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duty on american cars

Posted by coulsdon - Created: 14 years ago
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5 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 5)

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Posted by michael and kate - 14 years ago

Hey Coulsdon - sorry to lag getting back on this.


I used a company called RJJ Freight, in Felixtowe (Jamie Richardson 00 44 1375 841 061) to do the shipping, and a French agent in Le Havre to clear the car into France.

The actual shipping was 479.99 GBP, insurance, US port handling France port handling, paperwork and broker fees were another 256 GBP. I drove the car to the Port (Charleston).  They have BMW and Honda plants there so ship a LOT of cars to Europe from there. They are typically dedicated car carriers as well, so the car is inside, out of the weather.

On a declared value of 1750 USD, plus the above, the total paid for dedouannement (duties) was 470 EUR. (ATT ph. 02 35 11 35 33, Le Havre)

Then you pitch up at the Port to pick up the car.  I had mine delivered on a flatbed to cannes for another 450.  Extravagant, but Le Havre by train, taxi to port, French Lunch Hours et al - it's a no brainer really.

Good luck - and btw, what are you buying - anything good?

Cheers aye,



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Posted by coulsdon - 14 years ago

Michael, how much shipping did you actually pay, or is that included in the 1000 dollars for agents etc. I have just had a quote for a pick-up from jacksonville florida to le havre for 2450 us dollars which I think is a lot????Please let me know and thanks to you and St George for all the help. Regards

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Posted by stgeorge-182529 - 14 years ago

coulsdon !

Jean Pierre CORNU , the local Expert on Automobiles de Collection will advise you what to do or who to contact if he can't handle the dossier personally. The American Car Centre up the RN202 ( Route de Digne ) can also assist .I have e-mailed his contact Nos. separately.


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Posted by michael and kate - 14 years ago

I imported an MGB from South Carolina about 18 mos ago.

I paid a reduced TVA of about 10% because the car is a, ahem, "collector's car".

For anything modern you will have to pay TVA on;

the actual value of the car, (to be debated if not a car available here-invoice price usually)the cost of the freight and insurance.

I drove the car to the docks in Charleston, and picked it up in Le Havre, minus everything that wasn't physically bolted or welded to the car.  So don't bother being clever like me and leave the jack, spare, tonneau cover, spares etc in the car to save hassle.  Maybe I should have locked the boot.

You will also need an agent to deal with customs and  paperwork.  I have an old invoice I can dig out, but from memory I paid about 1000 US for agency fees, TVA, customs clearance, etc on a car that was declared at about 2500 US.  Seems a lot proportionally, but these cars are SO cheap there that it pays nonetheless.

It's definitely worth doing if you have time to let it all happen.  The whole deal took about 8 to 10 weeks, which I think is longer than average. Certainly longer than discussed with the shipping contractors.

Then there's the Controle Technique, which can be challenging, but I did run the MG around on home made South Carolina plates for a year, so the law are pretty cool about the small stuff. I did offer up documents once, after the ink on the plates ran in the rain, but the sheer volume of paper made his eyes glaze over.  You are allowed SOME time to sort everything out, but not an indefinite amount.

The most fun of all was the shopping.  Anybody want an MGB? I fancy a TR250!




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Posted by coulsdon - 14 years ago

Surely the great St George can help me out with this!!!