Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Planning, Trip > Trip Paperwork

Trip Paperwork Covers all documentation, carnets, customs and country requirements, how to deal with insurance etc.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 15 Nov 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Coombs, BC, Canada
Posts: 22
long term legal bike storage in South America

After 12 years of travelling for 2 or 3 months per year in Mexico and Central America by motorcycle, this year I am heading for South America. The plan is to leave the bike somewhere, depending on travel speed, such as Columbia, Peru or Chile. Then legally exit the country and fly back to Canada. In 6 to 8 months I would return and carry on with the trip.

I have not gotten a commitment yet from any of these countries from their consulates or embassies here in Canada that this is possible.

Has anyone done this (not counting storage between borders, illegal exits, etc.). Having worked overseas perhaps bonded warehouse storage would work or ???

Reply With Quote
Old 16 Nov 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: verona
Posts: 22
it seems that in Uuguay they allow 12 months storage at maximum
Reply With Quote
Old 21 Nov 2010
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 6
Maybe not in colombia

I'm colombian and as fas as I know there is no legal storage in Colombia. I know some people that just left their bikes in colombia with friends but it is not legal. However nobody is going to prevent you from leaving the country because you left a vehicle there. One good idea is just leave it near a border... or consider more relaxed countries, maybe Peru or Ecuador.

Turist-vehicles importation in Colombia is for 3 months max and if I'm not wrong you could request another 3 months but only in case of accidents.
Reply With Quote
Old 11 Dec 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: France
Posts: 318
On borders with Brazil, there are "Frank Ports" where foreign vehicules dont have to be declared, since those towns are tax free and the main purpose is to develop international trades. The point is that i dont know if this is only exlusively for brazilian vehicules or for all vehicules.

The Bolivian town bordering Corumba is a frank port, Santa Elena de Uairen in Venezuela is also a frank port, and i think Ponta Pora in Paraguay as well...If anybody knows more informations about laws for these frank ports are welcome to post.

What is sure, is that you are allowed to get into those towns with your vehicule without import papers, nobody on those borders will block your way in and out.
Reply With Quote
Old 1 Feb 2011
dolickc's Avatar
Contributing Member
HUBB regular
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Calgary Canada
Posts: 29
Storage issues in South America

Hi Oldguy,

It's been a while since you started this post and so I hope I am not too late to assist.

I have some experience that I can pass along. I am doing what you are wanting to do. I have stored in Buenos Aires and have just stored my bike in Uruguay having just returned from Ushuaia. I am also a Canadian.

First, I have not seen any of these SA countries stamp anything to do with your moto in your passport so any conflict between Aduana and Immigration does not seem to be an issue. I wouldn't suggest telling them of your intentions though.

I would appear that most countries will provide 90 days permission (with the following exceptions) for your moto and then you either have to be there to apply for an extension or remove the bike for a day and come back in to get more time. From what I have learned, you don't want to miss this exit date. Having talked to some officials in Peru for example, it can get nasty. I was told that first they confiscate the bike, asses the value of the moto. Double that price. Fine you. Destroy the bike and then allow you to leave. Having said this, I would believe that as with most places in SA there can be more than one way to do things and given the right situation you may be able to find another way.

As for the exceptions to this 90 day import permit, they are as follows:

Ushuaia - 1 year (no experience)
Argentina - 8 months (experience)
Uruguay - 1 year (experience) ***

*** Now here's something very important worth noting about Uruguay. This 1 year permit seems to only be available at the road ports. When you cross via the ferry from BA to Montevideo you are allowed only 90 days ! I discovered this first hand a couple days ago and had to drive out of the country and get a new permit for 1 year.

So from an northernly storage / import permit perspective I would suggest that heading for the Salta area of Agrentina may be attractive. It is a major center with airports to get you home, reasonably far north, and some great riding can be had from this area. My Spanish still kinda sucks but was much worse when I was starting this journey and so I was not able to investigate storage possibilities in Salta so if you can find any details please let me know. Having said that though, the flight costs to get back to Canada were much greater from Salta than BA.

What is your experience with leaving your bike in Central America? Sooner or later I am going to need to bring my bike home and would like to store it for 6 months min.

Good luck and please let me know what you have found out!

Reply With Quote
Old 6 Feb 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Coombs, BC, Canada
Posts: 22
Thanks to all replies. All is well and heading south, in Mexico at present. Have never left the bike anywhere before. I think from an inquiry in writing, and their response, to the Chile customs that they allow bonded storage, for example at an airport or sea port. These are like the "frank" border sites mentioned by Vorteks above. While this may not be cheap it beats having the bike crushed, taxed, burned, hung and quartered etc. My approach will be going to a customs broker and seeing what they can do by moving the bike into bond, which is effectively out of the country. No other ideas yet, but thanks for all the info, it helps the process.

And good luck back.

Reply With Quote
Old 6 Feb 2011
dolickc's Avatar
Contributing Member
HUBB regular
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Calgary Canada
Posts: 29
Legal Storage

That's an interesting approach that i wasn't aware of in the past. Failing this, I do have contacts in both Buenos Aires and Montevideo Uru should you need them. Both will provide secure storage for your ride.

I have a favor to ask of you and that is if you can enquire as you pass through various countries in Central America as to what time limit they put on thier Temp Import Permits. Possibly soon I will be moving my moto north and don't want to ride all the way home and would love to find a country that will allow storage for a reasonable term. This help would be appreacaited.

If anyone else has this knowledge please pass it along.

Ride safe, enjoy lots,
Reply With Quote
Old 9 Nov 2011
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 2
doing the loop

We have bikes in Uruguay where you can leave them for up to a year. DO NOT overstay anywhere or if you do find a way to get the bikes past the Aduana as it costs an arm and a leg. We got delayed getting back from New Zealand because of our earthquake and the Argentinian volcano so we were 3 months over and it cost about US$3000 to get all three bikes across from Argentina to Bolivia, this after a week of urging the bribe down. The customs officers there wear Rolex and drive Audi.

We have stored the bikes a couple of times in Mendoza at Mudanzas Stucco about $10/bike/week. Very secure.

You can stay 3 months Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and 6-8 months in Argentina, depending on which crossing you take.
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
long-term-trip through south america - why not use a quad? Novro Which Bike? 18 10 Dec 2008 16:48
Long term bike storage- Scotland MikeS Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else 3 13 Oct 2007 21:24
long term bike storage vagabondingshane Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else 2 8 May 2007 02:10
long-term storage in Europe? bergman Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else 8 23 Jul 2003 03:49
long-term storage? bergman Europe 2 4 May 2002 02:38


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 05:38.