Many overseas riders are taking advantage of the weak US Dollar and buying US based bikes. This is a win/win for everyone. Private sellers and dealers in the US are moving units, and bike lovers around the globe are realizing great discounts. However, purchasing the bike is simply the initial step. The next step is finding a good/affordable way to ship the bike overseas. To maintain a seamless process, it is critical that a diligent and experienced facilitator be used. The facilitator will do the following: 1.) help seller ready the bike for international travel, 2.) take care of ground transportation to a US port, 3.) take care of all necessary payments and paperwork with the overseas freight forwarder, 4.) and keep the buyer in the loop on all activity, as well as help them understand how to get the bike through customs (obtain broker) at the destination country.
Unless there is extreme urgency in receiving the bike, ocean freight is the easiest and most cost effective way to move the bike overseas. The only downside is transit time. Shipping by plane takes 1-2 days. Shipping by boat could take 3-4 weeks. Regarding cost, you will typically save over $1,000 USD choosing a boat instead of a plane.
While it is mandatory to crate the bike for air travel, a bike can ship by boat either loose or crated. Because of travel time and excessive handling, it is recommended that the bike be crated when traveling by boat. To save money, most motorcycle dealers will crate the bike for a nominal fee. If buying from a private seller, you will have to pay the ground carrier or international freight forwarder $400 - $500 to crate the bike. Before crating the bike, it must be prepped for overseas travel – this means draining the hazardous fluids to an acceptable level and disconnecting the battery.
To calculate the ocean freight rate, which is based on weight and volume, the freight forwarder will need the following: total crate weight and crate dimensions (LxWxH). Another cost is marine insurance. Standard coverage (no extra charge) is $500/package. Extra marine insurance is based on the value of the bike. The multiplier depends on the shipping lines insurance coverage and will be 1-2% of the bike’s declared value. There is no deductible.
Important Note on insurance (depends on carrier’s coverage): Marine insurance for partial and total loss can be obtained for bikes < 12 years old. For bikes > 12 years old you can only purchase FPA (free of particular average) coverage. This coverage only covers total loss, and a deductible ($250 - $500) will apply.
All paperwork must be received by the freight forwarder at least 7 days prior to the vessels launch date, and all freight payments must be made at least 72 hours prior to the vessels launch date.
Once the bike has been successfully booked on a vessel, the paperwork will be sent to a broker in the destination country. It will be up to the buyer to obtain a broker. The broker will get the bike through customs. Duty and admin/handling fees will apply. Fees typically range from $150 - $200 USD.
Breakdown of shipping fees incurred by bike buyer:
ü Job Facilitator/Broker admin
ü Ground Transport
ü Freight Forwarder admin
ü Air/Ocean Freight
ü Added Insurance
ü Broker/Duty of destination country
ü Package Handling of destination port