• Buying parallel imported motorhomes is gamble with the savings, ”- says Secretary General Geir Holm in NCB. Photo: Per Chr. Hestnæs
    Buying parallel imported motorhomes is gamble with the savings, ”- says Secretary General Geir Holm in NCB. Photo: Per Chr. Hestnæs
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Text: Morten Broks
Caravan and Caravan magazine, No. 1 February 2019

Parallel imports from abroad: Brings the caravan dogs behind the light!

- "Actors who run parallel imports of motorhomes and caravans are wondering Norwegians, when they claim that the customers have the same rights as when shopping from an authorized NCB dealer. They only tell half the truth, ”- says Geir Holm, Secretary General of the NCB.

The Norwegian Caravan Industry Association warns Norwegian consumers against the use of risky parallel imports when they are buying a new motorhome or caravan. What can initially look like a bargain through an unauthorized dealer can, in the longer run, become a very costly affair with expenses you had not included in the original calculation.

- "To buy a motorhome for millions of dollars via a dealer who disclaims all warranty liability, is to gamble with the savings", says Geir Holm, Secretary General of the Norwegian Caravan Industry Association (NCB). He gets the support of the industry association's legal expert Alexander Rukin: - "My claim is that what you possibly save on importing, one loses quickly the day the problems report" -, he says.

No rights

If you as a customer have chosen to buy a motorhome or carriage abroad you have no rights under the Norwegian Consumer Purchase Act. If you shop in Norway with an authorized NCB dealer, you have up to five years' warranty, which you do not get abroad. - "Complaints about faults and defects in objects purchased outside Norway must be directed to the foreign dealer," - says Rukin.

An NCB dealer has no obligation to assist you if you have traded your camper or carriage abroad, even if the dealer sells the same brand that you have imported. This applies to both warranty work and complaints. - "Our members will naturally be able to help provided there is free capacity and against the customer paying for the help he receives," - says Geir Holm.

peppery

Believing that you can get the expenses covered by the Norwegian importer is like believing in Santa Claus: - "The expense the customer himself must claim reimbursed by the foreign dealer, as long as there is a legal basis for it. Perhaps a foreign dealer can agree that the car will be repaired in Norway, but in most cases the foreign dealer will probably say that yes, okay, come here with the car and we will look at it. It can be both expensive and time-consuming, ”- says Rukin. He believes this with the import of motorhomes and carriages can quickly be to put a hand into a wasp nest.

“The safest thing is to buy your motorhome or caravan from an authorized NCB dealer. At the Caravan Fair 2018 at Lillestrøm you only meet approved members of NCB. - Can be a smart place to start, says Secretary General Geir Holm. (Photo: Per Chr. Hestnæs)

One of the reasons why the Norwegian Caravan Industry Association believes that parallel imports are like a wasp nest lies in a clandestine solution that the players behind parallel imports have hatched. In the contract you sign it is not uncommon for you as a customer to be listed as an importer for the vehicle. This not only means that you do not have any rights with the official Norwegian importer, but also that you are actually responsible for faults and defects when the vehicle is sold privately in Norway. - These are very few who are aware of, and who can quickly become scammed. For as a seller, you are responsible for the product for 2 years, even if ownership changes occur, Geir Holm points out.

6 reasons from NCB to steer clear of parallel imports

1. You do NOT have the same rights: If you, as a customer, have chosen to buy a motorhome or carriage abroad, you have no rights under the Norwegian Consumer Purchase Act. If you shop in Norway with an authorized NCB dealer, you have up to five years of warranty which you do not get abroad. Complaints about faults and defects in objects purchased outside Norway must be directed to the foreign dealer.

2. You stand as an importer yourself and can get huge expenses: Several players selling parallel imported motorhomes and caravans formulate the purchase contract so that you as a customer stand as an importer yourself. It can cause major problems and expenses if you sell your parallel imported motorhome or caravan further in Norway. There are very few who are aware of this, and who can quickly become scammed. For as a seller, you are then responsible for the product for 2 years, even if there are changes in ownership.

3. No obligation for the dealer: An NCB dealer has no obligation to assist you if you have traded your camper or carriage abroad even if the dealer sells the same brand that you have imported. This applies to both warranty work and complaints. But an NCB dealer will be able to help provided there is free capacity against the customer paying for the help he receives.

4. Costly warranty repairs: Since you do not have the right to repair a parallel-imported motorhome or caravan in Norway, you must go abroad to rectify a possible complaint. It can in many cases mean large additional costs associated with traveling abroad. It also takes time, compared to using NCB dealers.

5. Moisture test a challenge: If caravans and motorhomes do not comply with the annual requirements for annual moisture testing, the moisture guarantee will lapse, thus allowing the owners to remain financially responsible for costly moisture damage. Another aspect is that many NCB dealers, especially those belonging to a chain, are not allowed to touch parallel or used imported motorhomes. For example, by taking a density check (humidity test), stamping in the service booklet and submitting it to the manufacturer, the responsibility for this motor home is suddenly transferred to the dealer who has done this job.

6. Lower secondary value: A lot of the NCB dealers will not take an imported camper or wagon in exchange. Thus, in many cases, a parallel imported motorhome or wagon will have lower secondary value than one purchased in Norway by an authorized NCB dealer.

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