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Old 20 Apr 2012
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Location: On the road somewhere in Africa
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Temporary importation into SA by sea

Finally we are on our way - the truck is booked on a RoRo from UK to Durban leaving early May.

I've got the Carnet on its way, I have the vehicle registration documentation (UK), our IDPs are on their way. Will I need to purchase local insurance for SA before being able to leave the port - if so can anyone recommend where I can get this beforehand as I want to get the vehicle out of the port as quickly as absolutely possible....!

Any gotchas that could slow us down at the port? (I'm shipping with WW and using their local agent).

Thanks, Ian
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Old 20 Apr 2012
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Hi Ian, yes you will need insurance and if you play it right you can get it to cover most of Southern Africa but check out the many posts on this subject first. I have used 2W from Durban a couple of times and their local guys are OK but keep a careful check on the whereabouts of all of your paperwork at all times. The Happy Hippo backpackers on Mahatma Ghandi is a good place to stay as it is walking distance to the customs building and the offloading ramp. It also has a garage. You will have a ball. Drive safe.
Mike is riding the twisty road in the sky
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Old 20 Apr 2012
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From what I have been able to gather from various posts - this insurance (Comesa) is available at land borders in Southern Africa - but not in South Africa (and doesn't seem to be recognised in eithe SA or Namibia anymore). We are entering SA directly by sea.

There appears to be a suggestion that insurance in SA is covered by "fuel costs", but when I google "3rd party vehicle insurance South Africa", I find multiple companies selling insurance for South Africans - so it at least seems that insurance isn't covered by fuel costs (?).

As I don't want the truck to spend a minute longer on the docks than it has to, I'm quite keen to understand this before arriving.
If anyone has shipped into SA relatively recently I'd really like to hear how you got on.


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Old 20 Apr 2012
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As I understand it there is no compulsory third party insurance in SA (or Namibia). As it was explained to us when we were there for three months in 2010 what is often covered by compulsory third party insurance elsewhere in the world is covered in SA by the Road Accident Fund which is funded by all road users via a levy on fuel. I know this has limitations and I'm not saying that you definitely wouldn't have any liability to a third party in the event of an accident but cover for this is optional (just as fully comprehensive cover is) and I don't think most overlanders go down this route.

Comesa (which is third party insurance valid in a number of countries) is no longer sold in SA.
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Old 20 Apr 2012
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Itchyfeet - thanks for that - the clue is in "Road Accident Fund" - I've just googled it and found :
Road Accident Fund

Seems that it's true - so I won't be stopped from taking the truck out of the port due to "no insurance". Hurray!

Thanks, that's one less thing to worry about - we'll be buying a Comesa in the 1st country that offers it (I think that'll be either Zim or Zam depending on our exact trajectory!).

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Old 20 Apr 2012
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We got Comesa in Zam, in Livingstone (from Madison General Insurance). You may not get it at the border but no matter you just need to pick it up before you leave. It is in addition to local third party cover and runs in conjunction with it so we had to buy 12 months worth of local cover first (ie to cover the duration of the whole time in Comesa countries), then Comesa. Price depends on no of months and no of countries.

It is a real plus not particularly from a cost perspective but so you can avoid having to get local cover at borders. It's sometimes the only thing you need local currency for (visas and other fees often in $) so you can often avoid having to change money at the border and just head for next town and an ATM.
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