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Thread: HELP! EU certificate of conformity for US car?

  1. #1
    Team Z8 ZMates's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    HELP! EU certificate of conformity for US car?

    I was misinformed about how long I had to register my US Z8 in Portugal. Now I have a couple months to get it done. Does anyone have any experience getting an EU certificate of conformity for US Z8s?
    Dinan S2 package: headers, throttle bodies, oversized MAFs, airfilters, anti-roll bars, lightweight flywheel
    Dinan by Brembo brake kit and monoball control arm bushings
    BBS forged individual wheels
    Quaife differential, 3.64:1 final drive
    Meisterschaft GT titanium mufflers
    K&W 3 way adjustable competition monotube dampers and monoball adjustable mounts
    CDV delete

  2. #2
    This is certainly something that the Z8 Club should be able to help with, as they have a lot of experience with US cars being landed in the EU.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  3. #3
    Beyond the Valley of Z8 Madness Z-acht's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    This is what the club says about this issue

    Importing a BMW Z8 from the USA
    Due to the current low value of the US dollar, several BMW Z8 were re-imported from the US. The transport, e.g. ina container, is relatively simple to organize, however, one should definitely inspect the desired vehicle in the US.The US equivalent to the German internet car trader ( is The climate in e.g.California or Florida (which is where most Z8 where delivered to in the US) is entirely different from here. Paint,leather and especially the plastic rear window suffer tremendously under the influence of direct sunlight. USvehicles have their own VIN-nr. with AHXXXXX, a certificate of conformity from the manufacturer does not exist.Therefore licensing and registration in Germany can potentially turn out to be quite difficult. Club members havereported a wide range of experiences when it came to registering and licensing US vehicles.
    1 of the 71 original Dutch sold cars (jetblack/red)

  4. #4
    DSC Off
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Did you manage to register your Z8 in Portugal?

  5. #5
    DSC Off bclaude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    I will interject in general terms in this discussion based on my experience of importing several US cars to Europe including a Z8. Cars that were not produced for the European market will NEVER be given an official certificate of conformity. The registration process usually requires receiving a letter from the local representative of the manufacturer, BMW in this instance, stating that the vehicle in question is identical to the EU model that has received EU certification with the the exception of...(lights, tires, etc...). The next task is to have a certified mechanic or garage to address those exception by replacing these parts that did not comply with EU regulations with EU parts. The last step consists of taking the car through official inspection to confirm that the parts have been changed. While the car will never receive a certificate of conformity, the inspection organization will deliver a letter which confirms that the car is now "similar" to the model produced for the EU market. That process usually clears the way for registration. Those of you who are considering a US import to the EU should realize that without the cooperation of the local brand representative in writing the letter stating the differences, your task in importing will be VERY difficult. Some of them are very cooperative, others view parallel imports as competition and will drag their feet as much as they can. As an example I recently ran into a situation where the local BMW representative would not confirm that the import CO2 emission was the same as that of the local model which everyone knows is the case. In some European jurisdictions, road taxes do vary greatly depending on CO2 emissions and in the absence of certification the vehicle was automatically put in the dead beat category causing the road tax to be eye watering high and there was nothing I could do about it. In conclusion it is a good idea to to your homework prior to importing and verify that the local brand office representatives are prepared to be cooperative. Another problem I have run into is that registration in a country through the above process does not guarantee you won't have to do it all over again if you or someone who buys the car from you attempts to register the vehicle in another EU country. Again the reason for that is that the car will never be granted an official certificate of conformity and in its absence you are in the hands of bureaucrats who can if they chose to make your life difficult.

    2003 Stratus/Crema

  6. #6
    And as an aside, should the dollar strengthen enough, all the US VIN cars that have been sent to the EU will be easy to return to the US, as their VINs are already US DOT approved.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.