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Overseas Shipping of Motorcycles / ATVs by Air

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When you are in rush you can ship your motorcycle by air. It is more costly than shipping in a container by ocean, but you can be certain that your vehicle will get there on time. The best solution is to pack your motorcycle or ATV into a crate. Beside the fact that you minimize possibility of damage during the transport process, you are going to get a better rate since air carriers charge more for loose cargo. When shipping your cargo in a crate, air carriers count volume in m3 and determine the rate based on chargeable weight. Crate should be open on one side so U.S. Customs officer can inspect the cargo.

 In a case that you are shipping an uncrated motorcycle, and if a motorcycle fits on the lower deck, the air carrier will charge a so called “positional weight” (up  to 1,510 kg – even if the actual weight of your motorcycle is 230 kg). 

 If you cannot pack your motorcycle in a crate, we can ship it as is. Our teams of professionals will prepare motorcycles for transport. They have to put it on a pallet, tight and secure all wheels so the motorcycle cannot move in any direction.


 When shipping by air. Motorcycles are handled as dangerous goods under the class UN3166, so DG documentation has to  be prepared by the freight forwarder.

The process of preparing the paperwork for export is the same as shipping any self-propelled vehicle by any other type of transport except for the necessity of issuing a DG declaration. Any motor vehicle defined as self-propelled such as an automobile, truck, tractor, bus, motorcycle, ATV, motor home, requires an original certificate of title or for new vehicles, a Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO/MCO).

The Original Bill of Sale has to clearly show the year, make & model, and the vehicle’s Serial Number or VIN (Vehicle’s Identification Number). The Provided Bill of Sale has to show that vehicle has been paid in full, and has to be notarized by a Notary.

The original of the above mentioned document must be presented to U.S. Customs at the airport of departure at least 72 hours before departure. US Customs is the ultimate authority; they need to verify the documents and approve export prior to shipment. Once the documents have been verified, they will be returned to the freight forwarder and ultimately to the shipper.

The basic rule that applies to vehicles is that the gas tank should be almost empty (not more than 1⁄4 of tank), and battery (batteries) terminals should be disconnected.

Aqua Air Enterprises’ cargo liability insurance is $500 per vehicle, therefore, we strongly recommend requesting additional insurance. The cost is 1.5% of the value, (including ocean freight cost); the deductible is $500.

The following documents will be needed:

  • Original title or MSO/MCO
  • Bill of Sale (letter of Lien Release from financial institution, if vehicle bought on a loan)
  • Automobile Shipping Info Sheet (same form applies for motorcycles or other types of vehicles)
  • Export Power of Attorney
  • Insurance Form