For the first-timer, the entire procedure of exporting cars might sound daunting but there is nothing much to it once you know what to do. US ports and Customs follow “Part 192 of Title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations” but there is nothing in it that should intimidate you. The procedure is a simple one and although the Customs is strict, it is not really all that complex.
First, let us go over a few technical terms so that they become familiar vocabulary to you.
- Certified – it will be used when the copies of documents that you have submitted has a signed statement by authorities that they are genuine copies of the original documents.
- Export – the term is used here to refer to any goods, including cars, which are shipped to foreign companies for the purpose of commerce.
- Self-Propelled Vehicle – this refers to any type of vehicle that can run on land and not on rails.
You can go to http://www.cbp.gov for necessary contact details of US Customs offices. The following will give you the basic idea of what you need to do when exporting cars.
US ports require the submission of documents for self-propelled vehicles at least 72 hours before the time of departure.You are required to give the original or a certified copy along with two copies of all documents. Customs will verify on the day of departure whether the documents submitted match the vehicle ready for export and the originals will usually be returned to the owner.
The Documents Include
- Proof of ownership which is the Title Certificate which will be stamped or perforated after inspection to show that it is exported from this country.
- Manufacturer’s statement of the origin of there is no Title Certificate.
- A bill of sale or even a sales invoice with the vehicle number will do for very old vehicles for which one cannot expect a Title Certificate.
- Lien or encumbrance documents, if any, which should be gotten from the lien holder allowing the export. This document should be on the letterhead of the lien holder with the contact details of the lienholder or the owner so that both or either may be contacted if need be.
- There is more to exporting a vehicle these days and one has to comply with the EPA or Environmental Protection Agency so that your car does not pose an environmental hazard during transit. Please visit http://www2.epa.gov/importing-exporting for more details pertaining to the international export of vehicles.
- US Government Employees need to comply with the sponsoring agency’s procedures for exporting vehicles.
- Vehicles with foreign titles must provide a translation of the documents if it is in another language.
A Few More Points to Consider
It does not matter to the Customs whether your car is in a running condition or not. All that matters is that you have all the right documents and that they are all valid. Most often the procedures are delayed because the car owners do not come on time or do not submit all the documents.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.