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

US Import Guide

Things to Know For Customs Clearance for Ro/Ro Vehicles

If applicable your Personally Owned Vehicle will be charged Customs and Border Protection Duties/Fees around 3% of the value of the vehicle.  If the vehicle is deemed by CBP to be for the transport of goods the Customs Duties/Fees will be around 25.5% of the value of the vehicle.

The vehicle will be exempt from CBP Duties/Fees if the owner has documentation showing the vehicle was bought in the United States by them prior to export, if the vehicle is a product of the United States that was not modified while overseas or if the owner is returning to the U.S. under Permanent Change of Station Orders.

The shipping line will charge a Terminal Handling/Wharfage fee that will be noted on the Notice of Arrival that will be sent by them prior to discharge in the U.S.  This fee is due directly to the shipping line.  Port storage will be free for a minimum of five business days before storage charges begin.  The storage fee amount depends on the terminal of arrival.

A Importer Security Filing (ISF) and Customs Entry must be submitted to CBP for the vehicle import.  On average a vehicle will take 3-5 business days for release by CBP at the port and will be subject to a brief examination at the port for admissibility.  If a vehicle is over 25 years of age the hold time with CBP will generally be longer than average.

Once a vehicle has been cleared by CBP and the shipping line (and all fees are paid) the vehicle will then be made available for pick up.  We will send to you a email releasing the vehicle to you.  The address for the port will be given to you in the email and we will attach documentation that you will need to take with you to the terminal in order to pick up the car.  We will send forms for the registration of your vehicle to CBP for stamping.  Once the stamped documents are returned we will mail them to the mailing address that you give us.

Things to Know For Customs Clearance for Containerized Vehicles

If applicable your Personally Owned Vehicle will be charged Customs and Border Protection Duties/Fees around 3% of the value of the vehicle.  If the vehicle is deemed by CBP to be for the transport of goods the Customs Duties/Fees will be around 25.5% of the value of the vehicle.

The vehicle will be exempt from CBP Duties/Fees if the owner has documentation showing the vehicle was bought in the United States by them prior to export, if the vehicle is a product of the United States that was not modified while overseas or if the owner is returning to the U.S. under Permanent Change of Station Orders.

Containerized Shipments will be charged a shipping lines Terminal Handling Charge/Wharfage charge that will be payable directly to the shipping line.  Custom’s reserves the right to inspect the container upon arrival and will do so with a X-Ray Exam known as a VACIS.  If Customs has no need to inspect the container further it will be released.  However, Customs does reserve the right to order the container to be opened up and to have the goods be physically inspected.  Once this exam is done Customs may then release the cargo.  Unfortunately the vehicle owner will be billed directly for any Customs exams, the price of which is dependent on the shipping line used and the port.  Exam fees can run between $200 – $600 per exam plus drayage of the container to the exam site.  Also, if the container remains at the port past the terminal/shipping line free storage time the owner of the vehicle will be charged storage charges on the average of $200 – $300 a day.

Once the container is cleared by U.S. Customs and all charges have been paid to the shipping line/terminal the container will need to be picked up from the port or exam site and taken to a warehouse for unloading.  The vehicle owner will then be able to pick up the vehicle at the warehouse where the unloading takes place.  The vehicle owner will also be responsible for payment to the warehouse for the pickup of the container and the unloading of the vehicle.

The instructions for pick up of the vehicle will be sent to you by our office once the vehicle is available.  Customs stamped registration documents will also be mailed to you.  You will need to take these documents with you to the DMV when registering your car.

Please let us know of any questions that you may have.