The world of importing used vehicles into the US is going through some major changes. Some would say the industry used to be the Wild West, but we are seeing a seismic shift across the vehicle import ecosystem. We have seen 7 Registered Importers have their licenses suspended over the past year, and that is driving a change of behavior and attitude. When an RI is suspended, they are in essence out of business, so this is serious and not to be taken lightly. Here are some of the trends we’re seeing in the Registered Importer world:
- Emphasis on following the rules: with some of the recent RI shutdowns, dealers (RI clients) have had millions of dollars of inventory impounded at the RI facilities where they have no access to, as a result of RI infractions. Today, dealers are more concerned about ensuring their Registered Importer is 100% following federal regulations, so that they don’t see a repeat of the same issues.
- Visibility is critical: historically, there hasn’t been any technology available to the registered importer space, which meant the standard operating procedure was shared spreadsheets and sticky notes. A platform with constantly updated statuses, always available documentation for all to see is key.
- Processing speed is king: With a renewed focus on the 30 day hold, getting the clock ticking becomes that much more important. That means ensuring a vehicle conforms to FMVSS, converting the speedometer to MPH, and taking the DOT required images all have to happen as fast as possible. And RI’s can’t afford to have vehicles slipping through the cracks.
As a dealer or exporter, you should be asking your RI how they are differentiating from their competitors? Some questions to think about:
- Are you following all of the CFR regulations put out by DOT?
- How quickly can you process vehicles, what is the average time from border crossing to submission?
- How can I get visibility and track my vehicles through the import process?
- What ancillary services do you provide?
- How can you help me grow my business?
If you’re interested in a modern approach to importing and an updated way to run an RI facility instead of the status quo, reach out and we would be happy to share our best practices, demonstrate our platform and grow the ecosystem in a way that benefits everyone.
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