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  #1  
Old 10 Sep 2009
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Coming home: is there space to uncrate and rebuild my bike at Heathrow Cargo/Custom

Does any one know what the arrangements/officials are like at Heathrow customs? I need to uncrate and reconstruct my bike (2-3hrs tops) just need a quite corner - where I won't get told 'move on sonny'.

Anyone any recent experience?

(I will be coming in with Malaysia Airlines if that makes any difference)

Paul

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Old 10 Sep 2009
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With our SA flight, once the bike is released, a guy in a forklift will take it down the ramp and leave it anywhere you want in the carpark. The carpark is never full but you may get wet if it's raining...
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Old 10 Sep 2009
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Interestingly has anyone found a way not to get stung by the fact we were told that you can't use your carnet in the UK (for a UK bike, taxed, tested, V5 in hand etc.) A clearing agent is needed to complete the paperwork £200 for 2 bikes, I think it was last year....
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Old 11 Sep 2009
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We used PBS last year to clear 2 bikes through Gatwick, I think it was around £45 per bike, But i dont know if the price depends on where your shipping from? ours came back from Canada.
Happy Travels
Adam
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Old 11 Sep 2009
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Thanks - I'm not sure if people appreciate this point that you have to clear your bike through UK customs separately (not carnet) if you're not just riding it off a ferry.
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Old 13 Sep 2009
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Well ace to know I can rebuild the bike in the carpark without hassle but £100 to clear a UK registered bike - I was just expecting to hand my shipping notice in show my V5 (reg doc) and ride off!
Ta for the warning!
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Old 14 Sep 2009
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Yes this bit about clearing the bike yourself is something quite new - I did it myself at Stanstead in 2005 from Colombia but could not do it at Heathrow this year from Senegal. Just showing up and saying you'll do it won't work.

Apparently if you are really organised you can arrange to self clear BUT you need to get the paperwork completed somewhere completely random (Salford maybe?) and it takes time. It must all be in place by the time the bike arrives.

If you get the airline cargo handlers to clear it is very expensive - we got stung 100GBP each if I recall correctly. Other agents will be much cheaper if you shop around.

Hope this helps.

Matt
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Old 24 Sep 2009
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In the end I did use Proflex, Simon@proflexgroup.com, so that the bike could go through customs before I arrived on a later plane (it takes 24-48 hrs to go through customs!). Simon at Proflex was very helpful answering my numerous emails. It seemed there was no option to clear it myself anyway. It cost £133.50 but luckily no storage charges - make the UK the most expensive place for me to enter. I sent the carnet with the airway bill.

I picked up the create from HCH (Heathrow Cargo Handling) and they put it next to a skip in the carpark where I dumped the crate and rode off home :-)

When I got home I found the carnet had not been stamped on the final page (instead the UK customs have stamped one of the counterfoils in both boxes) so looks like I should have given them written instructions!

Last edited by karter257; 24 Sep 2009 at 21:33.
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