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Registration / TUV appraisal of vehicle imported from outside EU as part of personal relocation to Germany

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I recently moved to Munich from Chile. As part of my relocation shipment, my employer offered to include my car, which I did. The car is a Suzuki, bought new by me in Chile in 2014 and manufactured in Japan. It arrived along with everything else in January and went through the importation bureaucracy without issue (no tax needed to be paid as it was part of personal belongings being imported).

 

After basic research online and speaking with some colleagues I naively thought that the main issues for the test inspection (§ 21 StVZO) prior to registration would be due to any non-compliance with basic european technical requirements, and due to aftermarket modifications without TUeV gutachten. Thus I installed a rear fog light and changed the few modifications I had for German parts with gutachten. I went to TUeV Sud to ask about the process. I asked if they could review the paperwork first, but they said I had to bring the vehicle to them before they would do anything. I had no trouble getting temporary plates+insurance (Kurzzeitkennzeichen) and a green emissions sticker, and I drove it to TUeV Sud for the inspection.

 

The engineer at TUeV Sud started to go through the paperwork, and soon complained that there was no technical datasheet (techniches Datenblatt) for the vehicle. There was all the registration/purchase papers from Chile, manual and Chilean efficiency/emissions certificate (stating Euro V) paperwork, but this was apparently not sufficiently official. He checked if TUV Sud had a datasheet for the car that I could buy, but they didn't. I then got told to go away and try to get a datasheet before they could proceed with anything. This is not something that is obviously a requirement based on the material on the web about the S21 Vollgutachten procedure, so it was a surprise.

 

After much attempting over several months with TUV Rheinland's datasheet service, Suzuki Germany, the company in Chile that imports Suzukis (Derco), and even Suzuki UK, I've not been able to get a datasheet. From some researching and discussions with the TUV Rheinland datasheet service, it seems to me that such datasheets are only feasible to obtain for vehicles sold into a few markets in the world, primarily USA, Canada, Japan and perhaps Australia.

 

The TUeV say that without this datasheet they can't do anything. The only option would be for it to undergo full homologation testing, which is both destructive and would cost an open-ended amount of many thousands of Euros. I have tried to inquire if there is any special treatment that can be applied as could be the case for small series production cars (Kleinserien), but I didn't get any positive response, although I'm not convinced I was really understood on this point. I also inquired with DEKRA and KUeS in case they could give a second opinion and perhaps carry out the process differently, but they said that they are only able to do the test for vehicles imported from within the EU, i.e with a CoC, and that I had to go to the TUeV.

 

In the UK (I am british) I have checked that the car could undergo the equivalent road-worthiness test without this technical datasheet. The test there is referred to as the Basic Individual Vehicle Approval, which is applicable to personal imports as part of a relocation, and LHD vehicles generally. I was hoping Germany would have a similar simplified process for personal imports as part of relocation to the country, but so far I have not found or heard anything. The EU legislation on this seemed pretty flexible, allowing flexibility for the simplified process the UK applies, but not requiring it.

 

One option I'm contemplating to make forward progress is to ship the car to the UK and do the IVA process and register it there. There at least a few potential risks with this though, and of course its not a particularly cheap option. The first issue is tax/duty. The vehicle has been imported to the EU already, but it has not been registered, and tax was not paid in the EU as it was exempt. I phoned the relevant UK tax office to ask about this, and they said the situation is too complicated to give me an answer on the phone and I have to send all relevant paperwork physically to them and then they could give me an answer by mail. Otherwise (and what they said was normal) is that you just bring the vehicle in and then go through the process to find out what you pay. If they do charge VAT and duties I expect it is going to be a few thousand euros, which is a lot. Then I'm not sure if residency will crop up as a problem for completing the registration process. Insurance is non-trivial, but I understand there are a small number of specialist insurers that will insure a UK-registered vehicle for use within the EU for extended periods and when not a UK resident (not cheap obviously though). Assuming I could get it registered in the UK, I'd have a sort of technical datasheet from the VDSA and it would be able to drive within the EU and Germany for a short while on the UK plates, until either a Brexit mess or 6 months (maybe 12, not 100% sure) expire. My hope is that the TUV would accept the minimal technical datasheet produced by the UK VDSA as input to test and then be able to register the vehicle in Germany, but I don't see any way to guarantee this. I've heard that German kit car builders sometimes send their completed cars to the UK for the IVA procedure and registration as a means to get the TUV to consider them, which gives some hope. If the TUV still won't accept it then at least I could leave it with family in the UK, or sell it as a registered car.

 

Does anyone have any further information or recommendations for this situation?

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I went through a nearly identical situation when I brought a car from the US (a BMW manufactured in Germany).

 

The same bureaucratic run-around, the same stories about lack of Datenblatt (and mine is a German car), the same offers of expensive one-off testing, everything.

 

It took nearly seven months before I found the solution,  I found a BMW dealer in the region who was willing to take the car through the process for me, for a fee.  Turned out that a TÜV inspector somewhere near Mannheim is the dealer owner‘s cousin...

 

I handed it over to them, and a couple of weeks later it was handed back to me, complete with paperwork, all the right decals, and registration plates.

 

Perhaps you could try this route with a Suzuki dealer.

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Thanks Space Cowboy. Sorry to hear that it was so difficult for you even with a car from the US market and manufactured in Germany. I had gotten the impression that for vehicles from the US it was straightforward for the TUV to get a Datenblatt and you just had to pay for the privilege.

 

I'll see about trying with some other Suzuki dealers. I originally contacted one to see about them obtaining the Datenblatt. They were helpful but eventually told me they could not get one. They didn't offer to do the process for me for a price.

 

I did also speak with a garage in Munich which handles some imports which a colleague recommended, but they said they would just have the same problem as me when they take it to the TUV so they couldn't offer their service. I contacted a specialist japanese car importer (RHD-speedmaster) to ask if they could offer any service, but they sent me a one line reply saying they don't have a Datenblatt for the vehicle (which I didn't even ask about).

 

> Turned out that a TÜV inspector somewhere near Mannheim is the dealer owner‘s cousin...

 

I think this is the sort of lucky break that I need to get anywhere with this in Germany.

 

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On 4.9.2019, 10:41:26, Andes said:

Thanks Space Cowboy. Sorry to hear that it was so difficult for you even with a car from the US market and manufactured in Germany. I had gotten the impression that for vehicles from the US it was straightforward for the TUV to get a Datenblatt and you just had to pay for the privilege.

 

I thought the same. All the info I could find made the process seem straightforward, but it was not.  I would advise anyone non-US military to NOT try to bring a vehicle to Germany from outside the EU.

 

Unfortunately I didn’t have much choice.  At the time I moved my car was under a safety recall (the killer Takata airbag issue), with no projected date for replacement parts availability.  Thus, the car was not sellable in the US.  We needed a car when we arrived, and the process looked so easy...

 

FWIW the safety recall was not ever the reason why I had such a hassle getting the car approved, and my local BMW dealer here did the recall work when parts became available.

 

I really like the car, but I wish i’d never brought it here.  If I had to do it all over again, I would have sold it for parts and taken the loss.

 

Quote

 

 

> Turned out that a TÜV inspector somewhere near Mannheim is the dealer owner‘s cousin...

 

I think this is the sort of lucky break that I need to get anywhere with this in Germany.

 

 

Yes - even here in the Land of Rules it is often more about who you know if you want to get something done.

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