How to Ship Your goods from and to Abu Dhab

Shipping a car

In Features, Tips by Steven Kane

Getting started

So, you are moving to a new country, or possibly repatriating and you want to take your car/motorcycle/boat with you.  Where do you start? Firstly, is the idea even possible?

  • Research rules and regulations at the destination county. Is it possible to legally import the vehicle?
  • There may be very high import duties and taxes levied on the vehicle. Have you budgeted for this?
  • Is any modification required? Can this be done upon arrival?
  • Are there any restrictions relating to engine size, age of vehicle, right hand/left hand drive?

Logistics and Costs

Assuming the points covered above present no obstacles, you can move on to logistics and costs. In some cases you will have an option of including the vehicle in the same container as you personal effects and household goods. This can help minimise costs, but avoid loading items, in/on or around the vehicle (especially a car), as this will increase the likelihood of damage and may invalidate your insurance cover. Generally it is a good idea to load the vehicle nearest the doors of the container, allowing easy access for customs personal to conduct inspections and checks.

There are other tips we would highly recommend relating to transit and logistics

  • Ensure you posses the correct documentation, this can include registration documents, commercial invoices and probably some form of de-registration export certificate at origin.
  • If you decide to clean the vehicle then make sure this is done at least 48 hours prior to shipping. This applies particularly to the vehicles interior in order to avoid atmospheric risks such as mold and mildew
  • Ship the vehicle with a minimal amount of fuel. Certain countries and shipping lines may insist on the fuel tank being completely empty. Make sure you plan for this.
  • If possible make sure you are physically present at the time of loading and unloading the vehicle (see more information below)take lots of photos.
  • Make certain you are fully aware of the terms and conditions of the transit insurance policy. In certain cases, the cover is restricted and you may prefer a more comprehensive policy.

Talk to your mover about the logistics of loading the vehicle. If the likely event the vehicle is not loaded at your residence, ask them to provide details of how the vehicle will be transported to the loading point and also a time frame so you can be physically present or have an authorised representative on site.

Whilst offering the safest form of shipping, containerised goods are subject to perils during transit. It is vital to restrict movement of the vehicle by blocking the wheels with wood. In addition the vehicle should be tethered to hooks in the container using professional tension/ratchet straps.

Exporting a vehicle form the UAE

If you are exporting your vehicle from the UAE it is vital you obtain the export certificate from the traffic directorate/transport department. There are numerous branches dotted around Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other major cities Click here for map. This is an extremely important document, if you lose it you may have to wait 2 weeks to get a replacement. You will be asked to surrender your UAE license plate but you will be issued with blue export plates. You also have to settle any unpaid fines.

Useful Links

Car dimensions

Importing a vehicle to the UK

Importing a vehicle to the US

Importing a vehicle to Canada

Importing a vehicle to Australia