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Old 21st June 2007, 21:46   #1
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Default Export and Import Laws for Vintage cars

The thread about the guy who wants to import his Bentley into India for restoration work is interesting.

I understand that India has law against export of these cars?

Could someone elaborate upon what the current status is?

1. What kind of cars are banned?
2. Why?
3. Whats period? Are there specific dates of manufacture?
4. What are the exceptions?

Surely an owner should be allowed to take a car out of the country if he owns it and lives abroad!

I can see the logic of preserving motoring heritage if the owner lives in India, but at the end of the day it is personal property and if he wants to take it out to enjoy it, he should be allowed.
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Old 22nd July 2007, 12:45   #2
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Default Import difficulties

I don't know the detail of Indian export restrictions on vintage and classic cars, but I do know that they are not making it easy for me to import a car for restoration. Currently my attempts to get Mumbai customs to even respond to correspondence have totally failed!

You would think that they would want to encourage foreigners to bring in vehicles and foreign currency and help increase the existing skills in this area in India. However they seem only to be obstructive.

I am still trying to get this car imported temporarily, but think I will now have to fly over to Mumbai and try and argue the case personally - ridiculous.

Peter
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Old 2nd August 2007, 16:27   #3
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Peter, my sympathies. From rich experience, it's hellish trying to get almost anything done in India - particularily anything that involves dealing with the Government. The mule-like approach, endless red tape and bribery are amongst the many reasons I left the place.

Your visit in person will involve your parting with money under the table at some point. Be prepared for that. Pathetic, but a fact of life.

I want to take out a couple of cars I own, but it would appear that legislation does not allow you to do so (though no-one on this forum seems to know about this). It seems ridiculous that one car own something and not be allowed to enjoy it as he wishes. I can understand preserving one's motoring heritage (my cars would certainly fall in that category), but I am simply look to use what I own as opposed to selling them.

Best of luck.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 17:38   #4
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Originally Posted by ukpete View Post
I am still trying to get this car imported temporarily, but think I will now have to fly over to Mumbai and try and argue the case personally - ridiculous.

Peter
Peter, I think you are going about this the wrong way. What you need to do is get yourself (or your car actually) a AIT carnet. I believe the carnet issuing authority in the UK is the RAC. Approach them, give them the reasons for you sending the car to India. You can read about the application process Here. It's for a different event, but the rules apply anyways..

Once you have this, the car can be brought into India without having to pay any duties or worrying about any other paperwork. A carnet is valid for a maximum of 6 months though, so that is something you must keep in mind.

Aside from that, yes, things do work a bit differently here in India. Come here with an open mind and I'm sure you will leave with a positive opinion. Come here with pre-conceived notions and it will be tough. Ironically, the endless red tape Advocatus speaks off are simply carryover of systems put in place by the British during their occupation of India.

If you need any assistance, feel free to ask. There are a lot of us here who will be more than willing to help.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 21:37   #5
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Ironically, the endless red tape Advocatus speaks off are simply carryover of systems put in place by the British during their occupation of India.
This is going to open a can of worms but so be it. Is your statement for real mate?

Even if you're right, 60+ years after their departure is a very long "carryover" period don't you think?

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If you need any assistance, feel free to ask. There are a lot of us here who will be more than willing to help.
On that note, I would be grateful for some answers to the original questions on this post.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 22:13   #6
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Even if you're right, 60+ years after their departure is a very long "carryover" period don't you think?
Yes I do sympathise with you & its unfortunate that these 'carryover' periods continue to exist here till date even when they've outlived their relevance.....I might be digressing here but still worth mentioning that it isnt so in case of imports/exports alone....I once read that there is a 'Colonial Prison Act' still in place by law here since its inception during the colonial rule!
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Old 2nd August 2007, 22:31   #7
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@ Advocatus.. knowledge is POWER.

And some more knowledge


Foreign Trade Policy 2005

Foreign Trade Policy 2005

Central Board of Excise and Customs

Like i said, knowledge is power. We also have the Right to Information Act, but you then you have to be an Indian to use that. Are you one still ?
cheers

Last edited by Rehaan : 2nd August 2007 at 23:40.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 23:54   #8
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Esteem_Lover: thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any answers to the questions at first glance. The website seem dense and the search facility is poor/mom-existent.

If you have the answers, and could spare the time to set them out - I would be grateful.
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Old 3rd August 2007, 00:01   #9
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Yes I do sympathise with you & its unfortunate that these 'carryover' periods continue to exist here till date even when they've outlived their relevance.....I might be digressing here but still worth mentioning that it isnt so in case of imports/exports alone....I once read that there is a 'Colonial Prison Act' still in place by law here since its inception during the colonial rule!
Stanher, take it on good authority that the restrictions on the export of vintage cars have nothing to do with British rule. They are a creature of the 60's/70's.

The laws as I recall them (hence my desire to find out what they are now) were made far more stringent and rigid than the car enthusiasts behind them intended.

The laws are a sad example of someone's intention to preserve Indian motoring heritage, yet allowing a private owner the pleasure (nay, the right) of using his property as he may choose. Good intentions skewed by draconian, unnecessarily rigid legislation.
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Old 3rd August 2007, 10:49   #10
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1. What kind of cars are banned?
Vintage motor cars, parts and components thereof manufactured prior to 1-1-1950 Vintage motor cycles, parts and components thereof manufactured prior to 1-1-1940

2. Why?
Presumably to prevent buyers from other countries taking valuable cars out of the country (for a song too).

3. Whats period? Are there specific dates of manufacture?
Answered in 1.

4. What are the exceptions?
Bring in the car on a carnet. It can be in India for upto 6 months after which it must leave the country and reenter on a fresh carnet. There are separate carnets issued depending on the type of usage e.g. exhibitions or motorsport.

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The laws are a sad example of someone's intention to preserve Indian motoring heritage, yet allowing a private owner the pleasure (nay, the right) of using his property as he may choose. Good intentions skewed by draconian, unnecessarily rigid legislation.
I agree, but then we have to live with them. However, I'm also sure that if this law did not exist, we would have lost most of our collection by now. An English pound goes a long way in India, so rare cars here could probably be picked up for far less than what it would cost to purchase in Europe. So behind every law, regardless of how stupid it may sound, there really is a good reason.
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Old 3rd August 2007, 15:50   #11
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RTech, thank you for the information.

Correct me if I am wrong, but your post seems to concentrate on import factors. For completeness could you confirm for me that cars manufactured post 1-1-1950 can be EXPORTED out of the country for us by the owner?

Interesting point regarding the strength of the pound, etc. If India's export laws were to relax, I doubt the cars would leave for a song. If an owner is aware of what his car is worth (or not worth as should be the case with most of the junk people try to pass of as rare and precious) then that is what he will set as the asking price. In the UK you can buy above the market, below the market and at a fair price. Depends on who is selling, what he is aware or and why he is selling.
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Old 3rd August 2007, 16:38   #12
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Correct me if I am wrong, but your post seems to concentrate on import factors. For completeness could you confirm for me that cars manufactured post 1-1-1950 can be EXPORTED out of the country for us by the owner?
Actually, the information I posted was on exports ( Export restrictions linky). For imports, there is no special regulation concerning vintage cars. They would need to follow the same laws as importing any vehicle. Unless there are some loopholes about importing for display purposes only and not for road use.

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Interesting point regarding the strength of the pound, etc. If India's export laws were to relax, I doubt the cars would leave for a song. If an owner is aware of what his car is worth (or not worth as should be the case with most of the junk people try to pass of as rare and precious) then that is what he will set as the asking price. In the UK you can buy above the market, below the market and at a fair price. Depends on who is selling, what he is aware or and why he is selling.
What you say holds true for knowledgeable owners. But many times, some really great finds have been dug out from villages and towns, from owners who don't know the worth of what they have. They would be easily swayed by what to them appears to be a lot of money. Sure, this happens anyway, but atleast the car stays in the country.

I believe Cuba is another place just bursting with vintage treasures. And I think they have similar restrictions there as well. Have you ever explored that option?
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Old 3rd August 2007, 16:47   #13
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Rtech, thanks for this.

So in summary: An owner CAN EXPORT a car post 1-1-1950 to a destination of his choice that is outside of the country?

Can you point me to the exact law that says this by any chance?

If that is true I look forward to be able to use one of my cars in the UK and bring it back to India when I am done with it.

Not explored Cuba, don't think my garage can fit any more cars! Content with my lot.
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Old 6th August 2007, 14:20   #14
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I have just picked up on the recent posts and read with interest. I am still trying to get a car in to India for restoration, but have had to abandon any attempt to bring in the original vehicle. The problem was that it was a non-runner and therefore could not enter on a ATA carnet.

After weeks of trying to email and phone customs and embassies and getting no reply I have had to remove the car from the UK port where it was waiting to be shipped.

I don't give up easily though, so am now shipping a running vehicle that hopefully will get to Mumbai at the end of September on a carnet. The ridiculous carnet rules mean that I am having to guarantee a sum of 500% of the car's value in the UK. With shipping and admin charges I think that you can see that I am not doing this just for profit, but it would be nice to be able to fnd a way to make it work profitably for Indian and UK parties.

I believe that the ban on export of Indian registered vehicles came about as a result of Americans and Europeans buying up classic and vintage cars in India cheap and shipping them out. Fair enough - India has a right to hold on to it's heritage, but as with all laws it cannot discriminate between fair and foul.
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Old 6th August 2007, 21:59   #15
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I believe that the ban on export of Indian registered vehicles came about as a result of Americans and Europeans buying up classic and vintage cars in India cheap and shipping them out. Fair enough - India has a right to hold on to it's heritage, but as with all laws it cannot discriminate between fair and foul.
Best of luck Pete.

The ban on exports has very little to do with cars leaving Indian shores. It was a case of a few dedicated and insightful enthusiasts who realised that the flood gates had the potential to open and therefore attempted to put in some checks in place.

The intention was to record, document and possible preserve the country's motoring heritage as far as reasonably possible. These enthusiasts put their proposals forward to the relevant officials.

Unfortunately, their intentions were completely killed off by the legislation, which was far more rigid and stringent than they had ever wanted or from what I understand, ever thought it could be.

A real pity, but in my experience, hardly a suprise result.
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