Online car auctions in the United States have led to a boom in people exporting used cars from the U.S. to other countries. In doing this, these exporters oftentimes find themselves grappling with shipping considerations and the number of options available. On a macrocosmic level, these shipping choices often revolve around choosing between container shippers and those that offer something that's known as RORO shipping.
If you're unfamiliar, RORO shipping is a method by which a used (or new) vehicle will be rolled onto the ship at the port of departure and then rolled off at the arrival port, thus the name. The reason for interest in this shipping method is two-fold. First, it's obviously more convenient than having your car loaded into a container, and then that container being loaded and unloaded before the vehicle can be cleared at the arrival port...
But the biggest reason for interest in RORO shipping is the price. Involving significantly less labor and overhead than container shipping, RORO is much cheaper. Of course, the savings do come with a risk, as without the protection of a container a vehicle can become damaged in transit. But, this risk is incredibly minor.
Those savings are great, but they lead to a hidden reason that many may not consider when exporting used cars from the United States.
Import Duties and Taxes Calculated Based Upon CIF
In many countries around the world, customs agents will use the CIF value of an imported used vehicle to determine the duties and taxes that are due. What does CIF stand for? It stands for “Cost, Insurance, Freight” and reflects the total value of the vehicle (as assessed by customs) along with the cost of shipping and shipping insurance.
You can probably see where this is going. By opting to export your used vehicle from the United States via RORO shipping, you'd necessarily be saving yourself money on import duties and taxes if the country to which you're importing your vehicle uses the CIF value. In this way, RORO shipping can be said to have a hidden benefit that's definitely worth considering.
The Choice Is Yours!
Ultimately, you'll have to decide whether RORO is the right method for your used car and your particular situation. The minimal risks already mentioned aside, though, be sure you're keeping this hidden benefit in the back of your mind as you arrive at your shipping decision.
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