Over the past few years, the demand for Japanese cars and trucks in Latvia has grown significantly. Because these vehicles are known for their low prices and durability, they are highly attractive to people looking for both new and used vehicles in this country.
In fact, according to Best Selling Cars Blog, while Volkswagen remains the top-selling automotive brand in Latvia, it has actually seen a steep drop in sales recently. At the same time, Toyota and Nissan have seen major increases and are expected to catch up with and surpass Volkswagen at any moment.
This makes exporting salvage cars to Latvia very attractive, especially as Latvia does not produce any vehicles of its own. Exporting to Latvia is really the only way for Latvians to get motorized transportation for their daily lives, but anyone interested in exporting a vehicle to Latvia should be aware that there are certain rules and regulations for importing foreign cars.
- There is a high demand for vehicles that are easily found and purchased in the US.
- There are no restrictions on left-hand or right-hand drive vehicles.
- Latvia holds Most Favored Nation status with the United States, making trade much easier and more profitable.
- Though Latvia has experienced some recent market volatility, the country has an overall stable and attractive market for imported used and salvage cars.
- Though it is growing quickly, the market is still somewhat underdeveloped for salvage cars in Latvia.
- Import duties and value-added taxes can be expensive.
Departure Ports Serving Latvia
Several ports of departure in the United States serve Latvia, making it convenient to export salvage cars from almost anywhere in the US to Latvia. These ports include:
- Newark, NJ
- Norfolk, VA
- Savannah, GA
- New York, NY
- Portland, OR
- Charleston, SC
- St. Paul, MN
- Seattle, WA
These ports vary in costs, but you should keep in mind that choosing a less expensive departure port that’s farther away from your salvage car will mean a larger shipment fee to get it to the port. Sometimes it’s best to go with a more expensive port that’s more conveniently located for your export vehicle.
The busiest and most used arrival port in Latvia is the Port of Riga. This is the only container terminal in Latvia, and so it will be the port where all cars exported to Latvia arrive.
For your salvage car to clear customs when it arrives at the Port of Riga in Latvia, you will need four documents. These include:
- An import license
- Original purchase or commercial invoice
- Original certificate of title and vehicle registration
- Drivers license or passport and international driving permit
Unlike many other countries, Latvia does not limit or restrict import of vehicles older than seven years. In fact, you may be able to get a better tax rate on a slightly older salvage car. However, Latvia’s registration tax does depend on the vehicle’s CO2 emissions, and this may actually cancel out the savings you get for importing an older vehicle.
All in all, Latvia is very receptive to importing new, used, and salvage cars. Their regulations and requirements are much less strict than many other countries, and there is a growing demand for affordable vehicles there, making Latvia a prime place to export your salvage cars.
Other Import Procedures
For more information on import procedures to ship salvage cars to Latvia, you can check the US Department of Commerce’s Compilation of Foreign Motor Vehicle Import Requirements.
You may also find out more about import procedures through the Latvian Export and Import Directory at the LIAA (Investment and Development Agency of Latvia) website.
Import Duties Taxes
Whether you are a private individual importing personal goods or you are a commercial entity, you will owe import duty taxes upon importing goods into Latvia.
According to the United States Council for International Business, vehicles that are less than seven years old are subject to both a 21% value-added tax and a 10% duty tax. If you’re shipping a vehicle that’s more than seven years old, it will only be subject to an 18% value-added tax.
Imports may also be subject to other fees and fines, as well, including an exchange surcharge, and/or sales tax, as well as, of course, the value-added tax. Most vehicles will not be subject to further taxes, but you should do your research on your salvage car to ensure that you aren’t surprised by any extra fees that you did not expect.
If you are exporting a salvage car from the US, you can find out the latest duty taxes and/or any other import taxes that apply to your export by contacting the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in Washington, DC at:
Embassy of Latvia
2306 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20008
With this information, you should be able to find out everything you need to know about exporting salvage cars to Latvia.
If you are interested in this information because you want to buy salvage cars and export them to Latvia to sell, we highly recommend choosing an online auction, as this will allow you to find the best deals without putting you in a stressful situation.
Instead of feeling pressured to buy a car in the heat of a bidding war, when you are bidding online, you can take your time to think and process whether or not the car you’re bidding on will be a good salvage car to export to Latvia for a profit.