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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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Old 9 Jul 2004
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Devon,UK
Posts: 47
Kazak customs nightmare

Don't do as I did. Even if you have to scream and shout for an hour get a customs entry stamp/ temporary import permit/ customs declaration for your bike. I only kicked up a fuss for 15 min after they told me I didn't need anything.

And now my bike can't be exported because it doesn't exist.

I am left trying to freight it out illegally or sell it here.


Oh well, easy come - easy go.

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Old 9 Jul 2004
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Join Date: Dec 1997
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
Posts: 4,561
Keep us posted on this - could get very interesting!

I feel for your pain - but at least that's probably one of the countries you could sneak it out of...

Best of luck

Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
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Old 10 Jul 2004
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Location: melbourne
Posts: 557
Hey George,Which country are you trying to get into? If you need to get it out of Kazakstan you could try the crossing into Kyrgystan at the eastern end of Lake Issy Kul near Karakol. I crossed this border twice and had no problems. You can get into Kygystan numerous times on a single entry visa as they dont stamp your passport. The border guards appreciate small presents and their pictures taken with you.

You could ride from Almaty across to the Lake Issykul directly. Visit the bike club with no name. I can email you the phone number of an english speaking woman who rides with them. They regularly ride this road/track on bikes..three river crossings I believe!and quite an adventure..their are no customs at the crossing. As Kyrgys dont stamp your dopcuments they dont know you even came in illegally when its time to leave...or you go and turn up at the local police station to register.

Otherwise grab a blank customs declaration form and fill it out...it wont be stamped but this usually gets you a "fine". This was a method I was told worked in Russia should you loose the form.

Crossing into Uzbek is worse! Turkmenistan worse again! Into Kyrgystan the easiest by far.

Let me know if I can help in any way.

Close to Antarctica and a long way from reality
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Old 13 Jul 2004
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Uhhhh, thats not nice at all... Maybe you should try and head back into Uzbekistan, I mean from Tashkent we know you can ship it virtually hazzlefree.
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Old 3 Aug 2004
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Hi George
I hope U got the things done in the meantime.
I mean NOT to sell the XT

Goetz + Karen, Berlin
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Old 16 Aug 2004
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Location: Devon,UK
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Hi Guys,

Thanks for all the commiserations. Here's how it turned out.

I am now back in the UK minus bike. I ran short of time and will power fighting the customs through official channels. Put simply it is not possible to freight your bike out of Kazakhstan without some form of tempoary import clearance.

There is no apparent problem crossing out over land but I was short of time and visas and the piston slap was becoming a little insistent.

The best solution is to freight from Tashkent as malmoeric will tell you. Much cheaper and the Uzbek customs have no problems giving you temporary import docs.

So the bike was sold for a fairish price given I didn't have papers and I am back in UK a sadder and wiser man as the Lady of Shallot had it.

Advice and poetry in one post. Do I get an award?

Nice one on getting into and out of China Goetz. I wish I had your luck, or skill.

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