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How easy is it to import my own vehicle direct?

 The Big Issue Malawi 28 May 2019

(Originally published: 09/2009) As the Big Issue Malawi’s James Hanna explains, importi../../../../css/and techniques buying the car of your dreams need not be as daunting or as costly as you think._nbsp_axmyoiwafs0b3mj4ckuvtb.css;(562 words) - By James Hanna

BLANTYRE, Malawi - Importing your own vehicle direct from Japan is as easy as learning the ABC. Check different   exporters' websites for the best car that suits your budget and needs. Many exporters have their stock for free viewing on the internet. Some exporters allow you to submit your order online; others request you to send them your details for invoicing purposes.

Once you receive your invoice check the details. The invoice should show your full name, address, and contact details. It should also show the make/model of the vehicle you are buying, the year, and the full chassis number. The freight and insurance costs should be shown separately on the invoice. If not, request for the costs to be indicated separately on the invoice. The exporter's bank account details should also be indicated.

Take the invoice to your bankers and request for a telegraphic transfer to be sent to the bank account details as indicated on the invoice. The bank will convert the currency on the invoice and advise you the equivalent Kwacha to pay them, including bank charges.

Some exporters will allow pay- How easy is it to import my own vehicle direct? ment by installments. However, you should consider the extra bank charges you need to pay for each installment. Mention the invoice number and vehicle reference in the details of payment of the telegraphic transfer.

Send a copy of the bank receipt and invoice to the exporter by fax or e-mail so they can apply your payment immediately. Once the exporter has your payment they will arrange shipment of your vehicle. They need to contact the various shipping companies to book your vehicle on the next available vessel (usually at the end of the month and/or the middle of the month).

Sometimes, the new car manufacturers have a back-log of new cars to ship and shipment may be delayed as a result. New car manufacturers receive priority booking over used cars as a policy of all shipping companies. These ships load the vehicles by driving on and off the vessel. They are referred to Ro-Ro vessels.

When there is a delay for booking used vehicles on Ro-Ro vessels, some exporters ship their clients' vehicles in containers. Container vessels are weekly, but the costs are higher in some cases.

The sailing time for vessels from Japan to Durban or Dar-Es-Salaam is usually 3 to 4 weeks. However, the total average delivery time after payment is effected can take from 6 to 8 weeks.

You should arrange a local clearing agent to clear your vehicle from the vessel. A good clearing agent will advise you the exact date of arrival of the vessel, the date you can collect your vehicle, and calculate the wharf charges and clearing costs to pay. They can also arrange for delivery of your vehicle to your door step.

Once you have the vehicle you need to register it locally, then enjoy the driving. A word of advice, always check the engine before driving the vehicle over a long distance. Some of the vehicles need to be topped up with oil and water, and the brakes need to be checked.

Also, all vehicles are shipped with minimal fuel in the tanks. This is a safety requirement by the shipping company to avoid fire hazards on board the vessels. Therefore remember to take enough money to fill up your vehicle.

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