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What should I know when ship a vehicle overseas?

Any motorized vehicles that require DMV registration (autos, trucks, motorcycles, mopeds, jet skis, ATVs) are considered by U.S. Customs (and Foreign Customs) as motor vehicles. Shipping cars (and other types of motor vehicles) from the USA overseas using international ocean freight is subject to certain special procedures related to customs and safety issues. Procedures on shipping cars (and other types of motor vehicles) from the USA overseas using international ocean freight service make shipments containing motor vehicles slightly different from shipping general cargo from the US.

You may ship cars (other motor vehicles) from the USA using international ocean freight service in two ways:

* RO-RO - "Roll On/Roll Off"; a term used in the international ocean freight industry for shipping wheeled cargo, which is driven on and off the vessel: cars, trucks, trailers or railway carriages, etc. as long as vehicles are not on trailers (cars, trucks, etc) then it must be filled with gas, but no more than 1/2 tank of gas (1/4 is recommended). All keys must accompany vehicles shipped ro-ro. Vehicles should be in running condition for the Ro-Ro (roll on/roll off) international ocean freight service. As long as it is not in running condition then extra charges related to towing not-running vehicles on/off the ocean freight vessel will apply.

As long as your vehicle is on a trailer (boat, jet, motorcycle, etc) then safety requirements are similar to shipping cars from the US in ocean freight containers. See below.

When you ship cars from the US using Ro-Ro international ocean freight service, it must be completely empty, except for factory-installed equipment.

* Shipping cars from the USA, which are loaded and secured in multimodal ocean freight containers. A single vehicle only or consolidated with other vehicles or another type of cargo for import from the US using international ocean freight service. Unlike with RO-RO, when shipping cars in FCL ocean freight containers from the USA overseas, all fluids must be drained and fumes purged from the gas tank, the battery disconnected and the battery terminal cables secured. You may not leave keys inside vehicles. You should not use salons and trunks of cars as additional room for your international shipment by sea.

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