How to Ship a Car to the US – Land Rover Defender Edition

The Land Rover Defender, an iconic off-road vehicle revered for its ruggedness and versatility, has garnered a global fanbase. If you’re considering bringing one from the UK to the United States, there are several important factors to consider, ranging from the 25-year age rule and ex-military status to galvanized chassis, oil leaks, shipping methods, and import duties. Below we will walk you through the entire process to ensure a smooth and successful importation.

Understanding the 25-Year Age Rule:

To ship a car to the United States, vehicles must be at least 25 years old to be imported without complying with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). The Land Rover Defender, having been produced in various models for decades, often meets this requirement.

Considering Ex-Military Vehicles:

If your Land Rover Defender has a military history, additional considerations may come into play. Certain modifications and historical documentation might be required for successful importation, this is also important to consider for other vehicles before proceeding to ship a car.

Securing a SIEL License if required:

A Standard Individual Export License (SIEL) from the UK’s Department for International Trade may be necessary, especially if your Defender falls under military or strategic goods categories. Ensure compliance with export regulations before deciding to ship a car of ex-military status.

Inspecting the Galvanized Chassis:

Defenders with galvanized chassis are less susceptible to rust, a common issue with older models. Before deciding to ship a car, thoroughly inspect and document the condition of the chassis to avoid potential disputes during the import process. Modifications to the chassis could result in the vehicle being seized by the US border force and you may have to ship the vehicle back to its origin at your cost! Therefore, it is crucial to disclose any modifications to your freight forwarding agent when you ship a car.

Addressing Oil Leaks:

Oil leaks can be common in older Defenders. Prior to shipping, conduct a comprehensive inspection, addressing any leaks and ensuring the vehicle meets environmental and safety standards. To ship a car on a RORO vessel, the vehicle must be mechanically sound and have no oils leaks. Failure to do so may result in the vehicle being rejected from the Ocean Carrier.

Navigating Import Duty in the United States:

Import duties are imposed on vehicles entering the United States. Consult the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website for the latest duty rates and ensure compliance with all regulations to avoid delays and penalties. The value of the vehicle declared when you decide to ship a car will be used to determine the cost of the duties applicable.

Shipping a Land Rover Defender from the UK to the United States involves careful planning and adherence to various regulations. By understanding the 25-year age rule, considering ex-military status, obtaining the necessary licenses, inspecting key components, and choosing the right shipping method, you can enjoy the thrill of driving this iconic vehicle on American soil. Stay informed, follow the proper procedures, and embark on a journey to ship a car to the US today!

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