Personal Car Export to EU from USA Help

You’re correct, I used inexact language as there are no “International Standards”.

More correct would have been to say, “Some low production models intended for delivery to the US and mainland European market may have been designed and manufactured to meet both standards without further modification and are thus easier to import and register”.

But we agree on the main point, that for ANY car it’s not easy, cheap or a DIY job.

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I perfectly understand what You are saying, but You still miss the point. Even though the cars (any cars) are the same in any way, I still have to go to Toyota and have them to supply all the relevant certifications (and they will, no problem) as soon as the authorities see that the car is imported from outside of EU.
I’m darned sure that - apart from gadgets and what have you of non essential things - You and I are buying the same car. Toyota doesn’t have 2 or more assembly lines with regards to emission, crash tests and other safety standards, but I have to show up at the authorities with Toyota papers to prove it before they will consider it. That is not an issue if I by a car within the EU boarders.

As an example, the Lotus Super Seven has never been approved for registration in DK as they (Lotus) has not made it to comply with the Danish regulations. They can be registrered in some of the other EU countries. The Citroen 2CV got approved in DK, but not in Sweden. Alfa Romeo has had problems also in EU due to erratic brake problems with the 90 back in the eighties.

I bet there would also be huge duties to pay.

If buying wrecked late model MB/BMW/Audi/whatever cars in the US and shipping them to Europe was a money maker, there’d be hundreds of containers headed there as we speak. Not happening.


But that’s where my questions come because I remember reading about duty-free export/import if the car is for personal use rather than resale. I have been living in the EU for 8 years, but I have roots in the USA. Being forced to pay duties on importing one’s own car doesn’t make too much sense. But, in today’s screwy regulatory world, who knows!?

You can find general information on the various countries taxes/duties by Googling ““Name of Country” import tax on cars”.
Each country has their own process for cars coming from outside the EU but in general, none are cheap and for someone doing it for the first time and unfamiliar with it, not easy. And seemingly little things, like how long you owned the car or the placement of the VIN can cause problems and costs.

That’s not to say that you “can’t do it”, just that you need to completely understand how to do it or hire an expert, before you decide to do it.

So to quote one site. " If you are considering importing car to Denmark, let me say that you really, really do not want to do it if possible. It is very expensive, so unless you are just “madly in love with your vehicle”, I suggest selling it or putting it in storage until you return home".

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If that is correct, then it is a Polish regulation and has nothing to do with EU - or USA for that matter. The only place capable of giving You correct answers are the Polish equivalent of department of motorvehicles. They have all the answers You need or can guide You to the relevant authorities.

No matter what you read none of it will help you until you get actual information from some Polish agency that deals with this importing .
I agree with Texas , this whole idea is Nuts . Buying a damaged Mercedes sight unseen in the next town would be bad enough but another country , Good Grief.

I appreciate everyone’s .02

My friend here has a ton of cash and drives cars similar to the one I have mentioned above. It is rather more for him than for me. Nevertheless, thank you for your input, much appreciated.


If your friend has a lot of money then why is he making this such an ordeal by involving you in what appears to be a tax dodge plan.

We probably all have friends like that or as my wife calls it “my crazy friend…” but here’s a site that may be helpful

To quote (but I wouldn’t take it as Gospel)

#### Duty exemption is possible

If your personal motor vehicle is in used condition and six months old or more (or with more than 6,000 km on the odometer) - then duty-free importation is possible. In order to obtain this exemption, it’s required that you be moving your place of residence to Poland for at least six months. In addition, your vehicle must be registered (in your name) in your country of origin, before you ship it into Poland.

BUT this only applies to DUTY … NOT Excise or VAT which may still be very costly.

Still not a good idea but if your friend is “rolling in it” and needs some help relieving the burden, I’m sure many of the posters are willing to pitch in. How about a genuine, classic police cruiser for a fire sale price of only $20,000? :rofl: