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How to Export Salvage Cars to Estonia?

By Mike Richards Updated: 01/31/2023 Posted: 10/18/2015

Market Overview

Estonia imports a high number of Japanese vehicles each year. The high demand for these new, used, and salvage cars in Estonia has to do with affordable transportation. Many people in Estonia simply cannot afford to buy a brand new car, and Estonia does not have its own auto manufacturers. Thus, importing is really the only way to get cars to Estonia.

Imported salvage cars give Estonians a unique opportunity to spend less money on their vehicles and then do some work to repair them, giving them a way to get around without breaking the bank.

This high demand for imported used and salvage cars is good news for anyone in the United States who wants to make money on car auctions by purchasing salvage cars here in the United States and then exporting and selling them in Estonia.

As you consider this option for making money on online car auctions, you should know that there are some rules and regulations that affect the export of salvage cars to Estonia. You will first need to understand the pros and cons of selling in this market, as well as the rules, regulations, and requirements surrounding it.


  •  New and used cars in Estonia are very expensive, making it easy to find buyers when you export cars from the US to Estonia.
  • The market is still developing, and there is a high demand for low-priced cars all over the country, especially cars that are easily sourced in the US.
  • In Estonia, they drive on the right hand side of the street, and so exporting left-hand drive vehicles to Estonia is not a problem.


  •  The value-added tax on imported vehicles to Estonia is 20%, in addition to a 10% import duty tax.

Departure Ports Serving Estonia

If you are shipping your salvage cars from the United States, you will have a few different options to choose from for seaports that service Estonia. When choosing one, you should look at the pick-up or shipping fees to get your vehicle to the port, as well as the shipping fee that the port charges for sending your vehicle to Estonia. This will help you weigh your best option and make the right decision. Ports serving Estonia include:

  • Baltimore, MD
  • Savannah, GA
  • New York, NY
  • Norfolk, VA
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Galveston, TX
  • Charleston, SC

Arrival Ports

Because it is conveniently located along the coastline of the Baltic Sea, Estonia has a few arrival ports to choose from, including:

  • Muuga
  • Tallinn
  • Paldiski

Of these, you’ll notice that Tallinn is most used, as it is connected to the most populated area and is a very busy import destination with a lot of connections to US ports.

Documentation Requirements

Before you prepare your vehicle for shipping, make sure that you have the following required documents to export it to Estonia:

  • Bill of sale
  • Proof of ownership of the vehicle
  • Bill of lading
  • Any and all insurance and registration documentation
  • The original commercial/purchase invoice
  • Written customs declaration (available at the border customs office)
  • Pre-registration inspection

Other Requirements

Before shipping, your vehicle must pass a pre-shipping inspection. If your vehicle does not pass this inspection, you will not be allowed to export it to Estonia. You are advised to consider purchasing shipping insurance on the vehicle in case anything happens to it in transit. Also, find out how much you will owe in import duty taxes when the vehicle arrives in Estonia.

Other Import Procedures

To learn more about other import procedures and regulations, you can visit Estonia’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s website.

Import Duties Taxes

When importing goods of any value into Estonia, you will be expected to pay import duties taxes. In many countries, these vary widely and can be very high. However, because Estonia has MFN (Most Favored Nation) status with the United States, their import duty tax on cars is a low 10%.

Though Estonia does not have as many regulations and restrictions on the types and ages of imported cars, all cars imported to Estonia are subject to both the import duty tax and the VAT. 

To learn more about import duties taxes in Estonia, any other fees that may apply to your vehicle, and/or any extenuating circumstances or additional rules and regulations, you can find out more by contacting the Embassy of Estonia in Washington, DC at:

Embassy of Estonia
2131 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: 202-588-0101
email: [email protected]

Online car auctions give you the opportunity to buy salvage cars and then export them to Estonia, where the prices of new and used cars are so high that people are really looking for good deals on salvage cars that they can fix up and drive. With this information, you should have the tools you need to understand all of the rules, regulations, and costs associated with this endeavor.

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