Hamburg is one of the largest States in Germany and has the second largest sea port in all of Europe, thus making it a perfect State to import your car from the United States easily. When you need to import your car to Hamburg you’ll need to hire an international auto transport company to take care of everything for you. The agent at the auto transport company will be a valuable source of information on documents you’ll need for Customs in Germany, paperwork that you’ll need prior to shipping from the U.S., where the major shipping ports in the U.S. are located, and the methods of transport that you can choose to ship your car overseas. There are many regulations that you will need to know about for importing a car to Hamburg, as well as car modifications that you may need to have prior to shipping the car in order to meet German vehicle emissions specifications. Your agent will be able to fully explain modifications that may be necessary, or you can contact the German Missions in Washington, DC for further information.
No matter what you do in life, there is usually paperwork to fill out and this holds true for importing a car to Hamburg or anywhere internationally. For the auto transport company in the United States, you will need to provide essential documents such as your driver’s license, social security card, car title and insurance certificate. You will also need to sign a Power of Attorney form to allow the company to transport your car to the port in the United States if necessary as well as overseas to Hamburg. German Customs will need far more paperwork that the shipping company will need. You will also need to adhere to some guidelines and mandatory regulations when going through customs. You will need to pay a duty fee equal to 10% of the total vehicle value as well as a 19% Import tax. You can often avoid paying the taxes and duties but you will have to be able to prove the following:
- You have plans to become a resident of Hamburg
- The car is registered in your name
- You have lived outside of the EU for the last year
- You must own the vehicle for at least six months before importing
- You will either export the vehicle back to the U.S. or will sell it in Germany prior to leaving Hamburg and returning to the United States
Before the Car Leaves for Hamburg
Before your car is exported from the United States to ship to Hamburg, you will need to go over all details of the shipping process with your agent. The agent will explain all aspects of required paperwork, types of shipping, time frames that you should expect your car to arrive in Hamburg and the total cost for shipping internationally. The cost will vary depending on the method used to transport the car, the weight and size of the car, pick-up, and delivery within the United States or pickup and delivery when the car reaches Hamburg. If you are able to deliver the car to the port in the U.S. and pick it up when it reaches Hamburg it will save you some money for delivery charges. You may also want to check with Customs in the United States to gather information on exporting any personal items that you may need to ship and what the regulations may be to ship them along with your car. Since Hamburg has the second largest shipping port in Europe, you will most likely want to ship by ocean cargo ship. There are two ways to ship internationally by sea and those ways are:
Ro-Ro Shipping is the most widely used method of shipping a car internationally. With Ro-Ro Shipping, cars are driven directly on the carrier ship at the point of origin and driven off at the destination point. This is the most efficient way of shipping a car to Hamburg.
Your car will be shipped inside of a container on a carrier ship from the United States to the Port of Hamburg. 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 car. Containers are generally available in 20 or 40 foot and can easily fit your car as well as any personal or household items you may need to load into the container for relocation.
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.