Exporting Cars from the US – What You Need to Know


Buying cars in the USA from a foreign location is not a new concept. In fact, many automobile enthusiasts, collectors, and car dealerships purchase cars in the US as there are more variety, cheaper prices and an advantage of receiving higher quality vehicles. You, as an individual or a company, might have made the same decision and purchased a car in the US from a dealership. But now you might want to export the car from the USA to wherever your location is, but are unaware of the process.

For all the people who are new to the process, there are a lot of minute details that pertain to different parts of the process of exporting cars from the USA. From basic definitions to comprehensive export documents, you need to be knowledgeable on different aspects beforehand.

Some of the most basic pieces of information that you need to know are:

Definition of Used Cars

The first thing to understand about exporting cars from the USA is about what the country classifies as a “used car”. While you might define used cars as vehicles that have been owned and driven by one person and then sold to someone else, what the US export regulations consider a used vehicle is a bit different. As per the definition stated by the Customs and Boarders (CBP), a used car is any self-propelled vehicle that has been transferred (in terms of legal title) to a purchaser by a manufacturer, dealership or distributor.

This means that unless you, yourself are the manufacturer producing the cars in the US but are now selling to a foreign buyer. To explain it further, this means that even if you have never driven the car even a single mile it will still be considered a used car because it was transferred to your name. This changes the requirements and regulations that are involved, as the ones for exporting new cars are different.

Automated Export System (AES)

The next most important piece of information is regarding the export system of the USA. The export authorities of the US government require every exporter to file important shipment information. This is why it is crucial that you familiarize yourself with the system, as you would be required send out export data called Electronic Export Information (EEI) through the automated system.

If you are a citizen of the US or resident with a Social Security Number, you will be required to set up an account on the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) portal and submit your Employee Identification Number (EIN) in the EEI.

For non-citizens of the US, there is no requirement of creating an ACE account. Instead it is required that they assign an agent in the US to file on your behalf. And since non-citizens don’t have an Employee Identification Number they are required to provide their passport number for identification purposes.

You are required to submit all necessary EEI through the automated system at least 72 hours prior to the departure of the car, regardless of where you are importing it, its cost and condition.

Required Export Documentation

Besides the EEI filed through the AES, there are other documents required by the US government. The most important document you are required to file is a private individual certificate or manufacturer’s statement that proves your ownership of the vehicle. Along with that, you will be required to submit a vehicle identification number (VIN) or a product identification (PIN) number and an internal transaction number (ITN). You will need the ITN for the AES filing, which you will be receiving upon complete submission of the filing.

When all important documentation and AES filing is in check, you will need to present it at the customs office on the port of export 72 hours prior to the departure of the shipment.

This information only provides a basic introduction and a brief look at what is involved in exporting a car from the US. You can contact Marlog Car Handling to find out more details about the exporting cars from the USA.