Shipping a car to Sihanoukville from the United States.
Moving to another city and country means there are so many things competing for your attention. When you’re busy changing mailing addresses, cancelling services, and packing, the last thing most people have time for is worrying about the details of the shipping and customs processes. Here’s where A-1 Auto Transport comes in. With over two decades of experience shipping vehicles to Sihanoukville and other destinations all over the world, let us take care of the minutia so you don’t have to.
Sihanoukville (also as Kompong Som) is a port city on the Gulf of Thailand, in southern Cambodia. As the only deep-water port in Cambodia, the city is a popular docking location for not only an array of cruise ships, but also cargo ships on a number of international trade routes. Sihanoukville also boasts an extensive road network with well-developed streets and public transport systems.
Note: Be aware that non-Cambodians are not permitted to import cars into the country under normal circumstances. Exceptions are made only for those employed by an NGO, or with diplomatic status. If you qualify for one of these exceptions, be prepared to show proof on arrival.
When it comes to automobile shipping, there are two typical options:
- Ro/Ro (Roll-on/Roll-off) Shipping – An inexpensive option in which vehicles are driven (rolled) onto carriers, and driven off at the destination.
- Container Shipping – Cars may also be loaded into 20- or 40-foot shipping containers prior to shipping. Though more expensive, those with new or especially valuable cars may appreciate the extra protection.
Consider which pickup/delivery service is best for your situation as well:
- Door-to-door service allows for collection of the vehicle right from your doorstep, and delivery to a destination of your choice in Cambodia.
- The generally cheaper terminal-to-terminal option allows customers to drop the car off at a local US shipping terminal, and pick up directly at the port in Sihanoukville
The officials in Cambodia require certain documents while importing cars into the country. Be sure you can provide:
- Bill of Lading.
- Certificate of Registration (engine and chassis numbers must be present).
- Foreigners must provide proof of diplomatic status or NGO employment.
Lacking any of these documents can result in the vehicle being turned away.
Customs Duty and Laws.
Before entering any country, it is vital that you are aware of the custom rules and regulations as well as the import procedures. Here are a few things that you must consider.
- Glance over Cambodian custom laws to determine whether your vehicle will be permissible – the country places have certain limitations on the import of automobiles.
- The duty Cambodia levies on imported cars can be rather high. Tax is not calculated on the basis of vehicular value, but rather on the engine and the age of the vehicle. Two-wheeled vehicles like motorcycles and scooters are generally cheaper to import.
- As stated previously, those who are not Cambodian nationals will not be permitted to import a vehicle unless they have diplomatic status, or can provide proof of employment by an NGO. Those who qualify under these conditions can usually be exempted from duty payments altogether, provided they are willing to undergo the lengthy process (may involve portside storage of up to a month).
Preparing the car for export.
Here’s a quick checklist of simple things you can do on your end – ensure all these tasks are completed before shipping:
- Avoid long quarantines and other hold-ups – wash the vehicle thoroughly, inside and out.
- Switch off the theft alarms, in order to prevent the drainage of the battery.
- Fill the fuel tank to roughly one-quarter of capacity. Any more is unnecessary and simply adds extra weight to the vehicle.
- Check that brakes are properly functioning.
- Any detachable accessories or fixtures should be removed from the vehicle body. If the antenna is fixed in place, lowering it is sufficient.
- Empty the car of all personal belongings.
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.