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How To Export Cars from the USA to the Dominican Republic

By Mike Richards Updated: 07/27/2022 Posted: 07/26/2018

Exporting Cars to The Dominican Republic From The USA

Market Overview 

We see a massive export of Japanese cars from the USA to the Dominican Republic due to their durability, safety, low maintenance, and cost. However, the demand for used cars in the country is increasing continuously.

According to the best-selling cars blog, the Hyundai Tucson is the best-seller in the country with 1,429 sales and a 7.4% market share. The Isuzu D-Max, therefore, holds a 9% share. Sales of the Ford Explorer are up 50% to 759 sales in fourth place, and for the Kia Sportage up 63% to 647 units at #6. Hence, the best performer in the Top 10 is the Hyundai Accent benefiting from the launch of the new generation and up a massive 527%. Other growth vehicles also include the Jeep Grand Cherokee up… 1029% to #12, the Kia Sorento up 808% to #13, and finally, the Kia Picanto up 117% to #15. (1) 


  • Developing market with growth potential and taste for vehicles available for purchase in the United States
  • A free-trade agreement with the United States (CAFTA-DR)
  • Free-trade areas (51% of exports)
  • Political stability


  • Still an underdeveloped market that contains significant import restrictions.


Departure Ports Serving the Dominican Republic

Top 6 Departure / Arrival Ports for RORO car shipping

  • Bayonne, NJ to Santa Domingo, DR
  • Baltimore, MD to Rio Haina, DR
  • Jacksonville, FL to Rio Haina, DR
  • Jacksonville, FL to Puerto Plata, DR
  • Port Everglades to Rio Haina, DR
  • Houston, TX to Rio Haina, DR

Departure / Arrival Ports for CONTAINER shipping

  • Linden, NJ to Santa Domingo, DR (Shared Container)


Arrival Ports

Arrival Port (RORO Ships)

  • Rio Haina

Arrival Ports (Container Ships)

  •  Rio Haina
  • Santo Domingo

Documentation Requirements

  • A clear Title of Ownership requirement for shipping the vehicle.
  • Commercial/Purchase Invoice

Other Requirements

  • The import of automobiles and light trucks (under five tons) over five years old is prohibited under law no. 147 of December 27, 2000.
  • The import of vehicles five tons or heavier, over 15 years old, is also prohibited under law no. 12-01 of January 17, 2001.
  • Only one vehicle is allowed for importation per person.
  • All vehicles being imported must however be in the owner’s possession for a minimum of one year before importation.
  • Engine size on all imported vehicles is limited to six cylinders.
  • Importation of all luxury vehicles is prohibited.
  • Motorcycles are also subject to taxes and duties.
  • The importer must however be present in the Dominican Republic for customs clearance of any vehicle.


Import Duties and Taxes


Import duty and taxes are due when importing goods into the Dominican Republic whether by a private individual or commercial entity.  The valuation method is CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight). In addition to duty, imports are also subject to Sales Tax, Exchange Surcharge, and Luxury Tax on certain products.

Vehicles are also subject to the Luxury Tax (Impuesto Selectivo al Consumo). In addition, it is a consumption tax on luxury imports or “non-essential” goods that ranges between 15 and 60 percent.

The tax is calculated on the CIF price.

  • Equally, there is a 17 percent tax on the first matricula (registration document) for all vehicles.
  • The Dominican Republic assesses all imported new and used passenger vehicles (except pick-up trucks) with a variable ISC, and an eight percent sales tax. The tariff amount is moreover not included in the calculation of the ISC. However, the sales tax is on the sum of the vehicle’s value plus the tariff plus the ISC. However, a 2% tax is levied on any change of ownership of motor vehicles (Art. 9 of Law #173-07). Also, the transfer tax payments must be within three months of the date of the acquisition.


In addition, If you are in the USA and need the latest vehicle import duty for the Dominican Republic, contact the Embassy in Washington, DC.
Dominican Republic Embassy in Washington, DC

1715 22nd Street, NW
Washington DC 20008
Tel: 202-332-6280

If you are in the Dominican Republic, you can also call them by phone here at (809) 547–7070 (this is a DR phone number, not a USA number).


Market Guides For Additional Countries.


Also Explore our Car Auctions, Buying With Us, and International Shipping Rates.