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 22 Oct 2010
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: London
Posts: 3
Overland Trip back to SA - Paperwork and costs?

Hi All

I am in the ealry planning phase and am thinking about buying s 4x4 truck (I have a family) to take a slow year to drive from London to Cape Town. Thus teh truck (vehicle) will be UK registered on departure but once in South Africa, I will re-register it there. Effectively I will be exporting the vehicle from the UK.

However if the truck option is to expensive we might end up getting a Landrover 130 with roof top tents (hard for such a long period)

I hold a South African passport and it is my intention to not come back to the UK with the truck. And as I will have owned the truck for more than 12 months before I enter back into SA I would not need to pay import duties into South Africa.

Currently I am planning to enter Africa via Egypt (coming down via Turkye / Syria & Israel) and then Sudan; Ethiopia; Kenya; Tanzania; Zambia; Zimbabwe; Angola; Namibia and South Africa.

What are my cost / paperwork decisions?

What paperwork / costs do I need to have?

What would be the impact if the truck is not new and valued at say only £1,000?

Apologies for all the questions - But the more I read the more confused I get!

Any help would be appreciated!!


Reply With Quote
Old 23 Oct 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: May 2008
Location: South Africa
Posts: 162
Two quick things to consider before buying that truck:

You Carnet for Egypt on a UK reg vehicle is 800% of the value of the vehicle... That SUCKS! Your ferry cost from Venice to Alexandrea will be around Euro3 000 in a truck and Euro 800 for a Landy with two people.

All national parks in Africa will rip you a new one with fees for a truck. Normal 4x4's are expensive enough, but you'd need to take out a bond on Buckingham Palace to pay for your truck.... Now were not even talking about your fuel cost.

We're half way through from South to North and have been on the road for seven months. Our avarage cost, including every single penny spent so far is about $100 a day for two people. Africa is NOT a cheap place.

If you want up to date truck info, check out Where the FCUK are Adam and Chloe?
Dawie du Plessis
Reply With Quote
Old 23 Oct 2010
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 14
Hi Gerard

Have to agree with prev poster Carnet costs etc are prohibitive esp through Egypt, which was wht we went the west coast instead.

Here is a breakdown of paperwork and process required to imprt vehicle into SA, taken from our website Welcome.

mportation into South Africa:

Sorting out the paperwork has been a bit of a learning curve. admittedly I did leave it a little late
as I really loathe paperwork

We are obviously planning on importing the Nissan into SA once we eventually get there so the paperwork
required has been a bit more than normal.

I went to the website for the South African High Commision here in the UK to get an idea of what was required,
firstly I needed a Certificate of Conformity for the Nissan from the manufacturer.

No problem, or so I thought because where was she manufactured? Yes you guessed it Japan!!
I emailed Nissan UK and got a reply with attached documents on what I needed to do. Great easy
getting somewhere fast, well not really paperwork sent along with cheque, this gets returned with cheque
with a letter to the effect that as she is an import they cannot supply the paperwork.

So on the phone to Nissan UK, luckily I got a really helpful woman and she spoke to a few people for me.
She phoned me back saying I needed to get hold of Nissan South Africa and get a Statement of Conformity
from them.

I emailed Nissan SA and waited, it took about 2 weeks to get a reply, by which stage I was getting frustrated.
Again Nissan were very helpful, they wanted all the details on the VIN plate and engine number. A few days
later I had the SoC, and details of who to contact at the SABS to apply for the Letter of Authority.
This is a letter from the SABS which allows you to import the vehicle into South Africa.

I duly contacted the SABS and got all the application forms filled in and all the requested paperwork in order.
This I emailed off to the SABS and again waited. A week went by and no confirmation that paperwork had
been received. So yet again on the phone to my contact in the SABS, he'd been away for the week, so as
yet nothing had been processed, but he guaranteed it would be ready by 20th December.

I was fortunate in that my brothers wife went to collect the LoA from the SABS offices in Pretoria for me
so that James could bring it with him when he joins us on the 26th December.

Now we wait on the Import permit. We received the import permit on the 4th January 2008.

We entered South Africa through the Noordoewer border post. Exiting Namibia was a trying process as even though the Carnet specifically stated that it was not valid the woman at the Angola/Namibia border had insisted on stamping it and I now had to get it stamped out of Namibia in the South. The customs officials initially would not stamp my vehicle out, but after much persuasion and pleading they eventually did.

Next was the South African customs. Here I had a lot of fun, as a returning citizen I was allowed to import one vehicle free of customs duties as long as I had owned the vehicle for longer than 12 months.
Initially o one knew what to do and I was sent to the clearing agent just otherside the border post. I went there and again they wanted to charge me duties and vat. After much discussion one of the agents accompanied me back to the customs post where we went through four more people until they called in someone who appeared to be the headhoncho. He looked at the paperwork said yea sure he can import the vehicle free of charges and vat and that I needed to get a SAD 500 from the clearing agent.
So off we go back to the clearing agent, he sits and start filling in the form ( he obviously had not done one for a private import before as I did most of the filling in), after a few more phone calls back to the customs official the form was filled in and I paid the R80 fee for the privilege.
Back at Customs the woman took my paperwork stamped the SAD500, took my photocopy of the LOA and Import permit and that was that. All done and imported within 2 hours, or so I thought.
We got to Pietermaritzburg and started the process of registering and licensing the Patrol.
I went in to the Licensing bureau and got a list of papers required to register her in SA.
The paperwork required wasoriginals and 1 set of copies)

1 - the original V5 document (logbook to safas)
2 - origional LoA
3 - Import permit
4 - SAD500
5 - RPI
6 - E16
7 - Copy of ID/Passport
8 - Competed Blue Form (Application for Registration)
9 - Weighbridge weight of vehicle certificate
10- RPC

I will go through each point individually as some were easy others a bit more involved.

1- V5 is registration documents of the vehicle from country of origin.
2- LoA I explained this letter further up the page, however there was one hiccup. My Nissan had a 13 digit VIN number. All vehicles in SA require 17digit number. This should have been picked up and a restiction placed on the LoA stating that the South African Police needed to check the VIN number and supply and stamp a new Vin number n the chassis.
3-Import permit explained further up the page.
4-SAD500, this was supplied by customs at the border post on importation. One thing that should have happened was the paperwork should have been stamped by the SARS(South African Revenue Service) at the border post of entry. For some reason they do not have anyone at the border post we came through, so I had to go to SARS in PMB to get the paperwork cleared by SARS.
5-RPI = Request for Plolice Identification. this form is supplied by the Licensing bureau you have to take it to the SAP vehicle theft unit to Identify the vehicle as the vehicle you are wanting to register and licence.
6 - E16, now this is an interesting one. Basically you need to put your vehicle through a roadworthiness test (COR) in SA, but as your vehicle is not on the computer system you get an E16 form to take to the licensing dept to prove your vehicle passed the test.
7 - self explanatory
8 - The application form supplied by licensing dept.
9 - Find a weighstation and get vehicle weighed, must be done prior to taking for COR.

Once you have got all the above paperwork you go back to the licencing dept and hand it in. They will check all is in order if it is, they take the copies and these sent to another dept where they are again checked and ,if correct, entered onto the eNaTis system.
You are supposed to be contacted once this is done, but I found I had to contact them regularly to check things were moving on.
10- Once you go back to the dept you are then given an RPC which you again take to the vehicle theft unit for police clearance.
Then back to the licencing dept where they take all the originals and the RPC and give you a number to sit and wait.
Your number gets called and you then pay your licence and registration fee. However as the vehicle has no COR and only the E16 they will not issue the license disc until you convert the E16 into a COR, this is done easily enough by going to the test station where the test was done and they issue you with the COR as the vehicle is now on their system.

It took me a total of 6weeks to get all this done, I was lucky as the main Licensing bureau for our area was in PMB and I had time to run all over town to get stuff done. Some people I met in the queues had been trying to get their vehiles registered for anything between 9months to 5 years. So once the process starts you really have to push and persevere. Carnet:
The Carnet is basically a passport for the vehicle when going in and out of countries. You have a choice of 5, 10, or 25 page document, we are going for the 25 page one as one page is for 1 country.
The Carnet is issued by the RAC (Royal Automobile Association) in the UK.
I have now sent out all the relevant documents and am praying it will be ready for us by the time we leave on the 13th January.
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
Total costs shipping Europe to U.S. (and back) pecha72 Trip Transport 1 17 Aug 2009 22:39
Buying a bike in UK for overland trip - paperwork? carloscarlos Trip Paperwork 2 24 Mar 2009 12:31
Costs of SA trip? Camus TRAVEL Hints and Tips 1 27 May 2005 02:12
Planning a trip to south africa overland and back kiwijim 4WD Overland TRAVEL 9 26 Feb 2004 17:11
BMW purchase in Germany, paperwork to bring back to the Stat Ducman Trip Paperwork 0 30 Nov 2000 23:16


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.

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 03:02.