercial Importer (ICI). In this case, the ICI will import your vehicle and perform any EPA-required modifications and be responsible for assuring that all EPA requirements have been met. ICIs can only import certain vehicles, however, and in general, their fees are very high."
Additionally you'll have to contact NHTSA and go through their process as
well. Some steps can only be done by a registered importer (RI) which means
that you have no market pricing power.
"All vehicles less than 25 years old must be determined eligible for importation by one of the following methods before the vehicle may be imported under contract with a Registered Importer as described in the Vehicle Importation Guidelines." (from NHTSA). The F650GS would qualify as:
VEHICLES CERTIFIED BY THEIR ORIGINAL MANUFACTURER AS COMPLYING WITH ALL APPLICABLE CANADIAN MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS (code VSA--83 All trailers and motorcycles less than 25 years old).
Specifically from Canada the information to follow is: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import/Can0206.html
BIG problem is that for NHTSA compliance you need to get a LETTER FROM THE
MANUFACTURER STATING THAT THE MOTORCYCLE THAT YOU WISH TO IMPORT IDENTIFIED
BY THE VIN COMPLIES WITH US FEDERAL VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS.
Unless there is some creative work around for this, it means that you need to write to BMWNA and get a letter from them stating that the vehicle is basically the same (except for minor markings) and complies. This means working with an RI to do so.
1. Contact the manufacturer of the vehicle, and ask if the vehicle complies with all applicable U.S. Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS). The letter from the manufacturer must identify your vehicle by the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). READ THE LETTER CAREFULLY.
2. "If the manufacturer letter states that the vehicle complies with U.S. FMVSS, except for minor labelling requirements, you have an acceptable letter. This letter along with your vehicle registration should be presented to U.S. Customs at the border. U.S. Customs will review the manufacturer letter to assure that the vehicle complies. U.S. Customs will review the manufacturer letter to assure that the vehicle complies. (DOT approval of the manufacturer letter was discontinued as of April 8, 1997.)
3. If the manufacturer letter states that the vehicle meets all U.S. FMVSS, except for the speedometer, or headlights, you may have these components replaced at a dealer authorized by the factory to repair your vehicle. In addition to the documents cited in item 2, above, you must present the invoice for the speedometer or headlight replacement to obtain U.S. Customs approval.
4. If the manufacturer letter states that the vehicle meets all U.S. FMVSS except for FMVSS No. 208 (automatic or passive restraint requirements) you WILL NOT be able to bring your vehicle into the U.S. on a permanent basis unless it is modified by an RI. If an RI is willing to modify the vehicle, it may be expensive and may change your desire to import the vehicle.
5. If the manufacturer will not issue a letter for your vehicle, the only method to import your vehicle on a permanent basis is to contract with an RI.
6. EPA approval is also required. You may call the EPA information line at: (202) 564-9660.
this covers a lot of the regulatory stuff. The
BIG question though is why would somebody let's say in Colorado, Texas, or
even NYC want to go through such a hassle to save what in the end is a few
$. The product is no where close to being local to them, they're basically
bringing in a grey market vehicle that they have to spend money to convert
to compliance, pay for the phone calls, shipping, titling and registration
in TWO countries (don't forget that you have to BUY the vehicle in Canada
first), then deal with the phone calls, FedEx's, and waiting in line at
government agencies to get everything straight - all of this BS on what is
basically a product that you can go down the street for, write a check, and
roll out of the showroom with in under a half and hour.
Whatever the case whether on a one-to-one basis or even at 200 bikes it's not worth it as the profit is really in the service and maintenance which as an importer of grey market product you're not in a position to capture (of course just by being in business you open yourself up to risk that you've got to cover via insurance, etc.).
German F650 to US Legal:
should check out the web site at:
http://www.customs.ustreas.gov/ and send them an e-mail with your
vehicle info and specific questions. Note that the F650GS is sold in the US
and that your vehicle complies with emissions standards of the US.
The following info is for "visitors" so I'd assume that US citizens can bring a vehicle in for permanent import if it meets crash and emission regs.
Bringing in a Vehicle: Visitors may temporarily import a vehicle duty-free for personal use if the vehicle is imported in connection with the owner's arrival. Vehicles do not need to accompany the owner, but should arrive in the U.S. at approximately the same time, at least within a few weeks. Vehicles are defined as an automobile, trailer, airplane, motorcycle, boat or similar vehicle. Vehicles that don't conform to U.S. safety and emission standards must be exported within one year and may not be sold in the United States. There is no exemption or extension of the export requirement.
info on import requirements - you will fall under this category
You'll need to pay specific attention to the harmonized tariff schedule. I've glanced at it and motorcycles should be covered under section 87. The PDF of this schedule is here:
Motorcycles start at classification 8711 on page 14.
I'd say that the F650 classified as 8711.40.30 with a free duty rate but 10% for column 2 (I don't know how it will be classified from Guatemala or from Germany).
So it looks like you can bring it in without other duties.
Here's what customs says about the schedule:
The importer must pay estimated duties and processing fees if applicable. Customs makes the final determination of the correct rate of duty. The duty rate of an item is tied to its classification number. The HTSUS provides several rates of duty for each item: general rates for countries with which we maintain normal trade relations (NTR); special rates for special programs (free, or lower than the rates currently accorded NTR countries); and column 2 rates for imports not eligible for either general or special rates. Customs duties are generally assessed at ad valorem rates, a percentage of which is applied to the dutiable value of the imported goods. Some articles, however, are dutiable at a specific rate (so much per piece, liter, kilo, etc); others at a compound rate of duty (i.e., combination of both ad valorem and specific rates).
It is the importers responsibility to ensure that his or her goods being imported meet admissibility requirements - such as proper marking, safety standards, etc. - and that the proper permits, if required, have been obtained in advance of the goods arriving in the United States.
I would meet this requirements by providing pictures of the bike, etc. When I've brought in bikes from Europe even my own pictures help and even speed the process as the agent doesn't have to go see the bike for agricultural clearance. What I would do ahead of time is determine your entry port then write a letter to the person in charge there of motorcycle import. Introduce yourself and provide proof ahead of time of emissions and safety info. Give them info but not too much and don't ever act like it would be a question to import it. You need to act like the F650GS that you bought from Germany in Guatemala is the same bike as in the US.
If that's okay I'm sure that customs will give you a clearance. It's really up to the local office.
More Info from customs
- to help you import a bike I would get a letter from the EPA saying that
the F650GS has a catalytic converter and meets US legal requirements.
Foreign-made vehicles imported into the U.S., whether new or used, either for personal use or for sale, are generally dutiable at the following rates:
Autos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.5%
Trucks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25%
Motorcycles. . . . . . . . . . 3% or 3.4%
Duty rates are based on price paid or payable. Most Canadian-made vehicles are duty-free.
As a returning U.S. resident, you may apply your $400 Customs exemption and those of accompanying family members toward the value of the vehicle if it:
Accompanies you on your return;
Is imported for personal use;
Was acquired during the journey from which you are returning. For Customs purposes, a returning U.S. resident is one who is returning from travel, work, or study abroad. After the exemption has been applied, a flat duty rate of 4% is applied toward the next $ 1,000 of the vehicle's value. The remaining amount is dutiable at the regular duty rate.
U.S. CITIZENS employed abroad or government employees returning on TDY or voluntary leave may import a foreign made car free of duty provided they enter the U.S. for a short visit, claim nonresident status, and export the vehicle when they leave.
MILITARY AND CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES of the U.S. government returning at the end of an assignment to extended duty outside the customs territory of the U.S. may include a conforming vehicle among their duty-free personal and household effects. The auto must have been purchased abroad and be in its owner's possession prior to departure. Generally, extended duty is 140 days or more. Navy personnel serving aboard a U.S. naval vessel or a supporting naval vessel from its departure from the U.S. to its return after an intended overseas deployment of 120 days or more are entitled to the extended duty exemption.
NONRESIDENTS may import a vehicle duty-free for personal use if the vehicle is imported in conjunction with the owner's arrival. Nonconforming vehicles must be exported within one year and may not be sold in the U.S. There is no exemption or extension of the export requirement. Conforming vehicles imported under the duty-free exemption are dutiable if sold within one year of importation. Duty must be paid at the most convenient Customs office before the sale is completed.
Conforming vehicles so imported may remain in the U.S. indefinitely once a formal entry is made for EPA purposes. (See below, "Emission Standards." )
The following passenger cars, light-duty trucks, heavy-duty engines and motorcycles are subject to Federal emission standards:
Gasoline-fueled cars and light-duty trucks originally manufactured after December 31, 1967.
Diesel-fueled cars originally manufactured after December 31, 1974.
Diesel-fueled light-duty trucks originally manufactured after December 31, 1975.
Heavy-duty engines originally manufactured after December 31, 1969.
Motorcycles with a displacement of more than 49 cubic centimeters originally manufactured after December 31, 1977.
Beginning with the 1974 model year, vehicles that were originally manufactured to meet U.S. emission requirements, if driven outside the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, Taiwan or the Bahama Islands, may be required to have their oxygen sensor and/or catalytic converter replaced. You may import your U.S.-version vehicle under a Customs bond and have any qualified mechanic perform the necessary work. You should contact the EPA directly for detailed requirements and options before shipping your vehicle.
Nonconforming vehicles must be imported for you by a currently certified Independent Commercial Importer (ICI), a list of which is available from the EPA. This list should be obtained before you decide to import a car. The ICI will be responsible for assuring that your car complies with all U.S. emission requirements. (As of July 1, 1988, EPA no longer has the one-time exemption for vehicles five or more model-years old.) Be aware that EPA will deny entry to certain makes, models, and model years if an ICI is not certified or is unwilling to accept responsibility for the vehicle(s) in question.
You can obtain additional information on emission control requirements or on ICIs from the U.S. EPA Manufacturers Operations Division 6405-J, Investigation/Imports Section, Washington, D.C. 20460, tel. (202) 564-9660, FAX (202) 565-2057.
Individual state emission requirements may differ from those of the federal government.
Proper registration of a vehicle in a state may depend upon satisfaction of its requirements, so you should contact the appropriate state authorities prior to importation.
Be aware, however, that EPA will not accept compliance with a state's emission requirements as satisfying EPA's.
You may select EPA Transportation and Air Quality to go to the homepage of EPA's Transportation and Air Quality for detailed information about EPA's vehicle emission requirements. To return to this page, use your browser's BACK button
Imported cars should bear the International Registration Marker.
The International Driving Permit, issued in five languages, is a valuable asset.
Consult an international automobile federation or your local automobile club about these documents.
U.S. RESIDENTS importing a new or used car should consult the Department of Motor Vehicles in their state of residence about temporary license plates.
NATIONALS OF CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICAN countries that have ratified the Inter-American Convention of 1943 may drive their cars in the U.S. for touring purposes for one year or the validity of the documents, whichever is shorter, without U.S. license plates or U.S. driver's permits, provided the car carries the International Registration Marker and registration card, and the driver has the International Driving Permit.
MOTORISTS VISITING THE UNITED STATES as tourists from countries that have ratified the Convention on International Road Traffic of 1949 may drive in the U.S. for one year with their own national License plates (registration tags) on their cars and with their own personal driver's licenses.
MOTORISTS FROM CANADA AND MEXICO are permitted to tour in the U.S. without U.S. license plates or U.S. driver's permits, under agreements between the United States and these countries.
MOTORISTS FROM A COUNTRY NOT A PARTY to any of the above agreements must secure a driving permit in the U.S. after taking an examination.
FOREIGN NATIONALS employed in the U.S. may use their foreign license tags from the port of entry to their destination in the U.S.
Doing anything like this is definitely the epitome of penny-wise pound foolish.
edited by Kristian #562
Thanks go to Haakon and Mr. Anonymous for making these EASY to read.
NOTE: These diagrams MAY contain errors, as they have been reworked from the Originals.
Index Pages (10, 11, 12)
The Redrawn Electrical Diagrams (pdf files):
The lot, in one zip file (500 Kbytes): ElecDocs.zip
Please check the Service Bulletins FAQ for other possible recall information and relevant VINs for those recalls.
You can also refer to the websites in the main index under the heading "Recalls".
A list of BMW service bulletins can now be found in the Service Bulletins FAQ.