HS-7 Form Instructions
When importing auto parts into the U.S., there are a number of auto parts that require additional documentation for the Department Of Transportation, namely, the DOT HS-7 form. The HS-7 form is a declaration required for the import of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment subject to federal motor vehicle safety, bumper, and theft protection standards.
This declaration is required for both motor vehicles and parts of vehicles and at its most basic, the HS-7 form is required if you are importing auto parts that the Department Of Transportation considers to be part of a vehicle's safety equipment.
All exterior lights, except vanity lights, will require completion of the declaration as well. Fixtures for the lights are not included, but you may be asked to provide a written statement, noting that things like trims and covers are not covered by the DOT regulations.
On the form itself, there are three sections. The first section, the upper box, contains a number of boxes for you to identify various details of your importation, but when you’re only importing auto parts, the only box that will concern you is the last one-Description Of Merchandise If Motor Vehicle Equipment. You aren’t importing a whole car, so the other information either is not applicable or will be filled out by your carrier or broker. You may inquire as to the specific Port information and Entry date if needed.
The second section contains the main section of the form and contains 13 boxes, one of which you must check to indicate under which conditions you are importing your auto parts. Most casual importers fall under one of three or four categories.
The second most common situation when you might be importing an auto part is for off-road vehicles. In this situation, you will still be completing the HS-7, but you will be checking box 8 and providing a substantiating written statement to back up your claim. This box would cover off-road vehicles, obviously, but would also cover show vehicles, provided they will not be driven on public roadways.
The third most utilized choice on the HS-7 is vehicle parts brought into the U.S. for demonstrations, research, or competitive racing events. When this box is checked, you will be required to submit a statement regarding the nature of the use to which the import will be used as well as the final disposition of the goods when they have served their purpose. This option is usually utilized by auto and auto part manufacturers.
There are 10 other options in the second section of the HS-7, but 90% of all casual importers will fall into one of those top 3. If you feel that your shipment is in compliance with the regulations, it never hurts to get some backup documentation from your shipper to provide to Customs, who actually enforces the DOT regulations on imports.
The third, and last, a section of the HS-7 form asks you to provide your name and address. If you are an individual just purchasing an auto part for your own personal use, consider yourself to be both the Importer and the Declarant, but fill out the boxes for both. If you were importing the goods for a garage that you work for or own, then the business could very well be the Importer and you, the Declarant. Either way, complete all boxes. Again, if it’s a personal use shipment, your Declarant Capacity is simply yourself, or individual. You get the idea. Sign and date it, and you’re done. I hope this short guide will provide you some assistance should you find yourself importing auto parts that require the DOT form HS-7.