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Car Shipping To USA | Vehicle Import Regulations - First Base Freight Ltd

Import Regulations for Car Shipping to USA

Is your vehicle compliant with US Safety Standards?

If you’re planning to ship your car to the USA then you need to read this article. Shipping any vehicle can be daunting at the best of times, coupled that with the rules and regulations in the USA can seem like a mine field to deal with. The first thing you should aim to do when planning to ship your car to the USA is to make sure that your vehicle is eligible to be imported into the country. You will also need to find out whether or not you will be required to make any modifications to your vehicle prior to shipping it to the US. For instance you must make sure that your vehicle complies with the emission standards, this is very strictly regulated with imports into the country.

The regulations were put in place for the importation of vehicles manufactured outside of the USA or vehicles that do not conform to the USA safety and emission standards. These are dependent on the age of vehicle that is being imported. While the safety regulation must be met by all vehicles being imported under the age of 25 years old, any vehicle over the age of 25 years can qualify for exemptions from these regulations. The reason for this is because their date of manufacture predates the applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). You will have to make sure that you are able to provide documentary evidence to prove the date of manufacture of your vehicle if it not identifiable on a plate permanently fixed to the vehicle by the manufacturer. Documentation that is acceptable for this would include; the vehicles registration document or an original sale invoice showing the date that the vehicle was originally sold/bought.

In addition to vehicles more than 25 years old there are some circumstances where vehicles imported by non-residents for a temporary time, do not need to comply with USA Safety and Emission Regulations.

Shipping old Cars to the U.S.

If the vehicle that you are exporting does happen to be less than 25 years old then it must comply with the U.S safety and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emission standards, this may entail you to have to make some modification to your vehicle so it meets the standards set by the country’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS).

Aside from preparing the documentation that states your vehicle complies with the standards set out by the U.S you will have to make sure that your vehicle meets the requirements set out by the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA), which states that your vehicle must be cleaned to avoid the potential importation of dangerous pests. With this you are highly advised to clean your vehicle before shipping, making sure to pay close attention to the wheel arches, undercarriage as well as the engine compartments. Although you do need to be careful, because if the quarantine department do not think your vehicle is in an acceptable condition you will have to have your vehicle steam cleaned and fumigated again which can incur additional fees.

What documentation is required To ship a car to USA?

To make the booking for your vehicle to be shipped to the U.S there are some documents that we will require copies of these are;

  • A copy of the vehicles V5C
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport
  • A copy of the photo page of your consignee (only if you are not picking up the vehicle at the port of destination)
  • A copy of your MOT Certificate will also be required if you are having your car delivered to the port by one of our professional Trade Plate Drivers

Shortly after the departure of your vehicle from the UK we will be able to provide you with the copy of the Bill of Lading this will act as your ticket into the country allowing your vehicle to be picked up at the port of arrival.