Import Car from USA to China

Importing a Car from the USA to China

Importing a Car from the USA to China? Car imports from the USA to China start at a cost of $1,100 USD, depending on make and model of the vehicle, the nearest departure port in the United States, and your final destination in China. Below, our 2020 guide will explore everything you need to know about importing cars from the USA to China.

Car Shipping from China to USA
Are you ready to get started importing a car
from the USA to China?

Request a free online quote – Quotes are available online with a guaranteed response within 24 hours for car import and moving services to China.

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

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


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US to China Vehicle Import Checklist

Here’s a rough breakdown of the process you’ll need to go through to import your vehicle to China.
  • Before beginning the process of importing and registering a car in China, we recommend you verify your vehicle’s compliance with exhaust and noise emissions standards.
  • After you’ve determined that your vehicle is eligible, gather all necessary vehicle documentation, including:

    • Freight and insurance charges when importing your vehicle

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

    • Duties, taxes and fees

    • Cleaning the undercarriage of foreign soil

    • Registration and insurance requirements in the relevant Chinese State or Territory

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

  • Select an international car import company and preferred shipping method to transport your vehicle from the United States to China

  • Determine your vehicle’s departure and destination ports

  • Confirm the vehicle is clean and free of foreign soil

  • If you wish to register your vehicle for road use in China, you’ll need to submit an application form along with required documentation.

More information on the process of importing a vehicle to China can be found at the HK Transport Department.

Vehicle Import Options

Importing a vehicle for personal use in China is possible, but all requirements must be met. These include:

  • Only legal residents of China are permitted to import vehicles.

  • Business or tourist visa holders won’t be able to import a car, only “Z” visas, or permanent residence cards, are allowed to import a vehicle. Also, the PSB (Public Security Bureau) and visa authorities must have granted the resident “foreign expert status”.

  • Returning Chinese residents are permitted to import their vehicle but must be returning ambassadors or receive an import permit.

These questions and more will determine whether your car is eligible for import to China. You should never assume your scenario is the same as someone else’s. For example, used and refurbished auto parts aren’t allowed as imports to China. Used cars may be imported, but restrictions will apply.

To obtain an estimate of the cost to import a car to China, fill out our free quick quote form.

Vehicle Import Approval

Upon arrival of your vehicle import to China, a customs declaration must be made within 14 days of importation. The following documentation must be submitted to the Customs and Excise Department or through the Motor Vehicles First Registration Tax System website:

  • Customs Declaration

  • Import Return (Form No.: CED336) & Declaration Form (No.: CED336A)

Things to Consider

  • Upon submission of the Import Return, the Customs and Excise Department will issue a “Notification of Motor Vehicle Provisional Taxable Value”, which you’ll need for vehicle registration in the Transport Department.

  • Before registering your vehicle, arrange for vehicle examination at a Vehicle Examination Centre. You’ll need an approval letter issued by the Environmental Protection Department demonstrating compliance with emissions standards and pay the appropriate vehicle examination fee.

US to China 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 Los Angeles to the Port of Guangzhou, our estimate to Import Car from USA to China starts at a cost of $1,100 USD.

However, the cost to import a car to China can vary according to factors such as the model and make of your vehicle, your current location, the nearest departure port in the USA, 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 Chinese taxes & duties.

As turnaround times can vary by season and volume, please contact us for estimates.

Taxes & Duties for China Car Imports

VAT, import duties, and sales tax are all required and will vary depending on the value of your vehicle. A first-time car registration fee will also be applied.

The amount of taxes and import duties payable when shipping a car to China from the US will vary and depends on the details of your shipment.

To obtain an estimate of the cost to import a car to China, fill out our free quick quote form.

US to China Vehicle Import Options

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


Roll-On/Roll-Off – Best for working vehicles, as your auto will be driven onto the delivery vessel and secured for transport in a huge freight zone, similar to a parking structure. The main added expenses are customs clearance charges and taxes, making this our most budget-friendly alternative.


Shared Container Service – Several vehicles are stacked together in one 40 ft. container utilizing our industry-leading steel loading system. Although there are extra charges compared with our Roll-On/Roll-Off service, you’ll share the additional expenses of delivery in a safe encased freight container with other vehicle proprietors. Additional expenses include: Trucking and unloading charges, terminal handling fees, as well as customs clearance charges.

*You may encounter a longer hold up before your auto ships out, since the container must reach capacity before shipping. Although there might be a longer wait, you’ll have the additional security of transporting your vehicle in a completely encased container.


Full Container Load – Like our shared container service, your vehicle will be transported in a completely encased 20 ft container dedicated exclusively to your auto. You’ll have the benefit of not waiting for the container to reach capacity before shipment, but won’t share the additional expenses of terminal handling, and added unloading charges with other vehicle owners. There are many benefits that outweigh the added cost of container shipping, including added security and protection from the weather thanks to the fully enclosed and secured container.

Our transportation professional will record your vehicle’s condition upon arrival – including the loading process into the container – with photograph documentation which will be accessible online for your benefit. We use an industry-leading steel stacking system that doesn’t depend on obsolete wood and nails, lessening the risk of harm to your car.

After your auto is loaded and secured, the container door will be locked, and its contents won’t be accessible to anybody until its landing in the final destination. Your vehicle will be secured in a completely encased container, we welcome you to pack and transport extra things inside the vehicle. Nonetheless, please ensure everything is secured safely, as we won’t be in charge of damages or loss of any sort. Once your vehicle touches base at its final destination in China, the container will be opened by our operators, who will record the vehicle’s condition and unloading process with photograph documentation.

*In contrast with our Roll-On/Roll-Off Service, container transportation will be more practical, thanks to our frequent weekly departures.

We utilize an eco-friendly steel loading system for added security against damage, unlike other companies who use outdated wood ramps.

Additional Services


Sourcing vehicles – Put our many years of experience in the auto shipping industry to work for you! Our extensive network of auto buyers is ready to help customers abroad purchasing vehicles, for a nominal fee.


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 China

Departure Ports – United States

The location your vehicle will depart from depends on the method of car transport to China, where your vehicle is located, your budget and which services the nearest port offers. We have multiple departure locations in the USA, including Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Miami, Savannah and more.

Destination Ports – China

Here are the China entry ports where your vehicle can be imported:

  • Beihai

  • Dalian

  • Dandong

  • Fuzhou

  • Guangzhou

  • Haikou

  • Hankou

  • Huangpu

  • Jiujiang

  • Lianyungang

  • Nanjing

  • Nantong

  • Ningbo

  • Qingdao

  • Qinhuangdao

  • Rizhao

  • Sanya

  • Shanghai

  • Shantou

  • Shenzhen

  • Tianjin

  • Weihai

  • Wenzhou

  • Xiamen

  • Yangzhou

  • Yantai

  • Zhanjiang

Cleaning Your Vehicle’s Undercarriage

Before importing your vehicle to China, 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.

Plating Your Vehicle in China

To register your vehicle, you’ll need to submit an application form along with required documentation. Upon verification of your documents, you’re required to pay first registration tax, along with the registration fee for your vehicle and pay a vehicle license fee and Traffic Accident Victim Assistance Fund levies to license your vehicle.

For the latest regulations, please refer to the HK Transport Department Guidelines for Importation and Registration of Motor Vehicles or Vehicle Import Procedures. Import rules can and do change often.

Other China/US Shipping 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.