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There are a number of circumstances under which you may want to import an American car to Switzerland. Maybe you a Swiss citizen returning to Switzerland after you have traveled to or lived in another country or overseas. You may also be a US citizen traveling or moving to Switzerland. These are all factors that will influence what requirements you will have to fulfill to bring your car with you.
Additionally, the type of car will also pay a significant role. Your car may be brand new, sold to you, owned to you for a shorter or longer period of time. Also, the age of the car can be a contributing factor.

To get familiar with the requirements for a US car import to Switzerland and Europe in general, take a look at our comprehensive guide below.

Car shipping to Switzerland

When it comes to the overall budget, you will have to allocate some funds for transporting the car to Switzerland. Car shipping is a popular means of bringing your car overseas, with different shipping methods available to cater to different needs, preferences, and budget of the shipper/importer, as well as the type and condition of the car.

What most shipping companies will offer is either RoRo shipping, container shipping or both. The choice between the two will depend on various factors. For example, if your car isn’t in the driving condition, you have to ship it via container shipping. Container shipping is also the only option if you want to ship personal items along with the car.

On the other hand, RoRo shipping is typically more affordable. Also, if you are traveling on a pre-planned schedule and you need your car to arrive in Switzerland at a certain time, RoRo shipping is considerably more efficient of catering to that need.

General information on car import to Switzerland

The following are the most important requirements:

– if your car is new, it will be subjected to VAT, duty and statistical tax upon arrival to Switzerland
– if you have used your car for at least 6 months overseas, you can import it duty-free
– you will have to provide a title of ownership without liens
– the import of brand new cars requires you to clearly list your name as the registered owner on the front of the title of ownership
– you can isn’t allowed to have more than a ¼ tank of gas

Added benefits with Ship Overseas

Ship Overseas boasts an excellent relationship with the US Military, which enables the company to offer the lowest rates for car shipping to Germany and Belgium. You can save a significant amount of money if you choose to have your car shipped from the USA to either DE or BE, pick it up and drive it to Switzerland. Mind, you, to take advantage of this benefit, your car will have to be in driving condition since it would be shipped with RoRo.

Important info to Ship a Car Overseas:
  • No car can leave USA if it has a lien on it. What does this mean? Your car must be paid in full. The only people who can ship a car overseas and still carry a lien on the car are US Military and Government employees/contractors. For those people a letter of authorization from the lender will need to be issued to pass US Customs. Otherwise the car may be considered stolen.
  • A clear Title of Ownership with no Liens on the Title.
  • If you bought a car new, then your name must be listed on the front of the Title as the registered owner.
  • If the vehicle has been sold, then both the Seller and Buyer have to sign the back of the Title in the spaces as detailed on the back of the Title.
  • For safety reasons, the vehicle cannot have more than a ¼ tank of gas.
Travel & Living Abroad:
  • Most countries will allow a traveler to temporarily import their car for up to 6 months. After the 6 months is up, import duty will be charged. For many travelers going to Europe and taking their car, a deposit is paid up front. When the car goes back to it's destination country, the deposit is refunded. If a person has lived in USA for 1 or more years, most countries will allow that person to bring their car back duty free! The car must not have any liens on it. Please check with your Customs Department first.
Import Duty for Destination Country:
  • Import duty is NOT collected by Ship Overseas. It must be paid at the arrival port by whoever is picking up the car. We wrote a blog post about vehicle import duty here. It talks about how to find out import duty for your country.