U.S. Export Documentation Requirements

Planning to export a vehicle from the USA? Learning about the U.S. customs clearance process ahead of time is the key to success.

To help you get started, we have prepared an exporting compliance checklist of the various export documentation you will need in order to complete a successful export.

The process we will describe here applies to “titled” cargo; i.e.,your car, boat, or another vehicle that has a title. The export process for titled cargo centers largely around paperwork. Preparing the proper documentation is a time-consuming process, but you can’t ship your vehicle without it.

  • Tip: Start early! Both the vehicle and the export documentation should appear before customs a minimum of 72 hours before exporting occurs, but we recommend you get these matters settled weeks or months ahead of time, so that if any complications arise you will have time to deal with them.

U.S. Customs Clearance Process: Documents Required for Shipment from the U.S.

First and foremost, the U.S. customs clearance process begins with proof of ownership. Most of the export documentation you will need has to do with the ownership of your vehicle, since any issues that arise with the vehicle during export are typically the responsibility of the owner.

Original Copy of the Title

For automobiles and other vehicles, proof of ownership means the original (i.e., not a copy) vehicle title. If the car is brand new from the factory and there is no title, then the vehicle needs to be accompanied by the original copy of the Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin.

If the Vehicle Has a Lien

When there’s a lien involved on the car or boat, exporting vehicles from the USA becomes a bit more complicated. You have to supply an original letter, written by the lien holder, stating that they authorize the shipment. The letter should be notarized. You will also need a certified Vehicle Information Report document from the DMV. Lastly, you need to acquire a notarized copy of the car title from the original lien holder.

USPPI Documentation

It’s necessary to identify the United States Principal Party in Interest, or USPPI, as well. The USPPI is the person who benefits from the export. This comes with a more detailed exporting compliance checklist, which includes the following export documentation:

  • A copy of your passport or Employer Identification Number;
  • A bill of sale if the title is not in your name;
  • For military service members and DOD civilians, a copy of PCS / Travel Orders and amendments, and a copy of the Vehicle Registration;
  • A Power of Attorney authorization giving Trans Global permission to process your automobile shipment;
  • For a car that isn’t in your name, a Power of Attorney or authorization originating from the vehicle’s owner that gives authorization for shipment.

Getting the Paperwork Under Control Makes All the Difference

We hope this exporting compliance checklist helps you get started on putting your export documentation together.

As we mentioned, to make the export process go as smoothly as possible you should pull together all of the required export documentation needed to ship your vehicle long before the pick-up date. You’ll be much better off if you know as much as possible about exporting vehicles from the USA well in advance of presenting your vehicle at U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

With your added knowledge, you can send your classic car, motorcycle, or RV to points all around the globe with a minimum of hassle. Maybe you’re moving for good, or perhaps you’re taking a long holiday and you want your vehicle with you. Military service members might want to have their personal vehicles on base with them.

Let Trans Global Guide You

Exporting vehicles from the USA doesn’t have to be a hassle! No matter the situation, Trans Global Auto Logistics is here to get you ready for transit. Let us help you with the U.S. customs clearance process. We’ll put our 30+ years of experience to work to help you handle the paperwork, choose the best shipping method, and arrange the details of your vehicle drop-off and pick-up.

Contact Trans Global Auto Logistics for more questions on export documentation, or with any other questions or needs about your upcoming export.

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