Importing a Car from France to the USA? Car imports from France to the USA start at a cost of $1,700 USD with an estimated turnaround time of 14 – 28 days, depending on make and model of the vehicle, the nearest departure port in France, and your final destination in the USA. Below, our 2020 guide will explore everything you need to know about importing cars from the France to the USA.
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Want more information on car import services to the USA from France?
Read on below for our France to US Vehicle Import Checklist, Determining Vehicle Eligibility for Import to the USA, France to US Car Import Costs & Time Frame, France to US Vehicle Import Options, Ports Served in the US & France, and other details on how to Import Car from France to USA.
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France to US Vehicle Import Checklist
Here’s a rough breakdown of the process you’ll need to go through to import your vehicle to the United States.
More information on the process of importing a vehicle to the United States can be found here.
Determining the Eligibility of Your Vehicle for Import to the United States
As you engage in the vehicle import process, some of the most important questions to consider include:
These questions and more will determine the costs to import the vehicle to the US, whether your car is eligible for import to the United States, and finally, whether you will need to go through additional steps to make your vehicle eligible for import. In some cases, such as temporary import for racing or other purposes, the usual standards may not apply. CFR Rinkens can help you through the process of determining what will be required to import your vehicle.
Conforming vs. Nonconforming Vehicles
Generally, if a vehicle already meets the requirements for import to the United States, it is because that model was originally designed for export and sale in the United States, or was manufactured in the United States for domestic sale. As such, nonconforming vehicles are required to be modified to meet all applicable FMVSS and EPA emissions standards.
Things to Consider
If your vehicle conforms to these standards, it will bear a manufacturer’s label on the engine compartment attesting to its compliance to emissions standards in English, as well as a certification label near the driver’s side door confirming that it complies to safety, bumper and theft prevention standards. You will need to complete EPA form 3520-1 and DOT form HS-7 attesting to your vehicle’s compliance. Additionally, you will need the shipper’s or carrier’s original bill of lading, bill of sale, foreign registration, and other documents covering the vehicle, to be provided to your Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) inspector.
If your vehicle is nonconforming, it may still be eligible for import with modifications by a DOT-registered importer, who modifies the vehicle and certifies that it conforms to all applicable FMVSS and emissions standards. Additionally, the importer must post a bond equivalent to one and a half times the dutiable value of the vehicle (in addition to the normal CBP entry bond). A copy of the bond must be provided with the HS-7 form. The same is applicable for EPA, the list is here: EPA Independent Commercial Importers.
A nonconforming car may be shipped from France to the United States under certain conditions, such as re-importing a previously exported vehicle, shipping a vehicle for personal use not exceeding one year, shipping a vehicle as a member of foreign armed forces, diplomatic personnel, or other exceptions authorized by the US State Department, bringing a vehicle into the country for testing, demonstration, or competition, or other special circumstances. CFR Rinkens can help you identify if your vehicle falls into one of these categories to Import Car from France to USA.
France to US Car Import Costs & Time Frame
Using a baseline of a compact car being imported using the roll-on/roll-off method from the Port of Marseilles to the Port of Los Angeles, our estimate to Import Car from France to USA starts at a cost of $1,700 USD with an estimated turnaround time of 14 – 28 days.
However, the cost to import a car to United States can vary according to factors such as the model and make of your vehicle, your current location, the nearest departure port in France, your shipping method of choice, availability of your chosen services and your final destination. Additionally, you’ll need to consider costs such as storage, cleaning, other vendor fees, and American taxes & duties.
Duties are levied by Customs and Border Patrol before your vehicle is delivered; if you are staying in United States and the vehicle is imported concurrently with your arrival in the country, you are permitted to import a car for up to 12 months without having to pay duties.
Taxes & Duties for Importing Cars to the United States
Generally, foreign-made vehicles imported for personal use or sale are dutiable at the following rates:
Duty rates are based on price paid or payable, and most Canadian-manufactured vehicles are duty-free. If you are a resident of the United States returning to the country from travel, work, or study abroad, you may apply your $800 CBP exemption, and those of accompanying family members, towards the value of the vehicle under the following circumstances:
To obtain an estimate of the cost to import a car to the United States, fill out our free quick quote form. We guarantee a response within 24 hours.
France to US Vehicle Import Options
Import Car from France to USA can be performed using a shared container, a sole container or a roll-on/roll-off service.
Roll-On/Roll-Off – Vehicles are loaded onto a ship that contains a cargo area built like a very big parking garage. This option tends to be cheaper as other than the shipping charge, you are required to pay only port charges and customs clearance charges.
Transits tend to be faster than with the shared container service as the vessels depart on a weekly basis.
Shared Container Service – This method requires multiple vehicles to be loaded into one container. While there are more fees involved than with the roll-on/roll-off shipping method, due to the fact that the container must be processed, these charges are shared between the various clients who are using the container. Such fees include a trucking charge, terminal handling charge, customs clearance and charge for unloading the vehicles at a bonded warehouse.
One disadvantage is that you might face a longer wait before your vehicle can be shipped, as the container must have a full load before departing.
Full Container Load – You have the added benefit of a fully enclosed container, just like our shared container service, but the 20 ft container is dedicated solely to your vehicle. Since there’s no wait for other cars to be loaded, you’ll enjoy a shorter wait before departure. However, additional terminal handling fees and other charges won’t be shared with other vehicle owners.
Our most selective customers prefer the high level of safety and expediency offered by our dedicated container shipping. When your vehicle is received, we’ll photograph and document the vehicle’s condition as well as the loading process. Your vehicle will be loaded using our modern steel loading system, which is not only environmentally friendly, but doesn’t rely on outdated wood ramps and nails, which can damage your vehicle.
After your car is loaded onto your own private container, it is locked and secured. This will ensure no one gains access to your car before reaching its final destination. Since the vehicle is fully enclosed in a secure container, we invite our clients to pack and transport other items inside the vehicle. However, everything must be loaded securely, as we won’t be responsible for loss or damage of any kind.
Once your vehicle reaches its destination in the States, our agent will unlock the container, document the vehicle’s condition and photograph the entire unloading process. Every step of the shipping process is not only handled carefully but documented for your peace of mind.
Compared to our roll-on/roll-off shipping option, enclosed container shipping is not only more secure, but much faster due to frequent departures.
Sourcing Vehicles – Overseas clients who wish to buy a vehicle can turn to our long list of car buyers developed in our nearly thirty years in the auto shipping industry, who can find and purchase vehicles for an additional fee or commission.
Other Services – Some of the auto transport services we offer in overseas territories include domestic pickup, vehicle import assistance, tracking of your shipment, customs clearance in the USA and a full vehicle inspection report.
Ports Served in the US and France
Departure Ports – France
The location your vehicle will depart from depends on the method of car shipping to the United States, where your vehicle is located, your budget and which services the nearest port offers. Here are the French ports we can import your vehicle from:
Destination Ports – United States
We are able to import into any port in the USA, with CFR facilities in Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Miami, Oakland, and Charleston.
Cleaning Your Vehicle’s Undercarriage
Before importing your vehicle to the United States, the undercarriage must be cleaned and free of foreign soil to prevent the introduction of invasive plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms. This can be accomplished through steam cleaning or other thorough cleaning methods.
CFR Rinkens can assist with finding an appropriate cleaner to help ensure you comply with this requirement.
We do not recommend washing the interior of the vehicle as it can cause mold during transport. Vacuuming the interior is usually more than sufficient.
Driving Your Vehicle in the United States
Before driving your vehicle in the United States, ensure that both you and your vehicle comply with US licensing and registration laws. Requirements differ based on your citizenship status and the length of your stay in the United States.
Your imported vehicle should bear the International Registration Marker, and you may wish to consider acquiring an International Driving Permit (IDP) if you are a foreign national. France is a party to the Convention on International Road Traffic of 1949, meaning that French citizens can acquire an IDP and use their driver’s license in the United States.
Other France/US Shipping Options
Importing a Car from the US to France
Importing a Car from France to the US
Car Shipping from USA to France
Car Shipping from France to USA
Cargo Shipping from the US to France
Cargo Shipping from France to the US
Moving Household Goods from the US to France
Moving Household Goods from France to the US
This information was updated in January 2020. All information, time frames, pricing, and regulations are subject to change. Please contact a sales representative for the most current rates and information.