What is the Vehicle Exporting Laws?
The entire export process is a huge headache. Whether you are shipping a small product or something larger like a vehicle, the government is always passing new regulations and the penalties for breaking these rules are strict.
Let’s pretend we are Bob
Bob needs to export his truck. He is moving to Turkey for work. Bob does not want to leave his truck behind as he would like to bring it with him. Luckily for Bob, Turkey is not a landlocked country, so having a truck shipped to a Turkish port in the Mediterranean Sea is a possibility.
So, what does Bob do?
Bob starts by calling an automobile shipping company in his area, he receives a lot of information he does not understand regarding the laws of vehicle exportation. This unnamed company does not do a good job of explaining it.
Bob is as lost as he was before the phone call. As far as Bob was concerned, the only legal issue was that he owned his truck.
Frustrated, he does what any other normal person would do. He wants to understand how vehicle exportation works in America so he can successfully bring his truck to Turkey.
We’re going to teach you how to do that
If you are like Bob and you too need to export a vehicle, you too can benefit from the following information too. It does not matter if you are exporting a truck to Turkey, a sedan to Russia, or a minivan to Argentina.
While vehicle importation laws differ from country to country, the vehicle export laws in America stay the same.
What You Should Know About Vehicle Exportation
Learning how to export your vehicle is not that difficult, but the process can seem a bit complex if you have never done it before.
Now, before you go down the rabbit hole of looking up obscure national and international import and export laws, it is a far better use of your time to learn, generally, what you need to know regarding your vehicle.
In this article, we will run through four different export issues that you need to be knowledgeable about. We feel this is far greater in importance than simply citing a law that may not even pertain to your vehicle. With the knowledge acquired in this article, you too can understand the next steps in exporting your vehicle, as well as preparing it for transport.
And remember one thing
If all of this seems like too much, just hire an auto shipping company to take care of it for you. This is always an option and there is nothing wrong with it.
The export process is complicated for a reason. Rules are created by the State Department, the U.S. Treasury, and even the Department of Commerce.
With so many hands controlling the process, it’s easy to make a costly mistake. What may seem harmless to you, like shipping a simple vehicle component, could result in massive fines or even jail time.
Blocked, Denied, Entity and Debarred Persons Lists, and Other Screening
Blocked, Denied, Entity and Debarred Persons Lists are lists that are maintained and referenced by the US Customs and Border Protection. These lists are checked when you do business internationally to prevent things like transactions with warlords, terrorists, cartels, and sanctioned states.
Now, when exporting a vehicle, you may not think that this applies to you. You are just trying to export your vehicle. However, whether you are sending a vehicle to Afghanistan or Switzerland, for example, the details of your shipment will be checked against this list.
These lists are extensive, there are many of them, and they include thousands of names. Trading with a blacklisted individual or company is something you don’t want to do, even if it is on accident. The government will not care and they will punish you for it.
Your vehicle needs to be checked against this list if you want to successfully export it. Think of it as a security check to protect you and your vehicle.
Auto shipping companies have a huge advantage when it comes to screening against these lists because they are familiar with them and often use software that makes the process foolproof.
Foreign National Import Vehicle Regulations
Every nation has their own rules about importing vehicles. When you are exporting a vehicle from the US, you are also importing that same vehicle somewhere else.
For this to occur successfully, your vehicle needs to be legally allowed to enter that country. If not, your vehicle may not be accepted at port, and the shipment may be returned to the USA.
For example, some reasons why your vehicle may not be allowed may have to do with diesel and gas consumption regulations, the payment on foreign vehicles (your Buick is a foreign vehicle outside of America), and more.
While shipping companies are great at organizing all the paperwork and helping you complete the process of exporting and importing a vehicle, you should do some research yourself as well.
Getting a good understanding on the process will help you understand it that much better, and make the process more streamlined.
Always take the time to look up the country you are shipping your vehicle to. You won’t believe what strange regulations certain countries have. A little research can save you a big headache later on.
US Customs Documentation
To have your vehicle pass US Customs, you will need to provide the following documentation. If the automobile shipping company you hire is transporting your vehicle across the border, they will provide your documentation for you.
The documentation you need is as follows:
- Original Title
- Bill of Sales
- Employer Identification Number/International Passport
- Power of Attorney
- Standard Shipping Form
US Customs needs this information to determine whether you are the rightful owner of the vehicle being exported. Beyond that, the shipping company you hire needs this information to determine your shipping instructions, and to have your vehicle accepted at various ports of entry internationally as well.
Financial Obligations on the Vehicle
If you have any existing financial obligations, you will need to pay them before you can legally export your vehicle. This means that if you still have bank loans on the vehicle, you have to pay them. If you have a lien placed on the vehicle, you need to pay it. If the vehicle is co-owned with someone else, you need them to transfer ownership to you.
In essence, you need to own 100%of the vehicle in order to export it.
This is the only way to legally export your vehicle. The reason why this is required is that, if you do not fully own 100% of the vehicle, by exporting it you are depriving someone in America of their property. Property rights are very important in America.
A Lot to Cover
You now know the basics of vehicle exportation. You have a general idea of the documentation requirements, the financial obligations on your end concerning ownership of the vehicle, and the various processes that US Customs and Border Protection will go through to ensure you can legally export your vehicle.
At this point, you should have a general idea of what you need to do. If you have questions, the best thing to do is to contact a reputable automobile shipping company. Shipping companies go through this exact process thousands of times every year. Do not go through it alone!
Want to save time and money?
We bet you do. A-1 Auto Transport is committed to helping you make sense of the regulatory headaches that come with vehicle export laws.
Our goal is to help you ship your vehicle stress free. Even better, we offer some of the best prices in the industry.
Give us a call today and we will get you on your way.
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.