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-   -   travel without a carnet de passage? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/trip-paperwork/travel-without-carnet-de-passage-61655)

sazamataz 1 Feb 2012 22:16

travel without a carnet de passage?

I want to travel by motorcycle across Europe and, Middle East and Asia. I'll struggle to afford a 'carnet de passage' and wondered if anyone has any knowledge of customs fees/ deposits without the carnet?


Tony P 1 Feb 2012 22:36

If you mean northern asia (Russia, the Stans and Mongolia) I dont think you need a carnet at all.
Some middle eastern countries say they require them, but border procedures do not always follow that.

Basically, as you may already know, you have to provide surety (returnable cash deposit or bank guarantee) to the Carnet provider and that must be equivalent to their maximum exposure.

At least with a UK or European Carnet provider you are reasonably assured of getting your surety back whereas you are unlikely to get it back immediatly at the exit point of a '3rd world' country.
Getting it later, from a distance, would terrify me as an administrative exercise!

In UK contact Paul Gowan at the RAC Bristol office. He is "The Man" for Carnets.

sazamataz 1 Feb 2012 22:52

this cash deposit/ bank guarantee... are we talking tens, hundreds, or thousands?

Tony P 1 Feb 2012 23:36


Originally Posted by sazamataz (Post 365574)
this cash deposit/ bank guarantee... are we talking tens, hundreds, or thousands?

It depends on your bike and the countries you have included within its Carnet. It will be a total of each country's maximum Customs Duty payable if your bike does not exit with the correct stamps.
That can depend on the cost or value of the bike - as each country might see it, probably based on importers catalogues.

I have heard talk of the potental duty being 100% of their idea of list cost in some cases - but I don't know for sure.

Sort out your intended route/countries, check their Customs, and, if still relevant, give Paul a ring or Email him.

I have a S Korean friend who rode from Soeul to UK then on in USA, via Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran Turkey and Greece/EU. He only needed a carnet for Iran. What it cost I don't know.

Personally I would not now go near Iran - potentially the next war zone and if so it will be very, very nasty and affect many countries.

sazamataz 1 Feb 2012 23:51

nah, irans not on the list.. i guess i'll just forget the carnet and just take it as it comes....

thanks for your help :-)

pecha72 2 Feb 2012 06:20

The need for a carnet depends on where you want to go.

To get your vehicle to India, you will certainly need a carnet. And almost certainly for Pakistan as well.

But for the countries north side of Iran and Afghanistan, I don´t think it is even required.

sazamataz 2 Feb 2012 10:04

this is where i'm getting confused...

i know of the carnet de passage en douane (you tie up approx 5 times the value of your vehicle in a guarantee, plus the extra grand or so it takes to staple the sheets of paper together, so the RAC can insure the country you're going to against you doing anything dodgy with said vehicle.)

for countries which 'require' a carnet, does that refer to this RAC scheme in particular, or is it just referring to the deposit that you would have to pay at customs in order to temporarily import the vehicle? (i am aware that the RAC document waives any deposit/ fee)

basically, is the RAC arrangement the only way of getting into a country like India with a vehicle.... or can i just sort it out with money at the border?

thanks :-)

pecha72 2 Feb 2012 20:35

I´ve only taken my bike to India with a carnet, so I don´t really know, how it would be without one. I guess it would be tough, because it is one of the few countries, that are really adamant about it. In fact I´ve never heard of anyone, who had done it that way.

Even if they would allow your vehicle to enter by placing a sizeable deposit at the border, would you do that (...do you carry this kind of money with you, and also: could you expect to get even half of it back, when you´re leaving)? I think such large sums of money, in a country where there´s lots of poverty, might have a nasty tendency to strangely "evaporate" :rofl:

Stemic01 25 Mar 2012 02:02

Carnet Iran: Anyone here who has tried and successfully entered Iran without a Carnet lately? All info would be great. I guess I'll give it a try without it and go back and take the Ukraine route as a plan B.

Visas: Can there be obtained Visas along the way for some of the countries listed?(even transfer visas might be OK). I guess that Russia and Iran is a must to arrange upon arrival, and I am very usure what is possible to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistand, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Anyone know if this can be arranged during the trip somewhere? Maybe the major cities in Neighbouring countries or maye transfer visas might work?

hellcoder 25 Mar 2012 08:37

the amount of money you have to deposit with your carnet provider is not necessarily the amount that some countries will demand from your carnet provider.

in germany the lowest deposit if you want to go trough iran is 3000Euro (depending on your bikes current value)
BUT if you really loose your bike in the country, iran will claim 300% of the list value of the bike from the carnet provider. ...and they will claim it from you.

The guy from the ADAC (german carnet provider) told me some nasty stories about this.

if found this map where you can see which countries require the carnet:


pecha72 25 Mar 2012 11:27

^ Malaysia seems do-able without carnet, when you cross from Thailand. I´ve read, that it is actually not 100% obligatory in southern Africa either (but have no personal experience about bringing a vehicle there). Iran may not require it as strictly as Pakistan and India, but I don´t really know about it myself, as I had and used the carnet to bring my bike there.

And it seems widely accepted, that even if listed as "recommended", you do not in reality need the carnet, if going to the Stans north side of Iran/Afghanistan. And the same goes for all of South America, actually.

Stemic01 25 Mar 2012 12:33

I have checked some pricing for a Carnet here in Norway - and with the Norwegian value of a newer BMW 1200 adventure the price for the carnet would end up around €9500 ($12.000 USD). I can't afford to put in all this money for a carnet - or even worse - get charged with 300% of this if the bike get stolen. (Due to heavy taxing a new bike in Norway is normally near double the price than in most other countries)

So let's say that I go from Turkey to the Iranian border and give it a try without a Carnet. If I can't get in to Iran without a carnet it might be an alternative to find a safe route to Azerbadjan and take the ferry over the Caspian sea (Baku - Turkmenbachy)? Anyone done this? Can the neccessary visas be arranged on the borders or do I need Visas to all these countries to make this happen?
Georgia (or Armenia), Azerbadjan.

IF neccessarry I will start the Visa process to the countries this week:
- Russia
- Iran (Picking up in Istanbull during the trip)
- Kazakhstan (Can it be arranged somewhere along the way?)
- Mongolia (Can it be arranged along the way?)
- Uzbekistan (Can it be arranged along the way?)
- Turkmenistan (Can it be arranged along the way?)

pecha72 26 Mar 2012 07:14


Originally Posted by Stemic01 (Post 372771)
I have checked some pricing for a Carnet here in Norway - and with the Norwegian value of a newer BMW 1200 adventure the price for the carnet would end up around €9500 ($12.000 USD). I can't afford to put in all this money for a carnet - or even worse - get charged with 300% of this if the bike get stolen. (Due to heavy taxing a new bike in Norway is normally near double the price than in most other countries)

That must be the carnet bond you´re referring to. It willl be returned, once the bike is back home, and you have the certificate of location stamped (on the last page of the carnet). And the bond could usually be arranged as a bank guarantee. That will naturally cost something every month, and then you pay a fixed amount for issuing the carnet (I payed something like 200-300 euros).

If you take good care of your bike, the chance to have it stolen in some faraway country is quite small, I think. When there are close to zero big bikes around, it is no use to steal it for spare parts (like they do in Europe, for example)... and the thief also could not ride the stolen bike, because for the same reason, it´d catch so much attention. For night-time, you´re often allowed to keep it in the backyard, or sometimes even in the reception area of the accommodation.

But if you were still unfortunate enough to have your bike stolen in a carnet-country, you´d need to get a police report of the incident, and then you should get the bond released with that. This could be problematic in reality, I think.. or at least it could be a very, very long process. But having to pay 300% of the value – not sure, if I´m buying that. (But luckily I haven´t been in that situation myself, so this is just speculation!!)

Personally I would not base trips of this caliber around the carnet-thing. There´s always some annoying paperwork to deal with, no matter where you go. Besides, carnet is something, that you typically arrange BEFORE you even leave home. So it is a relatively small pain in the proverbial behind, once you are underway.

Stemic01 26 Mar 2012 08:35

Pecha72: Thank you cery much for your quick respond. Apreciate it !!!
Carnet bond: Yes, that is correct that this is the size of the bond - which as a private person - has to be paid in advanced. A bank guarantee might be an option I have not thought of. A company will usually get a credit if the rating is well.
30% of the value of the equipment + around 300 Euros + some small fees. All in All for a new big bike - it will completely ruin my travelbudget just for one country (Iran). Guess I will try without it and see how it goes and rather plan an alternative route nearby if I can't get to Iran without an Carnet. As give it a shot and see how it goes :) Was hoping someone here had experiences with getting into Iran wihtout carnet lately :)
300%: Just something I read somewhere at the forums. Not first hand information.

pecha72 26 Mar 2012 09:29

I don´t think it should ruin anyones trip budget, if you are able to arrange the bond as a bank guarantee. (There could also be an option to do it like an ´insurance´, but about this I know nothing – I just remember this being discussed here some time ago; I´d advice to ask your AA about those options).

I haven´t calculated the exact figures, but 4 years ago I think I certainly payed less than 1000 euros total (or maybe even less than 500), when I had the carnet, valid for 1 year, to take my bike to Iran, Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia & Australia. And this includes everything (all issuing fees, and also all interests & fees associated to the bank guarantee, that I had for it). What your bank will charge you, will naturally depend on many factors, you´ll need to ask them about it. The bond for an almost new Suzuki DL650 was 5000 euros here in Finland, so that was the amount of ´loan´ I had to take.

If money is short, then another thing to seriously consider is getting a cheaper travel bike. Generally less to worry about financially, as bikes will have a tough time on trips like this.... and it could also affect your carnet bond size. People do big trips on many, many kinds of bikes, the big GS´s aren´t the only ones, that are capable.

But first of all (and sorry, if I´ve completely missed this): what is your route plan / where do you want to go to?? That´ll be the key factor, when talking about the carnet.

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