Shipping cars to Mauritania

Shipping cars to Mauritania, West Africa

Shipping cars to West Africa can be problematic if you are solely handling everything from documentation to customs clearance. But with a trustworthy international shipping company like AFL, you can ship to any destination worldwide. Our company has experience in handling the shipping process. Whether you are shipping cars to Mauritania or equipment, we are […]

Shipping cars to West Africa can be problematic if you are solely handling everything from documentation to customs clearance. But with a trustworthy international shipping company like AFL, you can ship to any destination worldwide. Our company has experience in handling the shipping process. Whether you are shipping cars to Mauritania or equipment, we are familiar with the customs laws of this country. Our experts can take care of your paperwork and customs clearance in no time at all. We won’t trouble you at all as we strive to provide a stress-free shipping experience for our customers.

Shipping cars to Mauritania: An Introduction

Shipping cars to Mauritania

Officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, this country is the eleventh largest in entire Africa. 90% of its region consists of desert areas. 

Mauritania represents a cultural contrast with the Arab-Berber population living in the North and Africans living in the South side. Its economy relies on livestock, agriculture, and fishing. 

The significant imports to Mauritania include meat, raw sugar, palm oil, and vehicles. Exports include gold, iron and copper ore, and frozen seafood. 

Although this country has no trade agreement with the US, it is a beneficiary of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

Nouakchott is the capital and largest city of Mauritania. It also serves as the administrative seat and economic hub of the country. 

The port of Nouakchott is the primary seaport providing trade routes to Africa, Europe, and America. It accounts for 95% of ocean traffic and can handle 1200 to 2500 tonnes of cargo daily.

The port of Nouadhibou is the second major seaport in the city of Nouadhibou. It also acts as the vital hub of commercial sea trade in Mauritania. This seaport can handle 6000 TEUs per annum.

Available methods for Shipping cars to Mauritania

There are two most common methods used for shipping cars to Mauritania. One is RoRo, and the other one is container shipping.

RoRo shipping

Whether importing one vehicle or shipping several cars, RoRo is the most economical and fastest delivery method. It requires no cranes or labour for loading and of loading. The vehicle can roll on the ship’s deck from the origin port and roll off at the destination port. You can ship cars and self-propelled machinery with RoRo.

Container shipping

Container shipping requires you to lease a container for shipment. The best part about this shipping method is that you can ship other goods alongside your car. Shipping companies usually offer a 20 or 40-ft container depending on the size of your vehicle and goods. 

Container shipping provides an additional layer of security for your vehicle, specifically if you are shipping a luxury car. But as this method requires a crane and labour for loading and unloading, it is expensive. There are two more options in container shipping:


Full Container Load shipping involves leasing an entire container for your exclusive use. You can ship as many vehicles and goods as can possibly fit inside the container. However, as you won’t be sharing the space with other people’s goods, you’ll have to pay for leasing the entire container. This can be expensive. But worth the money if you are importing delicate items or vintage cars. 


Less than Container Load shipping is a cheaper transport option than FCL. You will share the space and charges of the container with other consumers. This method is best for shipping cars and other goods with budgetary constraints. However, there is one drawback to LCL. You would have to wait to receive your shipment. The shipping company will only transport the container when it fills. 

How much does it cost to ship a car to Mauritania?

Shipping costs are only estimates. They can vary depending on several factors such as shipping method, peak season, distance, and size and weight of a vehicle. The estimated shipping rate for car shipping to Mauritania ranges between $2000 to $4700. If you include the customs tax & duty, the shipping costs may increase.

Customs tax & duty for shipping cars to Mauritania

International car shipping from the USA to Mauritania is liable to import taxes. Mauritania customs calculate the tariff based on the vehicle’s age. Used cars adhere to 78% of their value, whereas new cars incur 50% of the tax based on their value. Apart from these taxes, the government also collects 1% statistical import fees. 

How to prepare for shipping cars to West Africa?

Before you ship a car to Mauritania, take some necessary steps to ensure smooth shipping. Take your vehicle to a mechanic for a thorough check for any dents or scratches. Empty the gas tank until only 1/4th of fuel is left. In addition, don’t forget to check the restrictions and prohibitions on importing cars and any other items you wish to send alongside. 

Restrictions and prohibitions on shipping cars to Mauritania

There are certain restrictions and prohibitions to shipping cars to Mauritania that you have to comply with. In case you feel confused about the rules & regulations, check with your shipping company or contact the Mauritanian Embassy in the US. 

Mauritanian customs allow the import of left-hand drives. However, you cannot import vehicles older than eight years in the country. A pre-shipment inspection is also necessary for used cars. The OBL must contain the chassis no, engine no, and weight of the vehicle. 

Documentation required

You would need specific paperwork for vehicles to clear customs in Mauritania. Failure to produce current information may incur a penalty or double tax. So make sure that the documents required for shipping cars to Mauritania are correct and include:

  • Title of Ownership.
  • Registration Certificate.
  • ID and Passport.
  • Bill of Lading.
  • Insurance Certificate.
  • Original Invoice.
  • Inspection certificate delivered by the Societe Generale de Surveillance.

Factors influencing the cost of shipping cars to Mauritania

Several variables can affect the shipping costs resulting in increased charges. While you are planning on shipping cars to Mauritania, keep those factors in mind. Some of them are mentioned below:

Shipping method

Choosing a shipping method like RoRo or container shipping directly impacts the shipping charges. RoRo is more cost-efficient than the container option. It also means loading your car on a carrier doesn’t require a crane or labor force. But the container method will need these and also the additional cost of leasing a container. 

Vehicle size & weight

The shipping industry uses vehicle size and weight to determine the shipping cost. Large vehicles such as SUVs, buses, and trucks take up more space. Hence, if you are shipping a heavy car, it will increase the shipping costs.

Customs clearance fees

Shipping vehicles to West Africa will require you to adhere to certain customs taxes and duties. Each region has customs rules that apply to new and used cars. Some areas may have higher taxes for used cars. So, the condition of your vehicle is a major determining factor in overall shipping costs.

Distance between ports

The shipping companies measure the distance between ports in nautical miles and base their shipping cost per nautical mile. Hence, the greater the distance between the origin and destination ports, the greater charges it will incur. 

Peak season

Peak season is when there is a high demand for shipping, so fewer careers are available. The season can be anywhere between August and September or January to February. During this season, the shipping costs are also higher. 

How can AFL provide you with a stress-free shipping experience?

If you plan to ship cars to Mauritania, you must prepare paperwork, arrange a local carrier, and clear the customs process. But with a reliable international shipping company like AFL, you won’t have to handle anything solely. Our company provides stress-free shipping to all West African regions such as Togo, Senegal, Benin, Ghana, and Nigeria. The services we offer include:

Personalized Shipping

We understand each shipment is different and requires a unique method for shipping. Our experts will listen to your needs and craft a personalized process according to your vehicle, budget, and schedule. Our company has experience shipping at scale and knows how much security your cargo will require. We can personalize our RoRo and container shipping methods to fit your shipping requirements best. 

Processing Services

Our quote is fair and competitive, and there are no additional costs. You’ll only pay once we deliver your vehicle. AFL believes in transparency and simplified communication. Our experts can assist you with readying the paperwork and submitting it in both US and Mauritania customs. Moreover, our foreign-speaking agents can help you clear customs in no time at all. We’ll handle your booking, plus find the most suitable carrier for shipping cars to Mauritania. Our experts will also find the best schedule for delivery that suits your timeline.

NVOCC Services

AFL is an NVOCC shipping company, having a license from the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). It means we can provide you with better shipping rates than a freight forwarder will do. Our company has the resources to process documents and clear your shipment faster at customs. AFL has direct contacts with renowned carriers to book your cargo quickly and efficiently. We also have the experience to advise you in clearing US border customs rapidly. 


How long will it take to ship cars to Mauritania?

The shipping time depends on variables such as shipping method, cargo size, and processing. But your vehicle can take anywhere between two to four weeks to reach Mauritania. If you add an inspection or customs clearance delay in this timeline, it can take one more week before you can get your car. 

How much does it cost to ship a car to West Africa?

The shipping cost is always an estimate so keep in mind that it can vary based on numerous variables. Factors such as the shipping method, size, and weight of your vehicle, peak season, and distance can cause an increase in shipping charges. 

Is shipping cars to West Africa expensive?

The international shipping costs and the distance between ports determine how much it will cost you to ship a car. However, some expenses are in your control. For instance, if you are choosing door-to-port or port-to-door services, it may cost you more to import to West Africa. Purchasing marine insurance will also increase the shipping charges. 

Is buying marine insurance worth it?

Marine insurance may increase your shipping costs, but the extra cost is worth it. This full coverage insurance will ensure that your cargo is protected from the point of pick-up till you receive it at your desired location. In case of an accident during the journey, you’ll get the total value of your cargo.


Shipping cars to Mauritania, West Africa, can be expensive and troublesome if you are unfamiliar with the customs rules & regulations of the country. But with the right shipping company, you won’t have to arrange a local carrier or worry about schedules. An international shipping company like AFL can take care of the shipping, documentation, and customs clearance process without troubling you.


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