Fast and Furious Fanatics Rejoice: The R33 Skyline Can Now Be Legally Imported

The Fast and Furious franchise may be responsible for the popularity of the Nissan R33 Skyline in the United States, but fanatics haven’t forgotten about the car as the movies moved on to more popular modern-day exotics.

For many people, this year has been long-awaited, as the popular Japanse Domestic Market Nissan Skyline 1996 – 1998 year models of the R33 turns 25 years old – and that’s a pretty big deal. You may be wondering why we are celebrating the Skyline’s 25th birthday or noticed perhaps that you’ve probably never seen one in person. That is because they only just became legal to import into the United States in January of this year. That’s right, you can now import a 1996-1998 R33 Skyline.

Safety Standards and Exceptions

A woman walks past a Skyline model by Japan’s auto giant Nissan Motor at the showroom of the company’s headquarters in Yokohama, in suburban Tokyo, on February 9, 2017. Nissan was expected to announce their financial results later in the day. / AFP / TORU YAMANAKA (Photo credit should read TORU YAMANAKA/AFP via Getty Images)

Although it was made popular by the movie franchise, the R33 did not originally comply with US safety standards, meaning you could not import a JDM Skyline of this generation into the US. Although there is a lot of speculation as to the reasons, Nissan never put the car through US crash testing or emissions, but regardless of cause, the only thing that is clear is that we just couldn’t import them.

One major exception to the importation regulations set by the NHTSA is that cars become eligible for importation after a set number of years. You’ve probably guessed what we’re leading up to here: these R33 Skylines have now joined the ranks of cars that this exception applies to.


There is no doubt that the Nissan Skyline R33 is a hot topic when it comes to importing JDM cars. In fact, the question as to if it was legal to import had been asked so often that it is specifically called out as a Frequently Asked Question on the NHTSA website. Although there may be some hoops to jump through yet as they begin importing, JDM R33 Skylines will undoubtedly hit the streets and car shows across America in the years to come.