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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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  #1  
Old 9 Jul 2004
jim jim is offline
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Help -Ethiopian Customs Trouble...

Hello
Im in Addis, planning to head to Sudan in the next 3 weeks. I got here from Kenya via the E shore of Lake Turkana (a route that i will recommend to anyone, rough, but amazing!!). Trouble is that though there is now an immigration office in Omoratea there is nowhere to sort out Custom for teh bike. For the last 5 days i have been trying to get the necessary paperwork out of the Addis Customs people, its not happy work when you no speak Americ.
Soon i will turn to violence... or at least crying.

My question is: What will happen if i arrive at the Ethiopia / Sudan border without any Import documents? Apparently Ethiop doesnt recognise Carnets, the vacant stares of Customs officers in Addis seem to confirm this.

Thought and condolences appreciated.
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Old 10 Jul 2004
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1) Ethiopia certainly did recongnise and use Carnets about 2 years ago.
2) I doubt anything will happen as you are leaving, not entering.
The whole thing about carnets and other documents relating to the vehicle transition is to stop you bringing the vehicle in saying you are going to take it back out and therefore not paying the import costs and then illegally selling it. The fact you are leaving proves you aren't doing this.
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  #3  
Old 10 Jul 2004
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Hallo Jim!

I'am sorry I can not help you realy, because it is to long ago I have been to Ethiopia (1993)and I am sure that the rules would have changed. At that time it was no problem to leave the country without any custom papers.
But I have one question. I am planing to go from Ethiopia to Kenia on the same way you came up.
about this way, like petrolsupply, boardercontrols and roadconditions please send me a mail.
Joe

[This message has been edited by Joe Pichler (edited 11 July 2004).]
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  #4  
Old 10 Jul 2004
jim jim is offline
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Thanks for the info,

About the Lake Turkana route: I took the East shore coming from Maralal to South Horr, there is petrol avail in B..... but expensive and out of a drum. Then to Loyangalosi, there is petrol from Catholoic Mission. From here to Illoret is long hard hot beautiful road with no petrol and little water, took me 2 days of riding. Bush camped illegaly in Park ($15 entrance). There is no Immigrat or customs in Illoret (called Fort Banya on Michelin Map), say hello to police who understand the situation and follow very vague track about 60km to dirt road, you are now well into Ethiopia, turn left to Omoratea (different name on Michelin map) for Immigration, but no customs. Then backtrack to Konsol for first petrol in about 700km. Take plenty of water and food for 2 days.
This route was the highlight of my trip from CT so far, enjoy.
PS Most of these names are spelt incorrectly....
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Old 11 Jul 2004
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when I entered Ethiopia at Moyale last year, I tried to use my carnet, but they don't do that. at that border, at that time, they had a temporary import form. it cost about $1, but I heard along the way of someone having a really bad day trying to haggle.
when I left for Sudan via the border near Gondar, they wanted the bit of paper and a chat. very friendly. they spoke reasonable English so if the guys at Addis airport can't help, go for the border and try your luck. I wouldn't try claiming you lost it in case they check!

while you're there, can you find out what tax they'd want for tyres shipped from Europe? thanks ;-)

[This message has been edited by RichLees (edited 11 July 2004).]
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  #6  
Old 15 Jul 2004
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Hello Jim,

can you mail me how it worked once you found out?
I am in a similar situation (bikes standing in Addis for 1 year now and the customs document seems to be valid 30 days only).

Thanks,
Oerg
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Old 15 Jul 2004
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try getting hold of Swiss Steve (www.contrast.cx?) he uses the HUBB and I guess he had to leave his bike there for more than a month when he broke his pelvis. maybe he knows a wrinkle or two about getting a bike out after 30 days.
good luck
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  #8  
Old 16 Jul 2004
jim jim is offline
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Oerg,
Remind me in a couple of weeks, once i have done this thing.
An option that is open to you is this; ride back to Kenya via Omo and Lake Turkana, you can very easily leave Ethiop without passing Customs as there is no office in Omoratea. There is also no immigration or customs on Kenya side, so just cruise to Nairobi, get visa and enter Ethiop via Moyale getting new papers on entry.

So why dont i do this?? Because its a long way out of my way, but it remains an emergency option.

PS Plan may need pollishing...
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Old 17 Jul 2004
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Jim,

I had a similar problem last year, coming from the other direction.
I had crossed the border over Easter, so customs was closed and I wasn't able to get the little $1 piece of paper.
Consequently I went to the main customs office in Addis (not the one at the airport, but the one in town) and received a letter from them stating that I wasnot dodgy and that the bike really was mine. (that's what I was told it said anyway) and it worked as the bloke at the border had no problems with letting me through.

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Old 17 Jul 2004
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Thanks Geoff,
I wish it were still that simple. I spent 5 days being sent between the city and airport offices and have nothing to show for it.
I leave tomorrow for Lalibela and then to Sudan, will just hope for the best. Met up with a Japanese RTW'er who has no costoms OR immigration paperwork... should be interesting.
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Old 26 Jul 2004
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I came through Ethiopia (Moyale - Eritrea - Massawa) 8 years ago with no customs paperwork and had no problems. They didn't seem interested. Worst case scenario is probably a bit of a discussion and a couple of s.

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  #12  
Old 27 Jul 2004
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Thanks again for all the help, much appreciated.
I am now in Sudan!
I went to immigration on the Ethiopian side of border (at Gallabat on Sudan side),had my passport stamped and was told to proceed to customs. I got on my bike and rode past customs and into Sudan.
No problem.
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