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Which countries allow you to fly out without the motorcycle
I am currenlty riding south and am in Acapulco, Mexico right now.
I will need to fly back to NYC for work, for 1-2 weeks, every couple of months while on my trip.
Which countries will allow you to fly out of the country without the motorcycle that you drove in? In particular countries that don't require you to put the motorcycle into a bonded customs warehouse or the like.
Please reply with any countries that you know it would be possible to fly out of while leaving the motorcycle in the country for a week or two. Any countries in Central and South America.
Chile - you need a local to take custody of it while you're gone. It costs nothing and only takes one quick visit to the aduana before you leave and one more when you get back. I did this in 2003. Really easy.
Colombia - visit a customs service (DIAN) office, write a petition explaining what you want to do - i.e. leave the bike there - and they will give an extension ('prorroga') of the bike permission. You can then leave the bike in Colombia for as long as it has permission. I left my bike there without any problem. Easy and costs nothing but does take a couple of morning visits for the paperwork.
[This message has been edited by JamesCo (edited 20 March 2004).]
[This message has been edited by JamesCo (edited 27 March 2004).]
Replying to my own post. Adding three more countries.
Mexico: doesn't stamp your passport with the motorcycle, so you can leave and return, as long as you are within the time period that the TVIP is valid.
Costa Rica: doesn't stamp your passport. As long as you leave and return while your temporary import is still valid, you should be fine.
Belize: You have to leave the motorycycle at the airport, and have customs officer sign you out.
Not such a good chance of getting in and out easily:
Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Panama. They all stamp your passport (or should) and will not allow you to leave without having the stamp cancelled.
[This message has been edited by TerryMoto (edited 31 May 2004).]
we've been doing that sort of thing in bolivia, argentina and venezuela. we stayed away for ABOUT A YEAR each time so the custom paper for the bikes was far out of validity time.
we found different ways to avoid trouble according to this situation:
1) leave the bike in one of the tax-free-border-twin-towns that occur occasionally in south america. for example: corumba/puerto suarez (brazil/bolivia), cucuta/san antonio (colombia/venezuela), foz do iguacu/ciudad del este (brazil/paraguay). it's easy to get your bike officially stamped out there (without leaving the country) and to leave the bike in town forever - if you find someone to take care of it...
2) forget the customs paper and leave the country via a custom-free border post! for example uyuni/ bolivia. a) go to the immigration, stamp yourself out (don't talk about riding a bike). b) leave the country via one of the desert borders west to chile (for ex.: hita cajones / southwest corner).
another option in bolivia: puerto acosta, east edge of lake titicaca to peru, same procedure.
3) leave the bike anywhere in the country (but preferably close to a border) and see what happens if the people there see your expired customs paper. we did this one time in argentina and - surprise - the custom guys did'nt recognize the dates at all...
( this option is probably a bad choice in countries like honduras, as long as you don't want to find yourself paying a 1000$ "fine" ;-) )
if you only stay away for two weeks, your customs paper will be valid anyway after your return and you are very unlikely to have problems anywhere in south america.
one thing that could cause trouble is the object i'm treating right now: the computer.
a "worst case scenario":
you leave your bike somewhere in a computer-friendly country. but the bike is typed into a computer file and your person too and this files are connected! so what happens is, you arrive at the airport just in time and try to get yourself stamped out. but this guy - as he types data in his machine - finds out that there is a custom remark and he checks it out. he sees that you entered the country on a bike which is not taken out of the country! so this official rejects your wish to leave the country and says: "first take the bike out, amigo..."
i don't know if this ever happened, but to me it seems to be a possible "danger" in the near future.
IMHO desertsoul's advice is excellent. however, i seriously doubt that any latin american bureaucracy will every get a fully integrated IT NETWORK. in your "worst case scenario" you're also assuming that immigration (dealing with you) and aduana (dealing with your bike) cooperate with each other. not likely.
PS. if you want to avoid aduana entering honduras: enter from el salvador via san francisco de gotera. only doable if you know how to ride big mud (or are a couple of you to help pushing your fat bmw through it) and have 'offroad' (tkc80/mt21 or similar) tyres.
Argentina's network, i recall, seemd pretty efficient. as did Chile's and Peru.
Leaving Peru (1 day late) I got caught by their computer system. Strangely enough they had to call the border where originally entered to confirm everything.
Chile would often have me and my bike's information already in their system from last time. Even Bolivia had somethining of the sort - though Uyuni was offline.
Overall, with the continual advent of cheap computers and networking, and the efficiency that it gives to aduanas (trucks that go back and forth generate tons of paper), I'd remain careful about where you try to break the rules.
I do so since several years in Brasil, where my Bike remains until I will be back.
I am not sure it is legal or not, but nobody ever complaint. I am riding with my german licence plate, and the insurance is already expired since 3 years. (They would not have covered any accident anyway.)
I have a internl. drivers licence and all document with lots of stamps and all have some kind of reference numbers you will find at the bike..
e.e. frame number, Licence plate etc.
As long as they see, that documentation is in sync with your bike, they do not bother and are generally quite friendly..
I put the Argentinian system to the test about a year ago. I sold my bike in Viedma, and flew out of Buenos Aires without dealing with customs at all. I was a bit concerned at the airport when my passport details were being entered into the computer but they just said have a nice flight and waved me through.
The Colombian situation is maybe not as simple as others have recently experienced. Have had a frustrating day today visiting the various Dian customs offices in Bogota and with no satisfactory outcome.
My situation is as follows. I entered the country in Cartegena and received only a 30 day visa rather than the normal 60 at Bogota airport. The validity of the temporary importation permit for the bike is for the same amount of time as the visa and I was informed today that without a visa you cannot have the import permit.
No problem! Get a visa extension and then another importation permit. "Not so fast" said the immigration people. Sadly the visa extension is only available in multiples of 30 days and this would expire while I was out of the country leaving me with an illegally imported bike. The only solutions I have been offered are to return to Cartegena and try an extension there or to go to Venezuala for a day and come back. Neither of these are convenient or feasible.
Hope this helps someone else! Maybe somebody else can help me. Only got 2 more days in Bogota.
[This message has been edited by mattpope (edited 14 July 2004).]
Originally posted by mattpope: My situation is as follows. I entered the country in Cartegena and received only a 30 day visa rather than the normal 60 at Bogota airport. The validity of the temporary importation permit for the bike is for the same amount of time as the visa and I was informed today that without a visa you cannot have the import permit.
No problem! Get a visa extension and then another importation permit. "Not so fast" said the immigration people. Sadly the visa extension is only available in multiples of 30 days and this would expire while I was out of the country leaving me with an illegally imported bike. Maybe somebody else can help me. Only got 2 more days in Bogota.
[This message has been edited by mattpope (edited 14 July 2004).]
My advice: get down to Cali ASAP. Go to the DAS office (8-12, 2-4pm) and fill out the form for a 30 day extension - it'll take a couple of days for approval, but get the process started and you will be fine. They might ask you for a flight ticket out, but explain that you have a bike. The law is that you get your extension first, then the bike's. They KNOW this, having dealt with me three times. I gave them a copy of the law so insist on your extension. DON'T overstay your permit - endless hassles if you do!
Then go to the DIAN office in the morning and fill out the paperwork for a 'prorroga' for your bike - last time I got 90 days, no problem, explaining that I was flying out of Colombia then returning. The lady who does this (can't remember her name) is in the glassed-in office to the right on the mezzanine floor - don't wait around at the entrance, just go straight to her. She's helpful and knows the drill. By the way, you have to write a simple letter in Spanish requesting the extension and will need photocopies of the usual; all this is actually submitted at the reception around the corner, but see this chica first. You'll then have to show them the bike the next morning and be all set.
Another biker (from California) left his KLR at the hostel in Cali for something like nine months...
I left my bike in Ecuador and returned past the import time with no problems- just had to do some paperwork (it helped I had a note from Ricardo Rocco).
My bike is currently in Buenos Aires and I am in USA. I will go back in a year+, and plan to "sneak" out thru Brazil. Vamos a ver...
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