This summer is expected to be a very busy season for permanent changes of station. For a more successful move, now’s the time to make sure the transfer or transport of your privately owned vehicles will comply with all the proper rules and regulations.
One serious, but easily avoidable, mistake is improperly disposing of excess cars and motorcycles. Clearing all actions involving the transfer of POV ownership through your local vehicle registry office helps provide legal protection for you and the vehicle’s new owner.
It’s also important to know that abandoning a POV in Germany is a violation of German Law and U.S. Army Europe regulations. It’s important to dispose of your POV in an approved manner. When it’s time to PCS, you have several options.
You may ship your POV to your next duty station. You can ship one vehicle at government expense. You may contract with a private shipping company to ship additional vehicles at personal expense.
The POV must adhere to importation requirements of the country of destination. Servicemembers and civilians with European specification vehicles should do the appropriate research to determine if their POV can be imported to the country of their next duty assignment. A good starting point is www.hqusareur.army.mil/opm/customs.htm. Click on “Vehicles” for information on importing POVs.
Shipping a European specifications vehicle stateside can be an expensive process because it must meet EPA emissions and U.S. Department of Transportation safety standards. It is important to note that Euro-spec vehicles cannot be modified to U.S. standards while still physically located in a European country.
Prior to shipping the vehicle, servicemembers must contract a licensed automobile importer in the U.S. to perform the required modifications. The work must be done by the licensed automobile importer once the vehicle has arrived in the U.S. Many European companies claim they can perform the Euro-to-U.S. conversion while the POV is still in Europe. These claims are false.