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Can You Ship a Car from the US to Poland?

Published by Tamar Hela.

Can You Ship a Car from the US to Poland?

Shipping cars to another country is no walk in the park. When a shipment occurs across a country's borders, the process gets even more complex. But as nerve-racking as transatlantic vehicle transport is, you can still do it.

Let’s say you want to ship a car from the US to Poland. Certain requirements like import duties, customs clearance, and environmental standards must be met. But it's possible if you’re equipped with the right information and hire the right company to help you do it.

Learn all about documentation, transit times, and other details about shipping a car from the US to Poland in this article. Let’s dive in.

Understanding International Car Imports to Poland

Shipping a car from the US to anywhere in the world is complex. That's why we'd like to preface this by recommending to work with a shipping company used to international shipping because they’ll be more familiar with international rules of shipment and logistics. Their experience will be an asset for you, especially when you consider the destination.

What to expect

To illustrate the process of importing a car to Poland, here's what you must know:

  • The car can be purchased in the US (your own car) and then prepared for overseas shipping
  • You can expect to pay customs duty, an amount of excise duty, and Value Added Tax
  • You can expect to pay around $1,100 to $4,500 from US to Europe
  • The car must follow or be adapted to European standards and undergo an inspection
  • The car must then be registered at the transport office

Documents to prepare

Prepare following documents for a successful customs clearance process:

  • Bill of Lading (BOL)
  • Vehicle Title and Registration (as Proof of Ownership of the vehicle)
  • Purchase Invoice or Bill of Sale
  • Passport and Visa or Residence Permit (as the owner's Proof of Residence)
  • Proof of Insurance
  • A certificate of Environmental Standards (the vehicle must meet European emission standards)

Furthermore, the vehicle should be free of any liens. Also, personal belongings must not be transported with the car to ensure a seamless inspection process.

Being prepared with these necessary documents will open the way for a successful car shipping experience to Poland.

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The Cost of Car Shipment from the US to Poland

Sending a car from the US to Poland is usually done by sea transport. Air transport is still possible, but the cost will be nothing short of astronomical. The shipping method and additional services will affect the overall cost.

The calculation will likely include the following factors:

  • Roll-on/roll-off: Known as “ro-ro,” this is the most conventional shipment method. Your car gets driven onto the ship and off it for loading and unloading. Since this is the more popular choice, it's also more affordable.
  • Container shipping: Another method of shipping cars across oceans. The vehicle is secured inside a container. Despite the extra protection, this is a less popular option. It's generally pricier than ro-ro.
  • Insurance: It may be optional, but for international shipping, it's highly recommended. It provides a way to protect vehicles during transit.
  • Other fees: This can include domestic transportation to the nearest port, loading/unloading fees, and documentation fees.

An approximate range of shipping costs might look like this:

Type of Expense

Approximate Cost Range (USD)

Shipping Fee (RoRo)

$1,100 - $3,000

Shipping Fee (Container)

$2,000 - $4,500


1.5% - 2.5% of Vehicle's Value

Other Fees


Cost estimation can vary widely based on your shipment's circumstances. Always request a quote from a reputable international shipping company. These companies often have online shipping calculators for a more precise estimate.


Transit Time for Car Shipping from the US to Poland

Two major things influence transit times for your shipment: route and transportation mode. The journey from the country of origin (United States) to the destination country (Poland) may take about three to eight weeks.

These factors will affect the transit time:

  • Departure Port: The transit time can vary depending on whether your nearest port is on the East or West Coast. East Coast departures have shorter transit times because it's closer to Europe.
  • Destination Port: International car shipments usually arrive at major Polish ports such as Gdynia or Gdańsk. The efficiency of these ports affect overall transit time.
  • International Events: Unpredictable global events, like weather disturbances or increased port traffic, also influence transit times.

Here’s a table representing possible transit times:

Departure Port

Destination Port

Estimated Transit Time (Weeks)

East Coast (e.g., New York)


3 - 5

West Coast (e.g., Los Angeles)


6 - 8

Import Duties for Shipping a Car from the US to Poland

International car shipping often involves import duties. For vehicles imported into Poland from outside the European Union (including the US), the vehicle's age and engine size may determine the cost.

Plus, you may also have to pay Value Added Tax (VAT) and, in some cases, a special excise duty.

Here is a simplified breakdown of potential charges:

  • VAT: Depending on the car's value plus shipping costs (19% for a standard car; 8% for a vintage)
  • Excise Duty: Depending on the engine capacity and age (3.1% to 18.7%)
  • Customs Duty: Around 10% for vehicles from non-EU countries

The Polish Regulation for Environmental Standards

Poland, like many countries in the European Union, has environmental standards for vehicles. These standards help mitigate pollution and reduce environmental impact. When shipping a car from the US to Poland, you are expected to follow them.

Familiarize yourself with the local environmental regulation. Poland would follow the Euro emissions standards, so identify which Euro standard your vehicle complies with.

The Euro standard will define the maximum limitations for nitrogen oxides (NOx), hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter (PM) your vehicle is allowed to emit.

You can typically get information about Poland's environmental standards from:

Failure to meet these standards may result in the inability to register your vehicle in Poland. In some cases, it also means hefty fines and mandatory modifications.

The Customs Clearance Process in Poland

After your car arrives in Poland, it must go through a customs clearance process. To ensure its success, follow the procedures.

This is why working with a reliable shipping company experienced in international car shipping practices is recommended. The company will guide you through the customs requirements.

If any paperwork is needed, you will be ready to provide it. Have documents like proof of ownership, a valid vehicle title, and proof of residence ready.


The customs clearance process would normally involve:

  1. Documentation Review: Customs officials will carefully examine the documents.
  2. Duty and Tax Assessment: Import duties and taxes will depend on the vehicle’s value and type. But only custom authorities can inform you of the final amount.
  3. Inspection: This is carried out to ensure compliance with environmental standards. Inspection will also confirm that the vehicle matches its documentation.
  4. Release: Once all regulations are met, duties paid, and inspections passed, the vehicle will be released from customs.

To ensure the customs process goes smoothly, be prepared to give an accurate and detailed manifest of the vehicle’s specifications and value.

Once again, your shipping company of choice can help you with the process. Remember to partner with a reliable auto shipping company to ensure a successful shipment.

Final Thoughts

Car shipping from the US to Poland is more or less the same as shipping to a European Union country. Regulations may be similar to importing a car from the US to France or Germany. Gauging the shipping cost may also be easier if you compare to other EU countries using the Euro as the currency.

The key to a successful international shipping is to work with a trustworthy auto shipper like A-1 Auto Transport. We'll advise you on the procedures every step of the way. So, get your free quote today and prepare for shipping your car to Poland or other European destinations.

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Tamar Hela is one of our featured writers at A-1 Auto Transport, researching everything from AI auto shipments out of China to what paperwork is required to move long distance. We can safely say she's become well versed in all things shipping and logistics while making the information easy to digest and understandable. 

Tamar has been a copywriter for over 16 years and was trained in the 7-Figure Copywriting Accelerator course through American Writers & Artists, Inc. (AWAI). She's also an incredibly seasoned copyeditor, having previously been the Chief Editor and Publishing Director for Cosby Media Productions, based in Atlanta, Georgia. 

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd,
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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