How to safely ship a car overseas

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Frequently Asked Questions

How and when do I pay?
If you are delivering your vehicle yourself to a terminal or to the port, payment must be received in our offices right after you have made the delivery. If you have requested that we use of a trucker to pick up your vehicle, then payment must be made right after the vehicle has been pick up by the trucker. Payment can be made in the form of a wire transfer, cashier’s check, a credit card (credit purchase) and in some cases a personal check. Payment must be mailed to our offices in San Diego, CA.

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How do I start the process of making a booking or confirming my Intention to ship?
You can start the process of making a booking by calling us at 888-805-4994 or GET A FREE QUOTE and submit the required information. We will respond to you with a price and, if applicable, we will offer you options. If you accept our Quote that would have been emailed to you, you will have a link ‘To Place a Shipping Order. Click on that link and complete all the information requested and then Submit your Order. You can also go directly to our web site, input your reference number and email address and you will have access to complete and submit your Order. On receipt of your Order, we will make all the necessary arrangements for the shipment of your vehicle. After these arrangements are finalized, you will receive another email from us that will have documents confirming your Order with instructions of what you need to do with your vehicle and your shipping documents.

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What documents are required to ship my vehicle?
The documents you will need are:

  • The original Certificate of Title of Ownership of the vehicle without a Lien recorded on the Title.
  • If the vehicle is used or pre-owned the existing Certificate of Title can be endorsed by the seller to the new owner. No Sales Tax is payable to the Seller and proof of export will be given to the Seller if requested.
  • Depending on which Port the vehicle will sail from, you may need a Bill of Sale or a Notarized Bill of Sale.
  • If you are in the Military, Government or State service and there is a Lien recorded on the vehicle, the Lien Holder needs to give permission to export the vehicle. This permission must be an Original Letter from the Lien holder together with 3 certified copies of the Certificate of Title. You will also need to present your Military orders or a letter from the Government or State authority and a copy of the Title Record History obtainable from the Department of Motor Vehicles in the State the vehicle is registered.
  • When a new vehicle is purchased , an Original Certificate of Origin must be obtained from the Dealership who sold you the vehicle. we need this to get Custom Clearance. A Bill of Sale is also required.
  • For some ports in Florida, you will need a Power of Attorney giving the clearing agents permission to clear your documents on your behalf.
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  • Do I receive my documents back?
    Yes, if we do the clearance for you in the USA, all documents that you provided for US Customs clearance of your vehicle will be sent back to you. Your documents are sent back to you after the vessel has sailed. You will have the option of having them mailed regular mail to a USA address or sent via FedEx to a USA or overseas address. There is an additional charge if your documents are sent back using FedEx.

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    Will there be anybody to assist me when my vehicle arrives at destination country?
    Yes, we have clearing agents at all destination ports that assist you with the offloading and clearance of your cargo. Shipping lines that have their own agents at the destination port that they require you to use. If you are shipping your cargo in an exclusive container, you may sometimes have the option of hiring your own agent at the destination port.

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    Do I need a driver’s license and foreign vehicle registration to drive in a foreign country?
    You should get an International Driver’s License from the AAA Automobile Association in your area. Your American Driver’s License will suffice in Europe. As a tourist or temporary resident, you can drive with your American license plates in a foreign country until your registration for that year expires.

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    Can anybody pick up the vehicle at the destination Port?
    You can nominate any person to pick up the vehicle at the destination Port. You must advise us of this a few days prior to the sailing of the date so that we can enter their name as the Receiver or Consignee. They will be required to identify themselves with a picture ID as well as produce the Title of Ownership and a letter of permission to pick up the vehicle. There is a charge by the shipping line if you notify us of any changes after your cargo has been loaded on the vessel.

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    Do we offer Marine Insurance?
    We offer FULL COVER Marine Insurance against Loss or Damage from the time your vehicle is loaded onto the Vessel for

    shipment at a rate of 1.5% of the value you wish to Insure for. There is a $500.00 deductible. This ceases after you take

    delivery of the vehicle at destination. It is not Insured while waiting to be loaded at the shipping lines terminals. Your current

    Insurance must be in force to cover you against any loss or damage until such time as your vehicle is loaded onto the vessel.

    For vehicles that are recently purchased and have no Insurance please refer to us and we will obtain an extension from the

    time the vehicle reaches the shipping lines terminal. When the vehicle is picked up from a home or a dealership the vehicle is

    automatically covered against LOSS only and not against dents or damage while in transit. Any damage in this regard has to

    be covered by and a claim made against your Insurance Company that you are insured with . With Roll on Roll off shipments

    no goods are permitted in the vehicles so only the vehicle will be insured. With shared or exclusive container shipments,

    personal goods are allowed to be packed in the vehicle and in the container but the goods are not insurable against any

    damage. The personal goods will be insured against total loss only. The vehicle will be insured for damage and or total loss

    but will not be insured against damage that is caused by goods packed in the vehicle. With Roll on Roll off shipments no

    goods are permitted in the vehicles so only the vehicle will be insured. With shared or exclusive container shipments,

    personal goods are allowed to be packed in the vehicle and in the container but the goods are not insurable against any

    damage. The personal goods will be insured against total loss only. The vehicle will be insured for damage and or total loss

    but will not be insured against damage that is caused by goods packed in the vehicle. For the personal goods to be covered,

    you will need an itemized packing list of the goods packed in each box and a total count of the boxes and their value. You

    also need to include the last 6 digits of the vehicleâs VIN on the packing list. This itemized list must be attached to the

    original Title, presented and signed for at the terminal when the goods are delivered. With exclusive containers self loaded by

    the customer, Marine Insurance will only cover total loss. Total loss cover is when the container is lost or mishandled and the

    goods in the container are deemed to be damaged to the extent that they cannot be recovered or repaired. For the personal

    goods to be covered, you will need an itemized packing list of the goods packed in each box and a total count of the boxes

    and their value. You also need to include the last 6 digits of the vehicles VIN on the packing list. This itemized list must be

    attached to the original Title, presented and signed for at the terminal when the goods are delivered. With exclusive

    containers self loaded by the customer, Marine Insurance will only cover total loss. Total loss cover is when the container is

    lost or mishandled and the goods in the container are deemed to be damaged to the extent that they cannot be recovered or

    repaired.

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    Am I able to load my vehicle with personal possessions?
    If you ship your vehicle in a shared container, you will be permitted to pack goods into the vehicle. These goods are sent at your own risk and cannot be insured. If you ship your vehicle in a container on its own (exclusive container), you can pack the vehicle and the container with your goods. These goods can be insured only against loss. Goods not declared or not fully disclosed on the packing list may result in duties, taxes and penalties imposed by customs at origin and at destination. For personal goods shipped in a container, you will need an itemized packing list of the goods packed in each box and a total count of the boxes and their value. You also need to include the last 6 digits of the vehicle’s VIN on the packing list. This itemized list must be attached to the original Title of Ownership and must be presented and signed for at the terminal when the goods are delivered.

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    Am I able to load my vehicle with personal possessions if the vehicle is being shipped RoRo?
    If your vehicle is being shipped on a Roll on Roll off vessel, you are NOT permitted to pack any goods in your vehicle.

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    Do I need insurance to travel on the roads in foreign countries?
    Yes, you do need insurance to drive on the roads in foreign countries. Insurance can be bought at the port of destination when you pick up your vehicle or you can arrange your insurance prior to the pickup of your vehicle.

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    Are containers airtight?
    Containers are not airtight. Changes in temperature and humidity while being shipped can result in moss growing on your upholstery. To avoid this, we suggest you cover your seats and dashboard with a sheet or with plastic.

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    Should I remove my license plates and registration tags from my vehicle before shipping?
    When your vehicle is shipped in a Roll on Roll off vessel, we recommend that you remove your license plates and registration tags when dropping off your vehicle at the port or prior to the vehicle being picked up by the trucking company. You can replace them when picking up your vehicle at the destination port. If you are entering Europe as a tourist or non-resident, you may drive with your American license plates and registration tags until they expire. If you are not returning to the USA, after the registration tags expire, you should removed the license plates with the registration tags and mailed back to the Department of Motor Vehicles in the State of registration.

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    Are you able to guarantee delivery dates?
    We are able to give you expected departure and arrival dates. Delays seldom occur but they do occur. Some of the reasons why there may be delays are due to US Custom delays, Port congestion, sailings cancelled or delayed because there is not enough freight, ships being over booked or re-routed and weather conditions. There are no refunds or price deductions due to any delays.

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    Do I pay import duties and taxes in the destination country?
    Please note that returning citizens or foreign buyers may be subject to import duties and taxes imposed by the destination country. Each country has different laws so we urge you to contact the Embassy of the destination country concerned to clarify matters. We will be available to advise you on some countries.

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    What is a Roll on Roll off (RoRo) vessel?
    This is a large sailing vessel that carries all vehicles that have wheels and can be driven or towed. It is like a large sailing parking lot. The vehicles are stored below deck and are not open to the elements. This is the chosen method manufacturers use to transport new vehicles. For a vehicle to be transported in a RoRo vessel, it must be able to drive and brake. A vehicle such as a trailer can also be sent RoRo if it can be towed.

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    What level of gas should be left in my vehicles gas tank?
    You must keep the level of the gas at 1/4 of a tank or less. For safety, full tanks will be emptied. There will be a cost to drain gas tanks in vehicles that are delivered with more than 1/4 tank of gas.

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    What is a customs clearance broker?
    A customs clearance broker is a person or company that will process the documentation and the vehicle through the import formalities of the country of destination. We suggest you employ their services to make it easier for you. Depending on the country, we can sometimes provide you with contact information for a customs clearance broker in the destination country.

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    What are destination charges?
    These are charges for the offloading of the vehicle and documentation fees charged by the destination agents and the destination country. Each country differs. Container discharge and offloading fees are more than Roll on Roll off discharge fees.

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    Who pays for the inspection by US Customs?
    Customs clearance fees are included in the price we quote you. Documentation should be cleared by US Customs prior to the loading of the vehicle for export. You need to properly follow our instructions regarding your documentation. All costs associated with you not following our instructions will be for your account. It happens very rarely but there are times when US Customs call for a container to be returned from the Port to be re-inspected. The costs relating to this re-inspection are shared equally by the vehicle owners of each vehicle packed in that container.

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    Do you provide trucking services?
    Yes, if your vehicle can fit onto a vehicle transport carrier we can arrange to have your vehicle picked up at your location and transported in an open or closed carrier and have it delivered to the loading port or terminal.

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    What are the limitations when shipping in a container?
    There are limitations when shipping your cargo in a container. The limitations include size, weight and contents. The internal dimensions of a 20ft container are approximately 19.5ft long by 7.5ft high and 7.5ft wide. The weight limit for a 20ft container is approximately 20,000 pounds. The internal dimensions of a 40ft container are approximately 39.5ft long by 7.5ft high and 7.5ft wide. The weight limit for a 40ft container is approximately 40,000 pounds. You may not ship any combustible materials and you are limited by what the destination country will allow you to import.

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    What am I allowed to ship?
    It is the Sender’s and/or Receiver’s responsibility to make sure that the cargo that is being exported is permitted to be imported into the destination country. Some of the limitations for vehicles can be vehicle age, left hand drive or right hand drive and is the vehicle new or used. There can also be limitations on personal belongings. Each country has its own import rules and regulations that do change. Before you arrange to ship your vehicle or belongings you must make sure that the goods you want to export are permitted to be imported into your destination country.

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    Why choose us over the competition?

    BBB Accredited

    We have a solid track record and are an Accredited Company registered with the Better Business Bureau. Click the BBB image to the left to validate our A+ Accreditation. When shipping a car, an owner should only work with a BBB Accredited business.

     

    FMCWe are registered with the FMC (Federal Maritime Commission). Click the image to the left and Select “Organization Name” and type in “Ship Overseas”. Here is proof of our FMC Certification (also known as a NVOCC License). Never use an international car shipping company who cannot prove they are certified with the Federal Government.

     

     

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    This information was written by Francisco Meza.

    If you have any questions regarding international car shipping, please feel free to ask below.