How to import a Land Rover from UK - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 27th, 2016, 10:38 AM
bnoonan
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1988 RHD 90
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How to import a Land Rover from UK

First: Note the title of this post is to make it easier to find by those who are curious about how to go about importing a Rover. This is only how I did it. Probably not the easiest way and certainly not without headaches. I began this process before discovering the services of Uncle Doug and the Defender of Defenders here on this site. Both offered fantastic advice on the forum here and I even spoke to Doug on the phone briefly. Great thanks to them and others on the forum for their advice.
As a biologist I’ve imported loads of stuff that is covered by even more restrictive legal requirements so I was not terribly daunted by the task and kind of enjoy learning by doing (Note: the concept of my 90 being crushed kept my wife on my back a bit more than I would have liked…if you try this yourself I’d keep the possibility of such from your spouse).

So here is how I did it. Hope it helps someone.

Prior to purchase I considered flying over to have a look. Fun but not enough time and not economical. I’d love to make the trip and shop around a bit for my next (a 110 or a series), but not this time. So I hired John Mellor (inspectacar.net) to give the vehicle a thorough going through. His report was incredibly detailed and both the seller and I were impressed with how thorough it was. He noted a few things (e.g. brakes, engine mount, rear dampers) that needed replacing and enabled me to have that work done over there before import (see below). One very nice thing about this report is that I was able to have independent verification of VIN numbers and engine serial. The report was full of photographs and really put me at ease with moving forward with the purchase. Total cost: £280 (~$400).

Payment to seller. Note that using wire transfer through your bank can be a pain in the ass. You agree on a price with seller and wire what should be the exact amount based on current exchange rates…..the seller will get shorted. I expected this and sent $200 extra and they were STILL shorted ~$150. I PayPal’d the rest.

After the purchase of my 1988 90, I had it hauled to Jones Bros. 4X4 for some work that needed to be done. I did this because it was easier than finding mechanic & parts here to take care of the simple things that needed to be done. Seller was not terribly interested in dropping it off at the garage 2 hrs. away despite my offer of compensation. Jones Bros. had it picked up for £150. After all work was done, they also had it delivered to the port for the same price (£150). For delivery they needed to have the booking document from ACL and the bill of sale (copies of both, bill of sale original was in mail to me). Jones Bros. (Mervyn in particular) were great and I’d definitely work with them again.

Shipping: I used ACL (ACL - HOME) for RoRo shipment. They were easy to talk to and quite good at email communication. You must provide them with the volume of the vehicle (they can estimate, my D90 with a 2” lift and no roof rack came in at 14.79 cm). You also have to provide them with scans of the
-V5-particularly section 11-Notification of Permanent export-Signed by prev. owner
-Signed bill of sale
-Completed (by you) EPA form 3520-1 (E in box 9; Check “code E” below)
-Completed (by you) DOT Declaration form HS-7. Check box 1 and enter date of manufacture (Put actual day, not just year, if it is close they will hold for confirmation. Agents told me they are sticklers to the day on the 25yr rule.)

Transport time from Liverpool to Baltimore was about 12 days.
Total Cost: £1091 (~$1,500)
Note: You can track the progress of the ship with any number of online ship-tracking websites (e.g. AIS Vessel Tracking - AIS Positions Maps | AIS Marine Traffic). Neat way to see where your Landy is.

I contracted the services of Pride International in Baltimore (Pride International | 410 – 633 – 0033) to handle the logistics at the port (all importation fees & paperwork filing). They were great to work with and easy to reach by phone during business hours. They also need copies of all documentation sent to cargo carrier. The Rover was cleared by customs in 5 days and ready to transport. Total cost (which covered all import duty and port fees) ~$500.

Transport from Baltimore to Mississippi: I could have opted to drive this 2.5 n/a Rover myself for the cost of a 1-way ticket and some fuel (<$300), but just did not have the time (or the desire to drive 900 mi. at speeds not to exceed 60mph).
I first requested Pride International arrange trucking as I discovered when you fill out those quote requests online, they pass your interest out to a LOT of trucking companies that will all blast your email and phone with offers (that all seem exceptionally low). Pride quoted a price right around ~$1000. I said OK and waited. And waited. After a week of waiting for the trucking company to decide when they would be able to pick up the vehicle, I called Roadrunner Auto Transport. If you Google auto transport, this will be one of the top hits.

RoadRunner: Within 10 minutes I had a quote that was within $5 of the one Pride had offered and a promise to pick up the vehicle 2 days later and deliver in 5 (3 after pickup). I discussed with the agent the need for the driver to have a TWIC card to enter the port. This is super important. The driver will be turned away without it. No problem they say. They ask for nothing more than my credit card #.
Next day I get bill of landing from Pride International and send it to RoadRunner representative I was communicating with, tell them it is needed for pickup.
Day of pick-up I get a frantic call: Driver was refused as they had neither TWIC card nor bill of landing (blamed me initially, I sorted them out on that one).
Long story short, was picked up 4 days later and delivered within 28 hrs. (not because I was upset or in any move to please me, just that the driver was making a long, straight haul).
Take Away: RoadRunner is a booking company. They advertise the job and truckers can pick it up. They are poor at communicating details to truckers (2nd driver was not told he needed TWIC card either, but he was willing to pay $50 fee to get the card to transport the vehicle anyhow). You will never speak to the same person twice (even with their extension, you get voicemail only).

Summary: Fun, not without headaches, not rocket science. I’d seriously consider one of the service providers on here if you do not want to be constantly calling the UK and the US port to handle all of this crap yourself. If you find some perverse delight in such activities (which I guess I do), by all means, go ahead.

Total costs:
Inspection: $400
Transport to mechanic/port: $400
RoRo: $1500
Port fees: $500 (note I also paid $40 for an extra 5 days due to pick up delay)
Transport to MS: $1000
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  #2  
Old June 27th, 2016, 01:46 PM
Quietcat22
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Super cool write-up. Thanks!
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  #3  
Old June 27th, 2016, 02:36 PM
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Abraham Bell
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I can sum this up in one sentence! Just call Uncle Doug !!
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  #4  
Old June 27th, 2016, 02:59 PM
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John B.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnoonan View Post
Payment to seller. Note that using wire transfer through your bank can be a pain in the ass. You agree on a price with seller and wire what should be the exact amount based on current exchange rates…..the seller will get shorted. I expected this and sent $200 extra and they were STILL shorted ~$150. I PayPal’d the rest.
FYI, when you wire money, you can have it wired in whatever currency you choose, so it is easy enough to wire the exact amaount.
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  #5  
Old June 27th, 2016, 03:05 PM
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x2 re Pride International. I've worked with Michelle many many times and found her to be responsive and very helpful. She's knowledgeable about Rovers and the issues they bring to CBP. She was there slugging through the mess when shit hit the fans in Baltimore a few years ago.
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  #6  
Old June 27th, 2016, 03:44 PM
bnoonan
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re Pride International: Michelle was great but she left the company a few days after my Rover arrived. Cindy helped me through the end of it and was just as good.

re Currency: I do know some banks are capable (or have staff that know how) but it just did not happen with my regional bank.
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  #7  
Old June 27th, 2016, 03:50 PM
bnoonan
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I should have attached a photo to the first post. Better late than never.
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  #8  
Old June 27th, 2016, 03:55 PM
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Is that an aftermarket peacock?
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  #9  
Old June 27th, 2016, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnoonan View Post
I should have attached a photo to the first post. Better late than never.
Tough looking truck.

Snorkel is on the right on a N/A? I thought it was on the left with the TD and 200TDI and right for 300TDI and TD5?
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  #10  
Old June 27th, 2016, 04:22 PM
bnoonan
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Umm... yes Adam. Astute observation. You can attach the snorkel to the right if you just want it to look bad ass and don't care about function, but you are right the air intake is all on the left. Sigh. There is about an 8" hose from the snorkel that terminates just above the right tire. Entirely useless.

I intended to remove it anyhow, just hoping the hole on the side can be filled with one of the snazzy vents I've seen available. And then I have some screw holes to patch on the window frame. Good problems to have I suppose.
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  #11  
Old June 27th, 2016, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnoonan View Post
Umm... yes Adam. Astute observation. You can attach the snorkel to the right if you just want it to look bad ass and don't care about function, but you are right the air intake is all on the left. Sigh. There is about an 8" hose from the snorkel that terminates just above the right tire. Entirely useless.

I intended to remove it anyhow, just hoping the hole on the side can be filled with one of the snazzy vents I've seen available. And then I have some screw holes to patch on the window frame. Good problems to have I suppose.
Haha or you can install a 300TDI or TD5

Seriously nice looking truck. I enjoyed the read as I await my trucks arrival.

Is it vinyl wrapped or paint? I like how they left the rivets shiny. The fenders look nice as well. What size tire? Anymore pics?
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  #12  
Old June 27th, 2016, 05:14 PM
bnoonan
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Yup, Safari HP has me near convinced on a 300TDI conversion (next year).

It is paint. And not a terribly good paint job at that sadly. I love the shiny rivets, great touch. But the paint is already peeling back to reveal a shiny red. I was unaware of the possibility of vinyl, but this is a great option. I took it to a body shop this week and he laughed and said not to do it, would be >$10k. This, I imagine, would be a full removal of previous layers of paint and priming of all surfaces (inside and out). All I really want is the exterior taken down, primed properly and painted. I'll keep looking and searching through forum but am not going to include vinyl in my research.
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  #13  
Old June 27th, 2016, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnoonan View Post
Yup, Safari HP has me near convinced on a 300TDI conversion (next year).

It is paint. And not a terribly good paint job at that sadly. I love the shiny rivets, great touch. But the paint is already peeling back to reveal a shiny red. I was unaware of the possibility of vinyl, but this is a great option. I took it to a body shop this week and he laughed and said not to do it, would be >$10k. This, I imagine, would be a full removal of previous layers of paint and priming of all surfaces (inside and out). All I really want is the exterior taken down, primed properly and painted. I'll keep looking and searching through forum but am not going to include vinyl in my research.
A vinyl wrap shouldn't run anymore then $2k. Any color you can imagine. My buddies Wrangler is wrapped matte black for maybe 6 years now. Has held up good.
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