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  #1  
Old 16 Jun 2009
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URGENT Russia import doc!

Hi

I'm currently in Rostov something north of Sochi , I got to Sochi and I was given 14 days entry into Russia for my bike but detained on the ferry for 2 days due to customs troubles, it took me 2 days to get here due to a crash and thus I only have 10 days left.

how do I extend this?

It is IMPOSSIBLE for me to ride to Barnal ie the mongolia border in 10 days , thus I want an extension ,

how do I go about this? (Sochi customs would not be bribed for longer and gave me a choice get lost back to Trabzon or sign the 14 day form which was more like 12 days!)

Other option is to turn round to the Ukraine border and see if I can get an extention there but its reputed to be 10 hours away and I want another option.

I have been to the department of local affairs and they gave me an address I have zero chance of finding as it is 35km away according to cabbies. Can I go to the Airport to the customs there?.

Help needed urgently!
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  #2  
Old 16 Jun 2009
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Need more information--what kind of Russian visa do you have? Single entry? If so, don't go to Ukraine or you won't get back into Russia?

Note that when I entered Russia via a different border a month or so ago, they customs people said that the most they could give me was three weeks (not two as with you). When I explained to them how inconvenient
that was, they graciously extended it to nine weeks for in return for 1000 rubles.

I doubt that going to the airport will work, you probably need to go to the local Rostov customs facility which is presumably the address you've been given.

I see three solutions, in order of simplicity:

1) hire a taxi to lead you to the address;

2) hire a taxi to lead you to the right road out of town and point you in the right direction, leaving you to find the exact building with help from gas stations, etc. (should work OK if you took the trouble to learn cyrillic). This option is more work but cheaper.

3) Find a Russian biker and explain your situation--they are generally incredibly helpful and friendly (even if they don't look like it), and will probably lead you out there for free. Note that they might not know much about customs formalities applicable to you, however, since they don't have the same customs issues.

Another issue: I'm not sure, but the local customs facility might not extend your temporary import doc if you are not "registered" in Rostov. To get registered you might need to spend a night or two in a hotel.

Too bad you're having these issues, but the good news is that Rostov is a great city while you're getting this sorted out. Head down to the Don embankment on an evening and have a few s to forget about the customs hassles.

EDIT: One tip when dealing with Russians: they are often very helpful to foreigners who can explain what they need (if their need is reasonable and achievable), and if you ask nicely and explain how you're just a confused foreigner who just can't understand their complicated rules...yelling, getting irritated, sobbing (I've seen it) usually don't get you too far. If someone helps you out you might consider getting them some flowers or candy (the most helpful ones are often women) as a nice gesture.

Also, if you can't get it sorted in Rostov, you can try the same drill in the next city. I would have it sorted before it runs out though, because then there is an actual violation, and you'll probably have to pay fairly serious to get the bike out.
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  #3  
Old 16 Jun 2009
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I think you can also try to put the bike on the train. It might be a pain to get this sorted, but this way you make it in about 4 days to Barnaul and you will only have to deal with train conductors instead of police officials.
Let us know how you have sorted this,
Alex
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  #4  
Old 16 Jun 2009
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I did it! ,

I asked the hotel yes hotel hey I'm injured! Lada impact , long story...

They sent me to the ministry of internal affairs , which I wandered around for half an hour before a guy with an AK47 threw me out... giving me a bogus address cabbies said was 56km away.

I then went to a net cafe to see if I could get it on the Ukraine border customs , but some truckers said nyet they cannot extend it there...but I needed a map anyway.

I then headed out to the border to see for myself if this was possible or not, and came across the airport and went into the customs to ask they pointed me towards another government building.

They told me to go to the other customs 14km out of town near a police check point, where 10000s of turkish and Ukrainian truckers were camped out.

I got there and they said not possible to do here a Russian lady who spoke some English who incidentally was teh sex,

wrote down an address the transportation bureau , I went seeking it was given a free map but ran out of petrol in the middle of a 9 lane highway , pushed it to a petrol station who only had 75 Octane petrol put 40 roubles into it

Fired her up , found it went in had them photocopy everything thrice (I started out with 20 passport photo copies and 20 driving licence copies etc and now only have 6 left of each!). paid 350 roubles and I have an extended import document which lasts till the life of my visa, and thus I have just under a month to make it to the mongolian border rather than 10 days.

Oh they were iffy about the visa registration, as in how the hell I managed to register myself, which is regarded as impossible.

in Krasnodar lastnight after the hotel refused to register me on account of me staying less than 3 days , even with a fat bribe they said no we wont do it...I know why it is a HUGE amount of paperwork 2 A4 double sided forms , 3 A3 forms , three tear off slips, postage and three photocopies of everything and lots of signatures. I asked a friendly airport security guard who told me to get the forms at the post office writing them down so I could get them myself.

A cop who stopped me was most displeased at how I had self registered as he was expecting to extort many dollars from me.
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  #5  
Old 16 Jun 2009
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hey congrats, nice job, sounds like a rough day!

More info on self-registration? I've never had to do it, and while I've heard of it, as far as I know the rego docs need to be signed by someone like a Russian landlord, etc. You just filled out the docs and then what?

Maybe the cop that stopped you was most displeased because the docs were incorrectly filled out, not because he wanted a bribe?
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  #6  
Old 22 Jun 2009
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Kennichi .. well done ... I'm impressed with what you've done there

Same 'Bike Customs' problem in 2008 .. I rode across Russia in blissful ignorance.

Delayed for a day in Zarabino on Exit and paid a 1,000 Rubble fine for my bike overstaying it's welcome.

Keep it safe and fun ...

Geoff
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  #7  
Old 23 Jun 2009
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transit visa

My Russian visa expired few days ago while I was trying to get a Kaz visa in Astrakhan. I went into de Inmigration department. They were friendly and they helped me. I got a transit visa for ten days.Maybe is an option when your visa expires. I only had to pay a train tiket to Kazhastan. They knew I was riding a bike, but that was the proccedure to get transit visa, and there proccedures are sacred. All the bussiness took 3 hours and 50$. Good luck.
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  #8  
Old 23 Jun 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kennichi View Post
Hi

I'm currently in Rostov something north of Sochi , I got to Sochi and I was given 14 days entry into Russia for my bike but detained on the ferry for 2 days due to customs troubles, it took me 2 days to get here due to a crash and thus I only have 10 days left.
What type of Russian visa did you get? Multiple entry business? Double Entry Business?

Why did they issue you a 14 day import? The import document allows the official to write in how many days the temporary import is good for.

On a double/multiple entry, you usually tell the official you estimate of time during that entry and purchase insurance for the duration of both/multiple entries.

Did the rules change? I'm curious as I may be heading that ways soon enough.
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  #9  
Old 29 Jun 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoEdde View Post
What type of Russian visa did you get? Multiple entry business? Double Entry Business?

Why did they issue you a 14 day import? The import document allows the official to write in how many days the temporary import is good for.

On a double/multiple entry, you usually tell the official you estimate of time during that entry and purchase insurance for the duration of both/multiple entries.

Did the rules change? I'm curious as I may be heading that ways soon enough.

I got to Sochi and they have temp import documents printed out on computer now and thus they put an entry date in and it automatically puts an exit date in , asking around they said it was the law they can't change it even if you offer enourmous bribes, apparently on the Ukraine , Finland , Bellarus borders they are computerised and thus cannot be bribed for as long as you want , same with the vladivostok exit point, Mongolian border its still done by hand though so they can give you as long as you like, Others just renew them whenever it is needed which is a fairly difficult thing to do as described above.
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  #10  
Old 29 Jun 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kennichi View Post
...thus they put an entry date in and it automatically puts an exit date in , asking around they said it was the law they can't change it even if you offer enourmous bribes, apparently on the Ukraine , Finland , Bellarus borders they are computerised and thus cannot be bribed for as long as you want..
This is not true from my recent experience (early May 2009). I crossed into Russia from Ukraine, they tried to give me two weeks temp import, I told that that it would very inconvenient for me and proposed a bit more than two months instead (to correspond to my visa expiration). They said OK. I could not, however, have it extended beyond my visa expiration.
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  #11  
Old 29 Jun 2009
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Originally Posted by motoreiter View Post
This is not true from my recent experience (early May 2009). I crossed into Russia from Ukraine, they tried to give me two weeks temp import, I told that that it would very inconvenient for me and proposed a bit more than two months instead (to correspond to my visa expiration). They said OK. I could not, however, have it extended beyond my visa expiration.

Hey I tried the same thing too in Sochi and they said no cannot do not even accepting a 3000 rouble bribe (which went up to 6000) they eventually told me take the two weeks or go back to trazbon simple as that this was after hours of argueing with them.

The finn next to me had the same experience crossing from finland and had to renew in Irkusk

The two icelandic guys who entered via Ukraine had the same experience and had to renew in Samara.

A couple of Germans I met about a week back also had the same experience 2 weeks , is law take it or leave it..(not Claudia and husband).

Must have changed or something... much to my chagrin as I spent a whole day getting up renewed.
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  #12  
Old 29 Jun 2009
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Hmm, I don't know what to say, I definitely got mine issued for slightly more than two months at the border. I will ask another guy I know here with a temp import, see what he got.
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  #13  
Old 29 Jun 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kennichi View Post
I got to Sochi and they have temp import documents printed out on computer now and thus they put an entry date in and it automatically puts an exit date in , asking around they said it was the law they can't change it even if you offer enourmous bribes, apparently on the Ukraine , Finland , Bellarus borders they are computerised and thus cannot be bribed for as long as you want , same with the vladivostok exit point, Mongolian border its still done by hand though so they can give you as long as you like, Others just renew them whenever it is needed which is a fairly difficult thing to do as described above.
They had the computerised system when I crossed from Semey to Russia...and Mongolia...back into Russia...etc. in 2007.


Since I had a multiple entry visa...with an end date...I showed them a printout of my intenary for both entries into Russia...and they saw by tentative time lines...

I worked with them to explain how they could change the date of exit in their system. They have the power! Sometimes, its a matter of computer illiteracy more than them seeking a bribe.

Lastly...offering bribes is not a good thing...you make things 20 times more difficult for the next traveller.
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  #14  
Old 30 Jun 2009
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I dont like to give out bribes.

But I made the same arguement

I cannot ride to Vladivostok in 14 days , they didn't seem to care.

I showed them the map with the long way - you ride faster easy for you

It went round and round for a few minutes.

Then can you not give me another week to get to Mongolia at least -

No this is law in Russia no more than 14 days please sign.

Can I pay to have it longer I have some roubles if this can make it easier? , NO YOU CAN NO THIS IS RUSSIAN LAW. (customs officer is visibly angry and is shouting). (I had not put the change away from the rip off insurance I had paid for earlier).

So what can I do to make it longer can I extend outside ? (another customs officer) I do not know I do not care. Now you sign customs form.

Have another circular arguement with him about vladivostok being far away he doesn't care.

He gets incredibly angry shouts you SIGN NOW , or we send you to Turkey on next ship.

So I signed the damned thing...

Once I did he said f**k you englis....and something probably insulting in Russian. .....



What the hell was I supposed to do? say no ? with an armed customs officer about to deport you , who was already iffy about letting you into the country you gonna stand your ground and say no some random guy on the hubb got longer.
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  #15  
Old 30 Jun 2009
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I'd like to add the chances of me entering via sochi again are going to be close to nil anyway, in that I figure for the future I'd ship the bike from my location to S Korea then take the ferry to Vladivostok , as the amount of money I spent traversing Europe Turkey etc was about even to the amount it costs to cargo ship it out to S Korea and the Dong Chun Ferry.

There is also the uninteresting 6000km to get to Irkusk where the interesting bits start.
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