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  #1  
Old 17 Feb 2014
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Inspection and Temporary Import of Bike to Japan

Hi all,

I am currently planning a longer trip to asia.
I intended to stop by in Japan. All information states, that a CDP is required to enter Japan and use your bike temporarly.

The JAF website (JAF For Visitors Bringing Vehicles with Carnet de Passages en Douane) states under Note 5
Quote:
4. Anyone who drives a temporarily imported vehicle must always keep a “Registration Certificate” with him/her, issued for the vehicle, which certificate is prescribed in the 1949 Convention on Road Traffic.
5. If a temporarily imported vehicle is registered in a country that is not a party to the aforementioned Convention, it must be inspected and registered in Japan on arrival, even if imported under cover of CPD.
So far so good, unlucky for me is, that I am Swiss and my Motorbike is registerd in Switzerland. And not the big deal, we signed the 1949 convetion but never ratified it.
If others are unsure if there country is part of it check the UN webiste https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDe...mtdsg5&lang=en

So now back to my question, anybody there who has an Idea on how Inspections and registration in Japan works?
And how much this would cost aproximately?

Thanks for any help or websites for clearer information.
Unfortunantly the JAF-Website also only states a FAX-No. No E-Mail.

I hope to get some Information before I have to make an international longdistance call to Japan.

Thanks
Eagle
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  #2  
Old 18 Feb 2014
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Read this:
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...915#post450963

The short answer is: Do not volunteer any information. Say "yes, of course I will register." The costs of registering are tremendous. I know many Swiss and Germans who visited, but nobody has ever inspected or registered the bike. Customs does not know all the road rules (and it is not their business what you do after importing), so you will probably be OK.
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  #3  
Old 19 Feb 2014
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As always, Chris gave the appropriate answers already!

Had German bikers coming to Japan and it was never a (big) problem. Best way maybe coming in from Hokkaido. You may want to check out Heidi & Bernd's webiste: welt-tour.com - Japan. This is the Japan part, but they travelled more or less all over the world.
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  #4  
Old 25 Feb 2014
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I am biking with a German license plate since a month in Japan (even in the snow) and had no problem so far. Some people wonder about it and I just say, yes yes, its fine. Two cops in a car spotted it as well, I saw, but they didnt bother to check any closer. I hope it stays like that.
Greetings, Thomas
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  #5  
Old 25 Feb 2014
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Hi Guys thanks for the info
I will do that too :-)
Hope everything goes well next august.
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  #6  
Old 12 Mar 2014
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Question

If you avoid the bike inspection/registration process upon entering Japan, are you putting yourself at risk of your insurance (Japanese or otherwise) not paying out in the event of a crash?

I could see an insurance company saying something like "Well, your bike wasn't properly registered to be ridden in Japan, so we don't have to pay."
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  #7  
Old 12 Mar 2014
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hi Guy

true that this could be a problem. But I don't know how the registration and inspection works. I did not find any procedure nor price on how to do this nor how much the costs are.
Only information I found so far is, that you cant register a bike in Japan without living there. So this is not really an option, as I don't plan to move to Japan, as I only do a bit longer vacation ;-)

If you know how the inspection works, please let me know

Greets
eagle
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  #8  
Old 12 Mar 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
If you avoid the bike inspection/registration process upon entering Japan, are you putting yourself at risk of your insurance (Japanese or otherwise) not paying out in the event of a crash?

I could see an insurance company saying something like "Well, your bike wasn't properly registered to be ridden in Japan, so we don't have to pay."
A bit of a "Catch 22" in this case. It is pretty much impossible to have a temporarily imported bike inspected and registered. It would cost thousands of dollars.
The important thing is to not injure anybody, as that is all jibaiseki thrid-party insurance covers.
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  #9  
Old 13 Mar 2014
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Just a short update:

Max, a biker from Germany who air-transported his bike to Japan is running into more than enough problems.

He cannot get a mandatory insurance, because his bike has German registration.

He cannot get Japanese registration (even if he wanted) because he does not have insurance.

It seems that they are getting more strict over here - or maybe they are getting their act together?

All previous German bikers came via Hokkaido - (again) maybe those folks up there are more flexible?

Anyway, for bikers from Germany ... don't expect it to be as easy as it was in the past. Maybe "you" want to contact the German government to finally sign that treaty ;-)
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  #10  
Old 13 Mar 2014
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Klaus

Did Max get his bike from customs? Or will they not release it without insurance?

I never heard of being German as a reason for not getting insurance. Many shops just don't want to deal with a foreign bike, no matter what country.
Tell him to try other shops. I will send you a copy of insurance doc from a past traveler. With an "example" they may give him insurance.

Chris


Quote:
Originally Posted by klaus View Post
Just a short update:

Max, a biker from Germany who air-transported his bike to Japan is running into more than enough problems.

He cannot get a mandatory insurance, because his bike has German registration.

He cannot get Japanese registration (even if he wanted) because he does not have insurance.

It seems that they are getting more strict over here - or maybe they are getting their act together?

All previous German bikers came via Hokkaido - (again) maybe those folks up there are more flexible?

Anyway, for bikers from Germany ... don't expect it to be as easy as it was in the past. Maybe "you" want to contact the German government to finally sign that treaty ;-)
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  #11  
Old 27 Mar 2014
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Chris is totally right...

I did say the same thing to Max but he went for shaken... I don't think japanese are getting tougher on law, I just think he did the mistake to enter the japanese redtape system instead of following the other way...
The solution is still simple, many world traveler friends have done it last year, Including germans:
1) Go to a bike shop, without your bike.
2) Say you want insurance for 6month, Give the serial number of the bike (Not the plate number), your name in Japanese( katakana), address in Japan. This is enough for the basic insurance.

The guy will give you the paper in the hour, and that's it, DO NOT mention your bike is with foreign plate.
Then with this paper, the temporary importation paper and the driving licence translation.
You will "legally" drive in Japan. That being said in case of an accident the only thing you are covered for is the physical injury of the third person not the material damage.
All the world riders that I know of ( 8 in the last two years) had this coverage and had no problem at all.

Last edited by YGio; 27 Mar 2014 at 23:55.
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  #12  
Old 28 Mar 2014
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Good advice Yan.
I should change the insurance information on my website.
I forgot that you only need the serial number, not plate number!
As for address, any address will do.
Your insurance doc from Wakkanai had your French address. But I have seen Japanese addresses too. The major obstacle is getting SHORT term. Most shops only want to sell 2 years, as that is the requirement for shaken inspection.

As for Max, I gave up on him.
He won't take anybody's advice.
He will probably screw it up for future travelers by informing the authorities of things they have never paid attention to in the past.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YGio View Post
Chris is totally right...

I did say the same thing to Max but he went for shaken... I don't think japanese are getting tougher on law, I just think he did the mistake to enter the japanese redtape system instead of following the other way...
The solution is still simple, many world traveler friends have done it last year, Including germans:
1) Go to a bike shop, without your bike.
2) Say you want insurance for 6month, Give the serial number of the bike (Not the plate number), your name in Japanese( katakana), address in Japan. This is enough for the basic insurance.

The guy will give you the paper in the hour, and that's it, DO NOT mention your bike is with foreign plate.
Then with this paper, the temporary importation paper and the driving licence translation.
You will "legally" drive in Japan. That being said in case of an accident the only thing you are covered for is the physical injury of the third person not the material damage.
All the world riders that I know of ( 8 in the last two years) had this coverage and had no problem at all.
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  #13  
Old 2 Apr 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris of Japan View Post
As for Max, I gave up on him.
He won't take anybody's advice.
He will probably screw it up for future travelers by informing the authorities of things they have never paid attention to in the past.


There you go. How was that saying: don't wake up sleeping dogs!
For the past couple of years there had not been any problems. We were able to welcome / homestay 5 German bikers. They all came in via Wakkanai. They never had any problems, whether it was insurance or riding in Japan. And of course, they didn't worry that much either! Don't ask too many questions and you won't get stupid answers (or answers you don't want / like)! Anyway, again a big thank you to Chris for all his efforts!!
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  #14  
Old 3 Apr 2014
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Max has not ruined anything for anyone. His inquiries were made at a small regional office in Yamanashi. The staff wanted to get Max on the road and made every effort to find a way, but at the end of the day they have to live within the law.

The law is you cannot legally ride a German registered motorcycle in Japan. If you do you are breaking the law and accordingly accepting the risks/liability. If that is the type of RTW traveler you want to be that is fine, but i suggest respecting other who think differently.

It is possible to register a bike in Japan, if you have a Japanese resident who will allow you to do in their name. It costs around $600 ( excluding any agent fees ) including Jibaiseki, and some of that, possibly up to $200 can be got back when the Jibaiseki is cancelled. This applies to older bikes only, like the Africa Twin ( 90's and earlier bikes ). Newer bikes require emissions, brake and noise tests and can cost up to $2000 due to the test costs. This would be a breach of the CDP, however, unless you tell someone, no one else here is likely to, as it is not their business and most like to see crazy RTW travelers. Further, if you did get the bike registered, i suspect the Japanese resident would require you buy Ninihoken, so that they were not liable for any accidents the bike was involved in.

The police in Japan, generally do not know which countries bikes are legal and which are not. Asking them about it will change nothing, as they still will not know and not even know where to look.

When people here mention insurance, it is Jibaiseki. Most foreigners in Japan do not consider it insurance and would not ride with it as their sole cover. This is what it does cover ( from Mike at Gaijinriders );

1. Pays ZERO for property damage
2. Pays only for the other party's injuries - not yours ( limited to $40K )
3. They send you a bill for any payouts they make due to your accident
( for anything above the $40K and any property damage ).

Most riders in Japan have Ninihoken and this covers property damage as well as other parties injuries to substantial amounts, depending on premium. It is only available to legally registered vehicles. A copy of a Japanese shaken ( registration paper is required ). My wife received her insurance license recently and inquired about Ninihoken for foreign registered motorcycles and was told it was not available, by Mitsui and Sompo. Ninihoken ranges in price from around 26,000 for around $150k cover to 43,000 for unlimited cover.

I strongly suggest, it is better to talk about and know the risk, no matter what path you decide.

Last edited by Apexmoto; 4 Apr 2014 at 03:51. Reason: grammar correction
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  #15  
Old 4 Apr 2014
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And sometimes it helps if you inform yourself before you bring a bike in and get stuck.....
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