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Trip Paperwork Covers all documentation, carnets, customs and country requirements, how to deal with insurance etc.
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Old 13 Sep 2011
DCT DCT is offline
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Temporary import a EU bike into USA/Canada

Hi everyone,

I'm having some doubts. Before posting this I did a search on Google and I became even more confuse. I did wrote a couple of emails to the NHTSA because I thought they have the competence to answer my request, unfortunately I got no answer back, maybe the email was flagged as spam, who knows.

Ok, here is my concern. I was wondering if I could ship my motorcycle from Europe to United States (and while there driving it to Canada and back to US) for a couple of weeks/months and send it back to Europe after my journey there.

What are the laws about this ? Is it allowed ? Under what circumstances ?

How do I insure the bike during my stay in US (and Canada transit) keeping Euro plates.

Rental of a motorcycle is out of the question, it would be an outrageous amount and the bike will not be suitable for my trip.

Buying a bike in US is not an option. I will be traveling on a tourist visa and I have no rights to register a car in US without a SSN and a permanent address.

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Old 13 Sep 2011
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I think you'll find that several things you believe to be true are actually a bit different.
Quite a lot of people on the HUBB have bought bikes in the US (despite not being nationals or residents), ridden them in the States and down to South America and then sold them on either further south or back in the States - errrr, I'm not actually one of them so can't advise you beyond saying that yes, a US address is needed, but you don't actually have to live there.
Ask a friendly American to oblige you with one you can use.

As for taking your own bike - no problem you go to Customs and get a one year Temporary import document.
get your insurance from progressive.com they seem to be the cheapest for US insurance and are happy to insure foeigners and their bikes - apparently there is a section on their website for us foreigners.

There have been a few threads on here about taking bikes into the States -

is one of them - resurrect that one and you're bound to get more answers.
Some people find it a lot easier to ship their bike to Canada as customs is easier to clear there and then ride down to America.

Whatever you decide to do.

Have a great trip
On the road from...I'm not sure any more
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Old 13 Sep 2011
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Just as Tiffany says - shipping Europe to US is easy. I shipped my bike with my pal, Mark, on a RoRo from Southampton to Baltimore in April at the start of our RTW. £575 with no hassle. Temporary import customs stamp in Baltimore and we were off.


PS I believe that the RoRo starts from Bremerhaven.
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Old 14 Sep 2011
DCT DCT is offline
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Getting the bike to US soil would be my last concern... I've found plenty of companies willing to transport the bike into US/CAN from Bremerhaven or Zeebruge Belgium for a fair price.

However, why I want to bring my own bike there is because I don't want to invest in setting up a rental bike or buy a used one and put money in accessories needed for my journey, plus I will have zero knowledge of the bike, the reliability and so on, that's why I want to drive my own bike. It has been prepared it for long trips, I know how to fix it, I have all the accessories for a longer trip (panniers, gps mount, etc), you get the idea...

Tiffany, thanks a lot, I sent an email to Progressive and if I won't get a reply in a timely manner I will fax them , maybe that will draw their attention. I sent a couple of emails in the past to Geico and State Farm but they seem to have no interest in answering any questions coming out of US.
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Old 19 Oct 2011
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Any fresh news?

I am currently riding around the world on my bike that is registered in the UK. I am looking for way to ship it to the US. I wanted to know if you have made any progress in the topic since your last post especially regarding how to temporary insure it and the costs of the customs clearance if done in the US. Also do you know if a "Carnet de Passage" is needed or help the process in the US or is it absolutely useless?
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Old 19 Oct 2011
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Originally Posted by zetoune View Post
I am currently riding around the world on my bike that is registered in the UK. I am looking for way to ship it to the US. I wanted to know if you have made any progress in the topic since your last post especially regarding how to temporary insure it and the costs of the customs clearance if done in the US. Also do you know if a "Carnet de Passage" is needed or help the process in the US or is it absolutely useless?
As mentioned, the progressive site will give you a quote, with a US address you can complete the whole thing and get a temporary insurance card in less than 15 minutes. No need for a carnet for the US or Canada.
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Old 19 Oct 2011
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We are now waiting for our bikes to clear customs in New York so that we can continue our RTW. We have shipped by RoRo from Bremerhaven and the shipping agency told us tuatara oils get our bikes on 12th and as you can see, this didn't turn out that way.

The shipment was late so the boat came on 14th and got held up. First the bikes went through department of agriculture check yesterday but now we have to wait until Thursday for CET check (counterfeit enforcement team) so they will check that we aren't smuggling weapons, drugs, etc... And they do this check ONLY on Thursday's!!! Can't believe that, but it's like that.

After this on Friday we'll get a chance to go through customs and see what else there is nobody told us so far, or at least we didn't find that info.

I just hope that we finally get EPA exemption until then if they ask us at the customs for that or we'll have to wait a few days more since the weekend is coming.

Btw every time we asked our shipping company for any info, they didn't give us any. Acctualy they took a piece of CPD only for export stamping in Germany, and now we don't know what to do with that since everybody is saying that we don't need it for eu but here it is.... We did need it...

Btw2 our shipping agents didn't even send us Bill of lading until I spoke with them for at least half an hour and 5 to 10 emails stating that we should probably have it to pick our bikes.

In the end we aren now spending two weeks in New York that we didn't plan, and New York isn't a cheap place to be. And of course the weather is getting worse, and we probably missed a chance to group with some other bikers on our way through Mexico.

I'll probably repost this on another thread once we get through customs with the whole story...

Check our website: Earth on wheels - Earth on wheels

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