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  #1  
Old 14 Jun 2005
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Collecting a bike from the airport (UK)

The trip is over damn it and I am involved in organising shipping back to the UK from Colombia. I seem to have got things covered at the Colombian end but I am keen to know how it works when it comes to collecting my bike in London (Stanstead I think).

Do I just go to the airport and present the airway bill (or whatever the shippers give me to present). Is there anything to pay? Do I need a local agent to help sort out the release? How much time does it normally take to ship the bike and clear customs? I was planning on sending it the same day as I fly out of Bogota.

Anything I need to watch out for?

Crikey if all goes well I might even have my bike back for the UK meeting next weekend.

Thanks for any advice anyone can offer.

Matt
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  #2  
Old 15 Jun 2005
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Matt

We flew bike back into UK and have done to other Euro destinations from South America. Once Customs know it is UK registered it should just be a stamp and a pat on the head . . . . just your airway bill, V5, passport (in fact I'm don't even know if they wanted passport . . . ) Got your road tax on the bike to ride it away though? We forgot it last time . . .

Jules
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  #3  
Old 15 Jun 2005
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Hi Jules,

It all sounds pretty straightforward.

However, I read Mike's post about airports in Scotland and fear the same will apply to London (50 quid seems steep for not doing anything). I will find out shortly.

You mention the tax disc. How can I get road tax for my bike? I have been away from the UK for more than a year and I completed the SORN paperwork required by the DVLC. The bike is just more than 3 years old so will require an MOT before I can get a new tax disc. I was planning on just riding the bike back from the airport and explaining to anybody who wants to stop me what I have been up to in the last 15 months.

Any advice on this last point gratefully received as always.

Cheers,

Matt
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  #4  
Old 16 Jun 2005
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First off your shippers should give you a contact point back here, get in touch with them as soon as you return and they will be able to help you with customs clearance, which should not be any problem. Do it quickly though as once the bike has cleared customs - it begins to rack up storage charges until you pick it up.

Your issue is really the tax disc. I was faced with a similar problem and asked DVLA for their advice. In no uncertain terms they told me that riding without a tax disc, whatever the reason, is illegal. Of course no one will find out unless you get stopped - so you have to ask yourself what is the likelihood of that.

Your MOT requirement could give you a loophole however - because you are allowed to ride an untaxed bike to a garage for an MOT - as long as you have an appointment. SO if you plan to do it straight away - make the appointment then go straight there from the airport.

INteresting about your SORN declaration. When I asked DVLA about that before I left home, they told me that due to reciprocal arrangements, technically you are supposed to keep the bike road legal in the UK (ie taxed) even when travelling abroad. This is certainly true of the USA where I shipped to.

I asked them this becuase I noticed that the SORN declaration requires you to give a UK address where the bike will be stored - and it is supposed to be kept there.

One major problem with the system is that, if you keep the bike out of the country for more than 12 months, you are deemed to have exported it - even if you are travelling and have no fixed point you exported it to. So, technically when you bring it back you have to re-register it.

FOrtunately when I came back my tax had only expired a couple of weeks before - so I could buy a new back dated disk. More than a month and you can't do it.

What annoyed me most when I did this research, was that there is in fact no way to keep the bike fully legal and registered if you are travelling for more than 12 months. They just don't have an answer for that kind of scenario.

hope this helps


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Richb
http://www.postmaster.co.uk/~richardbeaumont/60684/
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  #5  
Old 16 Jun 2005
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Thanks Richard,

Very comprehensive reponse and pretty much what I feared. Seems there is never any flexibility built into a system to cater for unusual circumstances. I will have to book a few MOT tests for the first week then.

Must catch up for a in good old Guildford some time.

Cheers.

Matt
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  #6  
Old 23 Jun 2005
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Seems that I can clear my bike from customs without an agent as I am the owner.

However, the process is not without cost. At Stanstead the handling charge for freight moved between plane and warehouse is 12p per kilo. Grrrrr

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  #7  
Old 23 Jun 2005
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last time I imported via Heathrow they were about to change the rules so you had to have an agent. the previous time, they misread the weight and tried charging handling on 1500kg of XR650R and didn't want to accept it was less than 150kg
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  #8  
Old 27 Jun 2005
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Cost me £69.40 to get my bike back at Stanstead. The company handling the debacle was Servis Air. They charged 10p per kilo plus a £30 customs fee.

Current position is that you can collect your own shipment. However, it is a big hassle and pretty expensive. It took a whole day to get the bike inspected and released. Probably would have been quicker in South America.
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  #9  
Old 11 Feb 2007
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Hi
As per Matt's original question(s)....
What if it is an Australian registered bike coming in for a few months? Say to Heathrow?

Also, what if we wanted to leave the crate there somewhere for use on the ruturn trip (LDN-BNE)...any advice?

Cheers
John
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  #10  
Old 11 Feb 2007
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Regarding MOT and Road Tax - UK registered vehicles.

You can legally ride it on the UK roads without either IF going to or from a prearranged appointment for a MOT test.

There is nothing that says the MOT test must be close by. I have heard of a car driving from Liverpool to a prebooked MOT test in Kent and the Police letting him go - powerless!

Therefore prebook a test near your home or other destination, not near the airport!

Again there is nothing that says you must tax it immediately after the MOT - just when you use it next on a UK road after getting it home (or elsewhere). So take it on to your destination and leave it there.

That covers you getting it from the airport to the Test Station and on to your home where you can store it (keep the SORN going though) or get it taxed if venturing out on the UK roads again.

All totally legal and above board. As we all are of course....
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  #11  
Old 12 Feb 2007
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Thanks Tony.
Lots of accronyms, so I first Googled "MOT" and found the site: http://www.motuk.co.uk/ and there I see a fee of £23.80 for motorcycles and a search engine for locating a testing station (there are 100's in London).

I strated to consdier the "Road Tax" and how I'd search for details/cost, then noticed you'd said for "UK registered vehicles". Do you mean the road tax is not a concern, not payable for non-UK registered vehicles? (mine is registered in Australia). And is your UK "Road Tax" you refer to the same as the "Green card" needed for EU travel?
I assume you mean MOT is still applicable for Autralian-registered bikes?
Thanks
John

Last edited by John-DownUnder; 12 Feb 2007 at 05:52.
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  #12  
Old 12 Feb 2007
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John

Neither an MOT test certificate nor UK Road Tax is required on foreign registered vehicles which are being temporarily imported by visitors.

You can search through www.dvla.gov.uk and

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring...le/DG_10014623

This last link says-
"There are international agreements which provide for the temporary use of a vehicle in a foreign country for a limited time, usually six months in a 12 month period. A visitor to the UK may use a vehicle displaying foreign plates, provided that all taxes (including vehicle excise duty) are paid in their country of origin."

You would be unlucky indeed if a local roadside UK policeman knew what a current or valid Australian road tax receipt looks like !

Last edited by Tony P; 12 Feb 2007 at 17:08.
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  #13  
Old 12 Feb 2007
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Thanks for the prompt response Tony. A double negative in your first line , but I think I undertsand.

That first link/site http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring...le/DG_10014623 also says:
Quote:
The drivers of vehicles from outside the EU will need to demonstrate via HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that they are eligible to use the vehicle here on a temporary basis. If this is achieved a HMRC Notice 3 is issued, which will be date stamped with the date the vehicle should leave the country.
Do you know if this process occurs when the bike comes in through Customs (at airport cargo terminal?), or whether we need to arrange it through an Office somewhere other than at the airport? (if indeed we will need to have it performed unless we are pulled up by a police officer )

John
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  #14  
Old 12 Feb 2007
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John
Grammar corrected.

Sorry - no practical experience of coming into UK with non EU vehicles or via air freight. I only see vehicles being owner-driven off ferries or Channel Tunnel shuttle trains. They are seldom stopped by Customs who appear to operate randomly or to paramaters I do not understand. They have never stopped me on a bike, but have many times in a car - particularly when I am travelling alone.

Someone must know - I see around London a number of non-EU cars generally wearing plates from Norway, Switzerland, Channel Islands, Russia, Ukraine, USA and some Middle Eastern states.

I'll ask one some time, but don't wait !
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  #15  
Old 13 Feb 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John-DownUnder
What if it is an Australian registered bike coming in for a few months? Say to Heathrow?
No fees payable. Same as a foreign vehicle coming here - if they are tourists and intend to leave with the vehicle .. no fees .. well no rego fees.

You'll need to demonstrate that the vehicle is yours, registered and insured in Australia. So that is the rego certificate and the third part insurance document. That satisfies the legal requirements as to being able to be used there.

Insurance for there is another matter - you will need 'green card' insurance - cheapest may be through the German ARDC stuff errr think Steven Knoff (SP? may be wrong .. he is a sponsor here so look him up) might be the easiest way to go.


Quote:
Originally Posted by John-DownUnder
Also, what if we wanted to leave the crate there somewhere for use on the ruturn trip (LDN-BNE)...any advice?
Best of luck with that .. London is expensive and fairly full of stuff .. so storeing it is likly to cost.
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