Does This Craigslist Find Mean You Can Legally Import a Ford Ranger?

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The current-generation Ford Ranger isn’t for sale in the United States. Also, we are to believe that it would be impossible to import one of those trucks into the United States for a litany of legal reasons. But if you scour Craigslist, you’ll find a guy who is selling his Toyota Hilux diesel that came up from South America. It’s got license plates and a title. So what gives?

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Tim Esterdahl, writing for Truck Trend, dug into this gray market Hilux and how it made it Stateside without any issues. Apparently the owner had zero issues getting through customs. He had to pay an import duty, which is to be expected, but that was it. He then registered the vehicle in Georgia, and then in Texas.

According to Esterdahl, getting a vehicle here is a 4-step process;

  • Passing EPA Emissions Testing
  • Passing Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) developed by the National Highway Safety and Transportation Agency
  • Paying a Gas Guzzler Tax (if applicable)
  • Proving Legal Ownership

For vehicles 25 years of age or older, they receive an exemption from the emissions and safety standards.

The owner had a few things go his way in this process. Diesel engines are exempt from emissions testing in both Georgia and Texas, making it easier to register.

The only thing that doesn’t really make any sense is how the truck passed the FMVSS. Esterdahl explains that it really shouldn’t have, and that if the government wanted to, they could crush it or force the truck’s export.

So even though it’s possible for some vehicles to slip through the cracks, we really don’t recommend trying to import a foreign market Ranger. Just wait for the new one that’ll be sold here.

What do you think? Let us know over in the forums!

via [Truck Trend]

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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