Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Van Customs

The US imposed a 25% tariff on imported trucks and commercial vans ("motor vehicles for the transport of goods," in the words of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule) in 1963 as retaliation for European tariffs on chicken. However, "motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons" face a much lower (2.5%) tariff rate. Via Autoblog, we learn of some cleverness on the part of the folks at Ford. They manufacture Transit Connect vans in Turkey and then:
They actually ship the Transit Connects here with the vans classified as wagons. Then, once they reach a processing facility in Baltimore, they are transformed into cargo vans, totally side-stepping the Chicken Tax. Smart, huh?

The process of transforming a passenger "wagon" into a cargo van works like this. The rear windows are removed and replaced by a sheet of metal that's quick cured in place. The rear seats and seat belts are then removed and a new floorboard is screwed into place. Voila – five minutes after they start as five-passenger wagons, Ford has a bunch of two-seater panel vans. The seats are then shredded and the material is used as land fill cover. No word on what happens to the glass.
Hmmm... I never expected that my reading of Autoblog would yield an example for my international trade class. All that time I was working, after all.

The Wall Street Journal has more.

1 comment:

Truck Rental said...

Van is a type of car that if you really like or need - you will have, regardless the price..