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  #1  
Old 19 Apr 2011
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I've got a serious problem. Importing process stopped but i'm already back in Netherl

Hi,

Hope you guys can help. My gf and I did a Europe - Cape Town trip on a F650 Dakar and Transalp last year. It took us 6 months and when we arrived in CPT we were able to sell the bikes. Since we spent so much time with the buyers we completely trust them. We sold the bike, received the money and flew home after 2 weeks since the importing process took a long time. That means that we also left the carnets with them. But now they e-mailed us that their customs agency says it's impossible to import a vehicle that is under temporarily import (carnet). So now we have a problem. They say that the only way is to ship the bikes to NL and import it back. Strange huh?

Anyone an idea how to solve this?


Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 19 Apr 2011
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I always thought that the point of the Carnet was to stop someone selling a vehicle in a country without paying their import duties. So if you sold it in a country that requires a Carnet, you would therefore be liable to pay whatever their import duty rate is based on the value of the vehicle. I don't know if SA requires a Carnet but if not, could you not have just sent the carnet document back to the issuer once you'd left the last country that required it?
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  #3  
Old 19 Apr 2011
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I'm afraid I won't be able to help you out on this one, but I know some people who have done the same thing as you. They also managed to sell their bike, but never sorted out their carnet refund. I'm afraid it's a comman trap in South Africa. They say it wouldn't be a problem, but as soon as they have the bike, the carnet refund is your problem.
Guys from Belgium had the same problem, check Crossing The Border - home
Hope you get it sorted out anyway!
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  #4  
Old 19 Apr 2011
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Problem

South Africa does require a carnet as it's part of a five country economic union (Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland..?)
The whole idea of a carnet is to show you have the customs money for a TEMPORARY import of a vehicle. The money will only be repaid back to you if you show proof that you have RETURNED with the vehicle to the original country (NL) or it was stolen and/or destroyed with official proof.

So.... you sold the bikes and they tried to officially import something that's only allowed to be temporary imported. The customs agency is correct in saying that you'll have to export the vehicle (but not necessarily back to the original country) and re-import to South Africa NOT on the carnet. If you want to claim on the carnet, then the bikes will have to be sent back to NL. Otherwise it's fraud as it's seen as your trying to avoid paying taxes!

You sold the bikes, didn't pay ZA import taxes AND want to refund the carnets...? Hmmm I think that's Illegal!

Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong...?
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  #5  
Old 19 Apr 2011
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Even here at the HUBB, there´s been some contradicting information about whether or not South Africa REQUIRES the carnet. ADAC´s webpage does show the South African Customs Union as requiring it, like Egypt and Sudan?

But in general: if the bikes were temporarily imported into a carnet country using a carnet, then I think it´s pretty clear, that they should leave within the time limit specified by the authorities, or else the taxes & duties have to be payed. And your carnet bond will not be returned, if you sell the vehicle in a carnet country.
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  #6  
Old 20 Apr 2011
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I recently imported a Oz registered landcruiser into SA. We entered on a carnet, and it was no problem to import. Registration title holder never changed though, so not sure how that will affect the outcome.

I think there is someone on here called MotoZulu who might be able to give you more information.

All I know is that you CAN import a vehicle if it entered the country on a carnet...
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  #7  
Old 22 Apr 2011
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You are a smuggler. Your bike is contraband. On a lucky day you will have your bike confiscated and a rap in the wrists, on a bad day you will be imprisoned, however for a short period of time.
One way or another it will cost you much more than the price of your bike in lawyers etc.
I would not go back to South Africa if I was you.
What an idiotic thing. you had the carnet de passage, dind't that tell you something about your rights and obligations?
Did anyone asked you to bring back a stuffed toy animal from SA that smelled strangely aromatic?
That would have completed the naivety combo, not to call it something else.
You deserve every headache you get.
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  #8  
Old 22 Apr 2011
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I don't know what planet Xtrovet is on, but the comments above are extremely unhelpful.

As commented earlier in the thread, the carnet bond is designed to stop you from selling the bike without paying import duty in South Africa. If the purchaser is prepared to pay the import duty, then I cannot see any reason why the bike cannot be imported legally into South Africa, your carnet stamped, and then you can discharge the security on your carnet.

If the purchaser (or you) are not prepared to pay the import duty, the alternative will be to drive the bike to another country that does not require a carnet (Zim or Mozambique will both work), stamp the bike out of SA on the carnet and then re-enter the SADC region on a temporary import permit.

Selling the bike on a temporary import permit is also difficult, but at least you do not have the bond to worry about.
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  #9  
Old 22 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Roach View Post
I don't know what planet Xtrovet is on, but the comments above are extremely unhelpful.
I am on planet earth, where ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Roach View Post
As commented earlier in the thread, the carnet bond is designed to stop you from selling the bike without paying import duty in South Africa.
Wrong. The CdeP is a guarantee that you are not going to leave the bike in the host country. It is not a pre-paid import duty.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Roach View Post
If the purchaser is prepared to pay the import duty, then I cannot see any reason why the bike cannot be imported legally into South Africa
Wrong again. As a tourist traveling with your own vehicle as accompanied luggage your entry papers surely will say that you undertake to leave the country with your vehicle. Most often your vehicle cannot stay without you in the host country. You entered your vehicle as a tourist, this is totally different from importing a vehicle independent if you have a bond (CdeP) or not.

This is contraband, no arguing about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Roach View Post
If the purchaser (or you) are not prepared to pay the import duty, the alternative will be to drive the bike to another country that does not require a carnet (Zim or Mozambique will both work), stamp the bike out of SA on the carnet and then re-enter the SADC region on a temporary import permit.
This is a different matter provided the laws allow it. But then the owner will be responsible for riding the bike out of that second country. Only way to do this is between borders. And you are not allowed to do a transaction in such terms.

What you are suggesting is a sort of de facto do-it-yourself importing. Things don't work the way you suggest although you may get lucky on occasions. That does not prove your point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Roach View Post
Selling the bike on a temporary import permit is also difficult, but at least you do not have the bond to worry about.
Did not get that one. Selling the bike on a temp permit is unlawful.

I do take exception of you passing judgment on myself when you have no idea what you are talking about Mr Matt Roach. If your idea of "help" is aiding someone to break the law, then good luck to you too.
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  #10  
Old 22 Apr 2011
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Hola,

it is clear that Waztafel made a mistake. He came here to ask for help, because to solve his problem is not that easy.

XTrovert, your posts are useless to him, as is mine.

Good luck Waztafel, please keep us up to date here on the HUBB.

Time for a rum and coke.

Mika from Salta
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  #11  
Old 23 Apr 2011
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Why are you guys ganging up on me? Because I said that this guy committed a felony and there is no solution for it?
Because I dared to suggest that he was stupid in doing so?
Why you guys have to express opinion about my post instead of you, yourselves, giving all that wealth of information that you are saying my post lacks?
There is no legal solution to this guys problem. Period.
My post was very clear, implicitly as to forget about the bond; explicitly, advising Waztafel not to go back to South Africa.
Are the posts suggesting new felonies a positive solution?
As per the subject of helping someone in need even if it is unlawful, I can think of a whole bunch of people needing your encouragement also.
Am I hallucinating, or Waztafel fessed in here that he broke South African law? He smuggled a bike into the country and sold it for financial benefit.
I do not think the HUBB should allow the publication of this and least the 'helpful' responses.
Where do we draw the line? "Accidental" smuggling is ok, what about "accidental" hit and run?
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  #12  
Old 23 Apr 2011
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by waztafel View Post
Hi,

... We sold the bike, received the money and flew home after 2 weeks since the importing process took a long time. That means that we also left the carnets with them. But now they e-mailed us that their customs agency says it's impossible to import a vehicle that is under temporarily import (carnet). So now we have a problem. They say that the only way is to ship the bikes to NL and import it back. Strange huh?

Anyone an idea how to solve this?
Thanks!
Not strange, but it sounds like neither you nor the buyers understood the legal situation and the correct usage of the carnet. More below...

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffshing View Post
South Africa does require a carnet as it's part of a five country economic union (Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland..?)
The whole idea of a carnet is to show you have the customs money for a TEMPORARY import of a vehicle. The money will only be repaid back to you if you show proof that you have RETURNED with the vehicle to the original country (NL) or it was stolen and/or destroyed with official proof.

So.... you sold the bikes and they tried to officially import something that's only allowed to be temporary imported. The customs agency is correct in saying that you'll have to export the vehicle (but not necessarily back to the original country) and re-import to South Africa NOT on the carnet. If you want to claim on the carnet, then the bikes will have to be sent back to NL. Otherwise it's fraud as it's seen as your trying to avoid paying taxes!

You sold the bikes, didn't pay ZA import taxes AND want to refund the carnets...? Hmmm I think that's Illegal!

Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong...?
Geoff, absolutely correct and very well said.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
Even here at the HUBB, there´s been some contradicting information about whether or not South Africa REQUIRES the carnet. ADAC´s webpage does show the South African Customs Union as requiring it, like Egypt and Sudan?

But in general: if the bikes were temporarily imported into a carnet country using a carnet, then I think it´s pretty clear, that they should leave within the time limit specified by the authorities, or else the taxes & duties have to be payed. And your carnet bond will not be returned, if you sell the vehicle in a carnet country.
Pecha, absolutely correct.


Quote:
Originally Posted by XTrovert View Post
You are a smuggler. Your bike is contraband. On a lucky day you will have your bike confiscated and a rap in the wrists, on a bad day you will be imprisoned, however for a short period of time.
One way or another it will cost you much more than the price of your bike in lawyers etc.
I would not go back to South Africa if I was you.
What an idiotic thing. you had the carnet de passage, dind't that tell you something about your rights and obligations?
Did anyone asked you to bring back a stuffed toy animal from SA that smelled strangely aromatic?
That would have completed the naivety combo, not to call it something else.
You deserve every headache you get.
XTrovert - Although the statements are accurate, this was a very inflammatory and unhelpful way to say it. Waztafel clearly didn't understand the process, but your comments are unsympathetic 'You deserve every headache you get' and sarcastic 'stuffed toy animal etc.' If he had fully understood what he was doing (i.e. was a smuggler), he wasn't a very good smuggler and probably would not have posted here asking for help to solve the situation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Roach View Post
I don't know what planet Xtrovet is on, but the comments above are extremely unhelpful.

As commented earlier in the thread, the carnet bond is designed to stop you from selling the bike without paying import duty in South Africa. If the purchaser is prepared to pay the import duty, then I cannot see any reason why the bike cannot be imported legally into South Africa, your carnet stamped, and then you can discharge the security on your carnet.

If the purchaser (or you) are not prepared to pay the import duty, the alternative will be to drive the bike to another country that does not require a carnet (Zim or Mozambique will both work), stamp the bike out of SA on the carnet and then re-enter the SADC region on a temporary import permit.

Selling the bike on a temporary import permit is also difficult, but at least you do not have the bond to worry about.
This is probably the best solution, but even if Waztafel was able to fly back and drive the bikes out and back in again on a temporary permit, that might not solve the problem. Customs will certainly have flagged the bikes by now and they will be paying close attention to it. Getting a temporary permit instead of a carnet normally will require some sort of bond or payment of duty, which may be as much as the carnet bond. That's the whole point of the carnet, so you don't have to go through that at every border.

In many countries, you cannot come in with the bike on a temporary permit and then decide to import it. You have to do the import paperwork before entering the country.


Quote:
Originally Posted by XTrovert View Post
Why are you guys ganging up on me? Because I said that this guy committed a felony and there is no solution for it?
Because I dared to suggest that he was stupid in doing so?
Why you guys have to express opinion about my post instead of you, yourselves, giving all that wealth of information that you are saying my post lacks?
There is no legal solution to this guys problem. Period.
My post was very clear, implicitly as to forget about the bond; explicitly, advising Waztafel not to go back to South Africa.
Are the posts suggesting new felonies a positive solution?
As per the subject of helping someone in need even if it is unlawful, I can think of a whole bunch of people needing your encouragement also.
Am I hallucinating, or Waztafel fessed in here that he broke South African law? He smuggled a bike into the country and sold it for financial benefit.
I do not think the HUBB should allow the publication of this and least the 'helpful' responses.
Where do we draw the line? "Accidental" smuggling is ok, what about "accidental" hit and run?
XTrovert - People are 'ganging up on you' because they felt you were rude, sarcastic and unhelpful, so take that to heart and try to be more sympathetic.

Many people run into trouble with importing regulations and shipping, because it is a complex subject and every country has different rules, depending on whether they have a vehicle industry to protect. Try getting a bike out of Egypt legally by air even with a carnet - it took us days and much desk-pounding! The Carnet de Passage is also a complex subject, which takes 20 minutes to cover on the Achievable Dream Get Ready! DVD.

Taking the bike out of the country and bringing it back in on a temporary permit is not a felony. Selling it may be illegal (though not necessarily a felony), but I suspect that the bond required will make it financially unattractive anyway - which is the whole point. They want their duty!

Unless anyone has specific information about South African law with respect to vehicle imports, then enough has been said on this topic!

Everyone to their corners and take a time out!
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  #13  
Old 23 Apr 2011
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To answer the specific question - what's the solution?

I see several possibilities, none of them good:

1. Give up on the carnet deposit and don't go back to South Africa. This also means the buyers are screwed because they can't legally import the bikes and Customs will certainly impound them.

2. Go back to South Africa and take the bikes out to a non-carnet country. Keep riding until you find a country that doesn't require the carnet. Hand them over to the buyers and let them import them into South Africa, paying whatever duty is required at the border.

3. Refund the buyers' money, ship them home to the Netherlands and do whatever you like with them. Come to an arrangement with the buyers to take care of the physical part of the shipping process, since you're refunding their money. You'll still have to pay for the shipping, of course.

Hard lesson to take note of - failure to understand and deal correctly with paperwork can be very expensive! That's why a big chunk of the Get Ready! DVD is about paperwork. Also see the Trip Planning link on the menu.
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  #14  
Old 23 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ta-rider View Post
Hi,

You should lend/sell the bikes to someone who wants to ride them to Europa. I might be interesdet if you make me good offer. The friendly lady from the SA customs gave me (after my accedent etc) more time to sort out the paperwork and then even let me enter Namibia and export my bike via angola on by now expired Carned. This will work if you are friendly and talk to people. Ignoring does not work and will be expensive in your case.

Good luck, Tobi
Another possible solution - but working out the paperwork again requires that waztafel get the bikes OUT of the country to a non-carnet country, AND get the carnet cleared, (difficult without returning the bikes home, but not impossible - contact your carnet issuer to check what they need as proof) OR trust that the new owner WILL get the bikes all the way to the Netherlands and not "lose" them somewhere along the way for whatever reason, legitimate or not.

And the new owner will then have to get a NEW carnet to travel north.

You MIGHT try travelling north on the original carnet, but that can be fraught, and is certainly illegal. If someone looks at the paperwork, and notices that the passport doesn't match the carnet, you're liable to end up in jail, accused of stealing the bike at the least. So not recommended.

It comes down to this - you must get the carnet cleared by getting the bike out of SA, or pay the import duties. IF indeed you can!

Waztafel, you might TRY to sort out paying the import duties, which will (or at least SHOULD) clear the carnet in SA, and you can then get the carnet fees back. And the new owners of the bike get to keep the bikes and you don't have to ship them back.

But you aren't going to get off without paying something!

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there it is.
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  #15  
Old 23 Apr 2011
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Rather than "going back to South Africa" so solve the problem, can't the OP simply give someone, perhaps the buyer, a power of attorney to complete any necessary paperwork, take the bikes, etc.?
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