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Author Topic: Importing to the uk 2019 info?  (Read 214 times)

Daddypine

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Importing to the uk 2019 info?
« on: March 12, 2019, 08:03:27 PM »
Hi all,
I hope I'm in the right part of the forum.

I am wanting to buy an RV in the USA, maybe use it for a couple of years, either in lots of just under 90 days (on an ESTA) or maybe get a B1/2 visa? (which I understand entails a trip to the American Embassy in London) and stay for, I believe, up to 180 days? and I have several questions please:-

1/ Am I correct in my assumptions above?

2/ Would going down the Montana LLC be recommended or present an issue from a storage / insurance point of view, as I have relatives in Louisiana where I can store it and use as a postal address.We would be happy to pay to store elsewhere if members experience says it makes more sense, ie, easy to fly in and out as "Jackiemac" points out in another post?

3/ We would then want to ship the motorhome back to the uk to go to Europe in assuming the Brexit outcome doesn't affect things too much. The real difficulty I am having, or maybe I haven't looked hard enough, is that all the real comprehensive in depth articles I can find on the economies and costs of Duty, VAT, and shipping back to the UK are all dated around ten years or more ago. Is that partly because it is hardly worth doing any more or am I not  looking hard enough?

Any guidance would be really gratefully received on any of the issues above. We are both retired and also have a little dog we would like to take with us so if anyone has any advice on that, it would be welcomed. We attended the Tampa RV show for the last Januaries and now have an idea of what we want.

As you can guess, we know very little at this point, but want to get moving on it so I can spend December, January and February in Quartzite with my relatives.

Many thanks in advance,

Regards, Paul.

TonyL

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Re: Importing to the uk 2019 info?
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2019, 05:41:35 PM »
Hi Paul, all your questions will get several replies, but from our experience we found as follows:
1) yes I think you are correct, if you use the visa waiver system your maximum stay will be 90 days per visit. No problem other than flight costs, but last minute cheap flights can be found. Jackiemac does this and has done for several years. If you want to stay longer you will need B1/B2 visa and that will require a visit by you and anyone else intending to get a Visa to visit the embassy in London(assuming you are a UK resident). Current cost is $160 per person whether a visa is granted or not. Application at first is on line, you will need Visa photos, NOT passport size. They will take your passport and return about 5 to 10 days later. The visa does not guarantee right of entry, you will need to convince the Border control officer that your reason for entry is as per the visa, they can then grant up to 6 months stay. You can apply once in the USA for an extension of up to another 6 months. There is no minimum time you must be out of the USA after 6 months, you must convince again the Border officer that your intention is to comply with the visa, ie not working, no permanent address etc. The visa is valid for up to 10 years.
2) We have gone down the LLC route and although it is early days, we have found it to work out fine so far. I think (and if I am wrong someone will soon correct me) that storing it in another state should not present any issues as your relatives in Louisiana will not be the owners of the LLC which will own the unit. The total cost for us to register the LLC, purchase a tow truck and fifth wheel was $1200. The potential sales tax was nearly $6000. There are some company return forms that need to be filed annually which cost us $49 for the registration company to deal with completely.
3) Not sure about returning the unit to the UK but it will definitely be a lot cheaper if you have owned and used it in the USA first. I have no doubt someone on the forum will have done what you intend to do so will be able to give much better advice.
4) Don't forget travel insurance, ensure it is a good one as we have found to our cost that as soon as you need it they will do everything to minimise their liability. A multi trip will be fine if you use the waiver system as the Gold level covers up to 90 days per trip but you must renew from the UK. Long term backpackers is available for up to 18 months. We are currently looking at whether non US citizens can obtain a good cover from US providers and will post when we know more.
5) Finally, when you get to the states, be sure to meet up with the people on this forum at the first opportunity at a rally. First class people, first class company, exceptional help and advice.
Good hunting.
TonyL

jackiemac

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Re: Importing to the uk 2019 info?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2019, 06:09:54 PM »
Hi Paul and welcome to the forum.

Sorry Tony, we do not travel on the Esta Visa waiver, we have B1/B2 visas and stay for the full 6 months before coming home.  First year we did come home for a month and had no problem on return.

We contacted a solicitor in the US who said we should get a Visa as you have more legal protection if anything goes wrong.

How long you can stay is up to the Border Control guys as Tony says. However in Vegas 2 years ago we did not have paper copies of our return flights and after some questioning were sent for a 2nd interview.  There was a lady in front of us who had just returned pretty soon after a previous trip and was told she had to stay out of the US for a minimum of 6 months before going back. She was visiting her son and did not speak English so maybe the  guy was being very cautious, he let her stay for the requested duration but made it clear to the son that he was serious.  I did ask him if it was ok for us to be there for the full 6 months and he said yes, but don't return for 6. 

The problem is that I think the decisions here may always be at the Border guy's discretion but I have not done enough digging on the topic to know for sure as we are usually 6 and 6 so it is not an issue, but worth doing more checking I think.

I believe you can extend your trip to up to 18 months but we have not done that, although another member did an extension but I do not know if he did the full 18 months.  Perhaps he will join the conversation if still participating on the forum.  I know there are links to the web page on other posts.

If you are bringing the unit back into the UK I think there are legal requirements regarding the electrics, brakes, lights etc. Not sure on specific details though. We were told by a company at the UK Motorhome Show that a conversion for our trailer would be in the region of 2,000. That was in 2015.

I will come back with more info on dog in a few days. Not feeling great tonight and we are away down south for a week so I will fyry to respond before we get back if I can.

Not sure if this is the crowd we saw but try calling them for some info on import situation...


http://ccrv.co.uk/34-42-ft-5th-wheels/4586569113
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Back home in Scotland awaiting May 2019

Isaac-1

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Re: Importing to the uk 2019 info?
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2019, 06:18:17 PM »
I can't help on any of the UK stuff, however I do live in Louisiana and can tell you a bit about the state side of motorhome ownership.      Louisiana has very low RV registration fees (yearly license plate) amounting to about $25 per year for the license plate and $10 per year for  safety inspection sticker (2 year stickers available for $20), the inspection process is a joke here, blow the horn and check the brake lights, unfortunately the money from the inspection sticker citations goes to fund the state police retirement system, so it will never be done away with,   at least this is on sub 26,000 GVWR motorhomes (all gasoline powered class A's), I know commercial trucks over 26,000 pound GVWR require a more intense safety inspection, I just don't know if it applies to diesel pusher motorhomes.     There is no smog testing in the western part of Louisiana, though smog testing is required around Baton Rouge and New Orleans (I am not sure of the exact boundaries as I live in western Louisiana just about 15 miles from Texas).      Note Louisiana technically does not have RV license plates, all motorhome license plates in Louisiana read "Private Bus".      Now for the downside, Louisiana imposes a sales / use tax of up to 9.5% (it is 9% where I live)  4% state tax the rest is local tax which varies.      This applies to any vehicle bought or brought into the state permanently, meaning anyone moving into Louisiana has to pay tax on their vehicle a second time even if it has previously been registered in another state, the exception here is if you buy out of state and immediately bring it into Louisiana, you may be credited the amount of tax paid to the purchasing state which ever is less.  If however you were to do something like register in Montana, then move to Louisiana 3 years later, you would then get hit with this use tax when the vehicle was imported and registered in Louisiana, and this use tax is based on estimated book value, not actual sales price.     This book value is often on the high side, I was at the DMV renewing a license a few years ago and someone else in line had just moved into the state with an 8 year old motorcycle and was shocked to learn he owned $850 in use tax before he could register it in Louisiana.

It should probably also be noted that Louisiana is the only state in the US whose legal system is not based on English Common law, instead it is based upon Napolenonic code, though a lot has been done in the last 40-50 years to bring Louisiana law more in line with other states, there are still some big differences.  So any time you are seeking legal advice relating to Louisiana, you really should consult a Louisiana lawyer.  A big one that a lot of people get surprised about is Louisiana has no common law marriage.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 10:33:08 PM by Isaac-1 »
2002 Safari Trek 2830

TonyL

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Re: Importing to the uk 2019 info?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2019, 03:44:02 AM »
Thanks Jackie, and sorry for getting your travel set up wrong. I should have realised about your visas from the information you sent me previously. I was looking only yesterday at the faq's on the embassy website, it clearly says that you do not have to show a return ticket to gain entry. However, if you cannot convince the border officer of your intention, no return ticket will not help your situation.
Regards
Tony

Daddypine

  • Posts: 3
Re: Importing to the uk 2019 info?
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2019, 07:08:56 PM »
Thank you all for your contributions, very informative.

Thank you Jackiemac, I will watch for anything on the dog and hope someone can help with figures / costs on importing. We imported a 1932 Chevy pickup truck several years ago but that was a classic vehicle and not subject to quite the same rules and regs.

We are on ESTA's at the moment but I will look into the B1/B2 visa's, we just think a longer stay would be less traumatic for the pooch.

Thanks again all.

jackiemac

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Re: Importing to the uk 2019 info?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2019, 04:37:00 PM »
My friend took her dog to Cyprus from the UK. She trained it for travel by getting the case well in advance and putting him in it then making lots of noise (hoovering etc) to replicate noise on the flight. I think she built up the time until he was happy.

He is a timid dog though.

I will find out more from her and get back to you...
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Back home in Scotland awaiting May 2019