Import Car from UAE to USA

Car Shipping from Dubai to USA
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from UAE to the USA?

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+1 (310) 639-7725

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Want more information on car import services to the USA from UAE?

Read on below for our UAE to US Vehicle Import Checklist, Determining Vehicle Eligibility for Import to the USA, UAE to US Car Import Costs & Time Frame, UAE to US Vehicle Import Options, Ports Served in the US & UAE, and other details on how to Import a Car from UAE to USA.

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UAE 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.
  • Determine your vehicle’s eligibility for import to the US, or determine the need to modify the vehicle to meet US standards (if your nonconforming vehicle is eligible for modification and import)

  • File form HS-7 and form 3520-1 or contract with a DOT-registered importer to modify the vehicle and certify that it conforms to all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and Emissions Standards

  • Understand the costs of importing a vehicle, including:

    • Freight and insurance charges when importing your vehicle

    • Wharf, transport, storage and delivery charges after your vehicle arrives

    • Duties, taxes and fees, including the gas-guzzler tax

    • Cleaning the undercarriage of foreign soil

    • Registration and insurance requirements in the relevant US state or territory

    • Other charges such as import processing, customs brokers’, and logistics service provider charges

  • Select an international car import company and preferred import method to transport your vehicle from UAE to the United States
  • Determine your vehicle’s departure and destination ports

  • Confirm the vehicle’s undercarriage is clean and free of foreign soil

  • If you wish to register your vehicle for road use in the United States, your vehicle should bear the International Registration Marker or, if you are a US resident, you will need to register your vehicle with the DMV in your state of residence

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:

  • Whether you are a US citizen, military or civilian employee of the US government, or a nonresident,
  • Whether you plan to permanently keep the car in the US or if it’s just a temporary move,
  • Whether the car was manufactured to comply with all applicable FMVSS, and, if not, whether it is a nonconforming motor vehicle eligible for import,
  • Whether your vehicle was manufactured after September 1, 1978, and
  • Whether your vehicle is a model year 1987 or later.
  • Whether your vehicle can be registered in your State.

These questions and more will determine the costs to import the vehicle to the US, whether your car is eligible for importing 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 prior to import into the USA.

Things to Consider

  • Vehicles more than 21 years old with their original engines may qualify for an EPA exemption.

  • Vehicles more than 25 years old may qualify for DOT.

  • All other vehicles must made for the U.S. market and EPA/DOT compliant.

  • The undercarriage of your car will need to be clean and free of foreign soil. Therefore, you will need to have the exterior of your vehicle steam-sprayed or otherwise thoroughly cleaned before import to the United States.

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 imported from UAE to the United States under certain conditions, such as re-importing a previously exported vehicle, importing a vehicle for personal use not exceeding one year, importing 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 a Car from UAE to USA.

UAE to US Car Import Costs & Time Frame

Using a baseline of a compact car being shipped using the roll-on/roll-off method from the Port of Jebel Ali to the Port of Los Angeles, our estimate to Import a Car from UAE to USA starts at a cost of $2,000 USD with an estimated turnaround time of 20 – 35 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 UAE, your transport 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 Import Cars to the United States

Generally, foreign-made vehicles imported for personal use or sale are dutiable at the following rates:

  • Auto: 2.5%
  • Trucks: 25%
  • Motorcycles: free or 2.4%

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:

  • The vehicle accompanies you on your return
  • You’ve imported the vehicle for personal use

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.

UAE to US Vehicle Import Options

Import Car from UAE to USA can be performed using a shared container, a sole container or a roll-on/roll-off service.

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Roll-On/Roll-Off – Our most cost-efficient option! The only added fees are port and customs clearance charges. Best for vehicles in working condition – your car will be driven onto a large cargo area on the shipping vessel and secured for transport.

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Shared Container Service – Several vehicles are shipped together in one 40ft. container. Although there are more fees involved than with our roll-on/roll-off service, these are divided between the multiple vehicle owners using the container. A terminal handling charge, trucking and unloading charges, as well as custom clearance fees are included in the additional fees.

*There might be a longer wait before your vehicle ships out, since we have to wait until there are enough vehicles to fill up the container. However, you have the added benefit and security of a fully enclosed container.

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Full Container Load – Like our shared container service, you have the safety of an enclosed 20ft container, yet it is dedicated to a single vehicle. Since we don’t have to wait for other cars to ship, you’ll enjoy the advantage of a shorter wait between departure and arrival. However, you’ll end up paying more in fees.

Fully enclosed containers offer a high level of safety, since vehicles aren’t exposed to the elements. When we receive your vehicle, we’ll document the car’s condition and loading process with photos. All cars are loaded using our environmentally friendly steel loading system, instead of outdated wood ramps used by other companies. This modern system not only reduces the environmental impact of shipping but adds security against damage to your vehicle.

Once loaded, we’ll ensure the container door is locked and secured. This will safeguard against anyone gaining access to the vehicle before it reaches its final destination. Upon entrance to the United States, our agent will access the container and photograph the unloading process, as well as document the vehicle’s condition. Due to the vehicle being in a fully enclosed and secure container throughout the import process, clients may pack and transport other items inside the car. Though, all items must be loaded securely, as we will not be responsible for loss or damage of any kind.

Compared to our roll-on/roll-off service, container import is a faster method thanks to our frequent weekly departures.

Additional Services

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Sourcing Vehicles – With over twenty years’ experience in the car import business, we have an extensive network of car buyers and are ready to assist overseas clients purchasing vehicles, for a nominal fee.

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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 UAE

Departure Ports – UAE

The location your vehicle will depart from depends on the method of car transport to the United States, where your vehicle is located, your budget and which services the nearest port offers. Here are the United Arab Emirates ports we can import your vehicle from:

  • Abu Dhabi

  • Ajman

  • Al Ain

  • Al Hamriya

  • Automarket

  • Ducamz

  • UAE

  • Fujirah

  • Jabal Ali

  • JAFZA

  • Jebel Ali

  • Khor

  • Kizad

  • Hamyirah

  • Khalifa

  • Mussafah

  • Ras al Kaimah

  • Ras Al Kohr

  • Rashid

  • Saeed

  • Sharjah

  • Umm Al Qwaim

  • Zayed

  • Zhanjiang

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. UAE is a party to the Convention on International Road Traffic of 1949, meaning that UAE citizens can acquire an IDP and use their driver’s license in the United States.

    • If you are a US resident, you should contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in your state or territory of residence, inquire about temporary license plates, and determine what documents and certifications the DMV requires from CBP to register the vehicle.
    • If you are a national of a Central or South American country that has ratified the Inter-American Convention of 1943, you may drive your vehicle in the US for touring purposes for one year or for the period of the validity of the documents, whichever is shorter, without US license plates or US driver’s permits, provided the car carries the International Registration Marker and registration card, and the driver has the International Driving Permit.
    • If you are a motorist visiting the United States as a tourist from a country that has ratified the Convention on International Road Traffic of 1949 (UAE has), you may drive in the US for one year with your own national license plates (registration tags) on your vehicle and with your own personal drivers’ license.

    • If you are a motorist from Canada or Mexico, you are permitted to tour in the US without US license plates or US driver’s permits, under agreements between the United States and these countries.
    • If you are a motorist from a country not a party to any of the above agreement, you must secure a driving permit in the US after taking an examination.
    • If you are a foreign national employed in the US, you may use your foreign license tags from the port of entry to your destination in the US.

    Other UAE/US Import Options

    This information was updated in September 2018. All information, time frames, pricing, and regulations are subject to change. Please contact a sales representative for the most current rates and information.

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