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Car imports USA and Canada

Consider buying a vehicle in the USA or Canada purchase and import?
Then you should not only use SATS group as a partner and advisor for transportation.

We have terminals in newark, new jersey, miami, florida, houston, texas and los angeles, california in the USA as well as in vancouver, british columbia and toronto, ontario in canada. From all locations we offer weekly departures in the collection container.

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TOP Service since 2004

We have many years of experience and know-how in this field. We can therefore support you throughout the entire process of purchasing and importing – our full range of services covers everything from initial contact with a supplier or dealer, through vehicle inspection and payment processing, to technical conversion and registration. And of course we also pick up your vehicle in the USA or canada, transport it to europe and deliver it to your home.

Of course, we also offer a comprehensive service for the import of vehicles into switzerland, including. Customs clearance at.

Quality factors for a smooth transport process

A inspection of the vehicle before buying is a safe option to check the condition and to clarify if the desired vehicle is available at all or a possible fraudster is just pretending to sell a vehicle.

Our escrow service for a secure payment allows you to buy vehicles risk-free in the USA and canada. The money is handed over step by step when the vehicle is handed over. a prior inspection can also be included in this process.

control at every interface the vehicle passes through during transport. This includes among others picture documentation at the port of departure in the USA as well as at the port of destination in Germany.

provision of tracking number you can use to track your vehicle by sea. Via our tracking page you have the possibility to track all air and ocean shipments you send through us!

Regular updates about the status of the complete shipment as well as support by our employees. You will receive our updates at regular intervals as soon as your vehicle is transferred to another process.

In addition to the pure transport, we offer our customers a comprehensive full service.

This includes the basic services such as:

Reliable and short term pickup

Thanks to our partners, we are present in numerous locations in the USA and canada. This allows us to contact and pick up your vehicle at short notice – without unnecessary delays due to the time lag.

We can pick up and transport your vehicle – especially cheap – in groupage or as a single shipment. If you wish, we also make closed transports possible – for example, when it comes to high-value vehicles.

Cost-optimized handling of sea transport

Thanks to our partner network we can offer you complete transports – from the pick-up at the dealer or the delivery to the customer. we can offer you transport from the USA or canada via intercontinental transport to delivery at your place – no matter if you are located in germany, austria, switzerland or any other european country.

Due to the numerous ports we serve, we are almost always able to realize cost and time optimized solutions for you.

excellent transport quality

Reliability, safety and punctuality are our special service promises. We only use shipping companies whose sustainable service quality we have convinced ourselves of. We pay special attention to the protection and care of your vehicle when it is transported in containers. Thus, our principle is to load less than four vehicles per container in order to minimize the risk of damage. Our containers also contain a special granulate that absorbs moisture and prevents mold growth.

import at the most favorable conditions

When importing into the EU, we prefer to use ports with particularly advantageous customs and handling regulations. In principle, import is possible through germany, france, the netherlands or other european countries. For classic cars – following a new regulation at the beginning of 2014 – importing via bremerhaven is the most advantageous option.

Calculation example for a classic car worth USD 20.000,00
at a dollar rate of 0.8805 EUR | 1.13572 USD

Collection: USD 500,00
shipping: USD 900,00
insurance: EUR 125,00

Clearance D: EUR 395,00

= customs value: EUR 19.364,89

import duty: oldtimer 0%

delivery: EUR 250,00

Import sales tax: EUR 1.176,89 /// oldtimer 7%

Total burden (customs + eust ): = EUR 1.176,89

Vehicle imports from the USA/Canada are still worthwhile

Despite exchange rate fluctuations, there are still many good reasons to buy a car in north america. This includes, for example, the particularly large selection of rarities and exotic vehicles. But even for new cars, hardly any other market can match the breadth and depth of supply in the USA and canada. And in terms of price, many offers are still interesting – among other things, because many extras are often already included in the standard equipment, which are only available at extra cost in our country.

most german or european buyers are not familiar with the usances on the american car market, because they differ – especially when it comes to used cars – from the usual business practices in our country. language often proves to be an underestimated barrier. Even when it comes to complying with the numerous export, import and customs regulations or technical modifications and registration, some people feel overwhelmed.

shipping USA import

For this reason, SATS group offers its customers who want to import a vehicle purchased in the USA or Canada an all-inclusive service, keeping the personal effort to a minimum. This saves you time, money and nerves and gives you the secure feeling that you have made the right decision. We help you with every step of your vehicle purchase and import and handle the entire process for you as a reliable, competent and professional partner.

General information about car imports from the USA

A vehicle from the USA is the eye-catcher on german roads. the number of car imports from the united states is increasing year by year. Unfortunately, the purchase is not enough, because there are always some papers and forms to be filled out and a shipment is inevitable. The following guide will tell you what you need to do when transferring your vehicle.

Car purchase USA

the american auto market is weakening as demand is not as high as it was a few years ago. In addition, the euro puts pressure on the price, which is considered higher against the dollar and for this reason reduces the cost. Both arguments speak for a car purchase out of the USA.

with the customs clearance and the shipping of vehicles like ford mustang, chevrolet camaro, dodge nitro or hummer H2 there is always a certain organizational effort, but nevertheless the effort is worthwhile. With your car import from the USA you are guaranteed to stand out from the crowd of vehicles and be the eye-catcher on german roads.

used car import

a used car can be purchased cheaply in the u.s., as national demand is no longer so high and can also be paid for with a more expensive euro against the dollar. the import regulations for new and used cars are absolutely identical, which is why you do not have to observe any separate laws here. customs clearance and shipping according to the same rules. The only exception is the vehicle registration document, which has a different name for used cars.

In general, it can be said about American used cars that they usually have significantly more miles on the clock than German makes. The average american drives 16.000 to 18.000 miles per year, with engines that are larger in volume and therefore have a longer life expectancy. Also you should not be afraid of stains and scratches. many american used cars have such beauty defects, because the americans do not take care of their cars as much as it is the case in germany.

to save costs, your used car should be at least two years old. Typical yearly cars are hardly available in the USA and therefore the prices for them are very high. the reason is that 85% of the cars are leased and the term for this is at least 24 months.
More info on how to find your dream car in the U.S

Importing classic cars from the USA

Especially popular is the purchase of american classic cars. The US icons from the 60’s like corvette, mustang or cobra testify of a very special life feeling on the road. The requirements for an import are similar, except that you may have to make more modifications during registration than with a youngtimer or a new car. A second point is the lower customs costs that are incurred with a classic car. You can save money here, as you can see in the section on customs costs.

Car shipping from the USA

If you have bought your car in the USA, you should import it directly to europe, otherwise there may be difficulties with the value added tax. in almost all cases the import is done by ship. transport insurance is strongly recommended.

Car transport

The transport should be carried out by a German shipping company, which will have an agency in an American port city. the shipping frequency to europe is high, so there is a certain choice available. In germany, the ships call at bremerhaven or hamburg, if you decide on direct loading. The following procedure can be considered standardized:

– ca. 7 days the vehicle must be at the port before the ship sails
– PAPERS LIKE original-certificate of title (used car) or that original manufacturer’s statement of origin(new cars) must be handed over to the authorities.
delivery at the port should be made by a local freight forwarder
transport costs for shipping amount to between 750 euro and 1.000 euro
size of the vehicle affects transportation costs
transport time amounts from the east coast to about 10 days
from the west coast transport time doubles
transport insurance recommended to protect vehicle from damage
all risk is the name for the fully comprehensive insurance
here you find the infos about what you have to consider for the car import from the USA!

Ship motorhome

The USA is a pioneer in the production of giant motorhomes. Should you wish to procure such a marvel of technology, the same conditions for shipping apply, but the costs will be higher. A large motorhome requires significantly more space on a ship than a car in a container. For this reason, you should ask a freight forwarder in advance for the costs and then use this calculation to make your purchase.

customs regulations USA to germany

Since countless cars are shipped from the USA to europe every year, this is an everyday transaction. However, since two economic areas are involved, customs clearance is mandatory. both the american authorities and the german customs want to be informed about the shipment.

customs duty USA

Customs in the USA requires the original certificate of title or the original manufacturer’s statement of origin in duplicate at the loading terminal. Otherwise, the american authorities are not involved and do not require any further documentation from you. At the port in the USA, you will need a quay permit for self-delivery, which can be issued by your local freight forwarder. Otherwise you have no contact with the exporting authorities.

import duty germany

After the purchase price and shipping costs are paid, the next step is German customs with its fees. The customs authority is located at the port of destination and imposes duties on imported goods in order to protect the national economy. Customs duties are calculated as a percentage of the value of the goods and can be taken from the corresponding lists. The following percentages apply.

motor homes and pick-ups: 22%
new and used cars: 10%
oldtimer under preconditions: 7%
motorcycles up to 250 cc: 8%
motorcycles larger than 250 cc: 6%

You must take into account that the amounts are calculated from the value of the goods in euros, but include transport costs. For example, if a vehicle costs the equivalent of 13.456 euro plus. 1544 euro for the transport, so you pay 10% of 15.000 euro = 1.500 euro in customs duties.

classic cars can under certain circumstances be customs cleared at a lower rate of 7%. For this, the vehicle must have been built before 1950 and be of special historical value. This includes special vehicle, racing vehicles or vehicles with a special technical progress. For customs clearance you will need the following documents:

purchase contract
vehicle documents
freight papers
identity card

Taxes of the countries involved

When buying used goods, the final consumer is subject to value added tax. This simple rule is not waived even in the case of a USA car import. However, care must be taken where this VAT is paid and that no amounts are paid twice.

VAT USA for your car

VAT is payable in the importing country when importing a car. so you do not have to pay any money to the american government if you transfer the car directly after purchase. A different law applies if you want to ship your mobile base in the USA yourself and take a vacation with it beforehand. In this case, the sales tax, which varies from 4 to 7 percent depending on the state, is due at the time of purchase. In addition, you must register the vehicle in the U.S. The registration costs up to 70 dollars and a liability insurance must be taken out. At least the sales tax can be reclaimed after the shipment, so that it does not have to be paid in two states.

import sales tax for your car import from the USA

Under normal circumstances, you will pay your value-added tax as so-called import sales tax in germany at the customs office. The import sales tax is calculated at the same rate as the value-added tax, i.e. 19%. the basic value is the addition of purchase price, transport costs and the calculated customs duty. Following payment, the customs clearance process is completed and you will receive a clearance certificate that will allow you to register the vehicle.

American car registration

Before you can fully enjoy your car, you have to take care of the registration for the german roads. From the port, you may only drive the car yourself if the old american license plate still has its validity. In addition, in such a case, a border insurance must be available, which can be obtained, for example, from the ADAC (German automobile club). Before you can drive to the registration office, the vehicle has to go to the technical inspection office. Only with an "individual approval according to §21 of the stvzo" will the vehicle receive its approval. You will only receive this certificate at the TuV or DEKRA if the imported cars meet the requirements for german roads.

In this case you should inform yourself in advance about necessary remodeling measures. Normally, the following parts are rebuilt:

Red flasher are prohibited
flashing and brake lights must be separated
sealed beam spotlight are forbidden
tempo indicator must be changed to km/h
emission certificate must be done

If your car has been modified and the TuV gives its approval, you can drive to the registration office without hesitation. Here you will receive the approval when you have gathered the necessary documents:

clearance certificate from customs
certificate of title or original-manufacturer’s statement of origin
american license plate
shopping bill
certificate of the technical inspection bodies
insurance confirmation

You have now properly shipped and cleared your vehicle through customs. Nothing stands in the way of the new driving experience afterwards.

in addition to sea transport, we can also offer you transport by air freight – especially if you need it very quickly.

We are happy to advise you on car imports from the USA and our services

Simply use our contact form, call us or send us an e-mail. We appreciate your interest!

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