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  #1  
Old 14 Jul 2010
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Terminal fees and customs clearance at Frankfurt Airport

Hello,

I am looking to ship my bike from NYC to Frankfurt via air freight. The shipping companies I've contacted do not know what the terminal fees will be when picking up the bike at Frankfurt. I am getting an ATA Carnet so I don't expect to pay any taxes/duties for the importation. What can I expect to pay for the terminal fees? Also, what is the customs clearance process like at the destination. Do I need to hire an agent to help clear the bike at Frankfurt?


Thank you,

Dmitriy
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  #2  
Old 14 Jul 2010
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Hey Dmitriy,

It's very straighforward to clear your bike through customs in Frankfurt. Hop on the bus to the cargo terminal, your bike should be there shortly, they'll unstrap it off the pallet and make you head over to customs to clear it. As of a couple of years ago, they hadn't seen that many bikes and had to read through the manual to see what steps were necessary. Only thing they asked for before they let me ride it off was whether I had my green card insurance which I had pre-arranged. If I didn't have it, I would have had to drive into town to the nearest ADAC to buy it and return.

As for fees, I don't remember any, but wouldn't surprise me if there was some unsurprising level of fees like 50 Euros for some charge or another. The whole process took me a couple of hours. Best of luck and if you are comparing prices, you may want to look at flying out of Montreal/Toronto on Motorcycle Express. Don't know the prices this year but it was about $1,250 USD a couple of years back.
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  #3  
Old 14 Jul 2010
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Dmitriy, you do NOT need a carnet for Europe at all.

See the Carnet page for more information. Link on left under Planning, paperwork.

Also, Mountain Man is right - Motorcycle Express is a good way to ship your bike - they do it all the time. Tell them HU sent you!

I've shipped ours through them, and it's a doddle in Frankfurt - very straightforward, nothing complicated, no big fees.
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  #4  
Old 14 Jul 2010
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MountainMan,

Thank you very much for your response. Did you have a carnet at that time?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainMan View Post
Hey Dmitriy,

It's very straighforward to clear your bike through customs in Frankfurt. Hop on the bus to the cargo terminal, your bike should be there shortly, they'll unstrap it off the pallet and make you head over to customs to clear it. As of a couple of years ago, they hadn't seen that many bikes and had to read through the manual to see what steps were necessary. Only thing they asked for before they let me ride it off was whether I had my green card insurance which I had pre-arranged. If I didn't have it, I would have had to drive into town to the nearest ADAC to buy it and return.

As for fees, I don't remember any, but wouldn't surprise me if there was some unsurprising level of fees like 50 Euros for some charge or another. The whole process took me a couple of hours. Best of luck and if you are comparing prices, you may want to look at flying out of Montreal/Toronto on Motorcycle Express. Don't know the prices this year but it was about $1,250 USD a couple of years back.
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  #5  
Old 14 Jul 2010
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Grant,

I am aware that a carnet is not required for Europe, however two freight forwarders (including Berklay) suggested that I get one at Corporation for International Business | ATA Carnet | International Export Document | Online Carnet to avoid paying importation duties and taxes. It is my understanding that obtaining a carnet will grant the shipment the 'temporary import' status and thus no taxes and duties. Can you confirm this?


P.S.
The German customs page below suggests the use of ATA Carnet for temporary importation of items for exhibitions. Doesn't say anything about personal vehicles though.
Questions on customs procedures and commercial goods traffic

P.P.S.
Motorcycle Express only ships out of Canada right now, which doesn't work for me since I'm right here in NYC area.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant Johnson View Post
Dmitriy, you do NOT need a carnet for Europe at all.

See the Carnet page for more information. Link on left under Planning, paperwork.

Also, Mountain Man is right - Motorcycle Express is a good way to ship your bike - they do it all the time. Tell them HU sent you!

I've shipped ours through them, and it's a doddle in Frankfurt - very straightforward, nothing complicated, no big fees.
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  #6  
Old 14 Jul 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmitriy View Post
Grant,

I am aware that a carnet is not required for Europe, however two freight forwarders (including Berklay) suggested that I get one at Corporation for International Business | ATA Carnet | International Export Document | Online Carnet to avoid paying importation duties and taxes. It is my understanding that obtaining a carnet will grant the shipment the 'temporary import' status and thus no taxes and duties. Can you confirm this?
NO. They clearly have NO clue what they're talking about. NO carnet required for Europe, NO import fees, NO duties etc. for personal vehicles temporarily imported.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmitriy View Post
P.S.
The German customs page below suggests the use of ATA Carnet for temporary importation of items for exhibitions. Doesn't say anything about personal vehicles though.
Questions on customs procedures and commercial goods traffic
All correct. Exhibitions, not personal vehicles. It's a completely different carnet for personal vehicles. See the carnet page as noted earlier for vehicles. An ATA carnet is of NO use to motorcycle travellers. Lots of people have wasted their time and money because of this sort of misinformation / nonsense. We (motorcycle / auto travellers) use an AIT carnet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmitriy View Post
P.P.S.
Motorcycle Express only ships out of Canada right now, which doesn't work for me since I'm right here in NYC area.
It's worth your while to ride up to Canada. Cheaper and easier, and not far. Shipping bikes out of the US can be a pain - Canada is easy. That's why Motorcycle Express - a USA company - ships out of Canada.

Hope that helps and clears it up!
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  #7  
Old 14 Jul 2010
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Grant,

Thanks for clearing things up! This will save me $300-400. I agree, it's definitely worthwhile to ride to Canada - I just completed a ride from Halifax to Toronto Btw, Berklay's rate to Frankfurt is about $200 less than that of Motorcycle Express. Again, thanks for your help!
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  #8  
Old 17 Jul 2010
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I sent an inquiry to German customs a few days ago. Here's their response:

The bike can be declared for temporary importation (German: Voruebergehende Verwendung) even without a Carnet ATA. In
that customs procedure you don't have to pay the import fees. However, a deposit can be asked for. That decision is made by the customs office at the port of entry. The deposit will amount to the same figure like the normal import duties. When you leave the EU again you declare the bike for re-export after temporary importation. The deposit is then returned to you.

So all in all the ATA is better and easier to handle but can be replaced by the normal declaration.

I hope my answer is sufficient.


For legal reasons this information can only be given to the best of our knowledge and is non-binding.

Yours sincerely

Ingo Schindler

Informations- und Wissensmanagement Zoll
(Information and Knowledge Management section of the German customs administration)
Central information unit
Carusufer 3-5
01099 Dresden

Enquiries in English:
Tel.: 0351/44834-530
Fax: 0351/44834-590
E-Mail: enquiries.english@zoll.de

Internet: Zoll online
By telephone you may contact IWM Zoll
Monday-Friday 08:00-17:00 h
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  #9  
Old 17 Jul 2010
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I've NEVER heard of anyone having to pay a temporary import fee in Europe. The ONLY reason they might require it is if you were to open your mouth and ask a stupid question - as one guy bringing his bike temporarily into the US did once, asking the customs guy: "What if I decided to sell my bike while I'm here?". Can you say "brain dead"? Needless to say, it took a month to clear the bike after a great deal of hassle. And he was only there for a three week vacation trip.

The rule with borders is always to know what you need to in advance, and never ask questions or volunteer anything - answer questions clearly and honestly, and that's IT.
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  #10  
Old 15 Mar 2011
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Shipping from Mtl to Europe

Ok, if I understand correctly, my carnet de passage would replace the need of buying the green card, all I would need to do than; would be to find a liability insurance for the countries I will be travelling to?
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  #11  
Old 15 Mar 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vagabondtwo View Post
Ok, if I understand correctly, my carnet de passage would replace the need of buying the green card...
Jimmy:

No, No, No - you are mixing apples and oranges here.

A carnet (absolutely not necessary for Western Europe if you are temporarily importing a Canadian plated bike for tourism, and intend to ship the bike back to Canada) is a document that has to do with customs and importation issues. It's kind of like posting bail for your motorcycle, it's a financial promise that you will export the motorcycle back out of the country you are visiting. A lot of third-world countries require them, primarily because they charge huge import duties on motorcycles that their citizens buy, and they don't want to run the risk that someone will import a bike as a 'tourist on a temporary basis', then sell the bike in that country for cash instead of re-exporting it.

A 'green card' is the term commonly used to describe the certificate of liability insurance necessary to ride a bike on European roads. It's exactly the same thing as the 'Canada InterProvincial' insurance slip that you get when you buy insurance here in Canada. It proves to the cops (and others) that you have the legally required liability insurance.

To import a bike into Europe for the purpose of temporary tourism (implies you will be taking it back to Canada the same year) you just ship the darn thing. Period. It's the same as importing your bike into the United States to go riding there - you just show up at the border with it.

However, same as in Canada and the USA, you are obliged by law to have a minimum amount of liability insurance in order to ride in Europe. You buy this insurance from a European vendor a short time before shipping the bike, so that you have the proof of insurance (the green card) in your hand to show to Customs when you go to pick the bike up at the air freight shed.

There are lots and lots of discussions about this whole process in the "trip transport" forum - make a coffee, and spend about an hour browsing these discussions, and I think you will be able to figure it all out.

Michael
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