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Old 13 Oct 2010
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Importing/leaving your vehicle in Iran definitely and stamping your Carnet

Hi everyone,

I think this information may be helpful for people with vehicles in bad condition or worth little money in those cases in which it is not worth repairing or shipping them elsewhere and who find themselves in Iran and want to get the deposit of the Carnet de Passage back.

We were travelling by car (Renault 5) from Spain to India/Nepal, but while on our waythe floods took place in Pakistan. So, considering that the car needed some important works (overheating, probably headgasket), that my girlfriend said No Way after the floods, as well as the fact that the car was worth around 250-300 € at home (1987 Renault 5), we decided to “leave” it in Iran.

We wanted to do everything right, for the CPD and for getting visas again if necessary, so better not just sell the car. Initially, we thought that we could “destroy” the car in an official scrapyard: if there is not car, there is not import and not import duties and hopefully a stamp in the Carnet. Then we meet Mr. Musavi in Hotel Firouzeh while looking for accommodation and he told us that a French couple imported a car recently in the same circumstances.

So, there we went, to Tehran West Customs, located in the Old Road to Karaj (not the Freeway Nr. 2), but a parallel road that you can reach south of Azadi square. The customs are on the left side if you are going to Karaj, so you have to make a U-turn and be lucky to find the place (GPS in the cell phone was not working to get at least coordinates. Iran). If you get to blue Iranian Khodro Factory, then you went too far, just turn back some 2-3 kms.

The procedure is something you try to guess but do not get to understand exactly and takes you through at least 7 different offices (lots of documents and stamps, signing letters in farsi requesting to import the vehicle, weighing the vehicle, checking chassis nr, inspections, waiting for approval from some important guys who went for lunch, etc), but as usual you just have to trust Iranians and someone speaking some basic English well show up to help you –for no reason, requesting no money and refusing to be paid or invited to have lunch-, as nice as all Iranians. So, the main points we inferred are:

- You import officially –and temporarily- your car in Iran (motorbike as well, I guess).
- Then you CAN GET AN EXIT/EXPORT STAMP IN YOUR CPD (who cares if it is Tehran and not an overland border… I hope, we still have to do that part!).
- During three months you have the right to get the vehicle again at no charge, and you get a new entry stamp in your carnet (so you should leave the country with the car).
- After these three months –that’s what we understood-, they may sell it in auction or similar (and the revenues are for the customs, not for you), and then the import is definite.
- As said, all the procedure is free of charge for you, but you lose your vehicle, but with the stamp in the CPD, you can get the CPD deposit back at home.
- The procedure may be done in one whole morning, but better to get there as early as possible –it took us almost two hours to find the place- because customs close at 14:00. We were lucky because one agent helped us –more Iranian philanthropy- with the difficult part in the deposit, going from one small office to another. It may be easier –and better- to get an agent to help you (I think you could even get one there), but it can be done by yourself, but better keep 2-3 days to be sure that you finish it.
- Probably, the procedure may be done in other big cities, but I cannot confirm that.

Well, the information is not very accurate, since we do not speak Farsi at all. But I think it may be somewhat useful for people in this situation: stuck in Iran with a vehicle in bad condition and a good money also stuck in the CPD.

Best regards,

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Old 17 Oct 2010
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Great information, thanks for contributing you valued experience.

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Old 17 Oct 2010
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Thanks to you for the response, Daniel. Glad to hear it may be useful.

I found some more info I got:

- Mr. Sultani, a customs official, speaks good English and works in the CPD department. He is a low profile person that won't appear to say "I speak very good English", so ask for him (keep in mind that there is a sort of "moral police" controlling every step you make before the counters).

- The agent who helped us (refusing any compensation) is called Mr Madani. He speaks almots no English, but knew well every step of the procedure and is well known by every customs official. His cell phone is 09121694128. It may be a good option to make someone in your hostel to call him to help your if you are in a hurry.

Best regards,

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Old 18 Aug 2011
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Since I linked this thread in another post, I update:

I confirm that (many months ago), we got the CdP deposit back in Spain (RACE=RACC) with no problem, since there were entry and exit stamps.
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