Port-au-Prince is the largest city in Haiti with a population of nearly 4 million residents. The economy in the city has been steadily rising for the last 20 years and many people from around the world have relocated to Port-au-Prince for employment and business ventures. Traffic can be very congested especially during rush times when business in the lower districts are changing evening and early morning shifts, so when driving you will want to drive cautiously. Port-au-Prince has public transportation but it can be very unreliable and stops can be erratic. Driving your own motor vehicle while living in the city can be a great benefit as public transport is slow and will get expensive quickly. To have your car relocated to Port-au-Prince you will need to follow some specific customs regulations as well as have a reliable international automobile transport company move the car for you.
International Automobile Transport.
When you contact the automobile transport company you will need to let them know the make, model and year of your car. They also need to know if you plan to ship the car by sea or by air, and if there have been any modifications to the car that will affect the weight or size of the car. Damage insurance is usually included in a total shipping quote, but if you have a classic or luxury car you may want to add extra coverage during shipment. Most people prefer to ship motor vehicles by sea instead of by air due to the high cost of air freight. Owners of luxury, expensive antique or exotic cars will often use air freight when shipping their car in order to have it delivered very fast. Your agent will discuss the various types of overseas shipping available with you. If you will not be able to deliver the car to shipping port in the United States, the agent will schedule convenient door to door pick-up to have your car transported by land to the port. You will need to give the company certain documents when scheduling transport. Those documents include:
- Driver’s License.
- Social Security Number.
- Vehicle Title.
You will also need to sign a Power of Attorney statement that will give legal permission to the transporter to move your car both on land in the United States and overseas during shipment. When your car arrives at the shipping port in Port-au-Prince, the agent can also schedule delivery from the port to your new location.
How to Ship a Car Overseas.
You will be given information from the auto transport agent about the types of international transport available for your car. There are two ways to ship by sea as well as transport by air. The most convenient ways to ship are:
- RORO- RORO is the easiest as well as the most common way to ship a car overseas. RORO is short for roll/on roll/off and it simply means cars are rolled onto the RORO vessel at the exit port, and then rolled off the vessel when it reaches the destination. RORO is by far the least expensive as well as the fastest way to ship a car internationally. RORO is an excellent way to ship the everyday driving vehicle including cars, trucks, vans, SUV’s and even buses. Cars must be clean and empty during transport with this method of transport.
- Container- Container shipping, a form of enclosed transport, is usually preferred by those who have highly expensive automobiles. Containers are sealed to protect the contents from exposure to weather, flying debris (including birds) and other elements that could cause potential damage during transport. Many containers even offer padded walls or ceilings and climate controlled space. When shipping with container shipping, you can also load items inside of the car during transport making it convenient if you need to relocate everything at once when you ship the car.
- Air Freight- Air freight is the fastest way, as well as the most expensive way to ship a car overseas. Shipping by air is convenient when you have a very expensive luxury or exotic car and want to have it in Port-au-Prince as quickly as possible.
Your transport agent will discuss the pros and cons of each type of transport with you and will assist you in deciding which one is best for your personal vehicle.
Customs regulations in Port-au-Prince are very strict and must be followed precisely to have your car imported. You must provide customs with specific documents to verify identity and vehicle ownership. Documents include the following:
- Driver’s License.
- Motor Vehicle Title.
- Commercial Invoice/Bill of Sale.
- Packing List if you use container shipping.
- Origin slip and destination slip.
All motor vehicles brought to Port-au-Prince for import are subject to taxation. Import duties and shipping tax must also be paid. If you will be staying temporarily in the city you will be required to pay a tourist tax on the vehicle at a rate of 10% on top of the standard taxes and duties. All people importing personal cars must pay the import duties, but for business owners in the private sector the duty taxes can be waived by contacting the Embassy of Haiti and filling out the exemption paperwork prior to import.
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.