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Manual for car (motorbike) container shipping BUE-HAM (Verschiffung)

Blaz Miheljak @, Montag, 30. April 2007, 22:04 (vor 4777 Tagen)

Manual for car (motorbike) container shipping BUE-HAM

This is mostly factographic account on shipping a container from Buenos Aires to Hamburg. Data is based on the shipping that occurred in the last week of March 2007, but there is of course no guarantee for correctness... You can also read a blog on the shipping at habbeger.name (in German). This are the basic steps:

1. Book a container at a shipping company.
We sent mails to all major ones, got quotes from MSC and Hamburg Sud and made a booking with MSC which was way cheaper.

2. For export customs you'll need notary verified copies of the owner's passport (complete with blank pages and covers), the car registration/title papers and of the flight ticket/reservation. You can do all this in advance, in every bigger town around the country.
We didn't have the tickets at the moment of shipping, so we just made a reservation at Iberia for the first possible flight, got a printout and customs was satisfied with that. Although a reservation is not worth anything and doesn't prove a thing, we had to produce this paper... Notaries are called "escribanos" in Argentina and are plenty. But they charge very differently for the same thing (we paid 30 pesos, our Swiss coshippers paid 30 usd), some count sheets, some have a fixed price per document, so shop around and be creative when copying a passport - you can get at least 8 pages on one sheet of copy... If you are doing this outside of BsAs, you have to mention, that the verification must be valid in BsAs, so that they add some extra stamp...

3. Go to your shipping company, get an original booking confirmation printout (which includes shippers name, car details and ship/sail details) and make a date for consolidation.
We had a little bit of a problem, persuading MSC, that consolidation can be done directly in the port and that we don't need any agent, but after some checking, they confirmed, that it is possible and have been very helpful with the whole process. For consolidation the best date is probably one day after aduana but at least two days before sailing, shipping company will tell you the cut-off time anyway. Consolidation cannot be done on weekends. MSC acted as a consolidation coordinator, made orders and produced a paper with details of consolidation, merchandise/car, date, place and contacts of all people involved (us, port contacts, customs contacts, MSC contacts).

4. Go to Adouana office for "Exportacion/Importacion de equipaje no acompanada" at EMBA (Estación Marítima Buenos Aires) and where they will prepare a "Solicitud de exportacion de efectos personales"
Office at EMBA is open from 9.30-13.00 and 14.00-17.00. Lines and waiting can be quite long, so it's best to be there around 9am. You'll need to present:
- Full copy of passport (notary verified)
- Copy of car papers (notary verified)
- Copy of the traveling documents (notary verified?), we had an original reservation printout
- Original paper confirming your booking of container from the shipping company
- Original temporary importation paper which you got when entering the country
We were at the office at 9am, had to wait an hour, then the whole procedure didn't took more than 15mins. The officer will make some copies, fill in some forms and then prepare a nice package of papers with cover "Solicitud de exportacion de efectos personales"

Continues in next post because of length limitations...

Manual .... PART 2

Blaz Miheljak @, Montag, 30. April 2007, 22:06 (vor 4777 Tagen) @ Blaz Miheljak

5. On the day of consolidation, get the entry permit, drive in the port, park the car in the container and fill out some more forms.
Be early at the port gates, all around the port are daily traffic jams. Just to the left of the entry gates is an office, where you'll get an entry permit when you present your "Solicitud..." package. You'll also get two forms, first is named Entrega de exportacion, the other is some sort of Exportation declaration (I can't read the full name ;). With permit, you can enter the port, drive to the W2 area, where some workers and a container should be waiting for you. You'll probably need to wait a little bit for a customs officer, which will give a quick look to the cars and fill out something in your "Solicitud..." package and will give the container seal to the workers. With that, say goodbye to the car... After packaging, fill out two forms (or even the nice workers will do it for you). You have to return them to the same person that issued them (in the office at the entry gates). To get there, workers will call a free shuttle for you, now that you are on your own feet... Without these two forms filled in and returned back to the office, your container won't move... Last thing to do is, to go to the Aduana office by the exit gates (near EMBA). There give in you solicitud and you're done....

6. After the ship sails, go to your shipping company, pay the bill and pick-up the B/L.
You might need to fill out a Declaration of goods at your shipping company, before they'll be able to produce a B/L - check with them. Our final bill for 40'HC cont from BUE to HAM was:
- Freight 1.000,00
- BAF 700,00
- Container service charge 140,00
- River plate toll fee 90,00
- B/L fee 35,01
- Consolidation 458,05
- Port fees (Res. 98, ISP, Tasas) 136,38
- Logistics fee 19,96
- Servicios varios al Cliente 24,20
TOTAL 2.603,59

All prices in USD and with taxes included (where applicable)

We didn't pay anything in the port (everything was charged to MSC) nor at customs. As for charges at the destination port, we know only for THC, which is 160 EUR.

7. If you used a Carnet de Passage for entering Argentina, you'll have to return to the Aduana at exit gates, where you'll get it stamped, but only after the ship sails.

- Office for "Exportacion/Importacion equipaje no acompaniada" at EMBA (Estación Marítima Buenos Aires) S34 34.983 W58 22.201
- Aduana at exit gate of Terminales 1,2 y 3 S34 34.982 W58 22.102
- Port office at the entry gates of Terminales 1,2 y 3 S34 35.356 W58 22.039
- Entry gates of Terminales 1,2 y 3 S34 35.348 W58 21.930
- MSC Buenos Aires S34 36.087 W58 22.144

The whole procedure of packaging can easily be done in two days (even in one), if you are well prepared and your Spanish is fluent. But my recommendation would be, that you reserve a week...

Continues in next post because of length limitations...

Manual .... PART 3

Blaz Miheljak @, Montag, 30. April 2007, 22:07 (vor 4777 Tagen) @ Blaz Miheljak

1. We stoped at the Hamburg MSC office first, to pay the local terminal costs and to check where the container is... It was a bit hairrising, when the guys there told us, that there is a slight problem. The problem was, that the container was still in Bremerhaven, where it was unloaded from the ship and that it can take up to one week (!!) to get it to Hamburg. They didn't give us any believable explanation for this delay, because normaly this transfer takes only one day. But at the end we managed to stop the container in Bremerhaven and took the train there. We payed to German MSC 196 €, and they gave us the Freibescheinigung (or something like this...)

2. Bremerhaven port. We called ahead to Container Freight Station, which does the deconsolidation, and without any problems they prepared the bill (203 € for unpacking both cars), and when we got there, paid the bill, waited for some half an hour and our cars were delivered. We couldn't witness opening the container, and they drove them out and to the parking lot in front of their office - maybe with some persuasion even that would be possible. While driving out of the port area their is a customs post, but they didn't bother looking in our cars or anything else... so all our wine was free at home ;)

All together we were finished around 4 pm, including 2 hour train ride from Hamburg to Bremerhaven. A piece of advice, as is already obvious from the above - make sure where your ship is going and book only to the first port, any additional transfers can complicate and delay the delivery. And I think that all MSC ships from south america stop only in Bremerhaven, although there is also Hamburg on their schedules...

Have fun and good luck with shipping...


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