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Export/Import Process

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Importing Process for Individual Countries

Preparing To Export

After your payment is confirmed, your car(s) will be prepared for shipment. Be aware that each country has their own laws concerning importing so make sure you know what must be done before shipping. Importing information for individual countries can be found at Importing Process. It is important to complete research beforehand to save you from a lot of headaches, paying fines, or worse. If you take the time to learn more, the more likely you'll be able to avoid things "popping up". Also, having an experienced exporter that is helpful will make things a lot easier.


Pre-shipment Inspection

Some countries require the car pass an inspection before it's shipped. For example, the JAAI Inspection is required by Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Mauritius, Tanzania, and others. Mozambique requires you to get MOZ number at the local Mozambique Intetrek Office before shipping. Along with getting that number, your car will also be tested.

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Preparing Documents

A Deregistration Certificate is necessary for Japanese vehicles being exported. It represents proof of change of ownership, the proper mileage, and the car's history.

Marine Insurance. Basic coverage costs around $100 or, if you have a CIF agreement with your export agent, is included in the price. It is optional at your risk, but covers any possible damage during shipping with two levels of coverage. First, Total Loss Coverage - Covers only when a car isn't recoverable. On a second level, there is Full Coverage - Covers Total Loss plus any other damage or theft. You may also want to consider your shipping method's risk levels - Ro/Ro has more risk than Containers.

If everything is completed (payments and processes), the car will be shipped and documents will be sent via courier mail. At minimum you should receive:

  • Deregistration Certificate
  • B/L (Bill of Lading)
  • Customs Invoice

Note: Additional documents may be required by your country to satisfy officials.

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Getting It Shipped

When ready to ship, the car(s) will be placed onto the next available ship for your destination. It can take 1-6 weeks for car to load onto a ship depending on if the car has been deregistered yet and which shipping method is used:

  • Ro/Ro which is when a car is driven on and off a ship. This meathod is not always available.
  • Container shipping which is when a car is fitted in a container then sealed till arriving at your port.
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Arrival At Port

Once the car(s) arrive at the port of destination you will receive an Arrival Notice, which announces your shipment's arrival. Additionally, anyone else listed to receive it in the Bill of Lading will receive a notice.

Bring with you the original copy of the B/L along with the other necessary documents mentioned above. With those documents, you will be able to take possession of the vehicle from this point forward which also means the exporter's job is completed. You can yourself (or hire import agent to) complete the final processes.

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Other Notes

A Quick Guide to Importing: (Also visit Importing Process for more info.)

  • Present your documents which they ask for, pay duty and any other taxes or fees.
  • Fill-in any forms Customs requires, then you might be finished at the port.
  • You may also need to complete a car inspection and/or get temporary registration.
    • Ask you local Customs Clearance agent what else is necessary.
  • Remember to contact the necessary government agencies' before you begin.

Exporting vehicles is made easy with using a Japanese exporter:

  • Vehicle export agents are more practical and better value for low-volume exporting than doing it yourself.
  • They have knowledge and experience specializing in vehicle exporting/importing.
  • They are able to move your vehicle faster and cheaper than doing it yourself + they know Japanese.

Other countries usually have importing agents:

  • Useful if your country has complex rules or you don't want to spend time importing yourself.
  • Much cheaper if you use an importing agent rather than an importer.
    • Importers own the vehicle whereas importing agents act on your behalf.
  • Hiring an importing agent may be required by your government.
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Going Further

Importing Process

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