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  #1  
Old 14 Mar 2012
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Anybody actually tried to clear Alexandria customs in the past 6 months?

Hi all

Like many others I have been following the Alex Ferry/Egypt Shipping/Customs issues very closely over the last 6 months. If I remember correct the last thread of somebody actually clearing customs after shipping their 4x4 in a container was more than 6 months ago. I need to ship my Landy in 6 weeks and was wondering if anybody on the HUBB actually cleared customs in the past 6 months? Is it still possible with all the changes in Egypt recently or are you looking for trouble (unless you have a limitless budget for bribes and all the time in the world). A lot of the news talk about lawlessness slowly but sure taking over in Egypt during this transition period.

Cheers
Hentie
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  #2  
Old 15 Mar 2012
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Vleis,

Although we did it more than six months ago, time matters little in the context of Egyptian bureaucracy. We were in Egypt recently and returned only a few weeks ago, so we can share fresh experience of travel in Egypt.

Do not be fooled by news agencies talking about "transformations"in Egypt. The country has changed very little, and what has changed does not make travel any easier. Now it is even more costly to obtain permits and the bureacratic class seems to be even more entrenched and more arrogant then ever.

At any cost avoid ports - land borders are infinitely easier to cross. But if you insist on shipping your car by sea - make sure you arrive in the Alex Old Port, not Dekhila!!!

And while there, do not complain to the locals about Egyptian bureaucracy. They themselves have had enough, tried getting rid of it - and failed miserably.
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  #3  
Old 15 Mar 2012
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" land borders are infinitely easier to cross."
I totally agree with you ....BUT the problem is the situation in Lybia now, isn't it?

RR.
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  #4  
Old 15 Mar 2012
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Thanks all, yes the problem is Libya, Syria and the ghost ship from Turkey which makes shipping into Alex the only option to get my landy to Egypt. Or have I missed something...

I started thinking of shipping to Saudi/Sudan and drive back to Egypt, but this is just not feasible.
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  #5  
Old 17 Mar 2012
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We are shipping two WW2 Jeeps in using SeaGo Line. They are currently sitting in a container at Felixstowe and 'expected' to arrive in Alex Old Port on 31st March (which I guess will be extended to 2nd/3rd April.) We have employed a Cairo logistics company to handle all the Port and Customs details, but fully intend to be there with them. They are confident it will be simple. I'll try and post our experience when there.
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  #6  
Old 17 Mar 2012
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Let's begin sharing information.

why people don't write their experiences here after their problems are solved which will give light to following bikers who has same problems and questions !!!

After 2011-July, (Personally remember 25, I met in the club)
many bikers entered and exited Egypt.(by land, by sea,by air) and many still riding in Africa.

How they have overcome the bureaucracy is explained in their blogs which ı personally follow but none of them has written something here yet.

Many threads are on similar problems in mid east area.
I think we must not remember HU. when we have problems, but also write our experiences and nice helpful clubs and people we have met met on the road here for the following riders who have same problems.

We believe our club İstanbul Bikers Club,
and we are certainly sure Pakistan Bikers Club
are doing all friendly works in the area to be helpful to all bikers but no bikers are in this cooperation yet.

I think we must also share what we have get during our trips and HU.forums certainly the best place where most people can reach.
Thats why our club is only here.
Let's begin sharing information and solutions.
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  #7  
Old 19 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roro View Post
" land borders are infinitely easier to cross."
I totally agree with you ....BUT the problem is the situation in Lybia now, isn't it?

RR.
Hi Vleis,

The only problem with Libya is the cost of business visa (£150 /pp in London). Security is not an issue (it wasn't in Jan/Feb 2012 when we crossed Libya twice). In Libya they made us feel really welcome wherever we went, even at border crossings. Don't expect the same reception in Egypt.

In 2009 it took us as long sitting outside the gate of the port in Alex as driving crossing Libya (three days), and cost us just about the same in fees and bribes (including buying two useless fire extinguisers per vehicle at an extortionate price).
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Last edited by Roman; 19 Mar 2012 at 16:31.
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  #8  
Old 19 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toby View Post
We are shipping two WW2 Jeeps in using SeaGo Line. They are currently sitting in a container at Felixstowe and 'expected' to arrive in Alex Old Port on 31st March (which I guess will be extended to 2nd/3rd April.) We have employed a Cairo logistics company to handle all the Port and Customs details, but fully intend to be there with them. They are confident it will be simple. I'll try and post our experience when there.
Hi Toby,

I hope in your case everything is going to be perfect. But it was not so when we decided there must be a better way than dodging suicidal drivers on Libyan roads and we shipped the cars by sea.

Sitting comfortably in Cairo we were watching on the web (Track and Trace - Online Container Tracking System) the progress of our containers en route to Alex. As the ship was approaching Alex on schedule we thought nothing could go wrong. So we were waiting for the call from our local agent at the port in Alex. But he did not ring as promised. Not on the day the ship arrived, not on the next day ... The rest is just too stressful to recant. I hope you are not shipping the containers with CMA CGM.

I will be following your exploits in the Gilf with great interest. Doing your route in 13 days will be a really tough act to follow! Our escorts were quite nervous at the thought of camping in Old Wadi Sora. Are you still planning to go below N23?

It will be really exciting to see how the WWII jeeps perform in this environment. And their drivers, too, during the windy season :-)

For sure jeeps will be much easier to push than LC's with 500 litres of fuel on the roof rack. BTW, do not expect the fiercely looking Safari Trips Securing Department boys with P90 submachine guns to be of much help.
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Last edited by Roman; 19 Mar 2012 at 17:00.
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  #9  
Old 19 Mar 2012
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'and cost us just about the same in fees and bribes (including buying two useless fire extinguisers per vehicle at an extortionate price).'

I think that I should should clarify a little of what what Roman said above, in that he meant to say that the cost he is talking about included the ferries, tolls & driving etc all the way from UK.

In other words its no cheaper shipping & a million times more aggro than driving yourself, and when you factor in the flight times, time at the port (loading in uk & unloading at the other end) etc, shipping actually takes longer!!!

Andy
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  #10  
Old 20 Mar 2012
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Going to have to call it and ship...

Well I had to make a call as time has run out and I can’t wait for the ghost ship from Mersin and wont be able to fit in an attempt to get Libyan visas. So shipping in container to Alex Old Port it is going to be.

I have a couple of fixers/agents names in Alex names that got other HUBB'rs through (with a varying degree of difficulty) and my forwarder in the UK promised they will get the container to Old Port. I am also working in getting a local contact with no vested interests to help guide me whist I am there. Better than this I will not be able to do. Flights have been booked, the Landy will be shipped in about 3 weeks. The fun starts on 27 April. I will report back on due course, but fingers crossed this all turns out fine...


Thanks everybody for the advise, tips, warnings etc


Cheers
Hentie
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  #11  
Old 21 Mar 2012
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Thanks Roman for your thoughts and sharing the information. Naturally I am concerned at the time it could take to release the Jeeps, but 'Inch Allah, we should be okay. ETA of ship Cap Harvey (I'm on it every inch of the way!) is 31st March. We aim to head south out of Cairo on 6th April. our back up is an Iveco 7 tonner 4x4 truck, so the Jeeps can run light. I am hoping they will fly!
Toby
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  #12  
Old 23 Mar 2012
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Re:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vleis View Post
Hi all

Like many others I have been following the Alex Ferry/Egypt Shipping/Customs issues very closely over the last 6 months. If I remember correct the last thread of somebody actually clearing customs after shipping their 4x4 in a container was more than 6 months ago. I need to ship my Landy in 6 weeks and was wondering if anybody on the HUBB actually cleared customs in the past 6 months? Is it still possible with all the changes in Egypt recently or are you looking for trouble (unless you have a limitless budget for bribes and all the time in the world). A lot of the news talk about lawlessness slowly but sure taking over in Egypt during this transition period.

Cheers
Hentie
I shipped my LC from Mersin to Alexandria at the beginning of this month.

It takes a lot of time and money in Mersin to find a decent agency, vessel and container (we needed an open-top; a RoRo would save some time and money, but is very, very risky). All together, Mersin costed us about EUR 1650 (including everything (also a small sum which ensured that our car would not be inspected)) and more than a week.

When we arrived in Alexandria, our vessel turned out to be delayed 2 days. On Marinetraffic (Live Ships Map - AIS - Vessel Traffic and Positions) I subsequently found out that our vessel did arrive in Alexandria, but was not allowed to access the port for 5 days (no priority).

When it was allowed into the port, we needed 4 days for the custom clearance (1: make sure in Turkey that the car is registered in your passport and subsequently deregistered at the customs, 2: make sure you have an original bill of lading, or, if this could not be provided to you in Turkey, a certified copy from the agency, 3: get another stamp from the automobile club for EP 500, which is absolutely rubbish, but very necessary according to the Egyptians, 4: make sure your custom broker (timely) arranges an id-card to get access to the port (mine took almost a day, while it originally was only valid for one day...), 5: enter the magical world of the Egyptian custom clearance, police and traffic).

Like in Turkey, the customs in Egypt were extremely slow, ineffecient, non-professional, etc. You need to have lots of patience, you should make sure you have no alcohol/explosives/etc. in your car and need to make sure that every single detail on all forms filled in before are correct.

Our costs in Egypt were about EUR 1000, including everything (among which a 6 kg (!!!) fire estinguisher, while we already have a smaller one in our car). Please note that our open-top container added quite an amount to this bill and that our agency charged us about EUR 500 for non-distinct things (copy bill of lading, the actual transport of the container from the vessel, etc.).

So we were ready for about EUR 3000 (including 2 tickets from Istanbul to Cairo...) and in more than 2 weeks. I never, ever, again want to be confronted with the Turkish and Egyptian custom clearance. No lawlessness, though.

Did I already mention that our container was opened without my presence in Alexandria, and that we had a few scratches on our LC, that our roofrack was damaged and that a tube of our extra fuel tank was slightly damaged?

Personally, and I don't want to be rude to some of the friendly Egyptians, I think the Egyptians give you a very unwelcome feeling and are very annoying and do not care about much (at least in Cairo and Alexandria; the Sinaï seems to differ). And by now, I get irritated by the words "insha'Allah" and "baksheesh". Still, we were expecting all this hassle, but if you don't, you will have a though time.

A very important final mark: never give anyone the keys of your car. We had more than one tough discussion because we were ordered to hand over our keys several times, but we never did (and yes, paid extra). If you do, they WILL enter your car and they WILL get stuff out of your car and they WILL find things which are considered to be illegal.

Still, I think this is the best option for an overlander, considering that our feeling at the Syrian border was far from good, a RoRo may ruin your car and no attractive alternatives overland are available (the only one possible now is via Turkey/Iraq/Iran/SA).
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  #13  
Old 23 Mar 2012
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Thanks for posting Anaconda. Having tangled with Alex port before nothing you've said surprises me. Well done for coming out the other end. The rest of your trip will be a breeze!

For all others out there wanting to travel the east coast facing the same dilemmas I'd suggest considering shipping to southern africa and driving back. It cost us around 2000 euro to ship to Walvis Bay and was very easy. It is a lot easier to get back from NorthAfrica/Middle East than to get to there. We and the car went on the Grimaldi ferry from Israel to Italy for around 1,100 euro (5 days travel all inclusive - good cabin good food, even wine). I know south to north won't suit everyone's plans but it's worth a thought.
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  #14  
Old 23 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itchyfeet38 View Post
Thanks for posting Anaconda. Having tangled with Alex port before nothing you've said surprises me. Well done for coming out the other end. The rest of your trip will be a breeze!

For all others out there wanting to travel the east coast facing the same dilemmas I'd suggest considering shipping to southern africa and driving back. It cost us around 2000 euro to ship to Walvis Bay and was very easy. It is a lot easier to get back from NorthAfrica/Middle East than to get to there. We and the car went on the Grimaldi ferry from Israel to Italy for around 1,100 euro (5 days travel all inclusive - good cabin good food, even wine). I know south to north won't suit everyone's plans but it's worth a thought.
Very accurate info!
But is there no problem to enter Israel from Egypt with your car when coming from East Africa?
Or there is something I don't understand well...

RR.
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  #15  
Old 23 Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by Anacondor View Post
... including everything (among which a 6 kg (!!!) fire estinguisher, while we already have a smaller one in our car)....
Anacondor,

Ha! The Egyptian exitinguisher racket is still there!!! It was said that the compulsory purchase of extinguisers in the port was introduced by the former minister of transport, who had a stake in the company making extinguishers. Until last December the same guy was the head of the national governement. 'Elf 'nd safety - Egyptian style!

Vleis (and Toby, if you are reading this), I have bad news for you guys - there's no market for second hand, brand new extinguishers in Alex :-)
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