Save tax on imported vehicles
Cars waiting to be shipped from Germany to America. U.S. personnel stationed overseas can ship vehicles to the United States free of federal tax and duty.

WIESBADEN, Germany - People moving to the States this summer should start preparing now by finding new homes for the things that are banned from import. It is also a good idea to apply early for import permits on restricted items, customs officials advise.

"Prohibited items include meat and meat products such as sausage, pâté and salami, as well as plants and destructive devices," said Mike Dean, director of the U.S. European Command's Customs and Border Clearance Agency. "If you're planning on shipping firearms, ensure you have proof that you owned them in the States or have an import permit," Dean added.

He also explained that other important points to remember are:

• Owners of vehicles not made to U.S. standards have to ship them through commercial importers registered with the Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency. However, vehicles more than 25 years old are exempt from this rule.

• Most mopeds and motorcycles must also meet U.S. safety and pollution standards and all vehicles must be free of dirt, insects and vegetation.

• Wine collections can only be shipped with advance approval from the transportation office.

• Endangered species items such as ivory and some furs may only be shipped if owners can prove they were previously owned in the U.S. or are antiques over 100 years old.

• State attorneys general must approve imports of gambling devices. These devices must be registered with the Justice Department in Washington D.C.

Need more details? Get many informative pamphlets from a military customs office or check out the military customs Web site at www.eur.army.mil/opm/customs/uscustoms.htm.

Page last updated Mon June 2nd, 2014 at 00:00