Car Shipping to Belgium
If you are relocating to Belgium and considering bringing your car, then you have come to the right place. Schumacher Cargo has specialized in shipping cars to Belgium since 1977.
Additionally, clients can get rates for their vehicle from anywhere in the U.S. which takes into consideration domestic transport with ocean freight costs using our services.
As there are many other questions you may have, the following information should help give you a better idea of the different options available to you, how much it will cost to ship your car, how long it will take, and what to expect from Belgian customs upon import.
Car Shipping to Belgium from the USA
We have over 35 years of experience handling all types of vehicles (not just passenger cars) and certain services will be better suited depending on the shipment.
For most personal autos, there are two common methods for international transport. They are as containerized cargo or roll-on roll-off.
In the U.S., you can find both of these types of services at most major ports depending on the car shipper.
The same goes for the receiving ports. Antwerp is one of the largest ports in Europe for containerized vehicle shipments and is also frequented by ro-ro vessels.
Ro-Ro vs. Container:
In most cases, for those wishing to ship a car to Belgium we recommend using a container. With this option, your car can either be shipped by itself in a 20ft or consolidated in a 40ft.
We're fully capable shipping a car using either of the two methods but the overall costs using a consolidated service like ours will be much cheaper versus a sole container.
Although Belgium is a busy market and we have multiple departures each month, the benefit of using your own container when possible will be be a quicker departure.
If you want to move a single vehicle or one that may not fit in a container, then ro-ro is also an option.
With ro-ro, cars are driven into a parking lot within the body of the vessel. It's not as protected and is more susceptible to the elements. However, for single autos rates can be lower.
Departure Ports for Containerized Autos
- Los Angeles
- New York
Departures for Roll On Roll Off
*Antwerp is the main arrival port for both services
Transport Costs and Time Frames
The exact cost to ship a car from the U.S. to Belgium varies. The size of the vehicle, which ocean freight method is used, domestic transport, destination fees in Antwerp, insurance and whether or not modifications need to be made all come into effect.
If you're looking at just shipping costs, the difference can be a upwards of $300 between compact vehicles and larger ones or east coast departure vs. west coast departure.
For this reason, the only way to truly give an accurate estimate is after we've gathered such information either after a phone consultation or using our quote form.
Also, time frames depend a lot on weather, U.S. departure ports and method of transport. For sail times, meaning time on the water, containers generally take between 3-5 weeks leaving from New York and 4-6 weeks from Los Angeles to Antwerp. These dates are always subject to change though.
Importing and Customs Information
Import duties for Belgium are similar in that they have an import duty on the value of the vehicle as well as a VAT.
The most common rate is 21%, however there are other applicable Belgian rates for imported motorcycles and larger vehicles.
There is also a 30% refundable tax for any tourists, both EU members and US, which is required to be paid after clearing customs.
Situations where this tax could be enforced might be if you moved to France, Germany, the Netherlands etc. via Belgium or want to visit for a pre-determined period less than the cut off length.
Refunds are made after one of two scenarios: The car has been registered within the EU or it has been shipped back to its origin country.
Documents that you'll need to present Belgian customs if you're handling clearance yourself include a valid ID or passport, original clear title, notarized bill of sale (not always) and dock receipt.
Shipping a Car to Belgium and Declaring Exemption
First you will need to fill out the application for exemption. You must submit documents to customs with the declaration and for that you will need:
- Proof that VAT or sales tax has been paid on the vehicle
- Proof of residence in foreign country with intent to reside in Belgium
- Documents of possession of the car for more than 6 months
- Title certificate, insurance policy
Registering Your Car
There are four main steps to obtaining registration and before you can drive on the roads, you'll have to get legal registration.
First, you will need to obtain a certificate stating all required modifications have been made on vehicle followed by a recurring mechanical inspection usually every six months.
After that you have to acquire insurance for the automobile. There are of course more intricate steps, but this is a general guide for the process.
4 Items Cars Must Always Have Inside
- Sealed fire extinguisher.
- No older than 5 years
- Capacity must correspond to size of vehicle
- Triangular danger signal
- A first aid kit
- Grey card (registration) and insurance certificate
Written by Damien Shields
For further information on any of above service options, please call and discuss your shipping needs with one of our Car Shipping Specialists
at: US Tel: 800 599-0190 // 562 408-6677