Shipping a Car to Belgium


Shipping Car from USA to Belgium

Ship Overseas, Inc. has been shipping cars back and forth between USA and Belgium for nearly four decades. Don’t be scared or nervous if you have never shipped a car. We strive to answer all your questions regarding the shipping process to Belgium, including Pricing, Documents, Departure and Arrival Ports.

To get pricing we only need the Year/Make/Model of your car, Pickup Zip Code or Departure Port, and Destination Country (in this case Belgium).

Transporting an automobile from the USA to Belgium is not complicated, but it’s important to know all the steps involved so the process goes seamlessly.

Pick Up

Many customers opt for us to pick up their vehicle from their residence rather than hassle with getting it to the port. When you get a quote to ship your car to Belgium, there will be an optional charge if you want us to pick up your car for you and transport it to the shipping port. We recommend this option because it’s easiest on you. If you do it yourself, you will have to incur the costs of gas & food, time off work, how you’ll get back home, and possibly a couple of nights at hotels. If you let us do it, you just pay a couple hundred dollars and we’ll take the car to the nearest port in Belgium

Departure Shipping Ports

There are several departure shipping ports in the United States that ship to Belgium. They are:

  • Newark, NJ
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Newport News, VA
  • Charleston, SC
  • Brunswick, GA
  • Galveston, TX
  • Long Beach, CA

As mentioned above, you can take your car to one of these ports or we can handle it for you.

Arrival At Shipping Terminal in Belgium

The one arrival port in Belgium is Zeebrugge, a large container, bulk cargo, ferry passenger terminal and new vehicle port on the North Sea. It’s situated in Bruges, West Flanders, and handles more than 50 million tons of cargo each year. All shipping lines arrive in Zeebrugge, which is where the designated person will pick up the car. That person will have to bring cash to pay in person for Tax or Duty. See the section below for Vehicle Import Tax & Duty.

Shipping Car from Belgium to USA

Ship Overseas Inc. also ships from cars from Belgium back to the United States. You can fill out our quote form or call us and ask for Paul Alpren.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car to Belgium

  • Starting costs to ship a car to Belgium $905.
  • If you’re shipping from the East Coast USA, it’s cheaper than shipping from the West Coast.
  • It will cost more if you want us to pick up your car at your house.

You will save money if you personally drop off the car and meet us at the departure shipping port, but don’t forget about the need to make travel arrangements for getting back home.

Departure & Arrival Ports, Starting Costs, & How Long Shipping Takes

The Estimated Time in Transit only includes the time from when your car arrives at the shipping terminal; it does not include the transit time from when the trucker picks up your car. In general, it takes 15 to 20 days for a car to get from the USA to Belgium.

The starting cost to ship a car from USA to Belgium from the various ports is as follows:

$905 from Baltimore, MD to Belgium
$1040 from Newark, NJ to Belgium
$1040 Newport News to Belgium
$1075 Charleston, SC to Belgium

Note: Pricing will depend on the year/make/model of your car, the departure shipping port, and whether you need us to pick up your car or if you want to drop it off at the shipping port.

Vehicle Import Tax & Duty & Destination Handling Charge

To ship a car from the USA to Belgium, you will pay 20% Import Tax and 9% VAT (Value Added Tax). Please contact us so we can give you our Clearing Agent’s information. There is a destination handling charge of approximately $300.

If you are in USA, contact the Belgium Embassy by phone if you need the latest information.

Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium
1430 K St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 333-6900

Please note, Ship Overseas does NOT collect the import duty. It must be paid at the time the car is being picked up.

US Military

The U.S. Military does ship to Belgium. For active military personnel, normally the payment for the shipment of your car to Belgium is covered by the military. If you have a second car (normally when a spouse is shipping a car too), you will be responsible for paying for the shipment.

We are authorized shippers for the US military.

POV Transfer Requirements for Military

  • The car must be owned or being leased by a member of the military or a dependent
  • The auto must be self-propelled and legal on public highways
  • If a leased vehicle, written consent for transport must be included from the third party
  • Must have four wheels or more, with exceptions for mopeds and motorcycles

For more information, read about military car shipping.

Travelers (Temporary Imports)

Anyone traveling to the EU will be able to bring their car for up to six months, which qualifies as a temporary import. You’ll need to leave a deposit for the temporary import upon arrival, and it will be due upfront. Once you leave, the deposit will be refunded.


If you are an EU citizen and have lived outside the EU for 6 months, you can bring your car back without having to pay import fees.

New/Used Car Purchase

If the final destination is an EU member country, you will pay 20% Import Tax; 9% VAT (Value Added Tax) if the car is owned for less than 1 year. Salvage titles are accepted and there are no limits on vehicle age.

Classic Car Purchase

If you are shipping a classic car (30 years old or more), then you’ll pay a lower amount of duty. Duty for importing classic cars is 6%-7%, but you’ll still have to pay the VAT.

Contact us to get the latest info for classic car shipping to Belgium.

Storage Fees

Sometimes when a car arrives, it’s not picked up on the scheduled date. When this happens, the port in Zeebrugge will charge storage fees. Contact us for the latest storage fees.

Optional Marine Insurance

We recommend purchasing the optional marine insurance, offering full coverage Marine Insurance against Loss or Damage from the time your car is loaded onto the ship. The cost is 1.75% of the value you want the car insured for. Purchasing Marine Insurance is wise if you cannot afford out of pocket cash for repairs or losses. Please note, we have never lost a vehicle unless in hurricane conditions. Hurricane season is from June 1 and ends on November 30. You can learn more about Marine Insurance here.

Shipping Car to Belgium Military, Government Contractors

US Military and Government employees (or contractors) are the only people who can ship a car overseas and still carry a lien on the car. In this case, a letter of authorization from the lender will need to be issued to pass US Customs, or the car may be considered stolen.

US Military and Dependants

At the Belgium port, you must pay a destination offloading fee of $300.00 per sedans and SUVs. These prices are subject to change. To get a release of your vehicle, you will need to first go to the Officer at your Base in charge of Transport, who will give you a document to complete which will act as Military Tags and will enable you to drive to your base. You will then have to identify yourself.

If you would like your vehicle delivered to your Base, request a delivery service from us, and we will arrange the forwarding for you for an additional fee.

Government Contractors

Government contractors follow a similar procedure as US military active-duty personnel.

Documents Required to Ship Car to Belgium

In order to ship a car to Belgium, you will need the Original Title and Valid Identification.

US Military

A1. 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 Lienholder 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.

EU Citizens

A2. Everything in (A)

Non-EU Citizens

A3. For Non-EU Citizens

Copy of Passport

Power of Attorney Form for international residents.

Vehicle Registration in Belgium

Obtain an International Driver’s License from the AAA Automobile Association in your area. Your American Driver’s License will suffice in Europe. If you are a tourist or temporary resident, you can drive with your American license plates in a foreign country until your registration expires for that year.

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 sails from, you may need a Bill of Sale or a Notarized Bill of Sale.
  • When you purchase a new vehicle, you will need an original Certificate of Origin from the Dealership that sold you the vehicle. We need this to get Custom Clearance.

A Bill of Sale is required.

Vehicle Registration For Military & Government Contractors

This will be taken care of at the military base. Be sure to speak with your Officer in Charge. You will also get your military tags for your base.

Vehicle Registration For EU Citizens

Since by this point your car has passed by Belgium Customs, your car should meet all safety standards. Take your car to the local DMV, bringing your Belgium Customs Clearance information, proof of residency, Bill of Sale, and the original license plates. Ship Overseas Inc. does not provide any guidance from this point on.

Shipping Methods

RoRo (Roll On Roll Off)

RoRo shipping is available from these ports:

  • Jacksonville, FL (RoRo Only)
  • Newark, NJ
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Newport News, VA
  • Charleston, SC
  • Brunswick, GA
  • Galveston, TX
  • Long Beach, CA.

These ships are made specifically for vehicles; basically, anything with tires can Roll On and Off the ship. Automobiles and motorcycles are the most common vehicles, but you can also ship motorhomes, campers, trailers, buses, construction vehicles, and boats. RoRo shipping is typically used when you only ship one vehicle. The inside of a RoRo ship looks like a big parking garage. The car MUST be able to make it up and down the ramp without any assistance. Once loaded on the RoRo vessel, each vehicle will be tied down securely in its designated spot.

This shipping method is highly efficient and cost-effective. When compared to container shipping, it provides reliable departure and arrival dates, almost like an airline flight schedule.

RoRo shipping is the preferred shipping method for new car manufacturers to ship their own vehicles. All vehicles are tied to the deck and are not exposed to the ocean, providing additional protection against external elements.

Payment Methods / Options

You don’t have to make payment until your vehicle is at the departure shipping port.

Wire Transfer or Cashier’s Check

This is a common method of paying for your shipment if you are not in the USA. We will send you our bank information once your order has been placed.

Credit Card & Zelle

If you pay with Zelle, there are no service fees, as it’s a bank-to-bank transfer.

There is a 3% service-fee if you make a payment with your credit card.

Canceling Your Order

If you need to cancel your order, email us. Normally payment is refunded via the same payment method you chose. Please note: there is a $300 cancellation fee.

Additional Information

  • Destination handling charge is approximately $300.
  • If final destination is an EU member country, you also pay 20% Import Tax; 9% VAT (Value Added Tax) if the car is owned for less than 1 year.
  • If in transit through an EU country, leave a deposit of 30% of the value of the car which is refunded after the car is registered at the final destination country.
  • A clear Title of Ownership with no Liens on the Title.
  • For safety reasons, the vehicle cannot have more than a ¼ tank of gas.
  • If you bought a car new, 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 outlined on the back of the Title.

USA Customs Clearance

Ship Overseas, Inc. will clear US Customs for you. When shipped via RoRo ship, US Customs agents will just look through the car’s window. Sometimes, they open the trunk and peek inside.

Make sure there is nothing in the trunk of your car except for the spare tire and the jack.

Preparing Your Car for Shipment to Belgium

  • Disable the alarm so truck drivers don’t have any problems.
  • Because your vehicle is being transported, not driven, you don’t have to fill up prior to loading. In addition, having a full tank of gasoline makes your car heavier, which adds risk to the shipment. Leave as little fuel in the tank as possible.
  • Check for leaks in the undercarriage, as the car shipping company may refuse service if one is detected. Get it repaired before transporting it.
  • Check tire pressure, as under-inflated or over-inflated tires are just as risky in transport as they are on the road. You can increase the risk of damage to the tire during loading and unloading.
  • Remove custom accessories so they don’t break off in transit due to their odd size.
  • Lock the car – Once your vehicle is loaded onto the auto transport truck, there’s no reason for it to be opened until the time of delivery

Who Can Pick Up The Vehicle in Belgium

You can choose anyone to pick up the vehicle at the destination port but please advise us this person’s name and contact info a few days prior to the sailing date so that we can enter their name as the Receiver or Consignee. They must identify themselves with a picture ID as well as produce the Title of Ownership and a letter of permission to pick up the vehicle. You will be charged by the shipping line if you notify us of any changes after your cargo has been loaded on the vessel.