In our last how-to guide we covered how to import a car into the UAE, but what about the other way round? Whether it’s a GCC country or 8,000 miles away, we’re here to help you out once again with a simple guide on how to export a vehicle out of the UAE. If you’re buying a car through a dealer, they will know the exact procedure for exporting and can help you source a shipping company or recovery vehicle.
If you already own the vehicle, first of all, it’s necessary to have the Roads and Transport Authority check the vehicle to make sure its road legal and safe to drive. Once they are happy with what they see, an export certificate and export plates will be given. Both of these are necessary for exporting the vehicle.
Paperwork and equipment required for shipping to any country unless stated otherwise:
- Police paper about the vehicle.
- Vehicle Clearance Certificate.
- Insurance documents.
- Passport (copies are a must).
- Visa in the UAE.
- Visa in the country you are shipping to (unless a citizen of that country).
- Destination address with at least two working contact numbers.
- Bill of shipping and landing. Applicable for sea and air transportation only. May be required for recovery truck delivery.
The RTA has eased the process as customers looking to obtain an export certificate can now do so online as well as via service providers and via the phone.
Documents for registration via an online portal for individuals
- Vehicle’s documents: Vehicle Clearance Certificate (VCC) or transfer certificate or possession certificate or ownership certificate or possession transfer certificate.
- Orignal Emirates ID.
- Vehicle technical inspection )in case of an expired license or non-licensed vehicle.
Exporting a new car into GCC countries, the customer must pay a duty fee (5% of the value of the car in GCC countries).
Exporting a used car into GCC countries there is no 5% duty fee to pay.
Exporting cars to non-GCC countries have different duty fees to pay and can vary from the size of the vehicle to what engine is under the bonnet.
If you’re exporting a car to Europe or any other part of the world not mentioned, check with the RTA and local authorities in the respected country beforehand.
A residency visa in the UAE is not required to export a car out of the UAE, you can export a vehicle with only a tourist visa.
As for moving your vehicle from country to country, there are few options to choose from:
- Sea: Cheapest option and preferred by most will be delivered to the nearest port of choice. Can be done via container or Roll On Roll Off (RoRo) ship.
- Air: Vehicles are strapped down in order not to shuffle around while being flown to its destination. Safest and fastest way to do it, but most expensive.
- Land 1: Recovery vehicles or trucks can move your vehicle from country to country if borders are easy to cross
- Land 2: You can drive the vehicle yourself. Recommended for GCC countries such as Oman and Saudi Arabia, not recommended for the US or the UK.
Shipping by sea or air, it’s best to get insurance for the vehicle incase of any problems.
If you choose to use a recovery vehicle for delivery, it’s mandatory to inform the RTA of which company you are using, and a representative of that company must be present at the border crossing.
As driving the vehicle to a nearby country such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain or Oman is an option; the journey must be done within 14 days of receiving export plates from the RTA. Make note, the vehicle must be insured, and you must be a resident of one of those countries.
Note, if you are shipping out of any port in the UAE a passport copy of the owner is required to enter the port.
Bear in mind that every country has their own separate rules for importing and depending on the location alterations may have to be made, for example, if you export a vehicle to the United States bumpers, daytime running lights and headlights have to be modified, to comply with road rules.
Below are certain regulations you’ll have to note before exporting
Exporting to Saudi Arabia
- No vehicle over five years can be imported.
- The vehicle must not have been used as a taxi or police car.
- Steering wheel must be mounted on the left-hand side. If the vehicle was originally right-hand drive and converted to the left, it is not allowed into Saudi Arabia.
- Importing a 4X4, the customer must prove that their family lives in Saudi Arabia.
- Vehicles with more than five seats are classified as commercial vehicles and can only be registered by a company, not an individual.
- Accident vehicles are not allowed either.
Exporting to Oman
- Vehicle must not be older than seven years.
- Steering wheel must be on the left-hand side of the vehicle.
- Omani nationals can import unlimited vehicles, non-Omani nationals over the age of 18 can import only one vehicle for private use.
Exporting to Bahrain
- Vehicle must be no older than five years.
- Left-hand drive vehicles only.
Exporting to Iran
- Export papers registered in the costumer’s name
- Valid ID of the vehicle
- RTA approval paper
Cars older than five years are not permitted to be imported, rear fog lamps or “Michigan lights” must be fitted.
Shipping to Iran is done via sea; shipping can take between three to four days depending on which port. Getting the vehicle to the shipping company in Dubai can be done in two ways, the first is to organise a recovery vehicle to pick up the car which costs 150 AED. They will take it to the shipping company, one of their staff take care of the rest. The second option is to deliver said car to the shipping company; this option requires the customer to have insurance and export plates provided by the RTA.
Exporting to America
- Vehicles must meet U.S Air pollution control standards, safety standards and bumper standards.
- Cars no older than 25 years can be imported unless prior approval has been granted
- Duty tax depends on the vehicle being imported: autos – 2.5%, trucks – 25% and motorcycles – 3 or 3.4%. This is based on the payable price or price paid for the vehicle.
- Cars and trucks must be left-hand drive.
Importers must fill out a Department Of Transportation (DOT) HS-7 form at the point of entry to ensure the vehicle complies with all US road rules.
The emission test cost $1,000, and certain vehicles are exempt from it: racing cars, classic automobiles built before January 1st 1968, vehicles with no engine and unregulated fuel vehicles.
Any vehicle being imported into the States must meet bumper standards. This includes classic’s before September 1st of November. Foreign registration documents are a must if the vehicle is used. U.S customs must be informed of the expected arrival date.
Make sure the vehicle being imported is clean including the undercarriage as no foreign soil is allowed, this is a safeguard to ensure no pests or other harmful contaminants make their way into the country. The vehicle must not be used to import any other objects. Vehicles with a larger fuel consumption of 22.5 miles to the gallon will incur a “gas-guzzling” tax.
More information can be found here.
Exporting to Great Britain
- Even though the UK drives on the right-hand-side, left-hand drive vehicles can be legally driven on the roads.
- Vehicles must conform with environmental and safety laws of the country. Some exceptions are permitted but will have to be approved first.
- If said vehicle is over ten years old, Drivers and License Agency in the United Kingdom must be informed beforehand for approval.
Before shipping off your vehicle, HM Revenue and Customs must be notified within 14 days of the vehicle’s arrival. An International Vehicle Approval will have to be conducted as well.
After arrival, owners must pay VAT, duty or tax on the vehicle before it’s released from the authorities. Once paid, vehicles must be registered and taxed.
If you are temporarily staying in the United Kingdom, you don’t have to get the vehicle registered or taxed unless you’re planning on staying for more than six months. For example, you can stay for a full six months in one go or individual shorter stays that equate to a six-month time period within a 12 month period. Vehicle must be registered in their country of origin. More information can be found here.