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Old 12 Oct 2012
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Extending/renewing a carnet in Southern Africa

We are currently in Katima Mulilo in Namibia.
Our plans are changing and it now looks like we'll have to return to UK for a while quite urgently, but we don't want to cancel the trip and ship the vehicle home!
The truck entered SA via sea in May on a UK carnet and hasn't left SACU as yet.
We are hoping to store it in secure facilities in Windhoek and return to continue next June/July.

The issue that worries me most (particularly seeing Neil's posts) is how best to renew/extend the carnet.
From what I understand, not only does the carnet have a "clock ticking" (1 year), but SACU themselves won't normally allow a vehicle to remain in SACU-land for more than 1 year.
As we're in KM, we could pop over into Zam to "fix" this last problem, but it would still leave the carnet issue.

Has aanyone any experience extending/renewing their carnet in SACU, or will I have to return in May to do a "quick" (it's a Unimog - hahaha) trip to Zam?
Would it be worthwhile to pop over into Zam now or would this be a total waste of time/money/stress?

I've asked the RAC for their definitive answer, but not a single reply all week until I emailed Paul McGowan personally, he's told me that he's now working elsewhere and I'll have to wait for the carnet dept...... Oh dear!

Thanks, Ian
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Old 12 Oct 2012
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Hi Ian,

That's an awkward set of circumstances ...

Possible options:

1) Try to extend via RSA AA as per Roaming Yaks post on Neill's thread. I don't know if the fact you will have been in SACU continuously will scupper you on this though. Can you have a chat with the RSA AA and see? If you can secure their agreement now to extend May 2013 - July 2013 job done.

2) Export to Zambia, enter on a TIP, bring carnet back to UK with you and replace it (you can replace before your 12 months are up - we have had to do that - but you need your old carnet stamped out). BUT TIP in Zambia is a max of 90 days and it needs to be renewed after 30 and 60 days (Nick at Foleys did this for us). So this isn't going to get you much further.

3) Export to Zambia on the carnet. This will give you until May in Zambia but I doubt you can roll over from carnet to TIP without exporting/reimporting. I think you'll end up having to come back to do a border run in May. In which case you may as well leave it in Nam.

4) Depending on how urgently you need to get home you could enter Zambia on a TIP now, courier the signed out carnet back to the UK, get replacement carnet issued and couriered back out to Zambia then go back into Nambia (or wherever) on your new carnet, store the Mog and come home. RAC is in some turmoil at the moment but a straight switch over on the carnet (ie all the same details - no need to mess with the bond/guarantee/insurance) is just a paper exercise and could possibly be expedited? Maybe ring them and see how quickly they could generate a new doc in those circumstances? I would hope a couple of weeks if you tee it up beforehand.

Good luck whichever way you go.

Last edited by itchyfeet38; 13 Oct 2012 at 15:12.
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Old 13 Oct 2012
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Thanks for a very clear and concise analysis itchyfeet38, it has helped us decide on our plan -

1. Seems risky and potentially slow
2. 90 days would be the problem
3. We're going with this one - we're going to store in Zam and do a border run in May to renew the carnet....
4.This would give us a "shortened" 2nd carnet, we'll be needing the whole of May 2013 to May 2014.

Seeing what's going on at the RAC at the moment, have you thought of applying for a job there?!!!

Thanks again,
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Old 15 Oct 2012
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Just had a reply from the RAC :

The purpose of a Carnet is to temporarily import a vehicle into a specified country. A carnet should not be used to leave a vehicle unattended in a country if you are not returning for an extended period of time.

A carnet needs to be stamped back out of the country entered before the carnet expires and then returned to us.

If a further carnet is required a further carnet application would need to be submitted.

So no help there - we're on our own on htis one.

Seems like the storage facility in Zam can't accomodate us anyway due to our height, so now looking for a new plan!

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Old 15 Oct 2012
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Sorry to hear that Ian. I guess it was Foley's you tried?

Otherwise you could try Paul at Pioneer Camp in Lusaka.

Pioneer Lodge and Camp Website

We've left stuff there and I know others who've left vehicles. He may not have a suitable building on site but he is a good guy and may well ask around for you. It only really takes someone who knows someone. We have twice left our vehicle at the houses of friends of friends or with a lodge. Almost everyone in Africa has their own security.

Re the carnet, the document doesn't restrict how long you can stay in any particular country - though the country itself does sometimes eg Egypt - so whilst they may well say it "shouldn't" be used whilst a vehicle is being stored there's really no reason why not. Plenty of people do it. The alternative is shipping vehicles home.

If it were me I would be vague about plans - say your current intention is to hop back and forth for example (maybe your intentions will never come to fruition?)- and leave it at that. In short leaving it there unattended on a carnet won't invalidate your carnet and it is better than leaving it anywhere on a TIP in my view.
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Old 23 Oct 2012
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Get yourself back to capetown with a new carnet and get it swapped over. Just did this yesterday !

You can do this remotely by all accounts but only via Pretoria SARS and SAAA.You are meant to arrange all this through the SAAA and they charge 600rand or so. I have the name of the woman if you want it and the process.

You will need to put up the money again for a new carnet as they won't let you have two running without paying twice. At least the new one will have a year on it. Strictly speaking you cannot leave your ride here if you leave for more than a month but loads do. Swapping over was easy if you do it personally and may be a little more difficult to do it remotely as the one month leaving rule may be applied by jobsworths !!!

ps the max you can stay in SA is two years on a carnet. Supposedly. We have a letter off the RAC with that info at least.

ps didn't know you were here........we are still in Cape Town.

Oh and Roverland in CapeTown can store your MOG (outside) for peanuts. Speak to Martin the owner. 300rand a month.
1 Male, 1 Female, 1 Landrover, UK Passports (2 each), UK Carnet
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Old 8 Nov 2012
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I did a trip from Holland to RSA on a bike and left it in Joburg for a year: I returned to Europe.
Had a Carnet thru ADAC (Germany since Holland doesn't issue carnets).
It expired and I renewed it whilst in the UK, and was told by ADAC that I'd need to get permission etc in RSA since it was there for more than 12 months.

I flew back last December to organize to ship it up.
Since I was going to air ship my bike out, I wanted to get all the paperwork in order so as not to get bounced at Customs on the way out: without me there to explain or do anything about it.

So I did a quick trip across the Botswana border and back, and sweet-talked them into stamping my old carnet out plus my new carnet on the RSA side.
And then the new carnet on the Botswana side.
Then came back and got my new one stamped in.
Was LOTS of talking but I explained exactly what I wanted to do.
I said I'd left the bike in RSA and went back blah blah blah.
Now I wanted to ship it out.
And to stop any confusions at Customs when I wasn't there to explain things I wanted to get the right stamps on the new carnet so I just had to show one and not two.
Lots of discussions and first they said no, but if you look like you are honest and just trying to solve a paperwork problem, and all it needs is a stamp then they did it for me.

They were helpful.
But they didn't have to do anything since RSA and Botswana and Namibia are all SACU countries and you don't actually need any Carnet between them and thus no stamps actually have to be put on them.

So I put my bike in a crate, with my new carnet c/w new stamp on it showing it had entered RSA just a week before, so had no problems.

But the only thing the carnet has to do is get your bike IN and OUT of a given country.
And when you return it needs a EU stamp on it to show it returned so you get your refund back.
If there are a few funny bits in between who really cares?
As long as you get your refund back and your vehicle where it needs to go problem solved.

ADAC said that if I took my bike out of SACU both before the carnet expired as well as less than 12 months in SACU it would be easiest, but I couldn't do that.

The other option was to get the RSA AA to grant permission to extend the carnet: as Neil Bird has explained.
ADAC gave me the RSA AA form: Application to substitute carnet de passage en douane.
They said it wasn't an automatic thing, only in "exceptional cases"..????
ADAC says it is not possible to do this in Namibia either.

I bet if you show up in person at the RSA AA offices and do it they will do it no probs.


Last edited by WarthogARJ; 9 Dec 2012 at 00:10.
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Old 8 Dec 2012
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Thanks to both Neill and Alan,

as the truck has recently been out of SACU we don't have that problem, I'm going to get a new carnet and change it over by taking the truck out of Nam either into Bots or Zam before the old one runs out. There won't be a "return trip" into Nam unless anything goes wrong, so there shouldn't be any difficult questions.

Interestingly enough, until relatively recently I didn't know that you don't have to get the carnet stamped between SACU countries - I presented ours at all border crossings and they stamped it with no questions asked.
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