Shipping a car to Shenzhen from the United States.
Globalization has resulted in fantastic new opportunities in emerging markets like China. With an ever-increasing number of people relocating – and bringing their vehicles along for the ride – it’s important to understand what the process entails. Unfortunately, customs rules and tariffs can be notoriously complex and unnecessarily confusing.
At A-1 Auto Transport, we’re the experts in shipping vehicles to Shenzhen, other locations within China, and beyond. Our twenty-plus years of experience means that you can trust A-1 to provide you with reliable transport services and expertise on Chinese regulations.
Located in the Pearl River delta of Southern China, Shenzhen is a major center for finance and commerce. The city features one of China’s busiest container ports, and hosts some of the headquarters of high-tech industries. Extensive railway and road systems facilitate the easy transit of land-based cargo as well.
Shenzhen Shipping Options.
You’ll have two choices of shipping methods to pick from. The one that’s right for you will depend on your budget and the value of your vehicle.
- Container shipping – Those with highly valuable vehicles may opt for the protection of a cargo container, into which cars may be driven before being loaded aboard the transportation vessel.
- Roll-on/Roll-off shipping (Ro/Ro) – the car can also be loaded directly onto large ships and carriers. Heavy-duty straps secure it in place, and prevent any movement. At the destination port, the car is unloaded in a similar manner.
Similarly, two options are available regarding pickup and delivery of the car or other motor vehicle:
- Terminal-to-terminal shipping – You’ll drop the vehicle off directly at the departure terminal, here in the US. You’ll then pick it up directly from the point of arrival within Shenzhen.
- Door-to-door shipping – You’ve also got the option of having the vehicle picked up from a location of your choice, and delivered right to your doorstep in China.
Preparation on your End.
There are a few steps you can take to prepare the car physically for the shipping process.
- Add a bit of fuel to the tank, but not much – this allows the movers to drive the car short distances, as necessary, without adding substantial weight. Aim for around 25% of capacity.
- In preparation for inspection, the car should be thoroughly washed and the inside cleaned.
- Clear the car of any personal belongings – though tools like the jack or a spare tire may be left in place.
- Foot brakes, as well as the emergency brake, must be in proper working condition.
- All accessories must be detached, if at all possible. If the car has a fixed antenna, it should be lowered.
- Deactivate the car alarm system – this prevents unnecessary drain on the battery (and saves dock workers a noisy headache to boot).
A number of documents are needed before vehicles can be granted entry into China. Be sure to prepare:
- Proof of the age of the car.
- A written application and a declaration of the cargo.
- Original invoice of the purchase value of the car.
It is crucial that you are present at the time of the shipment’s arrival, with documentation in tow. Failure to do so may result in the vehicle being turned away.
Chinese Customs Rules.
Take a minute to familiarize yourself with some of Chinese customs’ rules and regulations:
- Only left-hand drive cars will be allowed entry into China.
- Diesel-powered vehicles – with the exception of jeeps – are forbidden entry as well.
- As of July 2010, it’s no longer permitted for foreigners to import used vehicles. New vehicles may still be granted entry.
- The customs tax is based on the engine cubic capacity, and can be rather steep – usually starting at around 25 percent. Foreign experts, along with foreign companies established in China, may be exempted from the import tax on cars.
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.