Shipping a Car From Japan to the US

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 to import a car from Japan, you shouldn’t have 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. Likewise, 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.

Step 1: Check on Emissions

Step 2: Verify Car Shipping Costs from Japan to the US

Step 3: Choose Between RoRo or Container Shipping Methods

Step 4: Get the Documents in Order

1. Check on Emissions

Emissions requirements can be really different in different countries. Also, make sure the new car you are shipping from Japan to the US meets 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. However, you will face expensive modifications that you weren’t planning on in order to drive it once it arrives.

2. Verify Car Shipping Costs from Japan to the US

You may not be able to shop around as you might wish for the shipping costs part of this plan. Also, 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. Additionally, look at the various methods offered for the shipping process as well if you are trying to control costs.

transporting your car from japan to the us

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.

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. Therefore, 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 won’t have as much protection from the elements sometimes when it is sent in this way. However, 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. Also, it 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. Furthermore, 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. Also, 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 documentations will need to be supplied in order to pick up your vehicle when it arrives.

Documentation can really trip people up. Therefore, be sure that you have all the documentation for your car before it is sent 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. Also, have a shipping company on hand to bring the vehicle to you if you’re not near a port city. You should plan for your car to be brought from the coasts to you if you can’t get it yourself.

Shipping cars into the US can be a hassle for 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 the documents and work out all the details in advance. Also, you can use this guide to help you to do just that. Having all the steps of the shipping thought out ascertains that you don’t 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. Nevertheless, any car that doesn’t meet the emissions requirements for US regulations can not be brought over to the US. You will not be able to bring cars like the 2003 TVR Tuscan and the 1993 Lamborghini Strosek Diablo. Additionally, cars that run on diesel fuel can’t be brought into the US because of 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 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.


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What Our Customrs Are Saying


We feel it’s important for you to know how we determined your quote. Quotes are based on what the market demands for cars to be moved at a given time. Each quote is compared with the current rates on the National Load Board before being sent to our customers and will be reviewed periodically through the process.

Other companies might offer you a lower price to obtain your business. This method is ineffective because if the car does not pay the correct amount of money, it will run the probability of not getting loaded or transported on time. You will not get this information from our competitors. Truck drivers always take the loads that pay the most first, leaving the loads that are mispriced to be moved last or not at all. We try very hard to avoid this with our customers by quoting a fair but realistic quote up front. Visit our How we determine your quote page for more information.

Understanding auto transport insurance is important and we think it’s valuable to explain how it works. As part of providing a great car transport service, it is our job to guarantee that the carrier we assign to pickup your vehicle is licensed and insured. Click here to check out our license.

When you go with Mercury to ship your vehicle, you can rest assured that the carrier assigned to move your car is fully insured and licensed with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier and Saftey Administration).

Your vehicle is covered by the carrier’s insurance policy that is doing the shipping. Depending on the type and size of the truck/trailer that is shipping your car, the insurance policy can cover from $100,000 to $1,000,000 of damage.

We have also provided a checklist to explain what you need to do at both pickup and delivery in case there are any issues so, you can file a claim and know that everything will be taken care of.

It is rare but, time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit and it is good to know that your carrier’s insurance will protect your auto shipment in that event.

To view a sample BOL (Bill of Lading) and learn what to do in case of accidental damage, please check out our Condition Report and Procedure checklist.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible.  

We feel it’s important for you to know how we determine your quote.

When you’re looking for a car shipping rate, you want to understand how auto transport works. Prices are based on seasonal market demands for cars to be moved at any given time. Each quote is prepared based on the season and the current national rates.

When comparing auto transport companies, keep in mind that low-priced quotes often result in delays in getting your vehicle loaded. Choosing the right broker is vital to getting a reputable carrier for the lowest price possible. Not all brokers are created equal in this talent.

Mercury does a thorough background check with each carrier for every shipment. We verify their ratings, references, and in addition, we obtain a certified copy of their insurance certificate, directly from the government agency that it is on file with.

You can have peace of mind knowing that the carrier shipping your vehicle is the very best and that there are no surprises guaranteed.

Mercury Auto Transport is licensed, Bonded and Insured. Our FMSCA Motor Carrier Number is MC647319.

While we do our best match your auto shipping needs with the most responsible carriers with the best track records, from time-to-time there may be accidental damage while in transit, it is good to know that the insurance of the carrier we locate for you will protect your auto shipment in that event.

Shipping a vehicle can be stressful if you don’t know what to do.  This is why we believe it is paramount to have our highly trained agents be your main point of contact from start to finish.

They will go over everything you need to know so you can relax.  In the meanwhile, we prepared this checklist.  This includes everything from pickup to delivery and how to make sure your car is ready for pickup.

When it comes to car moving, we want you to be ahead of the game!  For any questions and further assistance our agents are standing by, (800) 553-1828.  Please read our checklist to prepare your vehicle to learn more.

There are several ways you can ship a car.  The options include enclosed trailer, open carrier transport, flatbed truck, door-to-door shipping services, and to or from a terminal as well.  The most popular of the options is a 7 to 10 car open carrier.  These large trucks can accommodate almost any size vehicle including carsSUVstrucksjeeps, and vans.

Open car transport, door to door is also the best way to get the cheapest auto transport rate possible.  To learn more and see what transport method is best for you, please fill out our free quote form and one of our representatives will respond to you within minutes.  You can also call us at (800) 553-1828.

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.