Best Ways To Ship Car Parts From Singapore To The US

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The automobile market is booming worldwide, with the United States (US) being no exception. In 2020, the US exported US$66.69 billion in car parts, with imports being worth a whopping US$131.5 billion, according to the Automotive Aftermarket Network. Among the markets that ship them over to the US include Singapore. In 2020, reports Trading Economics, Singapore exported US$51.18 million worth of parts and accessories of motor vehicles to the US. 

To ship spare car parts from Singapore into the US, one should be aware of many regulations and customs laws. At the same  time, it's best to pay attention to the ways to pack particular car parts like hoods and bumpers, or larger car parts like engines. Here’s a quick guide to get you started.

1. Regulatory Compliances When Shipping Car Parts To The US

If you’re shipping car parts from Singapore to the US, you will be required to comply with the regulations set by various authorities, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). These include:

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

The CBP ensures the lawful importation of goods into the US, which includes the receipt of duties and taxes according to the tariff imposed on the particular product. More information can be found by checking for the relevant code from HTSUS (Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States). You will also be required to complete the CBP Form 7501. This is an entry summary to be filled out at the port of entry. Each product needs to have a clear marking indicating its country of origin as well. In this case, the originating country is Singapore.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): 

The EPA works with related governments and agencies to ensure compliance with car parts' importation and exportation laws so that car parts deemed harmful to the environment and human health do not enter the country. By doing so, they can manage emission levels and even monitor the presence of toxic substances, such as elemental mercury which can be found in vehicle light and anti-lock braking system switches. 

Companies shipping car parts from Singapore to the US are advised to refer to EPA's emission standard guide before importing. These regulations apply to all motor engines, whether new or old, domestically or internationally, and will require the completion of forms before entry. For instance, if you’re shipping engines of standard passenger vehicles and motorcycles into the US, you must fill the EPA form 3520-1. The 3520-21 form will apply to heavy-duty and non-standard engines. Engines of vehicles not driven on roads or those fitted into larger mobile equipment fall within this category. The EPA or US customs can seize the goods if they do not meet the requirements. 

It’s also important to note that to legally import vehicles into the United States, you must obtain EPA credentials which will certify you as an Independent Commercial Importer. 

Department of Transportation (DOT) & National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): 

The NHTSA is an agency under the DOT and enforces laws related to motor vehicle safety. Businesses that plan to ship auto parts must ensure that their goods meet the requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). In addition, the NHTSA also recommends best practices for exporters looking to ship car parts to the US. For instance, global manufacturers and exporters need to notify and provide a remedy to their buyers in the US if the vehicle parts do not comply with FMVSS or contain a safety defect. This includes defects that exhibit themselves after a period of time. Establishing a consumer service programme to facilitate better user education, evaluating foreign fabricating manufacturers for risks and quality, and inspecting goods before exporting to the US are other recommendations put forth by the agency.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC): 

The FTC enforces laws and educates the public to protect them against misleading, unfair, and anticompetitive business practices. Federal Antitrust laws are also implemented to prevent illegal mergers and ensure competitive markets.

With the cost of stolen vehicles amounting to US$6 billion in 2019, NHTSA's theft prevention standards aim to reduce motor vehicle theft incidents by tracing and recovering parts from stolen automobiles. Stolen cars may be sold to businesses with unfair and anticompetitive business practices. Hence, businesses looking to export car parts to the US need to ensure that the vehicle identification numbers (VIN) are affixed on major component vehicle parts. At the same time, they should add respective symbols that identify the manufacturer and replacement component parts. Skeptical consumers can then use the NHTSA Product Information Catalog and Vehicle (vPIC) tool to decode their vehicle's VIN and run a background check for possible suspicious behaviour.

2. Hazardous shipments vs general freight

According to the US Department of Transportation’s Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR), most automotive parts are considered dangerous and hazardous while shipping. While being transported, many items such as cleaning products, shock absorbers, airbags, and paints can be deemed dangerous. Hence, you are lawfully required to ship these car parts as hazardous elements instead of general freight to avoid fines and penalties. 

3. Which Car Parts Can I Sell In The US?

Generally for car parts international shipping, items like radiators or fuel tanks must have the liquids purged off before shipping. Imported parts into the US need to follow the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966. All items listed below need to meet the FMVSS to get a DOT symbol: 

  • Brake Fluid

  • Brake Hoses

  • Child Restraints

  • Compressed Natural Gas Containers

  • Glazing

  • Lighting Equipment

  • Motorcycle Helmets

  • Platform Lift Systems

  • Rear Impact Guards

  • Rims

  • Seat Belt Assemblies

  • Tires

  • Triangular Reflective Warning Device

4. Tips For Packing Car Parts For Export

Car parts come in different sizes and shapes. They must be packed appropriately to ensure safe and secure car parts delivery. Below are some best ways you can pack all types car parts, small and large, before shipping:

  • All liquids and lubricants in the parts must be emptied to prevent leaking and avoid any rule violation.

  • Automotive elements should be disassembled where applicable as it will be more safe and easy to pack.

  • Strong and sturdy corrugated card boxes should be used for heavy metal parts, and they should be double-boxed for added protection.

  • Bubble wrap all items to further secure them before putting them in larger boxes. You can also use foam wrapping or polystyrene to give proper cushioning for internal packing. 

  • Use appropriately shaped boxes for different shaped-items to ensure proper cushioning and support during shipping.

  • Once the box has been filled and items are cushioned appropriately, use strong adhesive tape to seal it. 

  • Label the box properly and add warning or fragile labels where applicable.

Refer to our packing guide for more details. You are now ready to ship car parts to the US.

5. What Is The Cheapest Way To Ship Car Parts To The US?

The cost of shipping car parts internationally will depend on several factors such as the weight and dimensions of the package, the various delivery times offered by the shipping company, and the classification of those items. The cheapest option can be calculated by comparing the costs quoted by different competitor courier companies. 

Costs aside, you’d also want to make sure that you are shipping these automotive accessories from Singapore to the US through a reliable shipping service. Choosing a logistics and express delivery company like DHL Express can go a long way. We come with extensive experience and expertise in shipping a variety of products, including dangerous items, internationally in a secure and timely manner. When compared to other delivery companies, DHL Express emerges as the fastest service provider – a comparison below gives a good idea of our efficiency.

CarrierDelivery Time
DHL Express1-2 days
Competitor X3-5 days
Competitor X1-3 days
Competitor Y4 days
Competitor Y4 days
Competitor Z4 days
Competitor Z4 days

How DHL Express Can Help You Ship Car Parts To The US From Singapore

DHL Express can be your reliable and preferred delivery partner to send car parts overseas, especially to the US. With MyDHL+, you will be able to complete your order preparation smoothly. Make use of our same-day delivery services to have your goods delivered within 24 hours. For time-sensitive items or those that require flexibility, on-demand delivery services ensure your items will reach the receiver no matter what with our six shipment delivery options. Sign up for a business account today to find all information about shipping car parts overseas through our streamlined services.