Air Freight Questions: I Bought A Car in Germany! How To Export?



SUPATH
International Air Freight Consultant

You came to Germany on a holiday and fell in love with a car and cannot part with it! What is the solution? Export the vehicle using air freight mode! This is inseparably connected with red tape and papers are needed. A customs inspection is inevitable.

You need a freight forwarder who can handle the export. However, before you approach an air freight agent, follow the steps below.

Two important factors should be examined before thinking further.

  1. What is the total value of the car? This will be mentioned  in your commercial invoice
  2. What is the total weight of the car?

If the total value of the car is below 1000 EUR and the weight of the car is less than 1000 Kg, an export declaration is not required. The commercial invoice can be presented as the export document. This is officially called the verbal customs declaration.  In all the other cases an export declaration is mandatory. The European Economic Council regulation 2454/93 stipulates this in article 787. This outlines and defines the provision for implementing the regulation 2913/92. If you are  interested  the details, you can read the lengthy document  here. See page 328

Here is a list for you. This not complete but it will give you a rough idea of what you have to do before successfully exporting your car. Air freight is not as complicated as people think.

Ask for a commercial invoice stating the details of the car (Petrol, diesel, chassis number, weight etc.)

Get an Export Licence Plate from the vehicle registration office. Your dealer should guide you

See that you have the international vehicle certificate

Get the weight and dimension of the vehicle. The freight forwarder cannot do anything without these two factors

The tank should be emptied completely and may not contain any fuel

Do not be surprised: A vehicle is classified under DGR (Dangerous Goods Regulations) as Class 9 and a dangerous goods statement called Shipper’s Declaration is necessary. A freight forwarder can get this done through a certified company. Dangerous Goods Regulations in air freight are very strict and paying attention to details will save you a delays and cost.

The freight forwarder will need the commercial invoice and papers of the car to send an electronic export declaration to the customs office

The freight forwarding company will be in able to tell you about further steps : customs inspection, transportation to airport etc.

A copy of  the Shipper’s Declaration will be and must be visibly affixed on the outside of the car. This must be done before the vehicle is delivered to the airline.

The freight forwarder will send the Export Declaration electronically to the airport customs office as the last step in the export process.

There will be a delay of a minimum of 30 minutes for the customs to return the Export Declaration.  This document will now carry a watermark showing export confirmation. This is for the shipper’s files as he must present it to the income tax department as part of his annual tax returns.

When the vehicle is delivered to the airline, the air way bill is tendered with it and you can demand a copy of the House Bill, if the master bill is consigned to a freight agent at the airport of destination. If there is no agent involved and the way bill is addressed directly to you as consignee, it is called an IATA air way bill.

Email all the documents including the air way bill to your broker, at the airport of destination,  for customs clearance.

Remember: The airline reserves the right to fly your consignment on a flight other than the booked one.

If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch

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Author: surenpillai

Experienced freight forwarder. Managed freight movements across all the continents. Highlights were the technology roadshows (EMEA) and Trade Lane Management India. All the above combined with Customer Relationship Management, foreign agent management, dedicated key account management. Previous experience as a teacher of English. Member of the Queen's English Society