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Middle East Topics specific to the Middle East countries, from Syria south to Yemen
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  #1  
Old 29 Jan 2005
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Egypt to UK

Hi all, I’m new to this game but have been reading the site for a while now. I’m planning a 2up trip from Egypt to the UK.
I know which countries I need a carnet for but don’t know what to expect at the border of those that don’t require a carnet. I’m also curious about the insurance side of things. Europe uses the green card insurance, what is “the norm” through the mid-east?
I’m the sort of person that likes to know what to expect at each border (within the usual randomness of the region) and my AA has been of little help.
I see there are others that have done a similar route recently, can anyone fill me in?!
Thanks,
Steve
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  #2  
Old 31 Jan 2005
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Turkey doesn´t require one but might just as well use it if you have one, makes the bordercrossing faster. Syria and Jordan most likely require a carnet for non-arabic registered bikes, Egypt requires one even for bikes registered in an arabic-speaking country. Also in Egypt they made me change to tourist or visitor plates that you hand in at the exit border, that might be a problem if your clearance from the plate to panniers isn´t very large.

What comes to insurance, Turkey is in the greencard system so that should be no problem. If you don´t have one, they´ll sell you insurance at the border.

Syria is not in the greencard system, they´ll sell you insurance at the border, hard currency only, syrian pounds are not accepted as payment when paying the various fees. I don´t recommend crossing Syria on export registration since in that case you´ll have to cross the country in a customs convoy which costs quite a bit (450 USD + baksheesh for me about a week ago) and you can´t go see anything. You´re not even allowed to stop unless it´s for petrol.

Jordan shouldn´t be a problem, they´ll sell you insurance at the border. Also some customs hassles if you´re on an export license but no convoy and the cost was about 120USD.

If I remember correctly, Egypt also sells you insurance at the border. The border crossing with a carnet and arabic plates took more than 7 hours, but didn´t cost all that much. I also seem to remember that there are different kinds of visas for egypt allowing access to different regions of the country.

Anyway, sounds like a nice trip you´re planning. Good luck.
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  #3  
Old 1 Feb 2005
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About a year ago there was talk about Jordan not letting any motorbikes into their country (or only for a three day transit visa), although we had no problems (May last year). But if somebody has been there recently they might fîll you in on the situation.
Anyway, the guys I talked to spent more than three days and ended up just paying a fine upon exit, which was not a huge amount.
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  #4  
Old 1 Feb 2005
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Steve,

If you are able to get a Green Card on entry into Turkey I recommend taking it out for the entire rest of your trip, as it's very difficult to obtain anywhere else in EU plus TR should be much cheaper. Max duration is probably one year.

A valid GC is compulsory in the EU. Don't go without it. Any contact with police would be the end of your trip.

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  #5  
Old 1 Feb 2005
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Well, I came through on Jan 13 this year. The only thing about motorcycles being banned is what the border guys told me in 2001 on one of my previous crossings which is that bikes are banned from Jordanians. Never had to pay any penalties.
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  #6  
Old 4 Feb 2005
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Thanks for the advice, my research indicates i NEED a carnet for Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, MAYBE for Egypt, Turkey and Greece. In any case, I don’t think it adds to the cost to put them on the carnet. What happens at the remaining countries, do they just write your bike details in your passport?
As for insurance, I understand I get it at the border in Egypt, Jordan and Syria, someone correct me if I’m wrong! I wasn’t sure about Turkey so thanks for clearing that up.
I plan on organising Green-Card insurance pre-departure. If I get GC insurance does that automatically cover me in all GC countries or does the insurance company specify which ones?

And now for the tricky one…
I believe an individual can get in and out of Israel without evidence of a visit if they go through the Allenby Bridge border with Jordan (due to it being on the Arab west bank). Has anyone tried to get a bike in and out without evidence that would upset Syria? I’m keen to give it a go because it’s a long way for me to come back later!
Steve
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  #7  
Old 4 Feb 2005
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Steve,
No carnet needed for Greece and Turkey, but adding Egypt to your carnet will increase the deposit/insurance required.

Where are you planning to start biking from?

JT
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  #8  
Old 4 Feb 2005
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The carnet doesn't specify which countries you can use it in so using it for countries don't require it makes no difference exept might make the customs formalities go a bit smoother. There's plenty of pages so no need to try to save them. And Egypt definitely required a carnet back in 2001, they wouldn't even let me on the ferry from Saudi without a carnet.

The Greencard insurance has a list of countries printed on it that specifies the countries where it is valid. The list of countries can be different depending on where you get it from.

What comes to crossing through Israel, they can give you a slip of paper that they stamp if you ask them not to stamp your passport, also if you're coming back through Israel and plan on going through Syria remember to mention this to the Jordanian border guard before they stamp your passport, apparently they have a stamp that doesn't have the name of the crossing on it. This is so that the Syrians don't know you've been to Israel from the Jordanian stamp, although I managed to get through Syria with a stamp of Aqaba crossing from which it is pretty easy to figure out that I had been to Israel. Also if you have no desire to do touristy things in Israel I would recommend going all the way down to Aqaba before crossing to Egypt, either through Israel or by taking the ferry to Nuweiba. It's only about 10km from Jordan to Egypt through Israel and the border formalities in Israel don't take too much time although you can be sure they'll x-ray your luggage.
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  #9  
Old 5 Feb 2005
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From what I have read here in other posts it is next to impossible to go through Israel and then Syria. Use the search function for Israel.

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  #10  
Old 8 Feb 2005
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Thanks for advice on GCard insurance. I’ll shop around and see what I can find to suit my requirements. If you’ve any recommendations, I’m interested.
I intend to ship the bike to Egypt, probably Alexandria. Planning that exercise is also testing my patience! I’ve no idea what the procedure is at the Egypt end despite dozens of emails to various embassies, departments, businesses etc. Maybe I need to improve my Arabic!
I plan to catch the ferry to Jordan to avoid the Israel stamp. By the way, my AA tells me the Jordan carnet will be valid for 2 weeks maximum which adds another version to the many Jordan stories. Probably only there 8-10 days so we should be fine. Our AA also tells me that Egypt charges an undisclosed fee for tourist vehicles entering the country.
Israel-Syria ‘next to impossible…’ so there’s still a chance?! I had intended on doing ‘touristy things’ in Israel for 4-7 days so will attempt to get in and out without any stamps. We can always just turn around if the stamps come out when entering Israel but it could be interesting when leaving!
Finally, Dagge has mentioned a tourist convoy if on export plates. What are these and is it possible to travel where and when I like? Obviously, this is what I’d rather do.
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  #11  
Old 8 Feb 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by awol13:
Israel-Syria ‘next to impossible…’ so there’s still a chance?! I had intended on doing ‘touristy things’ in Israel for 4-7 days so will attempt to get in and out without any stamps. We can always just turn around if the stamps come out when entering Israel but it could be interesting when leaving!
If you have a stamp from Israel on your passport it is IMPOSSIBLE for you to go through Syria and Lybia, and you are blocked.

Even asking to the israeli custom officer not to stamp your passport doesn't work, as the Syrian will be able to check on your passport the egyptian or jordan stamp, put on the passport on the other side on the egyptian/israel or jordan/israel border.

For this reason (to avoid few kilometers in Israel), we had to take the ferryboat Nuweiba (Egypt) - Aqaba (Jordan), and then we could ride across Syria.



[This message has been edited by pietro.spera (edited 09 February 2005).]
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  #12  
Old 8 Feb 2005
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"Export plates" are issued by some EU countries, Germany in particular, for the purpose of exporting a vehicle. The details of this are discussed elsewhere. Suffice to say that if your bike is already registered you are not concerned.

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  #13  
Old 13 Feb 2005
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Unless things have changed very recently I have been reliably informed that individuals can get in and out of Israel without evidence provided they cross (both ways) at the Allenby Brige/King Hussein crossing with Jordan. Whether a bike can get through remains doubtful. I will assess the situation upon arrival and if it does not look possible I will leave the bike in Jordan and do Israel by bus, bicycle, or walking. Whatever it takes to avoid returning later!
Thankyou for advice regarding export plates. I found the info on the site and am now a bit wiser.
Things are starting to come together and I'm getting a little exited!
I’m still curious about these convoys though. I searched the site and only found old references to them, mostly in Egypt. Are they still around and is it possible to avoid them?
Also, has anyone freighted a bike to Egypt before? I don't suppose getting it through customs will be a simple exercise?!
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  #14  
Old 14 Feb 2005
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Hi Steve, Have you thought about getting a second Aust passport? I have not done it, but I know some who have. Aust don't really like issuing a second one and don't make it well known. But if you say you want to visit Israel and other middle eastern countries, and pay the fee for issuing new passport, they will provide one - unless something has changed very recently.

That way it doesn't matter if Israel stamps it, just use the other one from then on. Also means you have a back-up in case passport is lost or stolen, as long as you keep them in seperate places!

Skillo
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  #15  
Old 15 Feb 2005
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Hi all, I am new on the Motor World. I really want to go to Middle East with my new F650. I've red almost all of the ME forums but I did not understant what cernel is?? Can someone tell me what it is? Cheers. ozhan u.
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