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Importing Cars and Driving in Serbia
 

Permanent Vehicle Importation

The information below constitutes the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade's understanding of the vehicle importation regulations for Serbia as of November 30, 2008. The U.S. Embassy assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or validity of the information below. The information is provided only as a general guideline for those interested in importing a car and is subject to change by new legislation or regulations.

Anyone wishing to import a car into Serbia should consult with Information Centre of the Institute for Standardization of Serbia, www.iss.rs Tel: (+381 11) 7541-260; e-mail: infocentar@iss.rs or ljubica.petrovic@iss.rs, to obtain the latest, official rules, regulations and procedures regarding importation of a vehicle into Serbia.

According to Serbian law, any car imported to Serbia must pass a technical inspection, along with other requirements. The law requires that the technical inspection of the vehicle must verify that the vehicle complies with Euro 3 standards (contact the Information Center of the Institute for Standardization of Serbia at the number or e-mail listed above). In general, compliance is verified by providing the inspector with original, manufacturer's documentation stating that the vehicle is Euro 3 compliant. Because most US manufactured automobiles are not Euro 3 certified by the manufacturer, it is generally not possible to register them in Serbia.

Persons planning to import a car permanently into Serbia must register the vehicle within thirty days of clearing customs. Americans can apply to register their cars with the transportation department of the nearest local police station. You will need the following documentation:

  1. proof of customs clearance
  2. proof of ownership and proof of foreign registration translated into passport
  3. Serbian visa
  4. work permit (if applicable)
  5. proof of residence in Serbia
  6. the results of a technical examination or inspection of the car

The Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs publishes the following information regarding temporary importation of Motor Vehicles on their website:

Foreign nationals and residents living abroad may enter the country in a vehicle bearing foreign registration plates and drive it as long as the reasons (visit, holiday, business) for it exist.

Foreign nationals staying for more than three months (students, foreigners married a national, business undertaking) may temporarily import a vehicle free of duty provided:

  1. The vehicle is under six years old
  2. The person is allowed to stay in the country for more than three months
  3. The person has owned the vehicle at least six months prior to entering the country

If conditions two (2) and three (3) are not applicable, a motor vehicle may be imported temporarily only if it is not older than six years. In that case, 3 per cent of all import taxes payable on the vehicle if sold on the date of the temporary import declaration will be paid for each month or part of the month during which the vehicle has been on the temporary import regime.

Car Registration

Foreign cars must be registered in Serbia and in Montenegro within thirty days of clearing customs. Americans can register their cars with the transportation department of the nearest local police station. You will need the following documentation:

  1. proof of customs clearance
  2. proof of ownership and proof of foreign registration translated into Serbian or Montenegrin, depending on the country
  3. passport
  4. Serbian or Montenegrin visa, as appropriate
  5. work permit (if applicable)
  6. proof of temporary residence in Serbia or in Montenegro
  7. the results of a technical examination or inspection of the car

Foreign cars used by tourists in Serbia and in Montenegro (in cases when the simplified procedure of customs clearance without documentation was applied) do not need to be registered as long as the inspection certificate is still valid.

Driving in Serbia

U.S. Embassies and Consulates cannot issue or renew U.S. driver's licenses. Some individual states will renew licenses by mail. For information on your state's policies, and procedures for renewing a license or applying for a new license please visit USA.gov.

An international driving permit is required for driving in Serbia, but is only valid when used in conjunction with a valid license from one's home country. You can obtain an international driving permit before departing the United States from the National Automobile Club (PDF 45.8KB) or AAA. A U.S. driver's license used together with an international driving permit will be valid for six months in Serbia, after which time, you may have to obtain a Serbian driver's license.

Visit the State Department's travel website for official information about road safety overseas, tips on driving abroad, and a further explanation of international driving permits.

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