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 USA and Canada

The Import of Used cars from Europe to North America will cause several problems:

Cars made for the European market generally do not conform with U.S. / Canadian safety, bumper and emission standards. Therefor the cars must be converted when imported to these countries. The conversion work can not be done in Europe, and there are only a few importers and workshops in the U.S. that are specialized in and, most important, certified for the conversion of imported cars. However, the conversion work is different for every make and model.

Sometimes US citizens fly to Germany for vacation and find a nice M3, M5, Porsche or AMG. They buy it and have it shipped home. But the US customs don´t let the car in. They have to send the car back to Europe and lose a lot money... Make sure you learn all about importing cars to US before you buy your dreamcar! Call your customs office for more details.

More information on importing used cars to USA and Canada, can be found on the following links:






US Government agencies use a lot of acronyms. Here is a list of some of the most common acronyms:



Used vehicles acquired in foreign countries other than the U.S.are not designed, built, tested and certified to meet the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. However, it is possible to import cars that are older than 15 years to Canada without any conversion! Please use this link if you would like more information:


15 y.o. cars: Canadians seem to love older Volkswagen T3 or T4 Doublecab (DOKA), older Toyota Landcruiser (BJ; FJ ), VW LT, Mercedes G-Model (Gelandewagen), Westfalia campervan and Unimog. All must be Diesel.

...some abbreviations:

DOT: The Department of Transportation, but could also be the Department of the Treasury, the agency responsible for the US Customs Service.

EPA: Environmental Protection Agency. Insures the vehicle meets current US exhaust emissions requirements.

NHTSA: National Highway, Traffic & Motor Vehicle Safety Agency. Insures the vehicle meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety, Bumper, Theft Prevention and other Standards.

RI: Registered Importer. The job of the DOT registered importer is to modify foreign vehicles to confirm to DOT standards. The process costs money and takes time.

ICI: Independent Commercial Importer. EPA maintains a list.

CFR: Code of Federal Regulations. US laws governing Importation of Vehicles, Registered Importers, and more.

IRS: Internal Revenue Service. Insures that all taxes are paid.

FMVSS: Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The imported vehicle must meet all the US safety standards.


Shipment to Canada:

Car carriers go from Bremerhaven to many North American ports. That are special designed auto transport ships for roll on / roll off transports. Cars must go through a German customs inspection first. After that your shipping agent will let you know where to drop the car at the freeport area.

Important: Every car has to be steamcleaned before you deliver it to the port! That is to avoid bringing in seeds or bugs from Europe to your country. Canadion customs will do a kind of agriculture inspection on used cars.

Your car must be completely unlodaed. Trunk and inside must be empty. No other goods, no personal things are allowed to go with the car!

A shipping rate will not include the handling charges in Canada. There will be port handling charges, agent fees, CFIA fee, maybe others... Depending on the size of your car, van or truck the shipping rate from Bremerhaven to Halifax will be approx. Euro 1.200 to Euro 1800. The Canadian port charges are approx. CAD 250 per vehicle. 

If you want to drive your car to the Bremerhaven port yourself, you will need temporary plates. Here is some information about that:



If you need further information or assistance please contact me by email or just call....


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