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 ???
it seems that in Uuguay they allow 12 months storage at maximum
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.
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.
Storage issues in South America
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!
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.
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,
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.
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