Importing a vehicle to Cayman can seem daunting, but the process is fairly simple if the car is coming from the U.S. or Japan. The key is to plan out the logistics in advance and make sure you follow the steps in sequential order.
This article is assuming that you already own the vehicle you are importing and it is located in the United States.
Step 1: Decide on Using a Customs Broker
Before anything else, consider whether you want to use a local customs broker in Cayman to assist with the process. A customs broker is not a necessity and will cost you a bit more, but they will save you time and a potential headache if anything goes wrong. If you decide to use a customs broker, they will facilitate the entire process and select their preferred shipping vendor for ocean transport. The preferred customs brokers in Cayman can be found below:
Step 2: Select a Shipping Vendor
If you've gotten this far down then you've likely decided to forgo the customs broker and are ready to take this on yourself. Not to worry, it's easier then you think. You'll need to decide on a shipping company that you want to go with and you can find a complete list of ocean freight companies further below. Remember that the shipping company will facilitate the Customs process in the U.S. and you DO NOT need to hire a broker in Cayman to handle this.
Step 3: Clearing U.S. Customs
The shipping company or freight forwarder that you select will facilitate the clearing of U.S. Customs and advise you of the requirements, but you will be need to furnish them with the appropriate documentation like the original vehicle title, export power of attorney, and passport or driver's license. Also note that the U.S. Customs places a 3 day hold on the vehicle after providing documentation so be sure to factor that into your timeline. The official Export a Motor Vehicle from the U.S. page is helpful if you haven't yet contacted a shipper or freight forwarder.
Step 4: Collect Paperwork from Shipper
Once the vehicle has arrived in Cayman, you'll need to collect the paperwork from the shipper prior to clearing the vehicle from Customs.
Step 5: Insure Your Vehicle in Cayman
This is a requirement prior to collecting your vehicle from the Port Authority in Cayman and can be a timely mistake if missed.
Step 6: Clearing Customs in Cayman
Visit the main Administration Building at 42 Owen Roberts Drive to process your customs paperwork and pay your duty and applicable environmental fees. Once you have the final paperwork, you'll need to go to the Port Authority Cargo Center office on Portland Road to collect your vehicle.
Step 7: Register Your Vehicle
Vehicle registration is a straight-forward process that can be completed at the main Crewe Road facility in George Town or the satellite West Bay location. We recommend that you read through the Department of Vehicle & Drivers' Licensing Vehicle Registration page and complete the Application to Register a Vehicle form prior to arrival.