shipping a car from japan to the us

Shipping a Car From Japan to the US

Shipping a Car From Japan to the US

David Stone
Updated December 17, 2021 by David Stone

Table of Contents

    shipping a car from japan to the us

    Shipping a car can be stressful no matter how far away you need to send the car. Even if you are moving your car to the state next door, you might find that the process of locating the right shipping company is very complicated. Thankfully, there are some key ways to make sure that your car is safe when it is being shipped, either locally or from another country.

    When shipping a car from another country, there are import and export dues that must be paid as well as a lot of paperwork that must be done. If the correct steps are followed for the process to import a car from Japan, you should have no trouble bringing your car over. You will just need to know what the correct process is before you begin working on bringing over a car from Japan.

    If you are ready to learn more about the process of shipping a car from Japan to the US, read on!

    Shipping a Car From Japan to the US

    This guide will help you to get a car sent to the US from Japan with ease. There are key steps that you need to take care of as you are working on this process and you will want to be sure that you do not forget any of the key parts of the process. Sending any car to the US from another country involves some work on your part and some advance planning, but if you take care of all of these steps, you will enjoy a painless process overall.

    There can be some significant costs associated with bringing a car over to the US from Japan, but if you have found a rare car or you want to bring a specific model of older vehicle to the US, this can be the best way to get that done. If you use the steps in this guide, you will not have any trouble getting your car delivered to you with ease and without any stress or frustration.

    1. Check on Emissions

    Emissions requirements can be really different in different countries, and you will want to be sure that the new car that you are shipping from Japan to the US will meet the requirements in the US. If the car does not meet the requirements for the state that you are going to register it in, or for the US in general, then you might not be allowed to bring it into the country. You might still be allowed to bring it into the US but you will face expensive modifications that you might not have been planning on in order to drive it once it arrives.

    2. Verify Car Shipping Costs from Japan the US

    You will not be likely to be able to shop around as much as you might wish for the shipping costs part of this plan. You will find that there are few companies that are up to the challenge of bringing a car from Japan to the US, and you will need to pick from these limited options to get your new car delivered to you. You will want to look at the various methods that are offered for the shipping process as well if you are trying to control costs.

    You may not be able to shop around on the Japanese side of the transactions, but you can make sure that you work with a qualified and well-thought-of car shipping company in the US. Your car might have to be brought across the country if you do not live near the port it was delivered in. Make sure that you work with a skilled and reputable shipping company to bring your car to your location.

    transporting your car from japan to the us

    3. Choose Between RoRo or Container Shipping Methods

    There are two main methods for shipping a car from Japan to the US. The first will be RoRo, which is a roll-on roll-off vessel method, and the second is container shipping where the car is brought over inside a container that is loaded on the ship. There are benefits to both methods and you might find that your car’s needs dictate that one is better than another.

    RoRo shipping is done on specialized ships that are made for this kind of function. Your car will not have as much protection from the elements in most cases when it is sent in this way, but you might be able to get access to it more easily once it arrives. This can be a good solution for cars that are very large and might not fit into the shipping containers that you have access to.

    With container shipping, your car will be loaded into a container and brought across the ocean on a shipping vessel. This method is more secure and safe for your vehicle and often costs less than RoRo. You will need to look into both methods of shipping before you choose how to have your car brought to you.

    4. Get the Documents in Order

    There are required documents that are needed for this kind of purchase and you will have to have all of them to be able to bring your car into the US. You will need a bill of sale, proof of ownership of the vehicle, a foreign deregistration certificate, and the bill of lading. You will also have to have submitted the Environmental Protection Agency EPA Form 3520-1 and a DOT HS-7 form. All of these forms and documents will need to be supplied in order to pick up your vehicle when it arrives.

    Documentation can really trip people up and you will want to be totally sure that you have all the right documentation in order for your car before it is sent over to you from Japan. There is nothing worse than having to wait months for a document to be completed or having your car refused at the port when it arrives due to a paperwork issue.

    Shipping a Car from Japan to the US Can be Easy

    Despite the paperwork involved and the patience of waiting for your vehicle to arrive, there are not many reasons that you should be discouraged from shipping a car from Japan to the US. Make sure that you make plans for picking up the vehicle and that you have a shipping company on hand to bring the vehicle to you if you do not live near a port city. You might have to figure in a trip for the car from one of the coasts to the center of the country if you are not able to go get it yourself.

    Shipping cars into the US can be a hassle from some other countries, but the process from Japan is not tough at all. You will be glad that you took the time to prepare all of the documents and work out all the details in advance and you can use this guide to help you to do just that. Having all of the steps of the shipping process thought out in advance will make sure that you do not run into frustrating hold-ups along the way.

    shipping a vehicle from japan to the us




    How much is the import tax on a car from Japan?

    The import tax for a car from Japan is usually 10% of the CIF value and duty. This is also figured as 5% of the FOB value. The customs entry fee is $65.00 if the total clearance value is under $10,000. It is $167.00 if the value is over $10,000.

    How long do you have to wait to import a car from Japan?

    Car makes and models that are only sold in Japan are eligible for import to the US after 25 years. The timeframe for shipping your car to the US from Japan is usually around 8-10 weeks. This process can take longer as well if there are hold-ups related to issues with the shipping related to weather.

    What cars can I import to the USA?

    There are many cars that are allowed to be imported to the USA but any car that does not meet the emissions requirements for US regulations will not be allowed to be brought over to the US. You will not be able to bring cars like the 2003 TVR Tuscan, the 1993 Lamborghini Strosek Diablo and many other cars that run on diesel fuel that are not made to run clean enough for US rules and regulations. The list of cars that are not allowed to be imported to the US is adjusted every year and you can easily look this information up before buying a car in Japan to ship to the US.

    How easy is it to import a car from Japan?

    It is not that difficult to import a car from Japan. The paperwork can be a little bit of work but the process is only difficult if you cannot find a local importer who will work with a sea shipping company to get the car onto a container vessel and over the ocean to the US. This is not often an issue, and many people import cars annually from Japan to the US.






    Absolutely fantastic. Guys were far better than I could have hoped for. THE NEXT DAY... NOT A SCRATCH OR DING.... STRAIGHT TO MY DOOR.
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    Called Eric La Gra from Mercury Transport he was able to get my truck shipped immediately got me a transporter who did a fantastic job.
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    Joel at Mercury Auto Transport did an excellent job arranging to transport my vehicle quickly and at a competitive price.
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    First, we post your vehicle through our network, including all National Dispatch Boards for Auto Transport. This is where all licensed auto transport carriers can see your vehicle is available for shipping.


    We present offers from FMCSA Licensed and Insured Carriers. When you accept an offer, we send your service agreement that guarantees the price, door-to-door service and 100% bumper to bumper insurance. There are never any hidden fees or charges, guaranteed.


    Not until you approve your carrier and final logistics is your deposit due. Your deposit is included in your quote and goes toward the total price. The remaining balance is due at time of delivery. Nothing gets done without your approval.


    Your driver will contact you prior to your pickup and delivery dates to schedule a time for loading and unloading. Once your vehicle reaches its destination, you do a final inspection of your vehicle and pay the driver the remaining balance. You and the driver both sign the Bill of Lading and each keep a copy.