In a few months I'll be sending my bike from Australia to the UK by sea.
When I arrive in the UK, what sort of customs clearance documents/fees am I likely to encounter?
Unfortunately, sea shipments attract higher fees and more hassle than air shipments, though as a tourist you won't encounter the situation that Richard Virr had to deal with when shipping his bike
in from Malaysia.
Richard lists the various fees below:
"Costs in the UK were as follows:
Terminal Handling Fee 46.90GBP (73USD)
Import Service Fee 35.00GBP (54USD)
Customs Agent 39.10GBP (61USD)
Storage 162.00GBP (251USD)
DTI Fee 3.00GBP (5USD)
Port Fee 9.00GBP (14USD)
Haulage 85.00GBP (132USD)
Sub-total 380GBP (590USD)"
I believe the Storage fee of 162GBP will not apply, but the haulage fee might if the shipper's agent in Southampton won't let you uncrate the bike yourself and ride it away. So, minimum cost of 133GBP (I know, in A$ it will be painful!)
<font face="" size="2">I believe no carnet is needed; and that the bike can be used fairly liberally within the UK/Europe without needing to register it there, although insurance is needed? Correct?</font>
You are correct, no carnet is needed, and the bike will not need to be registered. However, liability insurance (referred to as 'Green Card' insurance is required. To obtain it in advance, contact Stefan Knopf of Knopf Tours. Follow this link
and scroll down.
<font face="" size="2"> Once uncrated, and documents completed, can I simply go on my merry way around Europe? (I'll also be taking the bike to Ireland for a lot of my trip - do I need to alert Irish authorities as well?).</font>
Yes, you can travel throughout the European Community without any hassle, and there is no need to alert the Irish authorities (unless there's something in your past you're not mentioning here ;-)
<font face="" size="2">If anyone can point me towards some useful web pages I'd appreciate it."</font>
Well, you're on the most useful web site around (of course, I'm completely unbiased).
But the website is rather huge, so if there's specific info you're looking for, let us know and we can point you in the right direction. There is a Search function on every page, which works very well.
Good luck with your trip.
"It matters not what goal you seek
Its secret here reposes:
You've got to dig from week to week
To get Results or Roses."
'One world, two wheels'