With buyers from all over the world shopping on classic vehicle marketplaces like ClassicCars.com and others, the chances that your vehicle may need to be shipped overseas are increasing by the day. While there are definitely more boxes to check when it comes to shipping vehicles internationally, there are a few easy steps you can take to make the process go more smoothly.
Research the Laws of Both Countries
If you have an interested party from another country, be sure to read up on the import and export laws of their home country and your own. Details like the vehicle’s engine size, age and emissions are often closely regulated by both the importing and exporting country’s customs departments. You and the other party will also need to discuss who will cover the various taxes, tariffs or duties that may be associated with importing or exporting a vehicle. In the Unites States, you can consult these documents when importing a vehicle or exporting a vehicle.
Work with a Licensed Moving Company
Not all transportation companies are licensed for business involving international shipping. Properly licensed companies will be registered with the Federal Maritime Commission, are well-versed in laws and regulations regarding importing and exporting vehicles, and are bonded to protect their customer’s belongings during transport. These companies can also provide customs processing services that may or may not be included in the transportation fee. Be sure to iron out the details with your transporter to find out if you may need to seek out a secondary company for customs services and the costs involved. Follow this link to find out if your transportation company is licensed by the FMC.
Secure Your Funds
Once you’ve done your homework and selected a transportation company, it’s time to protect and lock in your funds. Online escrow services a great method to secure purchase funds when dealing with an unknown second party. For buyers, purchase funds are held securely in escrow – helping to protect you against misrepresentation. For sellers, the buyer’s funds are verified up front and held in escrow before you ship the vehicle – completely removing the risk of non-payment.
Prepare Your Vehicle
International shipping often requires the complete removal of things like gasoline or other flammable liquids before being loaded for transport. If you are planning to ship additional items with the vehicle – like vehicle parts or winter/summer tires – be sure to consult with your transport company. Many countries will not allow vehicles to enter port if they are filled with other items, so any additional components will likely need to be shipped separately from the vehicle itself.
If you’ve completed all of the above steps but still have questions, never feel badly about asking for assistance. Your transportation and escrow companies often have a wealth of information and tips when it comes to their respective specialties, and the Federal Maritime Commission also has a 1-800 number for questions related to importing and exporting various items.