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  #1  
Old 10 Dec 2004
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GPS in Russia.....Dont! (Mod Note: This thread opened 5 years ago)

This has been posted in other sites, but I thought I share it with you. Just bought my Garmin GPS for my trip thru Siberia. Now I read this............

http://travel.state.gov/travel/gps.html

Bummer!
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  #2  
Old 10 Dec 2004
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Oh well, you can get good road atlas's cheaply in book stores and there are not so many roads in Siberia......I created alot of interest when I offerred to show the Novo mechanics my GPS and then alot of laughter when i produced my atlas. Its just more stuff anyway.
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  #3  
Old 10 Dec 2004
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I took my GPS into Russia last year and had no problems. I popped it into my pocket at the border crossing and only got stopped by the GAI once.

He was a very nice cop, no bribe or any nonsense - he just checked my papers were in order and sent me on my way - so some you win and some you lose...

Maybe I was just lucky?

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  #4  
Old 11 Dec 2004
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Thanks for posting this. I do notice that the warning is dated 3/98, so it's 6 1/2 years old. Sometime in the next month I hope to visit the Russia consulate in Seattle, and I'll ask if it's possible to get authorization to bring a gps and cell phone into the country.

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  #5  
Old 13 Dec 2004
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I don't think it's worth it to try and get permission. I took one into and out of Russia twice this year and I know plenty of others who have as well. Just hide it(and put a jacket over the mounting while you do the paperwork) When one guy was leaving Russia for Mongolia they asked if he had a GPS and he said yes. The reply was "Well hide it when you come back across the boarder into Russaia"
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  #6  
Old 16 Dec 2004
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That's bullshit! It's 6,5 years old...
I had my big GPS (Garmin 176C) on the bike crossing the border and the guys at the border were very interested to get it explained - same with the GAI officers on the road...

Just take it with you and stay cool ;-)
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  #7  
Old 24 Dec 2004
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hey man!

Russia is no problem at all! Don't ask for a permission for anything. It's probably the only country in the world where you can do anything! Even flying into space is possible.

I was 4 1/2 months in russia and never ever had any problem. I had the same worries like you before I started, but in the end it turned out that it was complete nonsense. Police stopped me sometimes 4 times a day. Twice I had to pay a penalty for driving too fast, but instead of doing it the way via bank, they just charged me the official amount (200 roubles) and took it into their own pocket.

In general, you can say that russian people are very guestfriendly and helpful. As a tourist, you can do a lot of things there, which you couldn't do if you were russian, so don't be too scared :-)

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  #8  
Old 24 Dec 2004
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Thanks for the information, Marco. Where are you these days? Have you left South Korea?

Happy Holidays.

Mike
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  #9  
Old 29 Dec 2004
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I'm now relaxing a bit in Valparaiso, Chile. My bike should arrive here tomorrow, but I will only start to drive after new year's eve!


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  #10  
Old 10 Jul 2008
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GPS in Russia

What GPS were you using? Has anyone tried using TomTom in Russia or SE Asia for that matter?
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  #11  
Old 10 Jul 2008
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agreed, no problem entering anywhere around Russia with GPS. The ban on GPS was an anti-espionage throwback to the USSR.

The GPS I took was a bag of c%$* though, ended up staying in the bag and I used a cut-out from a world map to navigate with, which worked absolutely perfectly and is what I will use next time for sure. If you are asking for directions you only really need to know the next country you have to be in, and asking for this guarantees a funny response and probably a free meal! Of course if you have somewhere to be it is a poor poor plan as you WILL get 'lost'.

One of the things I like best about solo overlanding is that getting lost isn't a big issue, as long as the sun is in your face in the morning you are going east!
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  #12  
Old 12 Jul 2008
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Pfft, keep your cellphone, satphone and GPS buried with your dirtiest stank underpants if you're that worried. I've only ever had my topbox searched, and that was just a brief visual.

Obviously as far as forms go, you're bringing in no currency nor any telecommunications devices
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  #13  
Old 13 Jul 2008
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Stop hiding your SatNavs

Russia's prohibition on importing and using SatNavs ended a few years ago.

They are on sale everywhere throughout Russia - same makes and models as anywhere else. Map/software also available from dealers and very very cheap unlicensed copies on street stalls alongside pirated DVDs.

The Customs Declaration form requires you declare items over a certain value/cost. Some SatNavs fall within this. But this is only a Declaration of higher value items (and cash) you are bringing in and taking out. As long as it is for personal use, part of your baggage, and intended to be taken out with you, nothing is payable.

I have even used mine to mollify Roads Police by showing them the location of Chelsea Football Club ground in relation to where I live. I got smiles and back slaps acompanied by cries of "Abramovich".
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  #14  
Old 13 Aug 2008
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Yes that sat nav prohibition stuff is totally out of date.

All new BMWs, Mercs, Range Rovers etc sold in Russia now have built in GPS sat navs, and while currently NAVTEQs street coverage only covers Moscow and St Pete, its apparently a priority for them to get as much of russia onto their database ASAP. Its a big project mind you. big country. But its already Europes largest new car market now, so you can assume inthe next year or two will be europes largest sat-nav market too.
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  #15  
Old 5 Apr 2009
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first i have to say i have no knowledge about GPS's in russia at all and this sounds pretty shocking!

i would like to suggest to exercise caution though. the law may be old but if you somehow happen to piss off an official, they could still use that law to make your life miserable.

i think i remember a story about UK plane spotters who were jailed in greece for taking photos of airplanes near the landing strip of a commercial airport ... and i wouldnt imagine russia being a nice place to end up on the wrong side of the law.

your local russian embassy should be able to advise you on this id imagine.
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