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Old 12-28-2007, 12:14 PM   #1
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How to bring a car back from Japan

This is my disclaimer: I've done this once so by no means am I the expert. I did my research and figured out a legit way to ship a car back as parts. As a courtesy, I am posting this info for reference. What you do with it is totally up to you.

The plan: When I was about 18 months out from leaving I started doing leg work to get my car back to the US. I did the same shit every other kid on this forum does; searched the internet eventually ending up at the NHSC website, calling every importer on the list and ending up with a wasted phone card and lost hope. I came close on a couple of importers but it was all basically the same shit, no one could give me any guarantees. Their pricing was anywhere from 6K to 10K and they all said that it could be more depending on what goes down.
I got a hold of a guy in LA who told me he could do it for 4K. He said I would have to take it to Fukuoka where it would be disassembled, packed into a container with 4 other cars and shipped back to his shop in LA. He told me the catch was that it would be declared as parts coming through US customs. I was stoked because I figured out how I was going to get my car back.
When I was 12 months out I called him to set my plan in motion. Bad news, he went out of business. His wife left him and took him for all of his money. He felt bad for me so he said he could do it if I found three other cars to go into the container with me. Well I put the word out to the people I knew in Oki and a lot of people talked but talking was all that they were doing.
Finding myself between a rock and a hard place I said fuck it, I'm going to do it myself, I'm going to cut the middle man out and take matters into my own hands. Here's how it went down:

1.) The Japanese exporter. Searching the forums I came across a post about this guy down in Naha that could ship parts back to the US. I called him and told him my situation. I told him that I wanted to disassemble a car and bring it to him and have it shipped to the US. He had never done it before but said he could do whatever I wanted. Basically he could get me a container and take care of everything that needs to happen to get it out of Japan. Here is his contact info:

Koji Komesu
Ryukyu Logistics
090-4343-4640
[email protected]

They are located in NAHA port next to Kinser. Koji is good people, he speaks perfect English and is a professional. His job is to make shit happen.

2. The US importer. Getting the container out of Japan is half of the battle. Koji recommended a company in LA called NIK & associates. I made contact with NIK and was put in contact with a lady named Esmeralda Avila. I explained my plan to Esmeralda and she told me what needed to happen. She forwarded a list of parts not authorized by the DOT for import into the US. She said that as long as the car was completely disassembled and had no unauthorized parts that everything was legit. NIK would take receipt of my container upon entry into the US, bring it through US customs, pay all applicable fees on my behalf and arrange for delivery to my US address. Here is the contact info for NIK:

NIK & Associates, Inc
800 S. Hindry Avenue
Inglewood CA 90301
310-215-8282
fax 310-649-0324
www.lacustoms.com

There are a grip of other brokers. You can research it and find one that will work for you. NIK is corporate. They do big business and know how to handle shit. I would do business with them again. Who you choose is on you.

3. The time line and process:

I was slated to depart OKI on Jan 22 2006.

November 15:
Koji forwarded me two electronic documents. A Booking information form and a format for a packing list. The next step was to fill the forms out and send them back to him. Based off of what I was shipping I would require a 20ft container.

The booking form:
1. full name
2.your current address
3.the consignee's address and the custom broker's info (the person who will be bring it in on the US side)
4.What you are shipping and it's value
5.a permanent e-mail address

The packing list:

This is a list broken down by quantity, unit price, total price, item description, item weight and item size. Your car will be listed as a shell (ex: Mazda RX7 FD3S shell). All other parts will be listed as is (ex: Mazda 13BREW 1300CC motor, Transmission, turbo charger and manifold, drive shaft, doors , hood, fenders, dif, plastic interior pieces, aluminum car rims, ect etc.)

NOTE* Anything that is on the unauthorized parts list cannot go into the container.

NOTE* All of my small items, electronics and anything else I couldn't put in the container went back through my TMO shipment. I acquired two large plastic foot lockers and packed them with loose parts to alleviate a complicated packing list for my container. (ex:my computer, ignition, defi gauges, instrument cluster, radiator, intercooler, intercooler piping, lights, misc interior pieces, etc etc)

December 15:
Went to VEH REG on Foster and deregistered my car for shipment. You cannot have a lien on the car when you do this. I showed them my paperwork from Ryukyu Logistics and they deregistered the car. I then had to go to LTO to get the de registration title/export certificate. It was painless.

January 1-8:
Disassembled the car per my packing list and staged it awaiting transportation to NAHA.

Called Koji to set date for me to bring my parts to NAHA.

January 10:
TMO comes to my barracks room to take my household goods and send them to CA. All of my parts went onto the inventory and no questions were asked. I had contacted them prior to ensure that there would be no issues with me sending my parts back with my household goods. They said that it was straight as long as there was no HAZMAT or POL.

January 11:
With the assistance of a good friend and his flatbed truck (w/hoist), transported all of my parts to NAHA and staged them in the shipping yard. Koji met me there with the rep from Japanese customs. Customs inspected my parts and everything was good to go. Koji took possession of everything and started prepping everything for packaging into the container. They wrapped everything in cardboard and bubble wrap, took pictures and sealed the container.

Jan 12-16:
I went to the Tokyo Auto Salon bitches.

Jan 17:
Went to Ryukyu Logistics to make payment. Costs vary depending on what season of the year you ship. This was my cost breakdown:
-20ft container from APL w/ all fees: $3007.00 USD
-Ryukyu Logistics fees (customs clearance/customs inspection fee/packaging fee/delivery fee and handling fee: 111000 JPY
*It’s broken down completely on the paperwork.
-Koji faxed my paperwork to NIK so they could monitor my shipment and pick it up when it arrived to LA.

January 23:
-I leave Okinawa for a two week vacation in Fukuoka with my newly wed wife.
-My FD leaves Okinawa heading for LA.

Feb 11:
-My container arrives in LA. It takes a week to process through customs.
-NIK contacts me to make arrangements for delivery and payment. Payment broke down like this:

Duty fee:$185
Entry fee:$350
Bond:$50
Pier Pass:$40
Exam fee:$120
Handling:$50

Delivery charges(LA TO OCEANSIDE)
truck:$560
fuel$85
After hours delivery fee: $75 ( I held up the truck driver for two hours....my bad)
Grand total to NIK: $1514.09

Feb 15:
My TMO shipment arrives (everything intact)

Feb 17:
My 20ft container arrives(everything intact)

My after-action:
From beginning to end, this entire process was a pain in the ass. I had to figure out everything on my own and I got sick and tired of dumb people telling me that I wouldn't be able to do it. Or, I would tell someone what I was planning to do and they would look at me like I was full of shit. Well, now everyone sees how full of shit I am. The whole process takes planning and action so if you lack abilities to do either I would say don't do this or you'll probably fuck something up.

$5500 bucks is allot to dump on anything. Plan it out and try to get some other shit to put into the container so you can turn a profit off of selling parts when you get back or split the container with someone to alleviate the price.

Make sure you bring back enough spare parts for your ride too, just incase you break anything putting it back together.

Expect minor scratches on your body panels. My passenger door was dropped somewhere along the way and got a nice dent. Besides the dent everything else came through good.

I'll be glad to entertain questions. I'll try to check this out from time to time to see what the peanut gallery has to say. I wish you all the best of luck. Take care and drive safe.

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Old 12-28-2007, 12:23 PM   #2
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nice write up!

+ rep
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Old 12-28-2007, 12:48 PM   #3
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congrats man. Excellent write up. Don't plan on going back to the US, but will pass this info on to any of my friends that are thinking of doing the same.
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Old 12-28-2007, 01:19 PM   #4
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Nicely done.

Is that Tim in the background with the blue 34?

I think that was his name. I met him in Oki and ran into him a couple of months back here.
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Old 12-28-2007, 03:03 PM   #5
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Good job, +rep. You can do anything, if you put your mind to it.
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Old 12-28-2007, 03:14 PM   #6
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i am not reading the whole thing but congrats and wow nice car
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Old 01-06-2008, 04:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azndoc View Post
Nicely done.

Is that Tim in the background with the blue 34?

I think that was his name. I met him in Oki and ran into him a couple of months back here.

Yep, that's the Major.
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:38 AM   #8
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very nice
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:13 AM   #9
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congrats on making your own path!
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:55 AM   #10
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nice writeup, definately will let others know +1
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:06 AM   #11
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i talked with Tim a while back, is he still trying to figure out a way to get his 34 into the states? excellent write-up!
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:14 AM   #12
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still have a copy of that list of unauthorized parts? also any idea how to register and insure other cars?
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:44 AM   #13
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Nice writeup! excelent choice of car, Love FD's!!
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:07 AM   #14
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yea i'd like to import a 99+ fd over here... fd's are the sickness
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:23 AM   #15
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great write up. some day i will be importing few cars as well
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:40 AM   #16
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looks like lots of work. but I appears you are happy with what you did! +1 for you.


Post more pics! And make sure that thing is under lock and key in a garage and shit so it doesnt get stolen!
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Old 01-07-2008, 07:07 PM   #17
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good info A++++
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:55 PM   #18
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+rep for you nice write up man!
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Old 01-20-2008, 12:27 AM   #19
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in my eyes ur a hero. =]
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:18 PM   #20
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great writeup sticky maybe?
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Old 02-11-2008, 06:13 PM   #21
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This isn't the one that is in cincinnati now is it???
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