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Guide to Importing and Shipping Vehicles from China

China plays an increasingly important role in global automobile manufacturing and export. In 2023, China will become the world’s largest automobile exporter, with an export volume of 5.22 million vehicles. Importers and consumers in many countries are gradually turning their attention to vehicles made in China.

This guide will detail how to import and ship vehicles from China, why to import vehicles from China, and how to transport vehicles from China to all parts of the world, including the Americas, the Middle East, Europe, and Southeast Asia. I hope it will help everyone.

Guide to Importing and Shipping Vehicles from China

Why import vehicles from China?

Price advantage
Vehicles made in China usually have a significant price advantage. Due to the low production cost, importers can obtain high-quality vehicles at a lower cost.

Diversified models
Chinese automakers offer various types and specifications of vehicles, from economy cars to luxury SUVs, from commercial vehicles to electric vehicles, to meet different market needs.

High-quality vehicles
With technological advances and improvements in manufacturing processes, the quality of vehicles made in China has been significantly improved and gradually gained international recognition.

Innovation and technology in automobiles
China is a global leader in electric vehicles and autonomous driving technology, and many innovative technologies and environmentally friendly models are very attractive in the international market.

What are the common categories of vehicles imported from China?

  • Ordinary imported cars: including passenger cars and commercial vehicles, such as sedans, SUVs, trucks, etc.
  • Luxury imported cars: refers to imported cars of high-end brands, such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, etc.
  • New energy vehicles: including pure electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, etc., these vehicles may enjoy special tariff policies or subsidies.
  • Special vehicles: including engineering vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances, buses, excavators, etc., vehicles specially used for specific purposes.

Learn more: Guide To Shipping Trucks And Buses From China

What are the common categories of vehicles imported from China

How to import vehicles from China?

Pre-import preparation: Importers need to obtain compulsory product certification (CCC) for the vehicle model to be imported and complete environmental information disclosure. At the same time, they need to obtain an automatic import license from the local commerce department.

Import customs declaration: The customs declaration company declares to the customs through a single window, including CCC certificate information, vehicle VIN information, etc., and the system will automatically verify online.

Inspection at the port: After the vehicle arrives at the port, the customs will conduct a port inspection and conduct an inspection according to the inspection instructions.

Pay taxes and receive certificates: After the vehicle is picked up and taxes are paid, the customs declaration company can receive the goods import certificate.

How to import vehicles from China

The process of importing vehicles from China

Find the right supplier
Find reliable car manufacturers and dealers by attending auto shows, visiting factories and online platforms such as Alibaba. You can also ship your own or your friends’ cars.

Learn more: Guide To Shipping Used Cars From China

Determine the model and specifications
Choose the appropriate model and specifications according to the target market needs, and confirm the detailed parameters and prices with the supplier.

Sign a contract
Sign a purchase contract with the supplier to clarify the vehicle specifications, quantity, price, delivery time and payment method.

Prepare export documents
The supplier prepares and provides all necessary export documents such as commercial invoice, packing list, certificate of origin and quality inspection certificate.

Transport arrangement
Choose the appropriate mode of transport (sea or air), arrange the transportation and loading of the vehicle, and ensure that the vehicle is properly protected during transportation.

Import customs clearance
Handle import customs clearance procedures in the destination country, including payment of customs duties, VAT and other related fees.

Inspection and delivery
After the vehicle arrives at the destination, it will undergo necessary inspection and certification to ensure compliance with local laws and standards before being delivered to the end customer.

What are the ways to ship vehicles from China?

Shipping vehicles from China can be done by sea freight, air freight, or rail freight. Most people choose sea freight, and rail freight can also be chosen for shipments to Europe (Germany, France, Italy, Hungary).

Roll-on/roll-off
Best for work vehicles as your car will be driven onto the transport ship and transported safely in a huge cargo area similar to a parking lot. The main additional costs are customs clearance and taxes, which makes this our most affordable option.

You might be interested: A Guide To Shipping Cars From China By RoRo Ship

Shared container service
Stack multiple vehicles into a 40-foot container with our industry-leading steel stowage system. Although there will be an additional cost compared to our roll-on/roll-off service, you will share the additional cost of shipping in a securely enclosed container with other vehicle owners. Additional charges include: trailer and unloading fees, terminal handling fees, and customs clearance fees.

Full container load
As with our shared container service, your vehicle will be shipped in a fully enclosed 20-foot container dedicated to your car. You’ll have the benefit of not having to wait for the container to reach capacity before shipping, but not having to share the additional costs of loading and unloading at the terminal with other owners, as well as the additional costs of unloading. The many benefits of container shipping outweigh the added cost, including increased safety and protection from the weather due to fully enclosed and secure containers.

Our shipping professionals will document the condition of your vehicle upon arrival, including loading into the container, with photo documentation that you can view online for your convenience.

Once your car is loaded and secured, the container door will be locked, preventing anyone from accessing its contents until it lands at its final destination. Your vehicle will be secured in a fully enclosed container and you are welcome to pack and transport other items inside the vehicle. Nonetheless, please keep everything safe as we accept no responsibility for any damage or loss of any kind. Once your vehicle arrives at its final destination from China, the container will be opened by our operators who will document the condition of the vehicle and the unloading process with photos.

Shipping cars from China to your country

Take Saudi Arabia as an example, the process and documents for Shipping cars from China to Saudi Arabia are as follows:

Shipping cars from China to your country

The process of shipping cars from China to your country

  • Contact a Chinese freight forwarding company that provides shipping services to Saudi Arabia. Basenton Logistics provides shipping services from China to Saudi Arabia.
  • Check shipping costs from China to Saudi Arabia.
  • Choose the best shipping method to ship your vehicle from China to Saudi Arabia. Depending on your needs, you can choose the following transportation methods to Saudi Arabia: Ro-Ro transportation service, container transportation service, and LCL service to Mexico.
  • Provide documentation to the transport company to book delivery of your vehicle from China to Saudi Arabia.
  • Deliver vehicles to port or export warehouse for export from China to Saudi Arabia
  • Payment to China Shipping Company
  • Send the release note or bill of lading to your customs clearance agent, customs broker or freight company in Saudi Arabia.

Shipping vehicles to Saudi Arabia customs clearance documents

Customs clearance procedures: After the vehicle arrives in Saudi Arabia, it needs to go through customs clearance procedures. This includes submitting necessary documents, paying customs duties, etc. Basenton Logistics, a Chinese freight forwarding company, will assist you in completing these procedures to ensure smooth entry of the vehicle.

The requirements for importing cars from China to Saudi Arabia are to provide a commercial bill of sale in English, vehicle name and invoice, and a detailed packing list, which must indicate details of quantity, vehicle type, and shipping location, and then provide the following documents to Saudi Arabian Customs:

Cars imported from China must have the following documents:

  • Bill of Lading Manifest, used for import, release and tax purposes.
  • Saudi Arabia Tax Identification Number
  • Tariff subtitle and cargo location
  • Register as a car importer from China to Saudi Arabia
  • Vehicle duty-paid value declaration
  • Transfer inventory to Saudi Arabia (original)
  • Holding a trade or company patent in Saudi Arabia must demonstrate your commitment to importing vehicles from China.
  • Certificate of origin from China showing that the vehicle is brand new (simple copy)
  • Original bill of lading, sea waybill or air waybill issued by the shipping company from China
  • Chinese seller packing list
  • commercial invoice
  • Combined Certificate of Value and Origin (CCVO)
  • Authorization letter authorizing you to import vehicles cleared by Saudi Arabian Customs

Delivery and Acceptance: After customs clearance is completed, Basenton Logistics will deliver the vehicle to you or the designated consignee. Please be sure to carefully inspect the vehicle upon receipt to ensure it is in good condition.

To learn how to import auto parts from China, click on the link:

Shipping vehicles from China to America (USA, Canada, Mexico) Price and Time

Transportation Mode
Sea freight: The most common and cheapest way. Vehicles are usually shipped to major ports in America such as Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver and Monterrey by Ro-Ro or container ships.
Air freight: Suitable for urgent orders or high-value vehicles, but the cost is higher.

Time and Price
Sea freight: 25-45 days.
Air freight: 5-8 days.

The cost of shipping a car from China to USA can vary depending on the shipping method and the size of the car. On average, it can cost around $2,500 to $3,500 to ship a car from China to USA

Cost Of Shipping From China To USA

20 FT & 40 FT Container Shipping Cost from China to USA

For more details, please click the link:

Shipping vehicles from China to the Middle East (UAE, Saudi Arabia)

Transportation methods
Sea freight: Major ports include Dubai and Jeddah, using Ro-Ro ships or container ships.
Air freight: Suitable for high-end or urgent orders.

Time and price
Sea freight: 20-30 days.
Air freight: 3-7 days.

The cost of shipping a car from China to Saudi Arabia may vary depending on the shipping method and size of the car. On average, shipping a car from China to Saudi Arabia costs around $1,500 to $3,500.

Learn more: Guide To Shipping A Car From China To UAE

Shipping vehicles from China to Europe (UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium)

Mode of transport: Sea transport is the main mode of transport, and air or land transport (such as China-Europe Express) can also be selected. The main ports for European shipping include London, Le Havre, Hamburg, Barcelona, ​​Genoa, Rotterdam and Antwerp, using Ro-Ro ships or container ships. Air transport is suitable for high-end or urgent orders.

Notes: Understand the customs policies and regulations of various European countries, especially the standards on environmental protection and emissions. At the same time, pay attention to the packaging and reinforcement of the goods to ensure that they are not damaged during long-distance transportation.

The cost of shipping a car from China to the UK may vary depending on the shipping method and size of the car. On average, shipping a car from China to the UK costs around $2,000 to $3,500.

For more details, please click the link:

Shipping vehicles from China to Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia)

Sea transportation is mainly chosen because Southeast Asia is geographically close to China and the cost of sea transportation is relatively low. The main ports for sea transportation include Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta, using Ro-Ro ships or container ships.

Notes: Understand the customs policies and regulations of Southeast Asian countries, especially the requirements for tariffs and value-added tax. At the same time, pay attention to the insurance of the goods to ensure that they are protected during transportation.

Price and time of shipping vehicles from China

The specific price and time depend on many factors such as the quantity, type, mode of transportation and destination of the goods. Generally speaking, sea freight is relatively cheap but takes longer; air freight is more expensive but faster. When choosing a mode of transportation and a company, a comprehensive comparison and evaluation is required.

Shipping costs
Generally between $1,500 and $3,000

Factors affecting shipping prices
Vehicle type and quantity: Larger and heavier vehicles have higher shipping costs, and bulk shipping may enjoy discounts.
Mode of transportation: Sea freight costs less but takes longer; air freight costs more but is faster.
Destination port: Distance and port fees affect the total cost.
Insurance and additional costs: Shipping insurance and other additional service costs.

Shipping time
Sea freight: Generally takes 25-45 days, depending on the destination.
Air freight: Generally takes 5-10 days, suitable for urgent and high-value orders.

Price and time of shipping vehicles from China

Top 10 Countries For China’s Auto Exports In 2023

  1. Russia 909,000 vehicles
  2. Mexico 415,100 vehicles
  3. Belgium 217,400 vehicles
  4. Australia 214,600 vehicles
  5. UK 213,800 vehicles
  6. Saudi Arabia 213,600 vehicles
  7. Philippines 172,500 vehicles
  8. Thailand 170,600 vehicles
  9. UAE 160,000 vehicles
  10. Spain 138,700 vehicles

Summary: Importing and Shipping vehicles from China requires detailed planning and execution, including selecting reliable suppliers, appropriate transportation methods, and handling customs clearance procedures. By understanding the specific requirements and fees of each country, importers can optimize the transportation process to ensure that the vehicles reach their destination safely and efficiently. Whether it is sea or air transportation, each mode of transportation has its advantages and limitations. Choosing the right solution according to specific needs can help importers achieve maximum benefits and efficiency.

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