Travel & Transport

Shipping your belongings to Macedonia

Expats including Americans, Australians, Spaniards, Serbs, Turks, Swedes and many others have seemingly fallen in love with Macedonia (or a Macedonian). From the spacious mountains to the countryside and lakes, Macedonia has something to offer everyone no matter the preference in living conditions or surroundings. It is also a country that is less demanding when it comes to regulations on shipping in personal items or motor vehicles. This is always a huge plus when you decide to move to another country. 

However I do recommend you to hire a professional shipper to get your personal belongings or vehicle moved. Also when it comes to the laws of Macedonia, or anywhere in the world, when you plan your shipment. If you plan to do this on your own there is a big chance your stuff will get stuck at the border. You will pay a lot of money and go through a lot of trouble to make sure your stuff can go continue or to even get it back. Always have in mind that this doesn’t take a couple of days, the process can take several weeks.

Paperwork for the company
In general, you need to supply the transport company with some paperwork, which includes:
• An International Driver’s License. The license has to be from the country you are moving from.
• A Valid Passport. You can supply customs a copy of your passport when you are relocating.
• Motor Vehicle Registration.
• International Insurance Card.

You can bring a motor vehicle to Macedonia if someone else legally owns it. But you need to have a Power of Attorney signed by the real owner to give permission for you to drive the car.

Motor vehicle owners need to pay taxes on all imports and the tax rate can range anywhere between .01% and 14.5%. This seems like a large difference but it is based on the vehicle value as well as the total cost of shipping the vehicle. The car has to be registered with the police to drive it once it arrives.

Paperwork for customs
When you move to a new country, you will have a great deal of paperwork to turn in before you even leave your country. Although Macedonia is not as strict as some other countries, you are still going to have quite a bit of paperwork to submit before the car can legally enter the country. You will need to provide customs with the following information before you can import the car:
• Driver’s License (Must be valid)
• The Bill of Sale
• Original Registration and Vehicle Title
• Social Security Card
• An Import License (Only applies to new vehicles)

Shipping Methods
One of the most important things that a vehicle owner must decide which method to use to ship it to Macedonia. There are three common ways to move a car to another country.

• Roll-On Roll-Off (RORO). This is the most common method of moving a motor vehicle overseas. It is usually the quickest, although it can take up to several weeks depending on from where the car is exported from and which port it is shipping to. This type of shipping works fairly easily as cars rolled on the large ships and then moved across the sea. RORO is the least expensive way to move a motor vehicle overseas.

• Container: When you ship a vehicle in a container it may cost a little more than when shipping on a RORO ship, but it is the safest way to ship a car, or anything else, overseas. The vehicle goes inside of a large container and then sealed for the voyage. When you use a container to move a car, you may also be able to ship personal items inside the container as well so you can have everything shipped all at one time. When you want to ship your personal belongings by container, you need to make a complete list of all the items for the customs.

• Air. If you own a very expensive car or you will need to have your car delivered as quickly as possible, then shipping by air is also an option. Air shipping is usually very expensive and it is not a method that is often used for cars or other large property due to the cost.

By far the most popular cities in Macedonia to move to are Ohrid and Skopje. But you can also find foreign companies and expats in the smaller cities of the country. The most popular destinations for shipping are: Skopje, Gostivar, Tetovo, Prilep, Bitola and Kumanovo.

Last tips
If you want to have your car with you in Macedonia and want to save as much money as possible, be sure to hire only a professional company that will offer safe and reliable transport overseas. You also need to make sure that you have all necessary paperwork ahead of time so you will avoid delays with customs and so the vehicle shipment will go smoothly. If you are going to need someone else to drive the car from the entry port to your home, be sure to fill out a Power of Attorney. So that the driver will have legal permission to drive the car for you. Or make plans with the shipper to deliver the car to you from the port with the use of a truck and trailer by land.

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