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Thread: Harnesses stuck in customs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    35

    Default Harnesses stuck in customs

    I ordered Schroth harnesses, headrests, wind deflectors that mount on the side of the windscreen, a clutch cable and a throttle cable from Caterham UK.

    It's stuck in customs and they want me to submit a form with the catchy title of "Declaration of Importation of Motor Vehicles and Motor Vehicle Equipment Subject to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety, Bumper and Theft Protection Standards." It appears that the problem is that I'm importing seatbelts and they want to make sure that they meet Federal Motor Vehicle Standards and are certified and labeled as such. I'm sure they haven't been tested for compliance with Federal laws since they are for the race track though we all use them on the street.

    The forms provides a number of exemptions but many require documentation. For example, there's an exemption for a vehicle for racing, training and demonstration but that exemption requires an NHTSA permission letter which I don't have.

    Anyone have any tips on getting the stuff out of customs?

    Many thanks,

    Sander

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Birmingham, Alabama
    Posts
    43

    Default

    I would start by emailing Caterham and getting them involved, I'd have to check the T&Cs but normally if they secured the shipping to your door they are responsible for customs issues. Worst case it'll get kicked back to Caterham and they'll have to reship without the belts (you can buy them from Summit Racing in the US anyways). Another option is to check box 8 and write that import letter.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    35

    Default

    I sent the form back and got an email they released them yesterday and they just arrived. Time well spent. From now on I’ll order safety equipment domestic.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Posts
    296

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    For future reference I have had excellent experience with Crow Enterprizes.
    Ron

    '14 Evora IPS
    '84 Turbo Esprit
    '77 S1 (deceased)
    '62 Lotus Seven S2 109E Cosworth

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    26

    Default

    No help with customs, but I just ordered a set from Demon Tweaks and they arrived quickly without issue.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    171

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by escondidoron View Post
    For future reference I have had excellent experience with Crow Enterprizes.
    Same here. I've been using Crow for many years now to custom-make the six-point harnesses for my open wheel race cars. I'm lucky because I live in Orange County and can drive there, walk in and hand them an out-of-date harness which they use as the pattern for the replacement.

    They usually have the new one finished within a day and there have even been a few times when they turned the job around in one day and their attention to detail and specific requests is fantastic.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    SE NC
    Posts
    111

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    Quote Originally Posted by escondidoron View Post
    For future reference I have had excellent experience with Crow Enterprizes.
    Ron - what are you using in your 62 Seven? Mine doesn't have any belts, and at some point I think I will add some.
    Henry
    1965 Seven S2
    1969 Elan S4

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Posts
    296

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SENC View Post
    Ron - what are you using in your 62 Seven? Mine doesn't have any belts, and at some point I think I will add some.
    I am using a Crow 5-point harness system. While I had my car completely disassembled for chassis repair I added multiple tubes to the chassis to accommodate full triangulation as well as tabs, tubes & reinforcements to support integration of the harness tie-down points. If you're interested to see what I have done I can start another thread.
    Ron

    '14 Evora IPS
    '84 Turbo Esprit
    '77 S1 (deceased)
    '62 Lotus Seven S2 109E Cosworth

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    SE NC
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by escondidoron View Post
    I am using a Crow 5-point harness system. While I had my car completely disassembled for chassis repair I added multiple tubes to the chassis to accommodate full triangulation as well as tabs, tubes & reinforcements to support integration of the harness tie-down points. If you're interested to see what I have done I can start another thread.
    That would be great, Ron, I'd love to see. When you have time, no hurry.
    Henry
    1965 Seven S2
    1969 Elan S4

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    35

    Default

    FYI, the Caterham belts are Schroth Formula 2X2. You can find them here. Mine arrived this week with an FIA certification that expires in 2025.

    These belts are intended for formula cars with a very reclined seat. I've never sat in a formula car so I don't know if those seats recline as much or more than the Caterham's. I do know that my S3 seats are quite reclined and took a bit of getting used to. I guess Caterham decided that this particular harness set was the best solution.

    I find one feature/flaw that I wish I knew about before I bought these harnesses. The crotch straps do not attach to the cam buckle. I know right?

    At the end of each crotch strap there is a loop. That loop runs through a loop on the end of each lap belt strap and then the male buckle for the shoulder strap goes through the loop on the crotch strap before being inserted into the cam buckle. I'm sure I'm going to find this interesting.

    I think the reason to order from Caterham is that they include Caterham specific mounting hardware. I haven't mounted them yet but I'm guessing that's what they have done.

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