Berlin, the Capital City of Germany is a densely populated city that is filled with beautiful rivers, lakes and woodland areas. When you relocate to Berlin, you may find that hiring a rental car or taxi to complete your daily travel can become quite expensive and the best way to combat the excessive transportation fees as well as to enjoy your new home in Berlin is to have your own vehicle imported to the city for your use. While Germany has some strict import regulations for motor vehicles, your auto transport agent in the United States will be able to walk you through the steps to export your personal vehicle out of the U.S. and into Berlin as easily and quickly as possible. Your agent will require specific documents from you as well as financial and insurance obligations that will be discussed prior to shipping. Another important thing to consider is that Germany has important regulations for motor vehicles pertaining to the environment and there may be a chance that you will need to make modifications to your vehicle before it can be shipped.
Motor Vehicle Regulations for Customs
When you are importing your vehicle to Berlin from the United States you will have to adhere to many factors prior to bringing the car into the port. You will be required to pay VAT (Value Added Tax) and Import Duties on the vehicle. You can have this waived on a few conditions. Those conditions include:
- You are planning on becoming a resident of Berlin
- The vehicle is registered in your name
- You have lived outside of the EU for the last twelve months
- You have owned the vehicle for at least six months prior to shipping
- You will either export the vehicle back to the U.S. or will sell it in Germany prior to leaving Berlin and returning to the U.S.
If you cannot prove the listed requirements to waive the taxes and duty fees, you will have to pay a duty fee equal to 10% of the total vehicle value as well as a 19% Import tax. The vehicle value will be determined by the customs agent by checking the U.S. manufacturer’s handbook. If you plan on registering your vehicle once it has cleared customs you will need to have the vehicle inspected at the local TUV office which is a technical inspection association. The inspection will verify that your vehicle passes all of the national safety standards. If it does not pass the inspection you will not be able to drive your vehicle. Once the vehicle passes the technical inspection you will then proceed to the Department of Motor Vehicles and will be able to apply to register the vehicle in Berlin. For more information on Customs requirements and Motor Vehicle Registration, you can contact the German Missions in the United States.
Prior to Shipping
Prior to shipping your vehicle to Berlin you need to decide the type of shipping that is best for your situation, pay your auto transport fees for local as well as international shipping and make sure you have a finalized quote showing what fees, if any, you will need to pay immediately upon the vehicle being delivered to Berlin. U.S. Customs will be able to provide you more information on export regulations when shipping vehicles or personal items from the U.S. to Berlin, Germany. Once all of the paperwork has been taken care of you will need to confirm that method of shipping you will be using and will need to pay your shipping fees. The ways you can ship to Berlin are:
Ro-Ro Shipping is preferred choice of shipping a vehicle to another country. With Ro-Ro Shipping, vehicles are driven directly on the carrier ship at the point of origin and driven off at the destination point. This is the quickest and least expensive way of shipping a vehicle to Berlin.
Your vehicle will be shipped inside of a container on a carrier ship from the United States to the closest port of Berlin. While Container Shipping is a bit more expensive than Ro-Ro Shipping due to the added cost of the container fee, it is a great value when you want to ship other items with your vehicle. You have an option of a 20ft or a 40ft container and can easily have your vehicle and other items shipped at the same time.
Air shipping is by far the fastest way of shipping a vehicle to Berlin, but it is also the most expensive of the three ways of transporting. Your transporter can give full details of the cost of air service when you speak to them.
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.