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  #1  
Old 5 Jan 2014
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Japan, Narita, uncrate the bike?

Hi Friends,
I am coming this Friday the 10th of Jan. 2014 to Japan and dont know if they let me uncrate the bike at the Narita Airport, to be exact, at the I.A.C.T. counter.
Is anyone there who might know about it, or knows an alternative where I can let the box transport to and do the job there? Some garage in Tokyo, biker place, or outside somewhere?
Thanks and hope to see you soon,

Thomas
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  #2  
Old 7 Jan 2014
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Thomas,

hope I am not too late./

You might want to send an e-mail to Chris (the mod of this thread). He is the most capable guy here in Japan!! Here is also his website with quite some useful information! Please let me know if I can be of any (additional) help!!
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Old 7 Jan 2014
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Narita and GPS in Japan

Hi Klaus,
I got an email of great Chris already. All seems to be fine, also the I.A.C.T. told me that over the weekend it should be possible to uncreate there, weekdays are too busi.
Hey, since you offer additional help to me, the other German biker ..., I might get through your region later in spring, how about a drink?
Kann ich dich irgendwie direkt anschreiben? (engl.: how can I get in touch with you?)

Also, which gps maps work best in Japan?

Greetings,

Thomas
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Old 7 Jan 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomaslehmen View Post
Hi Klaus,

Also, which gps maps work best in Japan?

Thomas
If you have a Garmin, try this
https://box.yahoo.co.jp/guest/viewer...iewtype=detail
Click on ダウンロード near the top on the left side.
I am not sure if it will work. But I heard that it has maps in English.
(The most commonly used OSM version with English automatically converts the Japanese characters into the Chinese reading for the same characters, making it pretty much useless. i.e. 東京 becomes "Dongjing" instead of "Tokyo").
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Old 7 Jan 2014
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Thomas, Moins! (good morning for all those English speakers)

GREAT! I knew Chris would be a valuable "asset" again!!

I can't promise anything but please send mails to klausdorth(at)web.de. I will see what can be done in reference to a or maybe even 2!!

If possible send me your preliminary (or final) plans for Japan!!!
Schick Deine vorlaeufigen Plaene einfach mal - dann sehen wir weiter!!
Viel Spass im Land-der-(nicht immer)-aufgehenden Sonne!
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Old 9 Jan 2014
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Chris, morning ... anything new on Thomas??
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  #7  
Old 12 Jan 2014
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hello ...

I will keep you updated, now all is delayed and in progress, it looks like German bikes have to be temporarily registered ... .

I will give a whole "Report" on the process once I am through, for the case someone else is trying to do it correctly with a bike registered in Germany.

Cheers,

Thomas
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  #8  
Old 13 Jan 2014
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Thomas

Registration and customs are different subjects handled by different agencies; so if you have a carnet, customs should not give you any problems.
Did JAF tell you you need to register the bike?
Usually, you say "Oh, yes. I will register it." but you don't actually register it.
I know many people who rode German bikes in Japan. The police do not know which countries the treaty applies to, so they usually don't give you a problem.
If you register, I think you have to have all the testing done. This is very expensive!
You should concentrate first on getting the bike out of customs!

The issue was covered here in the past:
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...in-japan-20921
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Old 13 Jan 2014
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Hi Chris!
My impression is that something is going on in between the agencies JAF, Customs, that registration place and a major institution.
Bad luck I was sick two days and today is a holiday, JAF is closed:
1. JAF inquired with a long phonecall on Friday about how it has to be done wit a German bike and biker.
Result: I need the translation of the driving license and they said that they were told by that institution to tell me, that I may not ride without registration and technical check! And of cause not without translation of my driving license.

2. Customs today asked if I want to ride the bike in Japan (of cause you butthead) and if I have a driving license, a Japanese one! All that after he did that same kind of phone call to some other institution. That customer only wants to give me the bike if I show tomorrow the translation of the driving license which is ready only tomorrow at JAF since JAF is closed today.

So, I will see tomorrow how JAF reacts and if the customs hand me the bike on base of the translation of driving license, or, if they maybe even know more about the necessary registration and technical check, which was not mentioned today.
See it from this point:
If it is indeed the law that I need all that shit, then it is quite logical that they fix the bike down until you have all papers. But at the customs no one knows ... .
And the way to get around it it is of cause how you say: always answering that you will do exactly as they say, registering it, not riding it before you have all the stuff, etc., not talking about anything what is missing etc..
of cause one trick is to have the crate delivered somewhere, but that was not possible for me anymore today. I hope I dont have to do that tomorrow.

Ok folks, I will keep you updated and give the perfect report for anyone who wants to do it in the future who`s country didnt sign the contract with Japan!
Cheers,
Thomas
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Old 13 Jan 2014
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Thomas, mail sent,

but anyways,here too.

You will need a translation of your German driver's license, which will enable you to drive / ride upto one year in Japan. No big deal.

Concerning the temp. registration and inspection, Chris gave you the answers already. This is the first time for me to hear something like this. Yes, Germany did not sign that special treaty ... but none of the previous folks from Germany had any problems (thanks to Chris too, of course!!).

Maybe it depends on the port you arrive at. All other German bikers came via Russia to Hokkaido. In any case, an inspection + temp. registration - you can buy a used bike for that money (want my Honda TransAlp???)

Please keep us informed of what is going on!
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Old 13 Jan 2014
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Interesting developments. I don't have a lot of experience with temporary import at the airport, but it was easy in the past.
Usually, if you show your carnet, Customs will just release the bike to you. (You do need a paper from JAF that says the carnet is real, though).
Of course, you cannot register it until Customs releases it to you. So, I think you can get your bike even if you can't (officially) ride it.
Usually a Customs officer is not there when you leave with the bike. I think, in the worst case, you can rent a truck and take the bike away from the airport.

I am curious. When they asked for your license, did you show your International Driving Permit? I know Germans are supposed to have a separate license translation, but Customs people usually do not know the traffic laws. Maybe he called JAF and they told him more than he needed to know!

Good luck tomorrow. I think it will be cold tomorrow too!
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Old 13 Jan 2014
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JAF was closed today, so I think he called somewhere else. You see, thats what I mean: somehow they got more careful to do it right.
Nowhere in the world I was asked by the customs jet for my driving license ... .

Part of the confusion on ALL SIDES might be the different treaties with different countries. Also when we talk about it in the future, it seems to be necessary that we make a difference in between the countries of origin.
Coming by ferry seems to be the better option now, if it is possible for one to do so.
Ok, another day - another way ... maybe by truck
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Old 15 Jan 2014
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Hip, hip, hurray .....
Chris (and all others here):

Thomas got his bike out of customs.

It is with him at the ryokan.
Just got an e-mail.

And Chris, thanx again (as always, I know, I know!!!).
The next couple of will be on me, once we meet!!!
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Old 15 Jan 2014
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Originally Posted by klaus View Post
Thomas got his bike out of customs.

It is with him at the ryokan.
Good news!
I always get worried when something goes wrong as I am no longer able to go down and put things straight myself.

Thomas,
when you have the time, tell us the details of what you had to do to get your bike from the bureaucrats.
And, at last, welcome to Japan!
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Old 18 Jan 2014
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Customs Narita Airport, Cargo, JAF, Insurance

O, here is the report!

Customs Narita Airport, Cargo, JAF, Insurance

The most efficient order to work through to get your bike seems to be the one below. Still it might take you several days, at least count on two, if there is no weekend or holidays in between.
1. JAF in Tokyo for carnet and translation of driving license.
2. Insurance in any bigger motorcycle shop. You can do this independent from all the other institutions, but you need it of cause before you ride.
3. Warehouse company in the customs zone at Narita Airport.
4. Customs clearance in the customs zone at Narita Airport. They need your driving license and the carnet and the delivery document.
5. Payment at warehouse company for storage etc..
6. Uncrate and happy ride!


JAF(Japanese Automobile Club)

JAF gives you the validation of your Carnet and can give you a translation of your driving license.
The Carnet validation takes about 30 minutes.
You need a translation of your driving license if you are from Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Slovenia, Monaco or Taiwan (probably international driving permit if you are from other countries). At the moment, the information I can give is, that you need such translation AT THE CUSTOMS IN NARITA!.
It is possible contact and fax JAF the carnet and the driving license as described in their webpage before you reach Japan. That serves you time and you can pick up that translation for 3000 Yen without waiting up to several days!
So, BEFORE you intend to get the customs clearance you get your carnet validated at the JAF, and also the translation of your driving license if you need that one!
If you are out of the unlucky countries noted above, JAF will possibly tell you that you have to register your bike officially! This includes a technical check which is very expensive! According to my information at this point, you have to become a resident in Japan first! This is not possible for everybody.
If JAF tells you that you have to do it, say yes, you will do it, sure.
On the road you need, so far, only the driving license, insurance, because police doesnt know about the difference which country signed which treaty.
The reason behind is, that these countries signed the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic in 1968, but Japan signed the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic in 1949.
Interestingly the customs did not know about that registration! Luckily!

JAF links:
JAF Regional Headquarters MAP
JAF Regional Headquarters & Offices : KANTO
JAF|For foreign nationals with a driver�s license issued in Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium or Taiwan
JAPAN AUTOMOBILE FEDERATION (JAF)
JAF For Visitors Bringing Vehicles with Carnet de Passages en Douane


Cargo and Customs at Narita Airport, Japan
1.
IACT at Narita airport is the handling warehouse for MOST airlines in the customs zone.
At the Information booth in Terminal 2 you get a little map. Walking time from there to the customs zone is just 10 minutes.
Outside, at the gate at the customs zone, you give your name, address in japan, phone number and office you will visit (probably IACT) and you get a visitors card and a paper to be stamped at any place you visit in the customs zone. Dont forget the stamp. If you leave the customs zone you will return paper with stamp and card.

Right behind that gate on the right side is the Customs building! Second floor!

2.
From that gate you will see already a building straight on across the street with big letters: IACT
Next to it on the right side is also an IACT building. Take that.
First and second office next to each other!
Take the second office and get the original delivery documents with your copy and passport.

3.
With this go back to the customs building second floor for the clearance of the bike.
Carnet, passport, address, phone number, delivery document, international driving license!
And for the unlucky nations the translation of the driving license.
The Customs Officer might want to see the bike. Normally the transport of the crate to the customs house will cost. (In my case I was lucky, they transported it from the bigger storage place to the smaller IACT warehouse next to the offices. I think this is how it should be done anyway, since the buildings are opposite each other.)
If customs clearance is done, go to the first office of IACT and pay storage time etc..

Link document C5014, which is good to have filled out before:
http://www.customs.go.jp/kaisei/yous...m_C/C5014a.pdf


Be careful with your carnet de passage in both places! Most of the people there have never seen this document. It even is in a language they can not read. They might want to stamp it at incorrect places or make it in some other way invalid!

4.
Uncrating at the warehouse is possible. In my case they just placed it outside. You will have to pay a lot of money for the material of the crate as junk. Price is dramatically negotiable. Payment to be done at the first office.
The other option is to have the whole crate delivered to Tokyo or where ever. (In that way you might get around any trouble with your missing driving license, registration or else.)
Riding the bike into Tokyo is great in non-rush hour times, take the highway for a couple of thousand Yen.


For the folks who are in Japan for the first time:
Please understand that everybody wants to do it perfect. No one will do anything without being sure it is the right way. This usually works for you, since everything is optimally organized and fast. But in some exceptions it is creating also problems. Make sure you have all documents prepared and don't expect many people to speak English. But even with language barriers, a straight and very polite attitude is very helpful.

When I did that process in January 2014, both, JAF and Customs were calling somewhere else to find out how they have to do it exactly. You might have made or will make other experience, hopefully, but I had the impression that they got alerted somehow with the issue of foreign vehicles in Japan.
But only JAF told me about that I have to register the bike, not the Customs luckily. The customs did not want to give the bike free before I had the translation of my German driving license!

Overall, it is manageable.
Coming with a ferry, riding the bike in, the process is probably easier and quicker.
I will keep you updated about wether there was any trouble on the road with the missing registration.

If anyone has questions, dont hesitate to contact me.

Happy ride!
Thomas
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