Legal to drive a NAFTA Sprinter in Europe etc?

yogiyoda

New member
Is it legal to drive a NAFTA Sprinter in Europe? And more generally in what foreign countries (outside of Europe) can it be driven legally?
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
The question you pose is a bit vague to give a precise answer.

However am I to assume that you intend to temporarily import your Spinter into Europe and tour around for a set period?

If this is correct then you have no issues other than a Euro port of entry.
It is all covered by the Vienna Convention of 1954.

Equally as a visitor from Europe to NA with a Euro Spec Sprinter you can tour around without having to meet Fed and local State requirements. Under the same temp import convention agreements.

Basically its what some folks do already with on site delivery where you can buy your Fed Spec MB car in Stuttgardt , drive it around touring Europe for a set period and the factory will then ship it to a US port of entry and do all the customs /import work for you. All at a price of course!

I suggest you consult the AAA (if in the US) as they have experts who can give you precise instructions on a case by case basis according to your specific needs and plans.
Best of luck
Dennis
 

mean_in_green

>2,000,000m in MB vans
I do see non-EU member state registered vehicles within the EU territory on my travels, notably Russian or from the Middle East occasionally.

I can't speak for others but these are allowed a free period of grace in the UK.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
I do see non-EU member state registered vehicles within the EU territory on my travels, notably Russian or from the Middle East occasionally.

I can't speak for others but these are allowed a free period of grace in the UK.
So visiting London seems as though it could be on an agenda. I recall that certain pollution standards need to met in some parts of the city.

Do the NAFTA Sprinters meet the standards or are they exempt in the UK from that as well?

Just curious. I've no intention of driving a NAFTA Sprinter in London. vic


Euro 1 (1993):
For passenger cars - 91/441/EEC.[12]
Also for passenger cars and light trucks - 93/59/EEC.

Euro 2 (1996) for passenger cars - 94/12/EC (& 96/69/EC)
For motorcycle - 2002/51/EC (row A)[13] - 2006/120/EC

Euro 3 (2000) for any vehicle - 98/69/EC[14]
For motorcycle - 2002/51/EC (row B)[13] - 2006/120/EC

Euro 4 (2005) for any vehicle - 98/69/EC (& 2002/80/EC)

Euro 5 (2008/9) and Euro 6 (2014) for light passenger and commercial vehicles - 715/2007/EC[15]
 

yogiyoda

New member
The question you pose is a bit vague to give a precise answer.

However am I to assume that you intend to temporarily import your Spinter into Europe and tour around for a set period?
Thanks Dennis. I was actually looking into purchasing a 2014 Sprinter with Mercedes' European Delivery Program.

http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/european_delivery_program

However, I did not see the Sprinter listed as an available vehicle for the program. I then ran an internet search of the situation and came across the following thread.

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-11983.html

Where Altered Sprinter stated the following:

The NAFTA Sprinter is another story. they are not EU compliant not legal for any other western country.in the EU or Commonwealth territory's as to mainly emissions and fuel compliance.such as 10/ppm and less.
Wondering if this is accurate. If so, it would me that not only could I not pick the vehicle up there. I could never drive it in any western country other than the US.
 
Last edited:

sailquik

Well-known member
yogiyoda,
From all I've heard, here on the forums and in discussions with dealers and MB Sprinter USA executives, it is absolutely true.
You could perhaps import your NAFTA Spec. Sprinter into the UK, or Europe, on a temp. not to exceed some stated time period,
at which point you would have to export it back to the USA.
One wonders why the US EPA has to take something that's compliant practically everywhere else on the planet and demand
adjustments to meet USA/NAFTA standards, which do not seem to be as stringent.
Yeah.....that's our EPA and CARB....take something really clean, and require modifications to make it a little more dirty to comply
with their existing specifications.
Roger
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
Guys
For temporary import into another country which does not have reciprocity/apportionment, say you ship your Sprinter to The Europort in Rotterdam with the intention of doing" Europe then you will need one of these:-
http://www.go-overland.com/indy/articles/carnet.php

The same goes for Euro folk doing the equivalent "vickey verky" and turning up at the US/Canadian border crossings.

Due to the Vienna Convention certain rules are relaxed like different territory build regulations and emission regulations but the vehicle still has to comply to local laws on safety requirements like brakes, lights, steering/ axle loading and tyres that must work and comply in your host country and its laws.

The issue you run into with a US Spec Sprinter delivery in Europe is simply that a van (commercial vehicle) falls under the US Chicken Tax!
Yes! Chicken Tax I kid you not!
Read on:-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tax

There is a another term called "homogulation". With cars there is often a close similarity between the NITSA safety spec and build of a US Fed Spec car to that of its Euro/ Asian cousin. Hence the local factory is able to produce for you a Fed Certified vehicle in your host country of delivery.
Now I think you can conclude that the NAS Sprinter is an amorphadite specifically for the NAS market and has a specific local content in it pass through the Chicken Tax wire mesh of regulations.
Now if you think this gets complicated try importing new transit buses into the US?
In short almost impossible! Its subliminal market protection at is best!
Dennis
 

yogiyoda

New member
Thank you. So if I understand correctly... a NAFTA Sprinter cannot be delivered in Europe. Also, it cannot be driven long term in Europe. However, it can be driven there temporarily. So the next questions are how long can it be driven in Europe? (Or where to get info on this?) Also, what about driving it in Central and South America?
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
Thank you. So if I understand correctly... a NAFTA Sprinter cannot be delivered in Europe. Also, it cannot be driven long term in Europe. However, it can be driven there temporarily. So the next questions are how long can it be driven in Europe? (Or where to get info on this?) Also, what about driving it in Central and South America?
Although it's going to vary a bit country-to-country, you can use the US (and Canada's) rules as a rough guide: "less than a full year"
There are European tourists who ship their Sprinters over, putter around the US for 11 months, and then drive into Canada. Play there for a while, then back into the US.
(somewhere i have photos of a Spanish 4x4 Sprinter i met in a Canadian campground, and of a German 4x4 up in Alaska)
You have to be a resident of the country that the Sprinter is registered in (or have it be a rental, with the correct paperwork for cross-border).

The typical paperwork for significant cross-border travel is a "carnet" (probably pronounced "car-nay"), and some countries require that you post a bond (up to the value of the vehicle *in that country*) to guarantee that you take it back out of the country you're visiting.
Then we meet the quaint issue of "liability insurance"...

Your kilometerage will vary...
--dick
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
Yogiyoda
Your best bet is to contract the AAA, who for the most part issue these carnets in collaboration with your selected bank and the bond you have to put up to secure the temporary import.

The carnet has several different color pages all split into three parts;
The inner one is riveted to the spine and covers, on the same page the center one is attached to the outer one by perforations, hence "tri partite ticket" or "triptic". All of the talons have the vehicle's vital info on it , vin# & country of origine etc.

There are three colors usually, pink for host/domiciled country going out and coming back in.
Blue for transiting a country, and white for an extended period.
In each case as you enter the border the customs officer will wet stamp date the inner one, and the other two tearing off the outer talon for Customs records at the port of entry. When you leave the same country the exiting border post customs officer will counter wet stamp the center talon and the inner fixed talon tearing off the remaining perforated talon for exit customs records. You than have a fixed record of the remaining fixed talon in your carnet folder to show legitimate temp import and export.

How long the carnet is valid for is up to where you are going, subject to local regulations and bonding.

When I was doing all this I was scudding about in the ME based in Iraq and latterly in South America running around in Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Chile.

You can get the length of stay extended, it depends upon expiry or renewal of the bond you have placed upon the vehicle plus some paperwork with the host country motoring organization.

As an illustration I remember two resident zone reps took off to Baghdad in two cars. The intention was to stay for two years! In the intervening period one of the cars got severely rolled in Kurdi country. To add to the mayhem another fellow Engineer was scudding through northern Iraq from Iran/Ghan on a temp blue ticket, got sick, abandoned the car in Mosul and flew home.
Then quit the company!
There the car languished in a local bus company car park for three years!

The remaining car was used by us all kept running by cannibalizing the rolled unit for parts!

Then as with most things the crap hit the fan and the company I worked for wanted to dispose of the cars and get its bonds released. I got the job to get the paperwork in order and find the car up in Mosul; which was almost new when it was abandoned!
I remember driving it south to Baghdad with no license plates and the local cops blowing their whistles at me!:lol:

Obviously the modus operandii was to get two of the bad cars out of Iraq and drive home in the new one. The rattle trap was made to run on its last legs and the rolled one made to roll as a flat tow with a makeshift "A" frame welded to the front crossbeam. The rattle trap had just enough power to pull the dead car to the border post at Al Rutbah. In the end the old car blew out its bottom end so the last car had to take up the slack and pull the two dead 'uns over the border. Having got all three cars out of Iraq with the wet stamps of exit on the fixed talons I set the two lame ducks on fire in no mans land. Cars disposed of! Exit stamps received and there they burned with a large cloud of black smoke pluming up in the still evening desert air.

We carried on all piled in one car to the Jordanian border crossing enjoying the A/C !

Having got the usual "welcome most welcome mister" we carried on into the night heading for Amman. Through the night I suddenly picked up a soldier in the middle of the road, sporting a Browning Mil rifle.
Looked like this:-
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...a=X&ei=LOBpUuS8BqK8yAHKiYHwCw&ved=0CDUQ9QEwAg

I thought he was going to question me about the burnt cars!!!
But no!
Only to invite us to take tea and freshen up in a huge tent as a way station for the Haji Pilgrims. We enjoyed the tea and the banter with the Hajis, and then sped on into the night to the outskirts of Amman by dawn. Just as the muezzine was calling the faithful to prayer! Just in time in fact for a fresh breakfast kubbah and Arab Kawah coffee at a truck stop I always frequented when passing by.
Then a freshen up and a bed at the Shepherds Hotel in lovely Amman.
Dennis
 

mean_in_green

>2,000,000m in MB vans
So long as you don't venture out of the European Union contracting party countries you won't have too many hurdles to overcome. Just bring every document with you.
 

Altered Sprinter

Happy Little Vegemite
Thanks Dennis. I was actually looking into purchasing a 2014 Sprinter with Mercedes' European Delivery Program.

http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/european_delivery_program

However, I did not see the Sprinter listed as an available vehicle for the program. I then ran an internet search of the situation and came across the following thread.

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-11983.html

Where Altered Sprinter stated the following:
The reference is to exporting and registering a non certificated NAFTA vehicle in the UK OZ etc ,visiting or cross traveling between countries is another matter.



Wondering if this is accurate. If so, it would me that not only could I not pick the vehicle up there. I could never drive it in any western country other than the US.
MIG has it right as to a race period,however the rest as to a case by case situation as to paper work applies.
Richard
 

yogiyoda

New member
Yogiyoda
Your best bet is to contract the AAA, who for the most part issue these carnets in collaboration with your selected bank and the bond you have to put up to secure the temporary import.

The carnet has several different color pages all split into three parts;
The inner one is riveted to the spine and covers, on the same page the center one is attached to the outer one by perforations, hence "tri partite ticket" or "triptic". All of the talons have the vehicle's vital info on it , vin# & country of origine etc.

There are three colors usually, pink for host/domiciled country going out and coming back in.
Blue for transiting a country, and white for an extended period.
In each case as you enter the border the customs officer will wet stamp date the inner one, and the other two tearing off the outer talon for Customs records at the port of entry. When you leave the same country the exiting border post customs officer will counter wet stamp the center talon and the inner fixed talon tearing off the remaining perforated talon for exit customs records. You than have a fixed record of the remaining fixed talon in your carnet folder to show legitimate temp import and export.

How long the carnet is valid for is up to where you are going, subject to local regulations and bonding.

When I was doing all this I was scudding about in the ME based in Iraq and latterly in South America running around in Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Chile.

You can get the length of stay extended, it depends upon expiry or renewal of the bond you have placed upon the vehicle plus some paperwork with the host country motoring organization.

As an illustration I remember two resident zone reps took off to Baghdad in two cars. The intention was to stay for two years! In the intervening period one of the cars got severely rolled in Kurdi country. To add to the mayhem another fellow Engineer was scudding through northern Iraq from Iran/Ghan on a temp blue ticket, got sick, abandoned the car in Mosul and flew home.
Then quit the company!
There the car languished in a local bus company car park for three years!

The remaining car was used by us all kept running by cannibalizing the rolled unit for parts!

Then as with most things the crap hit the fan and the company I worked for wanted to dispose of the cars and get its bonds released. I got the job to get the paperwork in order and find the car up in Mosul; which was almost new when it was abandoned!
I remember driving it south to Baghdad with no license plates and the local cops blowing their whistles at me!:lol:

Obviously the modus operandii was to get two of the bad cars out of Iraq and drive home in the new one. The rattle trap was made to run on its last legs and the rolled one made to roll as a flat tow with a makeshift "A" frame welded to the front crossbeam. The rattle trap had just enough power to pull the dead car to the border post at Al Rutbah. In the end the old car blew out its bottom end so the last car had to take up the slack and pull the two dead 'uns over the border. Having got all three cars out of Iraq with the wet stamps of exit on the fixed talons I set the two lame ducks on fire in no mans land. Cars disposed of! Exit stamps received and there they burned with a large cloud of black smoke pluming up in the still evening desert air.

We carried on all piled in one car to the Jordanian border crossing enjoying the A/C !

Having got the usual "welcome most welcome mister" we carried on into the night heading for Amman. Through the night I suddenly picked up a soldier in the middle of the road, sporting a Browning Mil rifle.
Looked like this:-
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl...a=X&ei=LOBpUuS8BqK8yAHKiYHwCw&ved=0CDUQ9QEwAg

I thought he was going to question me about the burnt cars!!!
But no!
Only to invite us to take tea and freshen up in a huge tent as a way station for the Haji Pilgrims. We enjoyed the tea and the banter with the Hajis, and then sped on into the night to the outskirts of Amman by dawn. Just as the muezzine was calling the faithful to prayer! Just in time in fact for a fresh breakfast kubbah and Arab Kawah coffee at a truck stop I always frequented when passing by.
Then a freshen up and a bed at the Shepherds Hotel in lovely Amman.
Dennis
Wow, sounds like an exciting job. You've had some adventures. I bet with a little creative tweaking you can get a screen play out of 'em.
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
yogiyoda
Yes can be adventurous and exciting!
And I did that sort of work for 14 years!

On the other hand I also want to emphasis that should you contemplate this overseas trip in your Sprinter, do take insurance matters very seriously in the pre-planning stages.

The reason I mention is that you can have a serious accident and write the van off in a host country, In consequence it will need to be either transported out through customs and disposed of, or expensively repatriated. Viz a viz:- My Iraq/Jordan illustration. Or simply abandoned and the insurance pays the bond confiscation by customs. In either case the costs can be very high.

This happened to me on the road south from Alex to Cairo.
Driving a Landrover en route to Port Said & ferry to Aquaba. A local local fellow driving a 20R Toyota LWB pickup lost control of his truck with 18 (yes 18 people in it --five stood on the rear bumper) crossed the highway and I Tee boned him at about 40 mph.

The rig rolled up over the hood of the LR, & the LR tossed it over the roof splitting the cab from the chassis killing all occupants. I was lucky, I walked away with some injuries but I swear I heard St Peter banging on the crushed roof at one stage!

Nevertheless the experiences can be a life changer an appreciation of the fact that we humans are all the same only religion and culture separates us. Travel in foreign parts and interaction with local people can be very rewarding, but there are always risks just like touring around in the US

To illustrate I have to hark back to Jordan again and subsequent to my related visit I mentioned. This time I was back with a new Landrover 109 series 3 on a trip that would take me from Baghdad to Damascus (El Isham in Arabic) ) back to Amman, down to Dammam, then to Aquaba, to Port Said by Ferry, on to Alexandria, to Cairo, then to down to Khartoum ending in Juba (a one horse town) at the confluence of the blue and white Nile. Then wend my way back to Baghdad. I experienced just a flat tire on the whole trip no mechanical issues!

Jordan has a lot of biblical era sites one is Jerash outside Amman and on the road north to Syria.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZR1z9WcaM8


With time to spare on this trip I decided to spend a few hours wandering around. Having climbed up to the top of the amphitheater I heard a muffled sound of people in a hollow; who turned out to be about 50 Jordainian solidiers making some fires and preparing to make kebabs.

I made my peace and got talking to a young officer who I discovered was a graduate of Sandhurst Mil College. Guys spoke good English!

During the conversation someone shouted out that the drinks had been forgotten and I could tell that folk were not happy!
But I had enough for my trip in my own Landrover which was enough for everyone, plus I had kit to brew English style tea PG tips with milk. The kicker was that when I went back and got my Landrover from over the hill the Iraqi army stencil on the doors was quite a conversation piece.

We spent the afternoon cooking food and talking about all sorts of things including the big laugh when I was asked how many wives I had? None thanks to God! Besides one is enough!
I cannot see how you Arabs having more than one with all the squabbling over money and arguments over trinkets would lead to a happy life!:lol: Me saying that in workshop Iraqi Arabic was howler!:lol:

East meets west I suppose!
Take care.
Cheers Dennis
 

eightyeightkeys

New member
As I understand it, it's not necessarily the importing exporting that's going to make you rethink the whole thing, that's the relatively "straight forward" part, it's the licensing (drivers and vehicle) & insurance that's the killer.
Even though the EU is "unified" in many ways, drivers licensing evidently is not necessarily. You may/may not need to get permits and licenses depending on each country you visit. Not to mention that each country may have it's own requirements for insurance.
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
The driver's license issue is covered in most of the world by picking up an International Driver's Permit (IDP) from (in the USA) the AAA.
You don't have to be an AAA member, the cost is $15 plus two passport photos. It's just paperwork, no tests or the like.
The IDP requires that you also have a valid license from your own country.

This wikipedia page shows which countries accept it by a map near the bottom: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Driving_Permit
(many countries that haven't signed the "convention" still accept the IDP).
AAA's page on it: http://www.aaa.com/PPInternational/IDP_IADP.html and the application form lists the 150 countries that accept it.
Brazil and Uruguay require an "Inter-American Drivers Permit" instead.
Most of Central and South America will accept that in lieu of the IDP. The AAA form lists those, too.

My recent trip to South Africa only required my US license (as long as it was in English).
Neighboring countries would've required an IDP.

--dick
 
Last edited:

lindenengineering

Well-known member
The driver's license issue is covered in most of the world by picking up an International Driver's Permit (IDP) from (in the USA) the AAA.
You don't have to be an AAA member, the cost is $15 plus two passport photos. It's just paperwork, no tests or the like.
The IDP requires that you also have a valid license from your own country.

This wikipedia page shows which countries accept it by a map near the bottom: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Driving_Permit
(many countries that haven't signed the "convention" still accept the IDP).
AAA's page on it: http://www.aaa.com/PPInternational/IDP_IADP.html and the application form lists the 150 countries that accept it.
Brazil and Uruguay require an "Inter-American Drivers Permit" instead.
Most of Central and South America will accept that in lieu of the IDP. The AAA form lists those, too.

My recent trip to South Africa only required my US license (as long as it was in English).
Neighboring countries would've required an IDP.

--dick
I can confrim the above post as verifiable :thumbup:
Being Brit but domiciled in the US I have licenses for both territories.
There are reciprocal agreements that recognizes licensure from other countries for a limited period before you have to apply for a local driver's license. The same for me here in the US as a Brit with a Green Card
Strangely enough the last time I was in the UK and rented a car I had to show my US license not my Brit one since my address (place of domicile) was Colorado USA. Perfectly legal and fine for an extended period.
Dick (autostartex )
Good post
Dennis
 

Top Bottom