If you planning to travel or move to Belgium, you may consider bringing your car along with you rather than renting or buying a new one altogether once you go overseas. If importing the car to Belgium is what you want, you should gather the relevant information about the importation requirements. This will help you prepare the documentation and the budget in advance.

Import and customs information

European residents and American tourists importing a vehicle to Belgium used to pay the tax of 30% of the value of the vehicle. This is no longer a requirement, and the current import tax is 10%, in addition to the 19% VAT Tax, which is paid at car pickup. You won’t have to pay the import tax if you have owned the car for more than 6 months prior to arriving in Belgium.

Necessary documentation

To register a US car in Belgium, you have to present a clear title of ownership with no liens, meaning that your car has to have been paid in full. The lack of lien serves as proof that your car is fully owned by you. If you have just bought the car you are importing, then your name has to be clearly stated at the front of the title as the name of the registered owner.

Shipping methods

Depending on your budget, time frame, type of car and other factors, you can choose between RoRo shipping and container shipping. RoRo shipping enables you to know exactly when the car will arrive from the US to Belgium, which is often not the case with container shipping. This is because container shipping vessels don’t set off until the containers are full.

Also, RoRo shipping is more affordable. On the other hand, some importers prefer container shipping, especially exclusive container shipping because the car is shipped in a container protected against external factors. Still, cars shipped with RoRo also have protective covers, so the final choice is often made based on the availability of the service and the price.

Time frame and cost of transport

The cost of shipping cars from the USA to Belgium varies depending on various factors. Some of the key factors include the size of the car, the shipping method and the cost of transport to and from the two ports. Sometimes, the cost of insurance is also considered in determining the final amount that you should pay.

The time taken to ship a car from the USA to Belgium may also vary depending on the method used for shipping, weather conditions as well as the ports used. For instance, shipping from New York to Antwerp can take around 12 days. Antwerp is the most preferred port in Belgium, mostly due to its accessibility.

Planning to import a US car to Belgium? Hire Ship Overseas to handle the shipping on your behalf. We are a reliable international shipping company with 34 years of experience and a vast referral business. We are licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission and we fully comply with the standards set by the US Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

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.