There are a number of regulations to abide by and a good many steps to follow when you want to export cars from USA. Most of the regulations are as per the rules specified in the Trade and Tariff Act of 1984 which have become Part 192 of the regulations followed by the US Customs. You can also visit http://www.cbp.gov/trade/basic-import-export/export-docs/motor-vehicle for more information on exporting your car.
Steps to Export A Car From The USA - Needed Documents
The Pink Slip - The first thing that is required is the proof of ownership which is the Certificate of Title or the pink slip. For more information about Title, you can visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_title. The ownership documents must be submitted at least 3 days prior to the date of export to the land border port. On the day of exportation, you have to present the car to the US customs so that they can check that the car is indeed the car as said in the ownership documents. However, if the car is exported by air or sea, then the papers and the car must be presented together to the Customs, 3 days prior to inspection. The Customs will stamp or perforate the original Title document to show that it was exported from the USA.
- Lien – in case of a lien, then the owner must get authorisation paper from the lien holder allowing the car to leave the country when you want to export cars from the USA. This paper must then be attached to the Title document.
- Manufacturer’s statement of origin – this document has to be submitted when the car has not been titled and you can get this from the car dealer. Submit the original along with two Xerox copies to the Customs.
- Bill of sale or sale’s invoice - In cases old and antique cars, there might not be a Title or there might be no way to get a manufacturer’s statement of origin. Then a bill of dale or a sale’s invoice or any other document that can be shown as proof of ownership is required. Also, the owner must present in writing that they got the vehicle through a bona fide transaction and therefore, was not stolen. This documentation also needs an original along with two Xerox copies to be submitted to the Customs.
- Time of Processing – Most ports will not process cars during weekends and so to avoid unnecessary delays, call ahead to make sure that your car will be processed during working days.
- Choosing the Kind of Transport – when you want to you might require an ocean freight or air freight.
- Ocean freight – there are two kinds of ocean freight that are available and they are shipping containers and RORO shipping vehicles. RORO shipping is advisable when the cars have to be exported from the East Coast to the Gulf or from the West Coast to the Far East.
- Air freight – this is very expensive and should be considered only when transporting vehicles that are very expensive or in cases of emergency.
- Insurance – Now this is very important and there are two kinds of insurance that you might be interested in.
The first one is All-Risk with which you can claim for all kinds of damages but this will be expensive.
The second is Total-Loss-Only which can be claimed only in cases where there is a total loss such as the car disappearing overboard.
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Tips For Faster Processing
- Have all the documents ready and in order.
- Make sure that the car is in good working condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
What documentation do I need to export my car from the US?
You’ll need several documents to export your car from the US:
- Bill of Sale
- Declaration of Dangerous Goods (this identifies whether your shipment contains specific items such as airbags, car battery, gasoline, etc.)
- Title/Certificate of Origin
- License Plates – if possible, submit the plate to the European regulatory authority where your car is arriving.
- Lien Release – if you don’t own your vehicle in full, you’ll need written authorization from your lienholder that allows you to export the car from the US
Can I export my car from the US while still having a loan?
Yes, but you’ll need written authorization from your lienholder that allows you to export the car from the US. It should be on corporate letterhead and signed by an official.
Can I export my car from the US while I’m in another country?
With a good transport company that has the expertise in this situation, they will handle this for you. There will most probably be a list of actions for you to accomplish, and if you follow the list, all will get done.
What are the transportation methods to export my car from the US?
- RoRo (Roll-on/Roll-off) – the most convenient and least expensive way to ship your car. Vehicles are driven onto the ship on their power, tied down securely in its designated spot, and driven off when it reaches its destination.
- Container Shipping
- Shared container shipping – They load your vehicle along with other vehicles onto a container. Because they load your car with other cars, you aren’t guaranteed a set departure date. This method is best when you have two or more cars to ship.
- Exclusive container shipping is best for shipping exotic and expensive cars due to the protection of being exclusively in a container. It’s the costliest way, but the best if you have the budget.
- Airfreight – is used when the cost isn’t the primary concern, and the delivery time is. When using air freight, the total transit time can take a few weeks. This mode of transport is expensive and best for highly valued vehicles and has a tight deadline for delivery.
How do I insure my vehicle for export from the US?
The law requires shipping companies to carry insurance on everything they ship. There are two kinds of international shipping insurance for a vehicle:
- All-Risk Insurance – covers you for any type of damage during shipping. This type of insurance is the most comprehensive and most expensive.
- Total-Loss-Only Insurance – covers you only if a total loss occurs, such as a disaster at sea such as collision and weather conditions.
Check to see if the insurance provided by the shipping company is adequate for your needs. If not, there are third-party companies that will provide insurance for shipping cars from the US.
How long does it take to process my car at its destination?
Many ports around the world will require at least three days before they process your car. In addition, most of these ports don’t process on weekends or holidays, so keep this in mind for planning purposes.
How long does shipping take?
This is a tricky question to answer. However, there are factors to consider when estimating a delivery time:
What method of shipping? RoRo and container shipping can take ten days to two weeks. Airfreight is only a matter of a couple of days.
Some delays can include US Customs, Port congestion, canceled sailings or delays due to low freight, ships being overbooked or rerouted, and weather conditions.
How much does it cost to export my car from the US?
The cost of exporting your car from the US varies depending on some factors:
- Where in the US is your point of departure, the east coast or the west coast?
- What is your destination port?
- What is the size of your vehicle? For example, is it a compact SUV or pickup? The smaller your car, the less expensive it will be.
- Will you be driving your car to the port, or will it be picked up and delivered by a transport service?
You can get an estimated cost quote from a transport service or broker. Be prepared to answer the questions above.
Are there any special fees I should be aware of to import my car to Europe?
Yes, there will be import duties, taxes, and miscellaneous charges. These charges will be higher for container shipping than for RoRo shipping. Your transport company or broker can help you determine what these fees will be.
Can someone else pick up my car after it’s delivered?
If you send someone to pick up your car who isn’t the legal owner, or the person who initially agreed to receive your vehicle, they must have a notarized letter authorizing them to pick up the car on your behalf.
Be sure to check in on the specifics of this from your transport company of choice or broker.
Is there a way for me to track my car while in transit?
Yes, most transport companies will give you a contract # that you can track online. However, it is your responsibility to track the progress of your vehicle. To avoid incurring any storage fees or issues, please be sure to follow your car or stay in touch with your transport company.