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-   -   For Australians: bike inspection before export? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/trip-transport/australians-bike-inspection-before-export-65640)

ColinD 6 Aug 2012 01:14

For Australians: bike inspection before export?

This may be a good question to ask somebody who has just recently sent their bike on a trip from Australia, using a carnet.

I did this two years ago and when I presented my carnet for "signing off" upon return, they pointed out that I had skipped a step before leaving. I vaguely recollect that it may have involved an inspection of the bike, perhaps to verify that it's details matched the carnet. However, I'm not certain about that and maybe it was just an activity that involved only the paperwork.

Can somebody clear this up for me? If it is a bike inspection, where in Sydney does it happen? Does the owner have to be present it, or could somebody else present the bike?


Quandary 6 Aug 2012 02:22

Hi Colin

in 2010 I sent my bike from way the buggery up here in FNQ to NZ. Did the normal internal freight thing to Brisbane but then it went in a ship to Christchurch. The only thing I had to do was get an import permit from DOTARS The Department of Infrastructure and Transport Homepage It took about 6 weeks for it to come through but it can take up to 12 weeks as I was advised by DOTARS. Its a simple thing of filling in the forms and sending photos of the VIN plate. You need to prove that the bike that is registered in Aus, that you pay good money for, is exactly that, a bike that is registered in AUS. Its not good enough that you pay rego each year, you must prove that the bike is approved to be here (for the return). Cant remember how much it was (maybe $50-100) but I certainly didnt kick up too much of a fuss about it. There was no inspection, just the permit application.

Have a look at the web site, there should be some info there for you.

Have fun wherever you are going


ps. yeah also had to get the carnet

ColinD 6 Aug 2012 02:52

Maybe the same...
Hi Quandry,

I hope that's all it is, but not so sure. The particular field was on the carnet, which you don't need for NZ. We were getting the final "sign-off" after having cleared customs and quarantine, when the officer pointed to a field that should have been completed before we left.

It could have been something like what you are decribing. I remember thinking "darn, that would need to have happened at the shipper's warehouse, why didn't they tell us" so that suggests the bike does need to be present. On the other hand I may be confused (again).

Unfortunately their online information for the use of carnets is not easy to navigate.

Quandary 6 Aug 2012 03:26

Yeah you are right about the carnet. It was a temp import deposit or something like that. Got it back when we shipped it back home.

Well apart from this https://www.dotars.gov.au/vehicles/i...tions/rav.aspx
I dont know. Hope you sort it.

MurrayCarmen 6 Aug 2012 12:31

Hi Colin, Marty,
I'm about to airfreight a bike to Chile, and looked into the export/import requirements. A bit of extra info:
Customs and DOTARS have told me that if I export the bike on a carnet, then I don't need an import permit to get it back into Australia. If a carnet is not used, then the import permit is required (and the photo of the VIN plate as Marty said) - costs $50 for processing the application.
As I don't need a carnet for S.A., and it's an extra expense and hassle to get, I've decided to not get a carnet and just go for the import permit. The only inspection required that I'm aware of, is for Dangerous Goods certification.
I can imagine if something was missed in the paperwork for the carnet on the way out, it could cause problems coming back in.

rbslime 7 Aug 2012 14:57

Hi Colin,

Do you mean on the first white page of the carnet? The section at the bottom where customs has to sign it?

I had the bike inspection done in Darwin before airfrieghting to singapore. I rode it to the customs office in the middle of the city, they looked at the chassis number and engine number then signed on the line and that was it. The next day I rode it to the airport and got it loaded into a crate.

On my second carnet that section is not signed, but it's clearly a replacement carnet for the same bike.


ColinD 7 Aug 2012 23:27


Originally Posted by rbslime (Post 388515)
Hi Colin,

Do you mean on the first white page of the carnet?

Hi Ryan,

That sounds like it. It's two years since I had the carnet so I have no idea exactly where it's located on the form, but certainly that info matches with what they described.

I'm trying to figure out exactly when and where I need to get this inspection when I'm booking a whole container and packing it myself. Not much use inviting customs to inspect the bikes when they are jammed into the container and can only be removed with a forklift. I guess there must be some kind of process where you invite them to inspect the bikes shortly before the container gets packed.

Then the question comes up whether I need this at all if shipping to a country that doesn't require carnets. From previous posts, it seems that just a photo and supporting documents is enough. That's certainly a lot easier. Good reason to go to non-carnet country, not to mention saving $400 for the cost of the carnet.

The bureaucratic adventure has already started ... and I'm not travelling until next year!

Dave Milligan 8 Aug 2012 03:34

It's no biggie. If you're taking a bike out of Australia and using a Carnet de Passages en Douane then you must get the local Aus Customs dept at the point of export stamp the Carnet. They then reserve the right to inspect the bike prior to loading, so it's a damned good idea to contact Customs beforehand. When entering and exiting other countries the Carnet must be stamped by the local authorities (but usually only if those countries actually require a Carnet to enter) then on arrival back here the Carnet must be stamped again so AAA can refund your bond.

With my commercial shipments I mostly take bikes without Carnets to my destinations (NZ, UK, USA, Turkey & Spain) so there's no need for a Carnet and the VIA is needed, but only to get the bikes back into Australia.

Occasionally I do have bikes under Carnet in my shipments and it's usually foreign bikes which have come here (all foreign vehicles must have a Carnet to get into Australia if if coming here temporarily) and they will be in a return shipment back to one of my destinations. In that case I give the Carnet to my Customs Broker who forwards it to the Customs Dept a couple of days before the container is loaded. They then stamp the Carnet to prove the bike has departed and sometimes they pop into the depot where the bikes are waiting to be loaded and check the VIN number of the bike under Carnet, probably to make sure nothing illegal is happening.

ColinD 8 Aug 2012 07:20


Thanks for clearing that up. It all makes perfect sense.

There's no inspection required for VIA-based export?


Dave Milligan 8 Aug 2012 10:27


Originally Posted by ColinD (Post 388598)

Thanks for clearing that up. It all makes perfect sense.

There's no inspection required for VIA-based export?

Correct, but AQIS (Australian Quarantine Inspection Service) should inspect the bike for cleanliness, for Quarantine purposes and the VIN number, on behalf of Aust Customs, when it arrives back in Australia.

The VIA has no time limit, apparently.

TravellingStrom 9 Aug 2012 10:14

My white page inside the carnet was not signed either, it was supposed to have been done by the Qantas boys when they took charge of the bike

I had been to the customs office in Brissy and they told me they would not sign it until the bike was in freight hands, Qantas failed to get thsi done

Apparently it is not a big issue and nothing to be done about it now is there

Cheers from Kazakhstan

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