Monday, 23 May 2011

Carnet de Passage

Been looking into, and trying to get a better understanding of the dreaded Carnet de Passage today. A Carnet de Passage is a customs document for your vehicle which enables you to enter and exit countries more easily. A Carnet is an internationally recognised customs document entitling the holder to temporarily import a vehicle into countries. Wikipedia has the following description for a Carnet.

The Carnet allows travellers to temporarily import their vehicles without having to leave a cash deposit at the border. It is, in essence, an international guarantee for payment of customs duties and taxes to a government should the vehicle not be re-exported from that country. Persons who temporarily import their vehicles into countries where the Carnet is required must agree to obey the laws and regulations of that country and particularly the conditions of temporary importation.

The Carnet contains relevant information about the vehicle – make, model, colour, engine capacity, seating capacity, registration number, owner and value. In order to obtain a Carnet, the owner of a vehicle is required to provide a security based on the age and market value of the vehicle. Generally three types of security are acceptable from motoring organisations.

       • Cash bond
       • Banker's letter of indemnity
       • Insurance policy


        I spoke with the Carnet de Passage expert at the AAA regarding my planned trip, giving the necessary details which are essentially the bikes value and countries to be crossed. Fwarrrrr! I was certainly a little surprised at the expense of this item even though I had a reasonable idea of the costs involved. The big problem is that my trip includes Iran. The security required to cross Iran is 470% of the value of the bike. A conservative estimation of my bikes value at the start of my trip will be around $20,000, this means that the security figure required would be $98,000! There is also the $400 cost of the carnet and a $250 refundable bond to outlay.

        The current cost for Indemnity Insurance based on the above figures would be $1880. If I do take out Indemnity Insurance, it would NOT relieve me from paying the necessary duties should the necessity arise. The Underwriters are entitled under the Indemnity to recover from me the amount of duty paid. This Insurance merely enables me to take the vehicle out of Australia without having to freeze a considerable lump of money. So if the bike was stolen, being mindful of the fact that the bike will be uninsured pretty much all of the way to the UK, I would not only be up for the value of the bike but would also be up for the duties and taxes demanded by the relevant country for failing to export the vehicle, chuffin' hell!

        The Carnet is a little like a passport for your vehicle, it's purpose is to stop you from selling your vehicle while en route and messing up that country's import/export system for vehicles. When you enter a country that requires a Carnet you get it completed and stamped on both the removable page and the stub by customs, who then make a claim for payment for importation. When you leave that country you get it completed and stamped again and the country keep the page from the Carnet book leaving you with the completed and stamped stub as proof that the successful import and export of the vehicle took place and the claim for any payment is cancelled. If for any reason your vehicle doesn't get stamped out of a country, their claim for payment comes from your security bond. A list of countries requiring a Carnet is available at Wikipedia, but you would probably get the most up to date information from your Automobile Association such as the AA in the UK, AAA in Australia, or the CAA in Canada etc.

        A Carnet lasts for a period of 12 months, and when you have finished with it, you return it to the issuing Association, to enable the safe return of your bonds or release of your funds from the bank. Not all countries have the same requirements for security, Iran being the highest, the most up to date information again would be available from your Automobile Association.

        I now believe I am armed with the knowledge of what is required regarding the Carnet de Passage, and how to use it during my trip, but it doesn't make it any easier to justify the expense, Ouch!!

        The following is a list of Indemnity Amounts for the various countries that require them:
        Country Motor VehiclesMotor Cycles
        Australia 100%30%
        Egypt 200%150%
        Europe 100%50%
        India/Pakistan/Sri Lanka 400%400%
        Iran 470%470%
        Japan 100%100%
        Middle East 150%100%
        New Zealand 50%25%
        Singapore/Malaysia/Indonesia 200%150%
        South America (Trans) 300%200%
        South Africa 150%100%
        Syria 400%400%
        Trans Africa 200%150%

        The above list of indemnities was correct at the time of posting this blog. Please do your best to ensure they are still relevant before getting into a serious argument with anyone.

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