Paperwork and logistics etc from NZ to Far eastern Russia.
12 June 2007
Entered Russia yesterday after a minor delay in Korea. In the end the delay saved us a lot of problems though!
Here's what we did.
1. Got multi entry 6 month visa from waytorussia and Russian Embassy in New Zealand.
2. Made sure all paperwork was true and correct. (vin, rego, engine number etc) on our NZ registration documents and bill of sale. Got international driving permit.
3. Got proper metal frame shipping crates for our bikes from friendly local dealer for free.
4. Packed up bikes and put them on a ship from Auckland New Zealand to Busan, Korea. We decided to go via Korea instead of Japan for a couple of reasons, mostly related to carnets and the fact that hotels and food in Korea are cheap compared to Japan. Our shipping agents were Richard Thorpe at Oceanbridge in New Zealand and Annie at Goldway logistics in Korea. Most people report that Air freight is better, but at $10,000 from Auckland, compared to $438 on a ship, flying wasn't realistic. In the end it all worked out fine. Bikes arrived on time. We didn't fly out of NZ until we knew the bikes had arrived.
5. Annie in Korea put the bikes on a truck from Busan, Korea to Sokcho Korea, we caught the bus from Incheon Airport Korea and met the bikes in Sokcho.
6. Reassembled the bikes in an insulated warehouse at the Dong Chun ferry terminal.
7. Rode the bikes onto the ferry. Pricing: Passenger about $200 USD, Bike about $300 USD. Ferry takes about 12 Hours to get to Zarubino in Russia. I don't know about Vladivostok, but Zarubino turned out the be an excellent choice for us for a couple of reasons (I'll get to that in a minute)
8. Filled out customs declaration and immigration cards (these are available on the boat). Passed passport control at Zarubino.
9. Found an offical looking guy and said Matatsikil. He showed me into the freight brokers office who immediately set to work producing a letter of intent, and other documents. It looked like he didn't have much to do that day (one advantage of taking the ferry to Zarubino instead of Vladivostok - It's very quiet in Zarubino. Handed the declarations, passports, IDP and registration documents to the freight broker. We just sat there and had a couple of biscuits.
10. Walked over to the ferry and rode the bikes off the boat.
11. Our freight guy prepared and translated the documents for customs.
12. Our freight guy said "follow my car" and we rode over to the customs office. He told us to wait outside and disappeared in to the customs office for about an hour. We sat in the sun and ate another biscuit. A young looking used car importer came and had a word with us. I swapped a couple of US dollars for Rubles with him, as we couldn't get Rubles in Koera because it was a Sunday! - important, if you want rubles in Sokcho you can only get them during the week. We could get some US dollars though. All in all it took 4 hours from when the ferry stoped moving to us riding out of the gate at Zarubino. The big advantage of Zarubino is the fact that there's not much for the freight and customs guys to do all day. It's a very sleepy town.
13. Our freight guy came out of the customs office with a temporary Russian registration document valid for the length of our 6 month multi visas.
14. We handed our freight guy $200 US (for both bikes). I guess he takes a cut and the customs official takes a cut.
15. Waved good bye and rode out into the sunset. No inspection of our luggage or anything.
16. Filled up with gas (100 m from ferry terminal exit)
17. The ride from Zarubino to Vladivostok is about 200 km. The road is excellent in places and terrible in places, mostly due to roadworks. Glad we had the DR's with decent tyres. (TKC80's)
18. Got stoped at a road block 100 km out of Zarubino. The head guy had a look at my tool kit. Asked if we had any guns. Wanted to know what our valve removal tool was. After chatting for 5 minutes he let us through.
19. Rode into Vlad. We're staying at Hotel Vladivostok while they sort out our visa registration.
20. All in all it was a piece of cake.