Ship Overseas Reviews


Your outstanding customer service and flexibility with our constantly changing itinerary ensured smooth transport of our family vehicle. Thanks for the help!

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Are you traveling or moving to Germany? Are you planning on taking your car with you? If the answer is yes, you should get thoroughly familiar with methods of transporting the car from the USA, as well as import and car registration requirements. Read on for a basic overview.

Car shipping to Germany

Depending on your budget and whether you wish to ship some of your personal belongings along with the car, you can pick either RoRo shipping or container shipping. When shipping your car in a container, regardless of whether it is a shared or an exclusive container, you are allowed to ship personal items, as well.

An equally important decisive factor is whether your car is in running condition or not. RoRo shipping supports only the shipping of cars that can be driven on and off a RoRo vessel, which is not the case with container shipping.

Before the actual sea voyage, the car has to be transported to the departure port. You can either drive the car yourself or have it picked up at your address and taken to one of the US departure ports (Newark, NJ, Jacksonville, FL, Baltimore MD, Galveston, TX, Charleston, SC, Long Beach, CA, Brunswick, GA, Tacoma, WA). Once the car reaches the arrival port in Germany (Bremerhaven), you can again collect it yourself of arrange for it to be driven to the address you provide to the carrier. Mind you that this service is not always available.

NOTE: For safety reasons, your car mustn’t be loaded with more than a quarter tank of gas.

Import duty for Germany

To import a car to Germany, you need to have a clear title of ownership with no liens on it. German citizens are to pay 10% customs taxes and 19% VAT, unless they have live outside Germany for a year and can prove it. Nevertheless, even if that condition is met but the car is owned for less than 6 month, the duty has to be paid.

If Germany is not your destination country but you chose to have your US car shipped there, the duty charge is 30% tax on the value of the car. However, this duty will be refunded upon the registration of your car in the destination country. Destination handling charge is €150.

For US citizens taking up permanent residence in Germany, it is possible to import their personal car and even some of their household goods duty and import tax free.

Duty and tax free import

It is possible to import a car to Germany duty and tax free. In order to do it, you have to prove that you:

– have given up residence in the USA
– are taking up residence in Germany
– haven’t been living in Germany for at least 12 months in a row. Duty and tax free import is also possible if you have returned to Germany in that period but the circumstances causing the premature return were beyond your control.

Car registration requirements

To register your car in Germany, you will need:

– passport or other identification
– proof of official address registration in Germany
– customs clearance papers
– export permit
– proof of ownership
– original car registration papers
– certification from the German Federal Motor Vehicle Registry stating the car hasn’t been registered in Germany before
– proof of insurance
– proof the car has successfully passed the safety and roadworthiness inspection and the emissions control test.

Contact us at Ship Overseas for more information on the import requirements, the best shipping method for your needs and other overseas transportation services!