- Shipping to Africa
- Shipping from Africa
By clicking on the tabs above, you can read auto transport reviews from major shipping companies in Africa to see the services offered by each company, read testimonials from their customers, and compare quotes side-by-side instantly. In addition, you can get detailed information about shipping to Africa or get professional advice for shipping from Africa to the United States or elsewhere in the world.
Popular Languages Spoken
Africa has, literally, several thousand varieties of spoken languages. Since Africa is a huge continent with a diverse culture, it can be difficult to communicate with some of its residents. However, the languages listed to the right are particularly well known in many regions.
CarShipping.com works with many of the best African auto transport companies, who are recommended for vehicle shipping, freight and personal moving services. Review each Africa moving company and compare multiple quotes when you’re ready.
Travel Warnings & Advisories When Shipping
Africa is an amazing continent with abundant wildlife and ancient artifacts and culture. However, political unrest, violent crime, and terrorism in several countries in the region has resulted in US travel warnings to the following countries:
Central African Republic
Republic of South Sudan
→ Show More Countries & Travel Warnings
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Reviews of Africa International Shipping Companies
Understanding Import and Export Regulations
Whether you are importing a car from Africa or exporting to an African nation, you will need to be prepared to deal with a lot of customs formalities and import regulations. For example, different countries in Africa have different documentation requirements for importing cars from the US. Countries such as Angola, The Republic of Congo, Senegal and Nigeria require you to obtain special import certificates or licenses, called Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) or Attestation de reservation de Calle’ (ARC), from the port of origin. Countries such as Ghana and Equatorial Guinea do not require such certificates.
Knowing What Is Permitted
Similarly, some African countries drive on the left-hand side of the road, and will only let you import cars that have steering wheels on the right-hand side of the vehicle. The import duties charged by the different countries in Africa also vary widely, with some countries, such as Tunisia, charging less than 18 percent, while others, such as Morocco, charge a 45 percent tax. Most Africa international shipping companies will be familiar with such rules and will be able to help you prepare the documentation needed to import a car.
US Safety and Emissions Requirements
Meanwhile, those importing cars to the US have a whole separate set of issues they need to deal with. The US prohibits the import of any vehicle that does not meet US safety and emissions standards. If your vehicle fails to pass the safety or emissions tests, you will be given 45 days to bring the vehicle into compliance. In the interim, you have to deposit a bond amounting to 150 percent of the value of the vehicle. If you do not bring your car into compliance within 45 days, you forfeit the deposit.
Shipping Cars to or from Africa
Africa international shipping companies can help you navigate through such formalities more easily. They will pick up your car from its port of origin and transport it over sea in either a Roll on Roll Off (RoRo) carrier or on a container ship. With RoRo carriers, cars are driven onto the ship at the port of origin, and driven off the ship at the destination port. With container shipping, your car will be loaded in a container before it is transported.
Shipping companies will require you to hand them a copy of your title, license, registration, and other documents at the port of origin. In most cases, you will need to arrive at your destination before your car arrives in order to clear it through customs. You will require your bill of lading, original title, bill of sale and emissions record when clearing customs. In case you are unable to arrive before your car does, you can ask your shipping company to forward your car to a bonded customs warehouse, from where you can pick it up later. Africa international shipping companies are familiar with the numerous formalities that exist in importing or exporting a car from Africa, and can help play a vital role in getting your car to where you want it delivered.
Different Import Rules and Regulations
Many countries in Africa have differing rules relating to vehicle imports and it can be very difficult to keep current on all the requirements. If you are planning to ship a car to Africa, your best bet would be to hire a shipping company that specializes in importing cars to the continent.
Container and RoRo shipping
The actual method used to ship a car to Africa from the United States is not very different from how cars are shipped around the world. Your car will be transported via sea either on a Roll on Roll off (RoRo) basis or in a container. With container shipping, your car will be stored in either a 20′ container or a 40′ container and transported via ship to its destination.
With RoRo shipping, you car will be driven on board the transport ship and secured within an allotted parking space on the vessel and transported to its destination where it will then be driven off the ship. Both methods have their merits and their disadvantages. RoRo shipping is more economical, but, with a container, you can transport several household goods along with your car.
The key to importing a car to Africa is to understand that no two countries in the area have the exact same rules.
Bill of Lading, Loading Certificates
Many African countries including Angola, Cameroon, Nigeria and The Republic of Congo require you to obtain either a Bordereau de Suivi Cargaison (BSC), Cargo Tracking Note (CTN), or Attestation de reservation de Calle’ (ARC) certificate from the port of origin. These are basically loading certificates/import licenses/waivers that are required to import a car to Africa. Several other countries, including Ghana, Gambia, Mauritania and Sierra Leone need no such certificate.
Different Import Tariffs
Different countries have different import tariffs. So, when you import a car to Africa you need to know exactly what you will be expected to pay in the country of your destination. For example, Morocco has a flat 45 percent import duty, a 12.5 percent sales tax and a value added tax based on engine size. South Africa’s car import tariffs range from 20 percent to 32 percent, while Tunisia has a flat 17.5 percent tax.
Restrictions on Vehicle Types
When importing a car to Africa, you also need to be aware of restrictions on the kinds of vehicles you can import into different countries. For instance, Ghana does not permit import of vehicles that are older than 10 years, Tunisia does not permit import of any vehicle over 3 years old, while Zimbabwe only permits vehicles that are four years old or newer.
Left Hand Drive Countries
Be aware also that many African nations, such as Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Botswana, drive on the left hand side of the road. These countries will only let you import vehicles that have steering wheels on the right hand side of the vehicle. Often, such intricacies can been too complex to keep track of, which is why it is best to hire a transporter that is specialized in serving African nations when shipping a car to Africa.
Meeting Emissions Standards
When shipping a car from Africa, your first concern really should be about emissions standards. All cars that are shipped into the U.S. are subject to emissions testing by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or one of its agents. When you car arrives at a US port, it will be subject to a series of tests that can last for up to 14 hours. The cost of such testing is $1,000, which the importer will be expected to pay when they ship a car from Africa.
Complying with NHTSA Safety Requirements
In addition, when you import a car from Africa, it will be subject to a safety inspection by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The US allows you to import a car for personal use if it is 25 years old or less. However, the vehicle manufacturer will have to certify that your specific meets all federal vehicle safety requirements for restraints, bumpers, headlights and other safety features.
Rules for Non-Conforming Vehicles
If you car does not meet these requirements, you will still be allowed to import it as a non-conforming vehicle. However, you will be required to pay a bond amount totaling 150 percent of the value of the vehicle. This bond is in addition to the customs duties you will pay. You will then need to work with a Registered Importer (RI) to bring your car into compliance with US safety standards. If you don’t do it by a deadline, you forfeit your bond.
In general, when you ship a car from Africa, you can expect to pay an import duty of 2.5 percent of the value of the vehicle. This tariff applies regardless of whether you car is new or used, or if it is meant for personal or commercial use.
Other Items to Consider
Here are a few other items you need to keep in mind when shipping a car from Africa.
- The cost of bringing you car into compliance with U.S safety and emissions standards can be very high, so make sure that the car is truly worth importing.
- You will have to clear your car through US customs. Make sure to have the shipper’s bill of lading, foreign registration, title and original bill of sale. Ask your shipping company to let you know when your car will arrive at its destination so you can be prepared.
- You can use an Independent Commercial Importer to legally bring your car to the US. They will take care of all the customs formalities, as well as safety and emissions requirements. However, such services can be extremely expensive to use.
Importing a car from Africa can be a confusing, complicated and costly process, so carefully evaluate any decision to import a car and decide if it really is worth the effort.