Requirements Shipping a Car from the USA to The Netherlands

Freight ships and vessels at the Port of Amsterdam City, Netherlands Descriptive

Shipping your car(s) to The Netherlands from the USA? Trans Global Auto Logistics has over three decades of shipping experience. We’re here to help you understand everything you need to know about shipping a vehicle to The Netherlands.

For more information or rates, please fill out the online quote form, and you’ll hear from one of our shipping specialists within 24 hours. Or, call us for immediate assistance.


US Documentation Export Requirements for Vehicles

  1. US Military Service Members:
    1. Original notarized Lien Letter with copy of title or Original Title
    2. Your PCS Orders
    3. Your Passport or EIN
  2. Everyone else
    1. Original Title
    2. Copy of Bill of Sale
    3. Passport or EIN

Dutch Documentation Import Requirements for Shipping a Car from USA to The Netherlands

  • U.S. Military Service Members or Contractors with SOFA Status:
    • AE-Form 550 from the Military Customs Office
    • The AE-Form 190-1AA from your Military Vehicle Registration Office and your car’s temporary Plates

Please note that you will have to physically take these documents to the Dutch port or closest Dutch customs house to have stamped by customs for them to release your vehicle to you.

  • Everyone else
    • Temporary Import Requirements
    • Original Vehicle Title
    • Copy of US Vehicle Registration
    • Proof of International Liability Insurance (to be obtained through TourInsure)
  • Importing as Moving Goods – Moving to The Netherlands or Returning Dutch Citizen
    • You have owned the vehicle at least 6 months and lived outside of The Netherlands for at least 12 months
    • Copy of US Title
    • U.S. Vehicle Registration (for entire duration since purchase)
    • Copy of Bill of Sale
    • Copy of Passport
    • Confirmation of Insurance for at least six months before importing and shipping a car from USA to The Netherlands
  • Vehicle purchased by European Citizen, if the vehicle less than 30 years old
    • Copy of Vehicle Title
    • Copy of Bill of Sale
    • Listing full name and address of Seller and Buyer
    • Copy of Passport

Dutch Duties & Taxes Due

Below, you’ll find general guidelines on Dutch duties and taxes due when considering shipping your car(s) from the USA to The Netherlands. Please visit the Dutch tax authority website for up to date information. Please note you must pay any VAT and Duty before your vehicle will be released by Dutch customs.

  1. U.S. Military Service Members
    • No Taxes or Duties apply
  2. Temporary Imports – You can usually use a vehicle with foreign number plates without registering or taxing it in The Netherlands if all of the following apply:
    • You’re visiting and do not plan to live here
    • The vehicle is registered and taxed in its home country
    • You only use the vehicle for up to 6 months in The Netherlands
  1. Vehicle as Moving Goods – Must have owned the vehicle for at least 6 months, lived outside of The Netherlands for at least 12 months, and have proof you paid taxes on the vehicle in the home country
    • Duty – 0%
    • VAT – 0%
    • +BPM Handling
  2. Vehicle purchased by European Citizen – Vehicle less than 30 years old
    • Duty – 0%
    • VAT – 9%
  3. Vehicle purchased by European Citizen – Vehicle over 30 years old and in original condition
    • Duty – 0%
    • VAT – 9%
    • +BPM Handling

Note: You can apply for an exemption of “BPM” tax (Special energy tax on private vehicles) if you fulfill the below conditions:

  • You move from within the EU to the NL and bring your car with you
  • Your car is part of your household goods that you imported. To fulfill this requirement, you need to import the car within 12 months from your date of registration with a Dutch municipality in NL
  • You use the car for the same purpose that you used it your previous country of residence
  • The car was in your possession and in use by you for at least 6 months before you moved to the NL
  • You lived at least 12 months in your previous country before moving to the NL

If the above conditions apply to you, you can request a permit for exemption from BPM if you’re moving from within the EU. Learn more about this exemption on the Dutch tax website, where you’ll find the necessary information and form to submit.

USA to The Netherlands Car Shipping Cost and Transit Times

Cost and transit times vary greatly depending on where your car or vehicle is in the USA. Generally speaking, if your vehicle is located on the East Coast of the USA, then transit time is about 15 days, and about 30 days from the West Coast. Please note you’ll need to factor in additional days for customs clearance and vessel loading / unloading. We advise our customers to expect the whole shipping process to take about 30-45 days from the USA East Coast and 45-60 days from the West Coast.

To determine your cost for shipping to The Netherlands, please submit a free quote request at no obligation to you.

Dutch Vehicle Import Approval Process

Dutch customs do not require an Import Approval prior to shipping your vehicle or car from the USA to The Netherlands. we suggest you contact The Netherlands registration office to confirm your vehicle meets Dutch emissions standards and specifications. These modifications can be costly, so it’s a good idea to know the cost involved before you commit to shipping your vehicle overseas.

Dutch Vehicle Registration Requirements

You must register any vehicle you bring into The Netherlands permanently.

  1. U.S. Military Service Members
    1. Previous Vehicle Registration or Title
    2. Proof of Insurance
    3. Must pass a safety inspection before vehicle can be registered
  2. Everyone Else
    1. You must undergo inspection and approval with RDW (Dutch Motor Vehicle Authority) at
    2. A declaration for “BPM” is required: a special energy tax on private vehicles, which you can complete at Customs or the Dutch Tax Authority. (Special energy tax on private vehicles) at Customs (Douane) or the Tax Service
    3. Unless you have received an exemption, you will have to pay the amount owed.
    4. Once the Tax Service has received your passed import inspection and approved BPM declaration, then the RDW will send you your registration papers by mail.

If your visit in The Netherlands is less than 6 months, then you’re permitted to drive your imported vehicle with its original license plate and registration. That said, you may be required to undergo a technical inspection to insure the vehicle’s roadworthiness.

Ports Serviced in the US and The Netherlands

  • USA Departure Ports — Trans Global has service from all US Ports including New York, Baltimore, Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville, Galveston, Los Angeles, and more.
  • Dutch Arrival Ports — We serve the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam
  • From any of the above destination ports, your car can be delivered to your door anywhere in Germany.— A few common destinations after shipping your car from the US to Germany are:
    • The Hague
    • Utrecht
    • Eindhoven
    • Tilburg
    • Groningen
    • Breda
    • Apeldoorn
    • Nijmegen

*Please note that when door delivery is requested, the vehicle will be delivered to the closest customs house where you will be required to pick up the vehicle to present the required clearing documents to customs before your vehicle can be released to you.

Vehicle Shipping Options for Shipping a Car from the USA to The Netherlands

Trans Global offers several vehicle shipping methods to our customers. Which one best works for you depends on several factors: where your vehicle is located in the USA, where in The Netherlands you want it shipped to, how quickly you need your vehicle in The Netherlands, the age and value of the vehicle, and budget.

1. Roll On/Roll Off (RORO)—These vessels act as large parking garages on the water. Your vehicle is driven into the belly of the ship via a large ramp and secured to the deck, protected from the outside elements.


  • RORO offers very competitive rates
  • RORO sometimes has a quicker transit time than container


  • Vehicles must be in good running condition. As car collectors know, this may not always be feasible with classic cars, which is why we suggest classic cars ship in containers.
  • You are not allowed to store any items or personal luggage in the vehicle. Anything found in the vehicles is disposed of by the receiving terminal.


2. Shared Container Shipping—In shared container shipping, your vehicle is shipped together with other vehicles in a container. All fees are shared between all the people using the container, such as terminal handling charges, loading / unloading charges, and trucking of the container to and from the terminals.


  • Poor running or non-running vehicles are be shipped in containers
  • You can store items in the vehicle


  • Transit time can be a bit longer than RORO since the container can only depart once it has a full load.

3. Dedicated Container Shipping—This is similar to the Shared Container method except that your vehicle is the only one in the container. This is typically used if the customer needs the vehicle in a hurry or if it’s shipping to a location where we do not offer container consolidations.


  • Offers the fastest service available, besides air freight
  • You can store items in the vehicle


  • Higher cost than RORO and Shared Container Shipping

4. Air Freight—One of the most expensive and least used shipping methods. Typically used for high end collector vehicles or time sensitive shipments


  • Quickest service available


  • Most expensive service available

Preparing Your Vehicle for Shipment

Prior to shipping a car or other vehicle from the USA to The Netherlands, it’s important you perform the following items to avoid additional fees or being turned away by the terminals:

  • Ensure your vehicle is clean inside and out (including undercarriage)
  • Vehicle must be clean of foreign soil or invasive plants and animals
  • Check that your car has less than a quarter tank of fuel
  • Remove all Non-Factory installed items (applies for RORO shipments only)
  • Remove license plates
  • Any aftermarket alarm system must be disengaged prior to shipment when possible

Additional Services When Shipping a Car from the USA to the Netherlands

Trans Global Auto Logistics offers the below additional services:

  • Inland Transport within the USA and The Netherlands – Trans Global arranges road transport anywhere in the USA to the terminal and also to any city within The Netherlands or the EU.
  • Marine Insurance – According to the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA), liability is limited to $500 per shipment. Marine Insurance is always strongly recommended by Trans Global to ensure your vehicle is covered for any damages or loss. All shipping quotes given by Trans Global will list the cost of this optional service.
  • 3rd party vehicle purchase inspections – For those looking to purchase a vehicle online from the USA and want a peace of mind knowing the vehicle is as advertised.
  • Escrow Service – For clients that don’t feel comfortable sending funds directly to a USA online seller or when a seller isn’t comfortable providing their banking details to someone overseas, we offer this service to act as a liaison between the buyer and the seller for your peace of mind and security.
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