Motorcycles in Canada
It has been mentioned in the Journal (the magazine of the BMW Club) that motorcycles from the United Kingdom have been banned from landing on Canadian soil as a result of our recent Foot & Mouth problems.
Try as I might, I have not been able to find any evidence of this, not even from the Canadian High Commission in London. Does anone know any different?
Here is a link to the most recent press release by the ‘government’ (in this case, the Prime Minister’s office) concerning F&M prevention in Canada: The Government’s Efforts Against Foot-and-Mouth Disease.
You can check the entire database of F&M related press releases, etc. by going to the following website, and entering ‘foot + mouth’ in the search box: Government of Canada.
Personally, I don’t think you have any reason for concern at all, and I think the comments in the BMW Journal are totally unfounded.
When I shipped my ST1100 from Paris, France to back to Canada by air in mid-September 2001, the only concern that the Canadian customs people had was that I might have purchased an accessory without paying our VAT (the infamous GST). They had no concerns of any kind beyond that, even though they were well aware that I had been touring all through Europe, including the UK, for the previous 2 months. They didn’t even bother to look at my motorcycle in the warehouse – they just stamped the papers when I showed up at the customs office with the waybill and ownership documents. I then went to the freight shed, took the bike out of the container, and rode away.
My only suggestion for you would be to be sure that the machine is as clean as it can possibly be, and this includes the centre stand, wheelwells, etc. Also, don’t have any cigarettes or alcohol in the panniers (big tax items here).
If you really want to research in detail, I think the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is the department that is responsible for inspections related to agricultural imports, or any imports that relate to agricultural health (in other words, I think they are the people who make you walk over the disinfecting mats when you disembark from the aircraft). If you want to write to them, their address is:
Canadian Food Inspection Agency,
Public Affairs, 59 Camelot Drive,
2nd Floor East, Nepean, ON K1A 0Y9
Phone +1 (613) 225-2342
They don't have a published email address for queries, however, here is the email address they give for their public affairs office: firstname.lastname@example.org
[This message has been edited by PanEuropean (edited 05 January 2002).]
We sea shipped our bike from UK back to Canada this summer (August 2001) and had no difficulties. The bike had been in the UK for the past 3 years.
There was some muttering about spraying the bike at one point, but they never did. That would be worst case scenario, I can't imagine they would refuse entry. Also, as time passes without new outbreaks they will get more casual.
Good luck and safe travels!
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I spoke with a Canadian Food Inspection Agency employee (one of the 'checkers') when I passed through Toronto airport today, on the way back from Zurich.
He told me that as long as the motorcycle was clean - meaning no obvious accumulations of dirt, soil, etc. on it - there would be no problems whatsoever with you importing the motorcycle to Canada.
He put this in context - a 'street' motorcycle that has been carefully washed (with attention paid to the inside of the fenders) would need no further attention once it arrived in Canada, whereas a dirt bike that was covered with big globs of mud, soil, etc. would be a problem.
The British Army has been importing tanks and other off-road vehicles, on military flights from the UK to Western Canada, where there is a large military excercise area - all they have to do is the same, just make sure their tank, halftrack, etc. is clean, with no obvious mud on it.
Another follow-up, I again arrived Toronto airport from Europe today, now they don't even have the wet disinfectant mat for travelers to walk over, they are just handing out little pamphlets telling people not to import raw sausages, etc.
This prohibition about importing raw food has been in place for 50 years, so it appears that things are pretty much back to operations as normal - in other words, the whole F&M concern seems to have gone away.
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