An Emergency Stop: The Import Restrictions That Can Prevent Vehicles Moving Across Borders

The global automotive industry is a fragmented market. It’s also full of acronyms, regulations and other stipulations that can make it difficult to navigate if you’re not familiar with them.

To simplify the process of importing a vehicle into another country, we’ve compiled this list of key factors that determine whether or not it will be possible for you to import that vehicle successfully:


Vehicle Model Year

The model year of a vehicle is the year in which it was manufactured. For example, if you buy a brand new Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan in Germany and bring it home to Canada, there are no restrictions on your ability to import that car into your country – even though it’s technically still ‘new’ and under warranty!

However, not every country has such lenient rules when it comes to model years; some countries have restrictions on what types of vehicles can be imported into their borders. In general terms:


  • Some countries (e.g. Brazil) only allow vehicles up to one year old at time of importation.
  • Other countries may allow newer models but require proof that they were purchased overseas within six months prior (e.g. China). Again, here we see how important checking requirements ahead before purchasing anything abroad since even seemingly small details like these can make big differences when deciding whether or not a purchase makes financial sense.


Mileage Requirements

This is a restriction that applies to vehicles that have been driven more than 100,000 km (62,137 mi). If you’re importing a car with mileage that exceeds this limit, you’ll need an import permit from the country.


Import Documentation

  • Import permit: This is a document issued by the customs authority of the importing country. It confirms that you have permission to import your vehicle into that country and states how much tax you must pay on it, if any.
  • Import license: This is similar to an import permit in that it allows you to bring in your car, but it’s issued by another government agency (such as the Department of Transportation, for example). The license may also state other requirements that need to be met before bringing over your vehicle–for example, if there are environmental concerns about bringing foreign vehicles into their country or if there are safety standards for imports that need to be met by law.
  • Customs document: Your vehicle should come with one of these already attached when purchased new from an authorized dealer; however, if yours doesn’t have one yet then contact them immediately because this could cause problems when crossing borders! This document includes information such as serial number(s), VIN number(s), chassis number(s) etc., which helps identify each individual unit produced by its manufacturer during production runs, so that they can easily track down any issues or recalls to those particular makes/models sold.


Special Permit Requirements

Import permits are required for some countries, vehicles, and models. In some cases, you may need an import permit even if your vehicle is not subject to a quota system or taxes. For example:


  • A special permit might be needed if your car has more than one colour.
  • You may also need an import license if the engine size is above a certain level (e.g. 3 litres).


The good news is that if you’re struggling to deal with the vehicle import restrictions of a particular country, there will almost certainly be businesses who can help you to successfully navigate the requirements and get your vehicle onto those foreign roads.

For example, motorists who are trying to import foreign vehicles into Hungary could contact Autougyintezes and task them with handling the job.


Setting The Wheels In Motion

Overall, there are several factors that determine if you can import a vehicle into a foreign country successfully. Hopefully, this article has helped you to better understand them, and given you some idea of how to overcome the challenges.