Car Shipping To USA


Car Shipping from UAE to USA

Shipping Your Car from the UAE to the USA? Shipping a Car from the UAE to the USA starts at a cost of $2,749 USD with an estimated turnaround time of 22-35 days, depending on make and model of the vehicle, the nearest departure port in the United Arab Emirates and whether the destination in the USA is on the east or west coast. Below, our 2022 guide will explore everything you need to know about shipping a car from the UAE to the USA.

  • UAE to USA Vehicle Shipping Checklist
  • Determining Vehicle Eligibility for shipping to USA
  • Conforming vs Non conforming Vehicles
  • UAE to USA Car shipping costs & time frame
  • UAE to USA Car shipping options
  • Driving your vehicle in the USA
  • Ports served in the UAE & USA

UAE to USA Vehicle Shipping Checklist

Here’s a rough breakdown of the process you’ll need to go through to ship your vehicle to the United States.

  • Determine your vehicle’s eligibility for shipping to the US, or determine the need to modify the vehicle to meet US standards
  • 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 and Emissions Standards
  • Understand the costs of shipping a vehicle, including:
    • Freight and insurance charges when shipping 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 shipping company and preferred shipping 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

Determining the Eligibility of Your Vehicle for Shipping to the United States

ship a car from uae to usa
As you engage in the vehicle shipping 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 shipment,
    • 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 ship the vehicle to the US, whether your car is eligible for shipping to the United States, and finally, whether you will need to go through additional steps to make your vehicle eligible for shipping.

Conforming vs. Nonconforming Vehicles

vehicle confirmation sign
Generally, if a vehicle already meets the requirements for shipping 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 shipment 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 shipped from UAE 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. Reef Shipping can help you identify if your vehicle falls into one of these categories for Car Shipping from UAE to USA.

UAE to USA Car shipping costs and 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 for Car Shipping from UAE to USA starts at a cost of $2,749 USD with an estimated turnaround time of 20 – 35 days.

However, the cost to ship 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 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.

customs -clearance from uae to usa
Taxes & Duties for Shipping 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 ship a car to the United States, fill out our free quick quote form. We guarantee a response within 24 hours.

Car Shipping From UAE to USA

Reef Shipping Service LLC, One of the best car shipping company in Dubai, we provide car shipping service from UAE to USA at affordable rates. Reef shipping LLC well known for car shipping in their competitive market for their unique way of car shipping in different modes also keeping in mind the standard, Safety and fastest way of shipping cars from and to various ports /destination of the world.

Car Shipping in Dedicated Containers

This is the preferred method for shipping high value vehicles and classic cars. We can collect your car from any UAE address, on a recovery truck or you can opt to save and deliver the car yourself to our nominated depot. Alternatively, we can arrange to deliver the container to your home and the container delivery vehicle will unload the container to ground level to enable the loading of the car. Whichever method you choose our loading team will ‘chock-off’ and securely strap your vehicle into position to ensure safe passage whilst on its journey. The car is securely put into your own container.

Car Shipping in Consolidated Containers

Car Shipping in consolidated container is more economical than other modes. The car is securely put into the container with two or more cars in it. Safety of all units is ensured with your fastening to the container bed using 5-ton industry-grade, top of the line lashing
belt that can support up to 5 tons of weight. This process is known as lashing.

Car Shipping in RORO Vessel

Ro–Ro ships are large car ferries with no passenger accommodation. This a cost-effective method of shipping your car. Ro-Ro ships are designed solely to carry cars. motorbikes, buses, trucks, tanks and in fact anything on wheels! All vehicles are secured in the ship and completely safe from the elements. All vehicles must be in full working order and able to be driven by the loading team. You may not load the vehicle with any other goods – only the car, spare wheel and any other items that are standard to the car, because the car and its keys are in the hands of ship operators, they are not prepared to take the risk or entertain any claims for any items that may be lost or stolen.

Car Shipping in Air Freight – Cars & Motorcycles

We are industry leaders when it comes to the shipment of vehicles by air. Shipping a motorcycle by air (depending on the destination) can often be cost effective particularly if you intend to tour with your bike and receive your bike before returning to the UAE.

Air freighting of cars is fast, safe and secure and can be very cost effective in certain circumstances for highly valuable vehicles, and usually most expensive method of transport. It is the preferred choice when shipping exotic and high value vehicles. Air Freight cargo services normally run daily to all main destination with Dubai pickup and delivery at destination airport usually within 7 days. Whatever your needs are we, can help and guide you through the entire process.

Documents Required

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) form EPA-3520-21 (if applicable)
  • OBL (foreign purchased vehicles)
  • Bill of sale / pro-forma invoice with statement of value (foreign purchased vehicles)
  • Title of ownership translated into English (foreign purchased vehicles)
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) form HS-7
  • Proof of conformity by either:
    • S. title / registration
    • Letter of conformity from the manufacturer
    • Foreign military sales contract that indicates vehicle meets USA-EPA / DOT regulations
    • Exemption as a model 25-year-old vehicle as proven by the title
  • Copy of U.S. title or registration when previously registered in the USA (vehicles previously owned and shipped from the U.S. by the returning residents / owners of the goods)
  • Completed EPA-3520-1, DOT, HS-7 and Customs 7501 forms (vehicles previously owned and shipped from the U.S. by the returning importer)
  • Letter of permission from the EPA (non-residents importing vehicles as a tourist)

Additional Information

  • For vehicles previously owned and shipped from the U.S. by the returning resident / owner of the goods, the ownership names must match with the owner of the goods of the shipment on the vehicle title and registration.
  • A non-U.S. resident can import a vehicle for a period of up to 12 months as a tourist, but no extension will be allowed.
    • The owner of the goods is required to obtain a permission letter prior to shipping the vehicle from the EPA.
    • Vehicles imported by non-residents for tourism may not sell or offer for vehicle for sale and it must be exported prior to the 12-month period or is subject to seizure and penalties by Customs.
  • Some ports of entry (POE) require a bond for up to three times the value of the vehicle to ensure the timely export of the vehicle.
    • Additional port specific declarations may be required for this temporary importation.
  • A bill of sale or pro-forma invoice with the statement of value must include the vehicle’s description, vehicle identification number (VIN), model, and year of manufacture.
  • In general vehicle models that are 25 years or older and with the original drive train are exempt from EPA / DOT regulations.
  • Vehicle models less than 25 years old that were not previously titled in the U.S must comply with EPA / DOT regulations.
  • The cost and time to bring a vehicle into compliance by an ICI (certified conversion shop) make the process an unwise economic decision in most cases.
  • It is strongly recommended not to import non-complying vehicles.
    • In the event an owner of the goods elects to attempt to import a vehicle it should be sent separately from household goods and personal effects shipments to avoid delays in the receipt of the shipment.
  • The owner of the goods must decide with an ICI shop in the USA prior to shipping the vehicle in order to get an estimate and to determine if the vehicle can be brought into compliance.
  • Marine engines and gas-powered generators are also subject to EPA requirements and Form EPA-3520-21 is normally required for those items
    • If an imported vehicle does not conform to these standards, it must be brought into conformity; otherwise, it must be destroyed or exported.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires that the undercarriage of imported cars be free from foreign soil before they can be entered into the United States.
    • This may be done by steam spray or by thorough cleaning before shipment.
  • Do not store personal items in any motor vehicle.

Driving your vehicle in the USA


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.

Top Origin Points in the US

We ship on a weekly basis out of all major US ports.

  • Los Angeles
  • Houston
  • Miami
  • New York
  • Baltimore
  • Norfolk
  • Charleston
  • Savannah
  • Jacksonville
  • Mobile
  • New Orleans
  • San Diego
  • Oakland
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle/Tacoma
  • Vancouver
  • Montreal
  • Toronto
  • Orlando
  • Tampa
  • Charlotte
  • Nashville
  • Atlanta
  • Detroit
  • Chicago
  • Denver
  • Salt Lake City
  • Las Vegas
  • Phoenix
  • Oklahoma City
  • Dallas
  • And More!

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