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TRAVEL Hints and Tips Post your TIPS to travellers - all the interesting little tidbits you learned on the road about packing, where to get stuff, and how to cope with problems. Please make sure the subject describes the tip clearly!
Photo by Josephine Flohr, Elephant at Camp, Namibia

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Josephine Flohr,
Elephant at Camp, Namibia



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  • 1 Post By PanEuropean
  • 1 Post By PanEuropean

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  #1  
Old 8 May 2024
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Join Date: Jan 2024
Location: UK
Posts: 11
Question Collecting my bike from Toronto Airport

Hi
Any advice on collecting my bike from Toronto airport?
I arrive there the day before my bike so that I'm not rushing and miss the closing times.
Where is the customs for collecting bikes / is it in the airport? Is the cargo hold within walking distance of the main airport?
Basically where do I go and what do I need to do?
Any advice would be welcomed
thanks
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  #2  
Old 10 May 2024
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Neiva Colombia
Posts: 227
lost

are you able to use the internet Your questions can be verified on your way bill
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  #3  
Old 10 May 2024
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,132
The cargo buildings are not within walking distance of the passenger terminal. You will need to take a taxi.

This is what I recall from going through the process in Toronto about 20 years ago:

1) Go to the appropriate cargo terminal, pick up your copy of the waybill. You will not be allowed access to the moto because it is in a bonded (customs-controlled) warehouse.

2) Take your copy of the waybill to Canada Customs. Usually the customs office is in the same building as the cargo terminal, or at least within walking distance. Bring your ownership & proof of insurance for riding in Canada, also sufficient documents to either prove you are a Canadian resident or prove that you are a legitimate tourist temporarily importing the bike for tourist purposes.

3) Try to convince Customs that the bike is clean and does not require an agricultural inspections (a few hundred dollars, plus at least one day delay) to determine that there is no mud or insect guts on it.

4) Hopefully Customs will release the moto without needing to inspect it. Explain to them that it is the same concept as a foreign moto (or Canadian moto) crossing a land border into Canada.

5) If Customs agrees to release it without inspection, they will stamp your copy of the waybill. You then return to the cargo shed and pick up the moto. Good luck trying to get it off the warehouse floor onto the parking lot, normally there are only truck loading docks and a 4 foot drop to the parking lot. Maybe have $50 on hand to bribe a truck driver you have never met before who has a hydraulic lift on the back of his truck to lower your moto to the ground.

6) Be prepared to pay one day of storage fee to the cargo company, even if the moto has only been there for a few hours. Probably about $150 or so.

I strongly recommend you call the cargo company receiving the moto ahead of time to confirm the details of the process, in particular, what document you need to pick up from them and take to Customs. Also, spend time with Google Maps to figure out where the cargo office is, because for sure your taxi driver won't know - he probably just arrived in Canada from Afghanistan or Gaza or Africa less than a month ago.

It's not a pleasant process. It will take you the better part of a day, and that is if everything goes well.

Michael
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  #4  
Old 11 May 2024
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
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Dave:

I note that we had some conversation earlier about this same subject (air freighting your moto into Toronto) in this post.

Send me a private message via the HUBB PM system, or by email to my email address paneuropean att hotmail dawt com (read that phonetically, not literally). I need to give you some additional advice before you ship.

If I am at home when your bike arrives in Toronto, I'll try to meet up with you at your hotel or wherever you are staying on the day the bike arrives and drive you around to the cargo terminal, customs, etc.

You don't need an International Driving Permit (IDP) because presumably your UK driver licence is in the English language, and except for the province of Quebec, that is the language used in Canada and the US. Just be darn sure that your driver licence, vehicle registration, etc. is all in order. It's rare for a vehicle (of any kind) with European plates to be seen in North America, so you can reasonably expect to be stopped from time to time by traffic cops who think you have some kind of "vanity plate" on your vehicle.

Most of the time, once the cops discover that you actually are a UK tourist and you have proper insurance coverage for Canada/US, that's the end of the story. But, 20 years ago, I helped another Brit clear his moto out of Toronto airport, and less than 5 km later when we were travelling back to my house for dinner he was pulled over by a provincial traffic cop who insisted that it was illegal for him to be driving the UK registered bike in Ontario. After half an hour of arguing, explaining the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, the cop calling higher-ups in the police department, etc. we were back on our way, but it was a rotten introduction to Canada for the UK visitor.

The Ontario Provincial Police (who provide traffic services on Ontario highways) are not the smartest cops on the planet. Out west, the RCMP (our federal police force) are much easier to deal with, they have far better educated officers and are generally much more gracious & courteous than the Ontario Provincial Police.

Michael
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  #5  
Old 11 May 2024
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
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Yet another post-script:

Inquire about cancelling or suspending your UK motorcycle insurance policy while your moto is in North America. It is very likely (99.8% likely) that no part of your insurance policy will have any validity or benefit to you when the bike is in North America, so, you might as well save the money.

Your North American insurance motorcycle insurance policy will likely (again, 99.8% probability) only cover the bare minimum legal requirement of third party liability, meaning no collision coverage, no theft coverage, and most important, no coverage for any personal injury that you may suffer when riding. It is therefore very important that you take out some kind of personal health insurance policy that will provide medical coverage if you get injured in an accident. Check the fine print when buying such a policy to make sure that it does not exclude motorcycle operation.

In Canada, if you have no insurance coverage (or don't have tens of thousands of dollars of cash to put up front when you arrive at a hospital), you will still be treated same as anyone else, but you will be facing a pretty big bill at the end of your stay. In the USA, if you don't have insurance coverage or cash up front, in many locations they will leave you to bleed to death on the sidewalk outside the A&E. Canada's health care system is very similar to the UK NHS system (health care is a birthright), but in the US health care at all levels is run as a private profit-making business.
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  #6  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Posts: 425
Michael, by international law his motorcycle needs to be insured back at home at ALL times.

If he sorns the motorcycle his registration will be invalid and the bike should be taken off the road (into the garage). So he is riding that motorcycle illegally and any US insurance that he will get from Progressive will be invalid. If he has an accident that will end very badly for himself.

There is SOOOOOO much of this misinterpretation going on that it is REALLY necessary for people to stop with such recommendations.

On one hand we are receiving calls from people who trusted some "insurance providers" who don't know anything about insurance or international law nor they care about the well being of these people, that later ended in jail in Turkey and Saudi in 2023.

It is crucial to stop recommending such things as many more people ended in jail with UK plated bikes, getting "insurance" from illegal providers while having US/AUS/CAN/NZ passports and not being residents in the UK.

Laws are getting stricter and stricter, customs regulation in Germany is really strict now and tight and there is no more taking bikes from the customs before it goes to the customs storage.

It will be very soon the very opposite where the laws will become extremely strict, tight, insurance will go up, regulation will go up, and then the overlanding community will complain like children, what is going on and who is it to be blamed for these changes.

BR
dooby
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