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Motorcycle travel in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, India...

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Old 5 Nov 2008
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taking a bike purchased in india into s.e asia.

if i bought a bike to take to s.e asia from india i would need a carnet issued by the indian government?

also what are the options for getting the bike out of india, into s.e asia, i have to fly it into bangkok? would you have to fly out of delhi??

and in order to get the money i payed for the carnet i would have to take the bike back into india?
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Old 5 Nov 2008
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I´ve never bought a bike in India, but you´ll probably need to get all relevant paperwork sorted there, before being able to export, and I´d figure that won´t be very simple in India. I actually remember reading something like its hard to get a carnet from India(?) But I´m sure you´ll get lots of good info about these here.

Regards carnet & SE Asian countries:

Thailand with a bike, no carnet needed or wanted. Foreign bikes are temporarily imported with their own permit, for 30 days, and I hear this can be extended to up to 6 months (we stayed less than 30 days).

Malaysia is in the system, but we could have probably entered without a carnet, entering from the main road land border with Thailand, nobody was interested about the bike at all. But we looked up the customs, and then got it properly stamped. So I´ve got no idea, if entering without it would mean trouble later on.

Indonesia requires carnet, even though I read on gt-rider. com about a guy, who managed to enter without one from Malaysia a couple of years ago, but not without several days of hassle & banging his head against the wall with the customs. During our trip, we actually heard several worrying stories about people being unable to get their bikes in WITH a carnet, so
it seems you need a bit of luck even with all paperwork ok. The cargo boat from Penang->Belawan seems to be one recommendable route.

Cambodia and Laos, Im not sure, because I´ve only entered them with bikes bought or rented from Thailand. For those, carnet wasnt needed, but maybe different, if registered somewhere else.

For China you probably wont need the carnet, but lots and lots of patience & dollars to arrange everything. Forget getting the bike into Burma or Vietnam.

You can get the bike freighted from several air- and seaports in India. Once again, the procedures are complicated, so allow up to a week to arrange everything.
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Old 5 Nov 2008
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Since quite a while, as a non-Indian it's illegal to export an Indian registered motor vehicle out of India. Only a temporary export to Nepal is permitted.

India issuing a carnet to a non-Indian for anything? Impossible.

Why not buy/sell or rent in India, then do the same on a different bike in S.E Asia?
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Old 31 Dec 2008
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indian bike out of india is possible

in 2003 after a month dealing with the motor vehicle in kolkata i managed to get my 72 enfield bullet registered in my name. drove it for 11k kms thru india for 5 months and then had it shipped to usa where it now is. registered legally in florida and all is well!
it IS possible but a LOT of hard work and baksheesh to the right parties!
never tried for a carnet in india though. the only other country i went to was nepal and, as stated, needs nothing special to enter/exit from india.
never heard of a foreigner getting a carnet here either.
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Old 8 Jan 2009
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Depends where you are taking the bike. Nepal and bhutan are much easier to get into. Though getting a carnet isn't a big deal but you'd require a document from your forerign commission allowing you to buy a bike in india.
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Old 8 Jan 2009
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Nepal wants to know when you bring a bike in so they can issue a fee for each day it was there.

I totally forgot about this and rode my bike across the border without stopping. I walked back to get stamped out and once again, completely forgot to mention that I had a bike in Nepal. I've also talked to a lot of people that just cross at a smaller road without guards. I suppose to pay the road tax, they simply went back to a manned border to let them know they owed taxes.
Not Ted Simon since 1970!
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Old 8 Jan 2009
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As you can not actually ride a bike from India to SE Asia, and from reading all above, your best bet would be to sell the bike you have in India. Fly to Bankok and buy another bike for you SE Asia trip. With Thai plates you can enter Cambodia, Loas, Malaysia and Singapore with no Carnet. Carnet are expensive and you have to pay to get the bike from and back to India... it makes no sense.
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