Frequently Asked Questions
What is your IBAN number? I want to send a wire and my (European) bank needs it.
Only European banks have IBAN numbers, for a wire to a US bank you only need the account number and the SWIFT code, which is sometimes called BIC code in Europe.
What does AVS mean? My credit card payment did not go through and I got the message ‘AVS error’ (or something similar)
Only complete the sections with a star at our payment page and leave the address out.
When is payment due for my shipment?
Once the order has been placed you will receive an invoice from our operations department. Payment is due within seven days of placing the order unless other arrangements have been made and agreed upon.
What forms of payment do you accept?
You can choose to pay via credit card (Through our secure website), wire transfer, personal or company check, and of course cash. Please note if paying by credit card or personal check you will want to get the payment in as quickly as possible to insure the payment has been processed completely prior to arrival at destination of your shipment.
I'm not the shipper, I just sold the goods to the person overseas?
According to U.S. customs the last person within the U.S. to receive funds for the goods being shipped is considered the “shipper”.
Do you need the original title in order to ship?
Yes we must have the original title to clear U.S. customs. In some states if the vehicle is of a certain age then a title is not issued by that state but rather a “transferable registration” is issued and in these cases this would act as a title and would be acceptable to clear U.S. customs. Note if title is lost we can, in most cases, apply for a new title for you at an additional cost.
Where does the title go after we hand over to CFR Rinkens?
Once the vessel sails we send your documents along with all documents for your container directly to our agent overseas as they will need this for clearance on landing. If you wish for us to send the title somewhere else we can do this on request as well.
What happens when my vehicle arrives to destination?
One week prior to arrival our agent will send an arrival notice to the address that you have provided to us and let you know shipment is due to land shortly. They will then start the process to assist you with customs clearance and arranging for pick up. On occasion an agent can be busy or simply have a clerical error and not send the arrival notice, for this reason once vessel sails we will send you agent details as well as ETA so if you have not heard from agent you can reach out to them directly.
Should I insure my vehicle for the transport?
We highly recommend purchasing the marine insurance. It is not required but we are required to offer this to you and advise that if you do not add insurance there will be no coverage on the vehicle while in transit. Regardless of the situation the carriers will not pay any claims.
What does insurance cover and how much is my deductible?
Insurance covers everything from dents, scratches and dings to complete loss of cargo. You will have a $500.00USD deductible so the first $500.00 in damages would be paid by you but insurance company would take care of the rest. Insurance will not cover pre-existing damages, meaning if you have a dent and the dent gets bigger the insurance company will see that as a pre-existing damage. Insurance will not cover any damages due to moisture such as mold. The reason for this is there is no way to 100% prevent the chance of mold growing in your vehicle during transport. We put desiccant inside the container to help absorb any moisture but this simply limits the possibility and does not 100% prevent. For this reason it is important to make sure the inside of your vehicle is completely dry, DO NOT have your vehicle detailed prior to shipping as they will wash the carpet and leave water under the surface. Also please note insurance will not cover any mechanical issues. We do not do an inspection prior to shipping on the overall running condition of vehicles and thus cannot cover anything in regards to mechanical issues.
Can I put some items inside the vehicle during transit?
If you are shipping roll on roll off then you cannot have anything inside the vehicle other than that which came with the vehicle when it was new, i.e. spare tire, tool kit etc. If you ship inside a container then you can load items inside the vehicle. Please make sure to check with your country of destination for a list of any possible prohibited items. Also note anything loaded inside the vehicle is shipped at your own risk. CFR Rinkens does not inventory these items nor do we check to make sure they are packed correctly so be aware if they move around during transit and damage the interior of the vehicle we have zero liability.
Do you offer insurance?
We offer optional insurance; there is no standard insurance coverage on your shipment unless you purchase optional full coverage (“all risk”) insurance. The additional cost for insurance varies, speak with one of our sales representatives today to see current pricing and to protect your shipment. We highly recommend adding this optional insurance to your shipment.
Insurance coverage terms & conditions are a available on request
Will there be anybody to assist me when my vehicle arrives at destination port overseas?
Yes, we have clearing agents at all destination ports that assist you with the offloading and clearance of your cargo. Shipping lines that have their own agents at the destination port that they require you to use. If you are shipping your cargo in an exclusive container, you may sometimes have the option of hiring your own agent at the destination port.
Do I need a driver’s license and foreign vehicle registration to drive in a foreign country?
You should get an International Driver’s License from the AAA Automobile Association in your area. Your American Driver’s License will suffice in Europe. As a tourist or temporary resident, you can drive with your American license plates in a foreign country until your registration for that year expires.
Do I need insurance to travel on the roads in foreign countries?
Yes, you do need insurance to drive on the roads in foreign countries. Insurance can be bought at the port of destination when you pick up your vehicle or you can arrange your insurance prior to the pickup of your vehicle.
Should I remove my license plates and registration tags from my vehicle before shipping?
When your vehicle is shipped in a Roll on Roll off vessel, we recommend that you remove your license plates and registration tags when dropping off your vehicle at the port or prior to the vehicle being picked up by the trucking company. You can replace them when picking up your vehicle at the destination port. If you are entering Europe as a tourist or non-resident, you may drive with your American license plates and registration tags until they expire. If you are not returning to the USA, after the registration tags expire, you should removed the license plates with the registration tags and mailed back to the Department of Motor Vehicles in the State of registration.
Are you able to guarantee delivery dates?
We are able to give you expected departure and arrival dates. Delays seldom occur but they do occur. Some of the reasons why there may be delays are due to US Custom delays, Port congestion, sailings cancelled or delayed because there is not enough freight, ships being over booked or re-routed and weather conditions. There are no refunds or price deductions due to any delays as they are out of our control.
Do I pay import duties and taxes in the destination country?
Please note that returning citizens or foreign buyers may be subject to import duties and taxes imposed by the destination country. Each country has different laws so we urge you to contact the Embassy of the destination country concerned to clarify matters. We will be available to advise you on some countries.
What are the limitations when shipping in a container?
There are limitations when shipping your cargo in a container. The limitations include size, weight and contents. The internal dimensions of a 20ft container are approximately 19.5ft long by 7.5ft high and 7.5ft wide. The weight limit for a 20ft container is approximately 20,000 pounds. The internal dimensions of a 40ft container are approximately 39.5ft long by 7.5ft high and 7.5ft wide. The weight limit for a 40ft container is approximately 40,000 pounds. You may not ship any combustible materials and you are limited by what the destination country will allow you to import.
Can you pick up my vehicle from an inland location?
Yes, we can pick up your vehicle from any locations within the U.S. Most major metropolitan orgins can be picked up within a few days. If the origin is a rural location it can take a few days longer.
Do I have to purchase container for export?
No, the steamship line provides a container that needs to be returned to port at destination after unloading.
Can I ship just 1 car?
Yes, we have shared containers to many destinations where we can ship a single car, motorcycles etc. If we don’t offer shared container you can still ship one car in 20’ container.
What does "RORO" mean?
(Roll On Roll Off) means your vehicle is driven on/off the vessel, kind of like a giant parking garage.
What is shared container service?
Shared container service is when your vehicle/cargo is loaded into a container along with other freight.
What do I need to ship a vehicle I have just purchased?
You will require an Original title for the vehicle and bill of sale.
If you are a US Citizen we will need you EIN #
If you are not a US Citizen we will need your passport copy along with proof of visiting the US
If you are not a US Citizen and have never been to the US you will need for the seller of the vehicle to provide you with his/her EIN #
Can I track my shipment?
You can track your shipment online and tracking # is usually provided upon sailing and or upon request.
What if the vehicle I have is nowhere near a port?
We can assist with the trucking of your vehicle to the nearest port and or loading warehouse for an additional fee.
Can I personally deliver the vehicle to port?
Yes you can but most of the US Ports are restricted to TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credentials) access only, but you can find an escort company who can assist.
Military shipment-What docs are required if my car is still least with the lien holder and I have military duties?
-Original notarized letter from lien holder authorizing export
-Electric copy of the title (front and back)
-CFR booking forms
How will I know when my vehicle has confirmed sailed and can I track my shipment?
Our documentation department will send you a bill of lading and tracking information via email as soon as the carrier has confirmed sailing.
I want to buy a car overseas, where do I start?
Prior to purchasing a vehicle, you will need to verify with the seller the vehicle is at least 25 years and older with the vehicle’s original engine or it is a U.S. compliant vehicle.
What documents do I need from the seller if I’m buying a car?
We will send several booking forms for the various government agencies for you to fill out and sign. Along with those documents, we will need a copy of the bill of sale in English which clearly states the year, make, model, VIN and value on the seller’s letterhead, seller’s proof of ownership for the vehicle and ID would be helpful.
I am moving back to the U.S. with my car, what documents do you need?
We will send several booking forms for the various government agencies for you to fill out and sign. Along with those documents, we will need a copy of your title or registration and passport copy.
I am moving to the U.S. for the first time, what documents do you need?
If you have never been in the U.S. or registered your car in the U.S., you will need to verify the vehicle is at least 25 years of age with the vehicle’s original engine or it is a U.S. compliant vehicle.
How do I know if my car is U.S. compliant and meets the DOT and EPA standards?
We recommend contacting the dealer or manufacturer to confirm those details.
How do I proceed if my car does not meet U.S. DOT and EPA standards?
You do have several options which include importing the vehicle temporarily for up to one year (non-residents only), converting the vehicle to meet the requirements or sell the vehicle prior to moving.
How do I ship my car to the U.S. temporarily if it does not meet U.S. DOT and EPA standards?
Prior to shipping the vehicle, contact email@example.com to request for an exemption letter and advise the reason for your shipment- personal temporary use, racing, show, display, alterations, repair, etc. We do not recommend shipping any non-compliant vehicles without first obtaining this letter.
How long can my non-compliant vehicle stay in the U.S. for?
There are different expiration dates of when a vehicle needs to be exported from the U.S. from the various government agencies and it is best to contact your agent to confirm.
Why is there an additional exam fee on my invoice?
If any government agency inspects the container and there are charges associated, the invoices will be passed on to you directly. All importers are responsible for an exam charges incurred while shipping.
Why would they inspect my shipment?
These exams are held at random to protect the homeland from contraband and to enforce government regulations.
How long will it take before I receive my car?
Transit times depending on origin and destination locations for your particular shipment. Your CFR Rinkens shipping expert will be able to advise approximate transit times based on the details you provide.