Shipping your motorcycle overseas can be done pretty easily, despite what you may think. So, if you're relocating due to a job or simply want to live abroad for awhile, having your motorcycle shipped to your new international destination can be a painless process.
The most important thing to do before proceeding any further is to make sure that you hire a credible auto transport company. A credible auto transport company, such as A-1 Auto Transport, will be able to make sure that your motorcycle is shipped safely and at a reasonable time frame.
However, another benefit of hiring a credible auto transport company is that they will be able to handle all of the issues related to export/import regulations and to deal with the customs regulations and agents at the particular arrival port.
With that being said, here is how to ship your motorcycle overseas:
Roll On / Roll Off (RoRo) Shipping
The majority of motorcycles that are shipped overseas are done through roll on / roll off shipping. If you chose this option, your motorcycle will be driven directly onto a shipping vessel, placed on its car deck, and securely fastened. As the cheaper of the two main methods available, it is a bit less secure, and you also can't bring any personal items with you. A good auto transport company though will make sure that every possible security measure is taken so that your motorcycle doesn't get damaged.
This option is a bit more expensive, but it has the added benefit of extra security and allows you the ability to place some personal items in the shipping container as well. If your motorcycle is particularly valuable or you need to bring many personal items with you, you should consider this one.
Different Pickup and Delivery Options
You will have the option of a few different pickup and delivery options of your motorcycle. The two main options that you have are:
- Door-to-door Delivery
- Port-to-port Delivery
Door-to-door delivery is exactly what it sounds like. It's more expensive than port-to-port delivery, but by choosing this option, your motorcycle will be picked up at an agreed upon location and, when it arrives at its destination, it can be delivered to your specified address.
Port-to-port delivery involves dropping off your motorcycle at a shipping port and then picking it up from there.
It can take a few weeks to even a month for your motorcycle to arrive at its final destination, all of which depends, of course, on where the country is located and if it is landlocked or not.
Be Aware of Customs, Required Documentation, and Fees
Shipping your motorcycle internationally brings with it a host of additional issues. Each country has their own rules and regulations that will require you to prepare certain documents and to pay certain fees.
Once your motorcycle arrives in its destination country, it will have to be cleared by the local customs agents. You also don't want to pay any fees that are unnecessary due to improper documentation being provided.
Depending on the country, you can possibly even be eligible for certain tax exemptions and having to pay the full amount of duties and tariffs.
Prepare It Properly
You should also make sure that your motorcycle is prepared properly as well. You should always make sure that:
- The battery is disconnected.
- All of its alarms are turned off.
- It's washed and cleaned, especially around the tires (no mud).
- Its fuel tank is either empty or only a little bit full (if you're choosing the roll-on, roll-off method).
The Federal Maritime Commission offers many helpful tips. Their website can be found at:
Contact A-1 Auto Transport today for all of your international motorcycle shipping needs!
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.