Options open to you
Motorcycle shipping options are more extensive and generally more cost effective than those available to the owners of other types of vehicles. The main reason for this is that motorcycles are generally a lot smaller than other vehicles and are therefore easier to store and transport.
Listed below are some of the questions most frequently asked by individuals looking to ship their motorcycles to international and overseas destinations:
What options do I have in regard to available types of transport?
Unlike other vehicles, motorcycles may be shipped with other personal items provided that you are shipping a full container load (FCL) of goods. Motorcycles may not however under any circumstances be shipped with other goods in a less than container load shipment (LCL).
If you are only shipping a motorcycle, then it will usually either be placed in a closed container with other bikes or it will be braced on a special ship designed specifically to transport motorcycles, similar to the roll on roll of shipment method used for cars. If you are pressed for time and are willing to spend slightly more, then you can arrange to have your bike shipped by air which takes a couple of days as opposed to a couple of weeks.
How can I protect my bike from damage during transit?
Motorcycle companies are usually extremely careful with shipments due to the fact that they like to avoid insurance pay outs at all costs. Most also keep photographic evidence of the state of the bike before it has been loaded, after it has been loaded, before it is unloaded and after it has been unloaded. This is so that they can keep track of any damage that has been done and can pinpoint precisely when it occurred. If you are given an option by your shipping company it is always advisable to opt for all-risk insurance coverage even if it costs you slightly more. This kind of coverage will protect you should any damage whatsoever occur from the moment your bike leaves your hands to the moment you take delivery of it once again
Are there any steps I should take to prepare my bike for shipment?
As a general rule, motorcycles need only be clean and completely void of any additional items or accessories prior to shipment. Any required emission, safety and roadworthy tests should be conducted at least six weeks prior to shipment. If you want to take additional steps to protect your bike from small scratches and bumps, it is a good idea to also coat it with a thick layer of wax and cover it with a specialized bike cover before it is collected and loaded for shipment.
How will my bike be cleared through customs?
Most major motorcycle shipping companies have agents who will clear your motorcycle through customs for you for an additional fee. If you elect to clear your bike through customs yourself then you will need to find out from a local embassy or consulate what documents you will need to clear your bike through customs. You will then need to ensure that you fax all the necessary documents to the port of destination in advance. Examples of documents you are likely to need include your passport, the original title slip and sales invoice for your bike as well as a shippers bill of lading.
Will I need to pay import duty taxes when my bike arrives at its destination?
Unless your motorcycle has been manufactured in the country that you are exporting it to, you will more than likely need to pay a duty tax to get it through customs. Duty taxes are calculated according to the price that you originally paid for the motorcycle. As a general rule, duty taxes imposed for the importation of motorcycles are ever so slightly steeper than those imposed to import cars.