If you are planning an overseas move, you may also require international car shipping services. Transporting a vehicle across an ocean into a new country can be complicated – you will require the services of reliable overseas auto shippers to help you understand the customs duties, restrictions and regulations for importing your car to your destination. Read on to find out more about international vehicle shipping for your overseas move!
Types of overseas auto shipping services
There are several different methods of overseas car shipping available to you. At International Sea and Air Shipping, we offer the following services:
- Roll-on and roll-off service: The vehicle is driven or rolled on to the ship and protected under the deck.
- Container service: Often the safest method to ship your vehicle overseas, your car is placed in its own individual container and rolled onto the ship. We offer 20-foot or 40-foot FCL sole-use shipping containers.
- Conventional on-deck shipping: Your vehicle is shipped on the ship’s deck. This method is usually reserved for companies shipping a large volume of cars.
Required documents and customs regulations
When shipping your vehicle overseas, there are essential documents necessary to clear customs and import your car into the country. Customs regulations vary depending on the country, but commonly required documents include:
- Original Certificate of Title or a certified copy
- Proof of vehicle registration
- Completed HS-7 form
- Completed EPA 3520
- If you lease your car or have a lien, you must also provide a letter from the lien holder authorizing the exportation, with the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), the owner/ lien holder’s name, telephone number, signature and date.
- If you are a U.S. government employee being reassigned overseas, you will need your military orders or a letter from the government or other authority authorizing the transport of your vehicle.
- If you purchased a new car that is being shipped abroad, you will need a Bill of Sale and an Original Certificate of Origin from the dealership where you bought the vehicle.
- DOT requires a copy of the DOT label (usually located on the door panel)—if it is unavailable, you can contact corporate headquarters for the MFG and request a letter confirming your vehicle has conformed to US Federal Motor Vehicle safety, bumper and theft prevention standards
- If you cannot be present at the point of departure with your vehicle, you may require a power of attorney
Depending on your destination country, customs regulations restricting the age and type of vehicle permitted for import will vary. Some countries will not allow cars that exceed a certain age limit or did not pass safety or emissions inspections. The vehicle’s value, engine size and other factors can also affect the tariffs, customs duties and taxes required for entry.
Preparing your vehicle for shipping
Before shipping your car overseas, it’s important to properly prepare your vehicle for the move.
- Remove all personal items from your car. Nothing should be left inside the vehicle during shipping. Personal items can become lost or damaged in transit, and your overseas auto shipper will not be responsible for them.
- Leave no more than one gallon of fuel in the gas tank. Excess gasoline can leak out of your vehicle during shipping. Plus, less fuel in your tank means your car weighs less.
- Check the fluid in the expansion tank. You may have to reduce fluid levels in the expansion tank to allow the air and antifreeze room to expand with increasing temperatures and pressure during transit.
- Check the battery. If your vehicle won’t start when the shipper needs to move it or roll it on or off the ship, you may be charged a penalty. Make sure your battery has an adequate charge before shipping your car overseas.
- Thoroughly clean your car. Washing and cleaning the inside and outside of your car can allow you to clearly inspect the vehicle for damage before it is shipped.
- Disable any alarms. Turn off any anti-theft devices to allow the driver access to your vehicle without any problems.
- Remove or protect any loose parts. Remove the antenna and other detachable parts. Protect any protrusions that cannot be removed, such as spoilers, fog lights, and side mirrors by wrapping with protective covering.
Your car has a long way to go – in the unfortunate event that it sustains any damage during international shipping, you should be properly compensated. This is why it’s so important to make sure you purchase full coverage insurance on your vehicle when shipping it overseas. By law, your auto shipper is required to offer minimum coverage for your vehicle, but you should always inquire about additional insurance to make sure you are protected. At International Air and Sea Shipping, we offer full coverage insurance plans for shipping your vehicle overseas. Just inquire about details and pricing when you receive your international auto shipping estimate!