How much is vehicle import duty to my country?

paying import duty

How much is import duty to my country?

As with many of our blog posts, we are going to use an example to make things clear. Our company focuses on shipping cars overseas. Once in a while we get complaints from customers yappin’ like an ex-wife making no sense, “What’s with the hidden fees! I had to pay import duty for my car!” Let me put it like this: No Import Duty is ever payable in the country of Origin . It is only payable to the agent or Customs Broker in the country of Destination. Let me make is more simple. We do not collect import duty for a foreign country. You pay it when you, or the designated person, picks up the car.

The amount of duty can be found out by contacting the Customs Broker or the Department of Motor Vehicles in the destination country. It is not the duty of the freight forwarder to know of restrictions imposed by the destination countries of what is allowed . The onus is on the receiver or sender (not freight forwarder) to find this out beforehand. Sometimes the facts  on import duty are known to the freight forwarder but not always. Here is a good simile: A freight forwarder ships freight as FedEx ships packages.

If shipping a package from USA to UK through a carrier (like FedEx, UPS, or DHL), the carrier only provides the paperwork for UK Customs. FedEx does not charge import duty, UK Customs does. In other words, FedEx will not collect money for UK Customs.

In our example we will stick with shipping a car to UK from USA.

John Doe, who is in USA, wants to ship a car to his sister Peggy Sue. Peggy lives in UK. John drives the car to the departure shipping port in Newark, NJ and the car if driven onto the RoRo ship like the one shown below.


On the paperwork, John designates his sister to receive the car in UK. She was told to contact the UK Customs agent to find out how much the import duty was going to be. The agent was sick. She went to the local UK Department of Motor Vehicles and talked to the clerk who handed he a brochure with all the import duty rates for all vehicle types (SUVs, Sedans, Luxury cars). She brought cash to the port and paid for the import duty.

This was just an example. We know the import duty to UK, but not to all countries. Many of them change the laws every with election.

If you are having a difficult time finding out the import duty for your country, ask us in the comments below. Most likely we know. Also if this blog post was helpful, click Like or Tweet. It let’s us know this post was helpful!

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