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Can You Bring Car Parts Across the Border?

What's in this article?
  1. Importing Auto Parts Into The United States
  2. Us Customs And Border Protection Requirements
  3. Shipping Car Parts From Canada And Mexico To The Us
  4. Import Tax On Car Auto Parts
  5. Documentation Needed For Import
  6. Do You Need A Customs Bond Broker?
  7. Conclusion
Can You Bring Car Parts Across the Border?

Have you ever had to purchase a car part from a different country due to availability constraints? You may be planning a DIY project or want to save money by buying the part elsewhere. But can you bring car parts across the border?

The answer is complex and requires further explanation. Several factors, including the part type, value, and country of origin, can impact the importation process.

Let's explore the regulations and restrictions surrounding bringing car parts across the border, so you can be informed before making any purchases.

Importing Auto Parts into the United States

Auto parts imported into the United States must meet certification standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency EPA and the Department of Transport DOT.

Before arrival at the US border, each type of auto part must adhere to specific regulations determined by these federal agencies.

Any auto parts subject to EPA and DOT regulations may require a receipt for purchase to be cleared through customs. Furthermore, entities that wish to import must complete two forms—EPA Form 3520-1 and DOT Form HS-7—for all imported auto parts.

Importers must gather and present necessary records to clear automobile parts shipments for entry into the United States. These records include auto part invoices, bills of lading, and delivery notes from countries of origin, including China, to US Customs. Only then can the goods be released for sale in the country.

Additionally, according to protocols set out by EPA and DOT laws, all imported auto parts must comply with relevant safety standards before being released by US Customs.

Anyone importing auto parts must pay careful attention to comply with these rules. Avoiding unnecessary disruptions during delivery times or heavy fines for not fulfilling the requirement will reduce complications.


US Customs and Border Protection Requirements

Auto parts shipments into the United States require following certain steps established by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). At the port of entry, anyone bringing in auto parts must fill out CBP Form 7501, also known as an entry summary.

Along with this paperwork, foreign products containing imported auto parts must be marked to identify their country of origin. These markings should be permanent and clear enough to be seen in a "conspicuous place."

Additionally, per the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) requirement, companies importing auto parts must have an "Agent for Service of Process."

The Agent for Service of Process is tasked with receiving any lawsuits or legal action on behalf of the importing company. If there is no registered agent from the company present, the imported auto parts will not be released from the port of entry.

Knowing and following these regulations is essential for any business importing auto parts via American shipments.

Shipping Car Parts from Canada and Mexico to the US

The USMCA is a trade agreement aimed at decreasing trade barriers between the three largest countries in North America and promoting importing of automotive parts across the Mexican and Canadian border with minimal or no duties in many instances.

This development increases the accessibility and cost-effectiveness of foreign car parts for those interested in installing them in their vehicles. Additionally, the USMCA grants preferential benefits to businesses within its tripartite countries.

One of the benefits is that more products composed of Canadian and Mexican parts may enter the United States market without paying costly taxes and duties.

The low production costs in China make the country a popular source of imported car parts. Shipments valuing $20 billion entered the United States from China in 2018. This number indicated a significant amount of Chinese involvement.

However, importing Chinese car parts may mean paying additional taxes depending on whether it's categorized as commercial or consumer products, which may reduce their cost-effectiveness compared to certain parts from Mexico or Canada covered under USMCA.

Ultimately, when considering what country your auto pieces should come from, you should analyze how much duty you will have to pay as well as the cost of production.


Import Tax on Car Auto Parts

When importing auto parts into the United States, it is necessary to consider the relevant import tax. The auto parts industry is typically subject to a 2.5% duty according to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS).

The application of tariffs may vary based on the country of origin and the associated vehicle type for the part. It is, therefore, essential to check the HTS before purchasing to gauge the total costs involved.

Beyond this import tax, other documents, such as customs bonds, may also be required to make an international purchase of auto parts allowable. The conditions may differ based on the supplier and any additional limitations that may be enforced.

Therefore it is always advisable to look into these details before committing to an international purchase of auto parts.

Documentation Needed for Import

Proper documentation is necessary for importing goods into the United States. It is essential to provide a commercial invoice, a packing list, and a bill of lading to meet customs authorities' import regulations.

A commercial invoice is a comprehensive record that outlines the imported goods, their quantity, value, and the manufacturer and importer's particulars. A packing list provides key information about what is shipped within each container, including contents, dimensions, and weight.

Finally, the bill of lading is a contract between the carrier and shipper specifying what is shipped along with other pertinent details. It also serves as proof that the items have been accepted for shipment.

Having these documents in order can ensure that your items make it through customs successfully. Ensuring all relevant information has been accurately recorded will reduce clearing time at customs while also providing tracking accuracy and security of shipments to their destination.

An organized documentation process should be one of your top priorities when importing items into the United States so that you minimize delays or problems during processing.

Do you Need a Customs Bond Broker?

Obtaining a customs bond is an important step in the international trade process. It ensures that duties, taxes, and fees are paid promptly, protecting the importer from excessive fines or fines from losses.

An experienced customs bond broker can handle the entire customs process for you, saving you time and effort.

These brokers are knowledgeable professionals who understand all aspects of importing car parts and motorcycles into the US, ensuring that your shipment meets all requirements.

Customs brokers have years of expertise negotiating complex import regulations to ensure your shipment clears through customs promptly and without delay.

They know what paperwork must be submitted for each situation to help ensure any potential issues are solved quickly without disrupting your shipping schedule or delivery timeline.

The agent will also provide ongoing advice on reducing your costs by taking advantage of trade programs and other government incentives available to businesses engaged in international trade.

With an experienced customs broker on your side, you can rest assured that all customs documentation is filled out correctly. It will also ensure that no costly errors are made at any point during the border crossing process.



Crossing the border with car parts can be a headache, but it's definitely doable. With a little research, proper documentation, and patience, you can safely and legally bring those car parts to your destination safely and legally.

For all your shipping needs, turn to A-1 Auto Transport. In our hands, transporting your prized car or auto parts is a breeze.

Browse our website to see our services and what past customers say about their experiences, and get an instant quote today.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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Paramount, CA 90723
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1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
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