So as per a previous thread, I did go through with the process and I'm now in possession of a nearly new Mercedes ML. Anyone wanting to import a US or other spec car and needing a general idea of what to expect when it turns up in a container, please find below:
I'm assuming you have already found a credible shipper and a car in the US. If you need any advice on what I did for this part PM/email me.
Take a couple of copies of your Passport/Visa Page/Licence. Take them with you aswell incase you need more ;-)
You also need the Bill of Lading and invoice & ownership papers for the car.
Just before the car arrives
- Receive/Get a delivery order from the company who owns the container
- Get an invoice
When the car arrives/can be picked up
- You go to their offices wherever in Dubai and pay the documentation and release / container delivery charge.
Customs Jebel Ali Port (Gate 3)
- Typing for Import Declaration Forms (need typing onsite, passport, visa page etc)
- Prove the value of the car (need invoice )
- Pay duty
- You start to build a stack of the import papers
CFS Jebel Ali Port (Gate 2)
- You are in another ticket run office. If you end up somewhere without tickets and lorry drivers it's the wrong room. I know from experience ;-)
- Pay Security Deposit (you are asking them to do work to move the container to the receiving part of this complex
- Place the order for receiving the contained and get telephone number of person to call and check it's been moved
- Come back next day/when container is ready.
CFS Jebel Ali Port when container is ready (Gate 2)
- First thing in morning or first shift after lunch. Your goal is to get the car inspected/unloaded/custom inspected and released all in a half day session. If it bridges a lunch/end of day you will waste a lot of time.
- Put your florescent jacket on (Ace hardware)
- Find inspector to get the team to unload / make sure you are there or it’s a huge forklift out. (This is the main disadvantage of having someone else to do this IMP)
- You need no tools there are gangs there to undo the straps and chocks in the container
- Find customs officer to agree release papers/check VIN
- Get security deposit back / port fees are deducted
- Get gate release
- Get a onsite recovery vehicle (you will have been approached as you wait around)
Dubai Customs, Land Inspection – Al Aweer or Jebel Ali port
- Car VCC papers. This is basically what you need to then register the car
- You have to pay first and take Passport copies before the VCC counter processes this
- Then do a Standard Registration with the VCC and your insurance/driving licence/passport at wherever you normally reginster the car.
The above is a simplification as it’s all a ticket based process. As said above, you need passport/residence papers/ driving license and a few copies of each for different times in the process.
It’s basically two half days if you know what you are doing or two full days while learning.
One of the most important things is to politely make sure none of the guys who import things every day push in etc. In the CFS where you are basically trying to find in demand people this is a challenge! As per the other process based things you do in Dubai it's all very well run and politeness and humor gets you a long way!