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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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  #1  
Old 21 Feb 2004
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Engine No. on V5 and border checks

Hi all,
4 days before (finally) getting round to leaving for libya, egypt and beyond I've noticed that on my V5 (vehicle registration document) the engine no. has a NOT STATED entry. I've read in Chris Scott's book that these should be stated clearly or it could cause me all sorts of problems. The chassis no. is stated on the V5 and I do have the engine no. on my carnet document.
In people's past experiences will the lack of an entry on the vehicle reg. document cause me problems further on down the line?
I am especially interested to hear about Egypt which everyone tells me is a nightmare without the added complications.
I'm going to try and phone Sue Dawson at RAC travel dept on monday morn. to see if with a bit of grovelling/fast courier and a miracle I can't get a carte grise issued before wed. but I know there is only a slim chance. Would anyone have any other suggestions? Any help at this late stage would be much appreciated
George


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Old 21 Feb 2004
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As I found out the other day you can get a temporary V5 for 3 quid from a local vehicle licensing office (form V379).
My one they copied by hand from my V5 which they sent off - it clearly has both chassis/VIN (the important one) and engine numbers
As long as you carnet engine # matches the actual engine # you should be OK. Or get a V379 - it looks pretty good despite handwritten, with stamps and sigs, etc.

VIN is the one that matters but as you say for Egypt you want to be sure.
Where would we be without a pre dept panic - mine is due any hour now!

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Old 21 Feb 2004
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I've made it into Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, and Niger with the wrong (totally different) engine number in the log book. The last digit on the chassis nr was also wrong because the documentation had been incorrectly digitised from old records by the authorities.

Never had a hassle, although the chassis nr would have caused more of a problem than the engine nr.

Engines get replaced a lot in N African countries, so my guess is that if you decalre an engine number, enter with it and leave with the same engine number, you haven't imported anything and customs will be OK.
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Old 21 Feb 2004
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Perhaps the most wearying thing about Egypt is the unpredictability. You may have a problem with the lack of number, you may not. You may get a bloodyminded customs official, you may not. You may be able to bribe them, you may not. There really is no hard and fast guideline. Take a wodge of spare hard currency (they like USD or pounds sterling, Euros less so but developing) and be prepared to surreptitiously grease palms. Allegedly.
It can really be maddening. Depends how much you want to see Egypt really.

Interestingly, Mubarak made a statement the other day to the effect that Egyptian bureaucrats should really go easier on foreigners as they are p*ssing so many travellers off with needless powertrips, hard currency (tourist spending and business investment) is being kept well out of Egypt, which, he says, is getting a name for idiocy and corruption (so I guess my advice above perpetuates this...). The Egyptian economy is disintegrating at a rate of knots and foreign hard currency is in great demand.

If you go, be careful where you change money (and change it in-country, not so much in Europe, youll get substantially better rates, esp if you use the black market). As a guide, in Cairo today the rate is about 12EGP to one sterling, and continuing to slip.
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Old 23 Feb 2004
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When last in Egypt the customs took a kind of "brass rubbing" of the engine number from the engine block.

They also took a note of the VIN number.

I have to say though I never used the V5 but relied upon the International Vehicle Reg Document that I applied for and the carnet.

So as long as you can point to an official document with has the relevant number on it and are patient I'm sure you'll be fine.



[This message has been edited by ctc (edited 23 February 2004).]
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Old 28 Feb 2004
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thanks for calming my already shattered nerves! I'm going to rely on the Carnet as proof of engine number. I tried getting a V379 temporary reg. document from my local dvla office in stanmore in north london, but was informed that without an inspection of the car they could not issue it and then they would have to take away my V5 to issue me with the temporary registration doc! Felt like I was already at the egyptian border dealing with the bureaucrats!
George
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