SHIPPING A CAR TO THE U.S.

There are 2 ways to ship your car to the US.

Container Ships

They put your car in a 20 or 40 ft container, often consolidated
with other goods.  The car is protected from the elements but it is the more expensive method of shipping.  Container ships sail from most any port in the world but they make frequent stops, so your port of entry may not be the first port they call at.  Container ships are easier to reserve because there are so many of them.  Typical cost of a containerized car shipment Europe to America is $3500 .

RO/RO  (Roll on / Roll off)  ships

RoRo ships are giant floating parking garages that were built to transport
vehicles.  They drive your car into the ship’s belly and lock the wheels down.  The car is exposed, but in 24 years of importing cars I have never had a serious damage problem on a RoRo ship.  RoRo is how major manufacturers like Honda and Mercedes transport their Fleets to US dealers.  RoRo ships only call at major ports and there are fewer of them than container ships, you you may not be able to get a RoRo voyage to your preferred port of entry RoRo shipping is a lot cheaper than container.   Europe to America is about $1200.

NOTES

Make sure your car is power-washed to remove all undercarriage mud which may
Delay release at port of entry.Do not ship household effects in your carMake sure any containerized shipping agreement is “pier to pier” and not “door to door”.


WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE PORT OF ENTRY


Once your car arrives at the port of entry and is offloaded from the ship, it becomes the business of US Customs.  With R.I. Import Services, the entry is filed the day of arrival.  Clearing a personal car through Customs can take anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks, depending on how busy the port is at the time of arrival, which Customs inspector you get, and whether the car is held for exam.   Other than making sure the entry documents are complete, there is no way to speed up or hurry the release process, as it is entirely in the hands of US Customs.  Customs does exams (physical inspections) of cargo on a random basis, with cars they basically check for contraband, check to see if the car is clean of mud which may carry parasites, and verify the serial number against the paperwork.  In general, cars shipped by container are held for exam more often than cars shipped on a RoRo vessel.  You get 5 days of free storage after arrival, beyond that the car is charged storage by the pier per day until it is picked up.  Rates vary by port but in general storage of a containerized car is higher than a car shipped on a RoRo vessel (see shipping page).  Ports are security zones, so any trucker picking up a car for inland transport willneed a security pass.  If you are picking up the car in person, you will need to arrange for a security escort to get inside the terminal.  R.I. Import Services arranges for all of this for our clients.  Once Customs clears your car, a dock receipt is issued and must be signed by the shipper and Customs broker, so all shipping and port charges must be brought current before the car is OK to pickup.A few days after release, Customs issues a Form 75-01 Entry Summary, this is your proof of Customs entry.  In most states the 7501 and foreign title are what is needed to get a US title for your car.


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