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Exporting out of Miami, lessons learned

I want to share my experiences with everybody that lives like me outside of the US and is planning on purchasing a new 370Z and have it shipped. In my

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Old 04-19-2009, 09:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Exporting out of Miami, lessons learned

I want to share my experiences with everybody that lives like me outside of the US and is planning on purchasing a new 370Z and have it shipped.
In my case, a lot of things went wrong, partly because of my inexperience, partly because of the wonderful dealer I had selected (Nissan of Brandon). It is a long story, but you can learn from it.

1. Inland transportation.
I had selected a dealer in the state of Florida, in Tampa. Obviously, the car needed to be transported on a flatbed to my freight forwarder in the Miami harbor for export. They charged me $725 for that transport. At first I thought: no that is impossible. But then I checked with my forwarder in Miami and asked them how much they would charge me to pick up the car from the dealer. They said it would be about the same. So I guessed by then, that’s apparently the price for such a transport.
Now, after the facts, I found Boardwalk Nissan as participating dealer on the forum and asked them, what the transport to Miami from THEIR place would have cost me. They answered me right away (imagine, they cannot even sell to me anymore, still very good service, thanks guys). Shipping all the way from CA to Miami with them would have cost me $690.
And I paid $725 just from Tampa to Miami, a 250mile drive.
Guess what, did they rip me off or what??

2. Power of attorney (POA).
Here was really my inexperience playing a big role. I had heard from other business associates in my neighborhood that they just signed a POA for their forwarder and the forwarder handled everything. So I thought, the same would happen with my car. Unfortunately the POA I signed with my forwarder was a standard document from them and it stated that they would only be authorized to act on my behalf with US-Customs, but nothing about signing ownership docs with the car dealer.
In the meantime I know this is contrary to what most forwarders will do, but yeah, it was in writing in that POA, I just did not read good enough between the lines.
So when the car arrived on the flatbed in Miami, the forwarder refused to sign the documents. Very frustrating, but by the contents of their POA he was right.

3. Incorrect VIN number.
As a result of what I explained in part 2, now the original documents had to be sent to me by FedEx for me to sign them. Delays, resulting in “storage charges” at the Miami warehouse of the forwarder.
Here the dealer made a wonderful blooper. They send me some documents with the correct VIN number, but some documents with another VIN number from another car. And as FedEx to Aruba, where I live, is not “next day” delivery, this sending up and down of documents amounted to a full week delay (and storage charges).

4. The invoice.
Here in Aruba I have to pay 50% import duties on CIF value, which is cargo + insurance + freight.
Therefore I had requested up front for the $725 to be invoiced on a separate invoice directly to me, so it would not be part of my CIF-value. Yes, we will do that was the answer in writing on the email……..
No, they did not. So I requested one more time, while the car was already on the boat and due in just a few days, please send me another invoice. Best thing would be not only without the inland transportation of $725, but also without the dealer fee of $599 (yeah, imagine, I did not even negotiate about the dealer fee, letting them be entitled to their profits).
They came back with the lame duck excuse that they would get into trouble with the IRS if they did so.
Ridiculous. Just splitting your invoice into two invoices, one for the car only and one for the inland freight and dealer fee, would not be considered fraud, you would not be hiding or changing any figure.
However, I would have enabled me to present an invoice to customs with only the value of the car on it. It is like going to Miami with American airlines to shop and on the way back paying import duty on the value of what you purchased, including the cost of your plane ticket.
So the way I see it, I had to pay 50% of $725 inland freight + 50% of $599 dealer fee, a total of $622 import duties, just because that dealer did not want to co-operate anymore.



Finally……
The car is in Aruba and it is just wonderful.
I purchased it for my wife and she is very, very happy with it.
I must say, I am seriously considering buying one for myself also, but I will wait until the Roadster becomes available. And I want to wait and see with this car how the suspension keeps up with the terrible road conditions we have here on the island. After heavy rain, there are potholes everywhere.

In any case, never ever with this dealer (Nissan of Brandon) and next time, sign the papers up front.
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Old 04-19-2009, 11:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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wow thats a lot of problems to get a car to aruba. yikes. but yea atleast you are happy. oh and please inform everyone in the forum about how the 370z deals in potholes. i live in florida i plan getting my 370z in july. well best of luck good thing everything got resolved at a price....=S
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Old 04-19-2009, 12:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BertVermaas View Post
I want to share my experiences with everybody that lives like me outside of the US and is planning on purchasing a new 370Z and have it shipped.
In my case, a lot of things went wrong, partly because of my inexperience, partly because of the wonderful dealer I had selected (Nissan of Brandon). It is a long story, but you can learn from it.

1. Inland transportation.
I had selected a dealer in the state of Florida, in Tampa. Obviously, the car needed to be transported on a flatbed to my freight forwarder in the Miami harbor for export. They charged me $725 for that transport. At first I thought: no that is impossible. But then I checked with my forwarder in Miami and asked them how much they would charge me to pick up the car from the dealer. They said it would be about the same. So I guessed by then, that’s apparently the price for such a transport.
Now, after the facts, I found Boardwalk Nissan as participating dealer on the forum and asked them, what the transport to Miami from THEIR place would have cost me. They answered me right away (imagine, they cannot even sell to me anymore, still very good service, thanks guys). Shipping all the way from CA to Miami with them would have cost me $690.
And I paid $725 just from Tampa to Miami, a 250mile drive.
Guess what, did they rip me off or what??

2. Power of attorney (POA).
Here was really my inexperience playing a big role. I had heard from other business associates in my neighborhood that they just signed a POA for their forwarder and the forwarder handled everything. So I thought, the same would happen with my car. Unfortunately the POA I signed with my forwarder was a standard document from them and it stated that they would only be authorized to act on my behalf with US-Customs, but nothing about signing ownership docs with the car dealer.
In the meantime I know this is contrary to what most forwarders will do, but yeah, it was in writing in that POA, I just did not read good enough between the lines.
So when the car arrived on the flatbed in Miami, the forwarder refused to sign the documents. Very frustrating, but by the contents of their POA he was right.

3. Incorrect VIN number.
As a result of what I explained in part 2, now the original documents had to be sent to me by FedEx for me to sign them. Delays, resulting in “storage charges” at the Miami warehouse of the forwarder.
Here the dealer made a wonderful blooper. They send me some documents with the correct VIN number, but some documents with another VIN number from another car. And as FedEx to Aruba, where I live, is not “next day” delivery, this sending up and down of documents amounted to a full week delay (and storage charges).

4. The invoice.
Here in Aruba I have to pay 50% import duties on CIF value, which is cargo + insurance + freight.
Therefore I had requested up front for the $725 to be invoiced on a separate invoice directly to me, so it would not be part of my CIF-value. Yes, we will do that was the answer in writing on the email……..
No, they did not. So I requested one more time, while the car was already on the boat and due in just a few days, please send me another invoice. Best thing would be not only without the inland transportation of $725, but also without the dealer fee of $599 (yeah, imagine, I did not even negotiate about the dealer fee, letting them be entitled to their profits).
They came back with the lame duck excuse that they would get into trouble with the IRS if they did so.
Ridiculous. Just splitting your invoice into two invoices, one for the car only and one for the inland freight and dealer fee, would not be considered fraud, you would not be hiding or changing any figure.
However, I would have enabled me to present an invoice to customs with only the value of the car on it. It is like going to Miami with American airlines to shop and on the way back paying import duty on the value of what you purchased, including the cost of your plane ticket.
So the way I see it, I had to pay 50% of $725 inland freight + 50% of $599 dealer fee, a total of $622 import duties, just because that dealer did not want to co-operate anymore.



Finally……
The car is in Aruba and it is just wonderful.
I purchased it for my wife and she is very, very happy with it.
I must say, I am seriously considering buying one for myself also, but I will wait until the Roadster becomes available. And I want to wait and see with this car how the suspension keeps up with the terrible road conditions we have here on the island. After heavy rain, there are potholes everywhere.

In any case, never ever with this dealer (Nissan of Brandon) and next time, sign the papers up front.

I bet you will have the only 370Z in Aruba for an exceptionally long time

Thanks for the information on the process, something I have never had any idea about.
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Last edited by Nikon FM; 04-19-2009 at 12:55 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-23-2009, 05:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have some questions;
With what company you shipped your vehicle from Port Miami to Aruba, how much did they charge you, how long did it take to arrive to Aruba?
Did you have to totally pay off the car?
Did you pay taxes in the states? If not, did you pay taxes, imports or something at the time that the car arrived to Aruba?
What about shipping insurance?
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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In respons to o0javi0o questions:

1. I shipped with econocaribe, the total charges, seafreigth, including handling of the papers, insurance, etc amounted to $4,600 invoiced from their Miami offices plus another $200 in Aruba for local paperwork charges.

2. The boat left on friday april 10 and arrived in Aruba tuesday 14, so 4 days at sea.

3. Not sure I understand the question, but yes, I paid everything cash.

4. Taxes? As you could read in my first post, 50% import duties on the total value, so including that freight&insurance. In total I paid $17,400 USD in import duties on the car.

5. Shipping insurance premium is 1.25% of car value and was part of my total freightcharges.

So in case you want to calculate the total cost for me (that is just one of the last questions missing)
28960 the Z itself
725 inland transport
599 dealer fee
4600 shipping
200 local charges
17500 import duties
=======
52584 USD total
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks!
Wow! I didn't know that Aruba makes you pay 50% more on import duties...
I was making those questions because I am traveling a lot to Puerto Rico and maybe, my company is going to put me in Puerto Rico permanently and the 370z in Puerto Rico is starting on 42K that's base, 18", no nothing, and the touring with sport package is on 57K... yes that's the price tag in Puerto Rico for the Touring with Sport Package and they will not offer Navi package...

So, as I am saying since I became a member here in october-november, not sure, I am planning to get my Z by Sept/Oct this year, but maybe I am going to be moved from Orlando Fl, to Puerto Rico, by this June. If that happens, I might be waiting a little bit longer to get my Z. But I did my research and a moving company is charging me 1,100 only to ship the car but at the time it arrives in Puerto Rico, I have to pay to the government 8,600 just in taxes and that's it.
So if you do the math, get a Touring with Sport and Nav, by 37-39k + shipping and taxes, you will be paying a lot less from what they are selling them in the Island and they don't have Nav package in the Island too...
Those are my plans if I am transferred to PR....

Thanks for your response buddy.
Enjoy you Z in Aruba!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
725 inland transport, 599 dealer fee, 4600 shipping, 200 local charges, 17500 import duties = 52584 USD total
Hi, Just a quick question: Did you try to deal with Nissan at the corporate level?

Seems to me you could have had your car put in a container in Japan, then sent thru the Panama Canal. I'm sure it has been done before, because I've seen a lot of Nissans in Columbia.

You might have to special-order the US emissions if you want them, because they leave that junk off deliveries to most South American countries. But even if Nissan would only deliver as far as Columbia for you, freight on one single container a single day's sail away has got to be a whole lot cheaper than dealing the way you did.
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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hi jginnane

No, I did not ask Nissan corporate. It never occurred to me that the factory would sell directly to a private person instead of to a dealer. I very much doubt that.

Therefore I think the cars you saw in columbia where purchased from the local dealership. Sure there is one.
And still, if they would. "My" container being shipped from Japan thru the panama canal would have to travel several times the distance of what I did now, Miami-Aruba. Therefore, the shipping charges would for sure also be several times higher. You cannot compare the charge per container for the dealer when cars are shipped by the hundreds on the same vessel to the states to the shipping charges for one individual "special order" container.
So frankly, even if the factory would have sold me direct (and at what price??), the much higher shipping charges would have spoiled everything (I think).
But yeah, I did not check.
Anybody knows if Nissan would sell "directly", bypassing the dealer?
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BertVermaas View Post
No, I did not ask Nissan corporate (...)
I didn't want to spend too long on this, because you've already got your car. But if you google for Nissan sites that aren't "nissanusa.com", you can easily find: Nissan Global Fleet | PRODUCTS

That's in English. Once you click on Latin America, the language of the website changes to Spanish, but you can see the models they sell and/or assemble in Columbia. (No Zs at present, I'm afraid.) But at least you have a link to an English-speaking party at Nissan corporate in Japan who deals with foreign exports to companies and countries outside of the USA. I think that person is located closer to the correct answer you want than somebody at corporate in Smyrna, TN.

I personally can't offer a clue on how freight charges would run, but every Z here in the USA has already come across 8-11 time zones from Japan, and that freight was not free. (We only pay $700 for delivery from the nearest embarkation point in the US -- probably Long Beach CA, I'd guess Port Elizabeth NJ, maybe another down near Smyrna TN.

BUT if you're importing direct from Japan, there's a chance you'd be able to go full JDM, which means (at least) different stereo, tires (rims?), the 4th low taillight, your choice of left- or right-hand driving, etc etc.

OT: One thrilling sight to me was seeing the car we know in the US as an Acura TSX labelled properly as it's known worldwide, a Honda Accord, when we were in Cartagena. (Acura is a marketing fiction for the US market only -- cars designed in CA for big-*** Americans, and built in Ohio. The Honda car line worldwide is better than our local Accords and Acura TLs.)

Good luck!
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