This interactive map (click on a country for more information) provides information on Carnet requirements by country, whether it is required, recommended or not required for entry via overland borders or via the sea borders shipping in or out of the country. (For Temporary Import (TIP) See this map)
Please note that the entry requirements / policies can change without notice. The information above has been produced based on overland travellers actual experiences crossing borders with vehicles together with official information provided by Motoring Organisations and customs authorities.
When collating the information and considering the status of each country we only consider reliable first hand multiple user reports, covering multiple vehicle types. We do not take into consideration hearsay, or illegal forms of entry. When we are comfortable the information is correct, reliable and consistent we then update the status.
Please ensure you also read the notes to each country as they may contain additional information or user reports which are relevant to you.
(Latest news see our Overlanding Africa FB Group)
We recommend a Carnet for travel in Africa in general, as it facilitates quicker and easier border crossings, and does not require the payment of a cash bond at borders. Large parts of Africa are stated as recommended, once reliable user reports of people entering these countries without a carnet on a TIP without issue we shall reassess their status.
South African Customs Union (South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland) travellers are reporting a carnet is not required if crossing via a land border, however if you plan to ship in or out of any of the countries in the Customs Union we would strongly recommend obtaining a carnet.
Egypt it had been possible to obtain a local Egyptian Carnet (Often refereed to as a triptyque) with the payment of a cash bond, with reports dating back to 2010 of successful entry.
These reports normally related of people entering on motorcycles with a refundable deposit of $800, which rather than being TIPs were the local Carnets/ Triptyque,
Recently (October 2016) the FIA confirmed that Egypt had changed their rules and are not currently issuing local Carnets to foreign residents.
September 2016 – An individual reported that they are not issuing local Carnets or TIPs at the Sudan / Egypt border. However they were able to obtain a single page Carnet from Sudanese Automobile and Touring Club, for a cost of US$200. Reference
September 2016 a member shipped into Alexandria without a Carnet, locally they asked for a €800 Carnet fee and a €2500 Euro Deposit, however despite being provided with a quote for the carnet they were not able to obtain one locally. Reference
*Note Egypt does not allow the use of extended carnets to enter the country, on the few occasions these have been allowed, lengthy validation of the carnet was required.
*Note Some members have been ask to have their carnet issuer fax FAX both the Club Auto & Tourisme d’Egypte confirming authenticity and copy of the original document, if you are shipping in it would be beneficial to arrange this in advance so that you are not faced with delays on arrival.
No reliable, consistent reports have mentioned entering Egypt only on a TIP for both motor vehicles and motorcycles recently therefore the status is still required.
A Carnet is highly recommended
*Also note the current status is fluid and may change without notice
Ethiopia (Warning) – Aug 2017 customs have introduced new rules which require a cash deposit to be paid at the border. This can be as much 300% of the vehicle, with no confirmed way of repayment. Currently they are not accepting Carnets, however they may accept separate insurance bond. This is a developing situation please read the latest updates on our Overlanding Africa FB Group
Sudan – A carnet is recommended for travel to Sudan, there are mixed reports of people entering successfully without a carnet and with other being stuck at the border for several days whilst arranging for a Carnet to be issued from the Sudan Automobile Association. It has been reported the costs of the Carnet was $200, the officers on the border have the Sudan Automobile Associations telephone number
Kenya – More reports are coming in from Travellers in 2016 stating that they were able to enter Kenya on a TIP for a cost of $20. The TIP may be issued for the length of your visa. The last user reported being given 90 days same as their East African Visa. With still recommend a Carnet for Kenya, entry without a carnet for all vehicles is relatively new.
Senegal – Recommended – Entering Senegal can be problematic if you don’t read up on the process in advance. Read the notes on the map and ask in our forum for the latest information. If you are shipping you should use a carnet.
Shipping in or out of Africa – please ensure you check prior to shipping or entering the country you are shipping out of whether a carnet is is required or not.
(Latest news see our Overlanding Europe FB Group)
A carnet is not required for Europe, however if you are shipping in to Germany (not other countries) you may be asked for a Deposit of around 30% of the vehicle’s value see below for more information. For most EU countries you can usually use a vehicle with foreign number plates without registering or taxing it for up to 6 months, third party liability insurance is required, and some states may charge user fees or taxes. In the UK the following rules apply:
- you’re visiting and don’t plan to live here
- the vehicle is registered and taxed in its home country
- you only use the vehicle for up to 6 months in total – this can be a single visit, or several shorter visits over 12 months
For the UK Automatic VAT & Duty relief is provided:
Provided the vehicle is for your own private use only during your visit and:
- it is registered outside the EU or, if not registered, belongs to you or someone else who has their normal home outside the EU
- you do not sell, lend or hire it out or otherwise dispose of it in the EU
- you re-export the vehicle from the EU within 6 months (if you are a student or someone fulfilling an assignment of a specific duration for example a work contract, the vehicle can remain in the EU for the period of your studies or until the end of your assignment)
Also note the following provided by the EU Customs Advice service when enquiring on behalf of a non EU member:
“These rules are set out in the Common Customs Code, which is set out in Regulation (EC) 2454/93, as amended.
In outline, these rules provide that a person in your situation, who is resident outside of the EU, whose vehicle which is registered in their home state, is temporarily importing a vehicle for private use within the EU is entitled to relief from customs duties for a period of six months (article 562).
However, on the basis of the information provided, that this will be purely for private purposes, being a tour of the EU, the period is six months.
You can find more information at the following website:
You would need to make a customs declaration on your first entry into the EU. If that will be the UK, you can find out more about the UK rules in obtaining temporary admission and the necessary paperwork at the following website:
You can find more information at the following contact point:
We hope that this assists, ”
Recently there have been a couple of reports of people shipping into Germany being ask to pay a deposit, we contacted German customs had were provided the following responses:
By phone: A deposit is only required if a written declaration is asked for by customs, by default only an oral declaration is required, however the customs agent may at their own discretion may ask for a written declaration and deposit. She suggested that you contact customs yourselves and orally declare the vehicle and ask whether the written declaration is required or not, She suggested agents are not always aware of the rules or just do this as a matter of course. The agent suggested different ports in Germany may apply different policies.
By Email: Vehicles registered in a non-EU country and driven by a person resident in a non-EU country may indeed be imported in temporary admission free of duty and tax. Nevertheless the temporary admission is liable to a deposit (equivalent to the potential duty and tax), when the customs office asks for a written declaration. A written declaration is required when a vehicle enters without being driven on its own wheels (in case of Bremerhaven they come by ship). The deposit is returned when re-export is made and proven.
As far as this answer contains legal statements this information can – for legal reasons – only be given to the best of our knowledge and is non-binding.
We would therefore not recommended shipping to German ports without advance confirmation by customs that only an oral declaration is required,
Americas (North, South & Central)
(Latest news see our Overland FB Group)
For a number of years, a carnet has not been required when crossing land borders in the Americas. If shipping into the USA, EPA approval and and Importer Security Filing is (ISF) required prior to shipping more information here Temporary import to the USA . Some shippers have incorrectly asked for a carnet when shipping to South & Central America.
Right hand drive vehicles may face problems in Central America – see our RHD / LHD map for more details
Chile – Note if you buy a car in Chile you must obtain a RUT to exit the country.
(Latest news see our Overlanding Asia FB Group)
Northern Asia,the Stans, Russia, Mongolia a carnet is not required, nor are they required in South East Asia, except for Indonesia or if you are shipping into Malaysia.
For Iran, China, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Turkmenistan (not on transit visa) a guide may be required to travel through the country. The rules may differ for different nationalities and the type of visa you have i,e Transit or Tourist Visa.
Malaysia – A Carnet is only required if shipping into the country, travellers have reported some agents have asked for one to leave. For updated information please reach out to our community.
Cambodia – Recently travellers entering Cambodia have been asked for either a permit (issued Phnom Penh, can take up to 7 days) or a Carnet to enter the country with their vehicle. A Carnet is not officially required for entry into Cambodia, and the requirement of a permit is something new. There has been little officially published about either of these requirements and it does not appear that these rules are being applied consistently on all borders. Travellers have reported that you may be able to obtain the permit in advance from a Cambodian embassy in e.g. Bangkok. We are making enquiries with Cambodian customs in order to understand a little more regarding the rules being implemented, any new updates will be posted here and in our Overlanding Asia Group
Laos – There are rumors that Laos may follow Thailand and require travellers to obtain permits prior to entry, there have been reports that groups arriving at the border have been refused entry, so if you are in a group enter individually at different times,
Myanmar – is open for all vehciles however you are required to enter and travel with a guide. Currently the border of both China & Laos is closed to foreigners so you would have to travel Myanmar to Thailand. China should reopen soon, there is no eta as to when the Myanmar Laos border will be open, when it does it would offer the opportunity to bypass Thailand until you reach the Cambodia / Thai border.
Vietnam – both LHD and RHD drive vehicles can enter the country with a guide
Thailand – In December 2016 Thailand introduced new rules which required a traveller with their own motor vehicles to obtain a permit and guide to enter the country in advance The new rules allow for motorcycles and vehicles under 3500kg to enter the country, with a permit and guide organised via a travel agency. However they state – No vans, camper cars, buses, trucks, vehicles over 3500kg or that have over 9 seats. The situation is fluid and is ever changing. More info / latest updates see our Overlanding Asia FB Group
To enter Thailand you should make sure you have an IDP (international Driving Licence) 1949 version, 1969 is not accepted.
In general most countries issue the 1949 version by default, however countries like Germany or Switzerland appear to iss the 1969 version. (In total the a three versions that are issued 1926, 1949, 1968)
Thailand recognises the following;
1. Driving license issued by ASEAN member states (temporary driving license excluded)
2. International driving permit under Convention on Road Traffic of 19 September 1949
If you do not have a 1949 IDP, you will be required to provide an english and (or) Thai translation of your licence and you may have to undertake some tests. Your agent will be able to confirm exactly whats required, as they may differ by province.
Asian Agents / Tour Companies
Travel Activ is our recommended Agents / Tour company for Asia permits and guides (Thailand, Myanmar, China & Vietnam)
Extending a Carnet or transferring to a new one
Extending a Carnet
To Extend a carnet you will need to obtain both permission from the local customs authority and your carnet issuer. Normally the Carnet issuer will grant permission for the carnet to be extended for 1 additional year, the costs differ country to country and depending on the security you have put down for the carnet. If you have gone via the insurance route, the insurance will need to be renewed / paid again.
Not all countries allow for carnets to be extended.
Transferring to a new Carnet
Normally people transfer to a new carnet during the exit and entry in to a new country, this is by far the easiest way to do it.
You can also transfer to a new carnet whilst in country, however you need to agree this with local customs prior to your carnet expiring,
If your carnet expires whist in a carnet country, and you have not made arrangements for a temporary excretion or formal transfer to a valid carnet, you are unfortunately in breach of the carnet rules. From customs perspective all they know is that a car is in the country with an expired carnet. Large fines or charges may be levied, or your vehicle could be confiscated.
Some countries like South Africa do allow one month’s grace on expired carnets.
*Simply arriving in the country with a new carnet for an expired carnet or soon to expire carnet is not enough, you must formally transfer from one carnet to another prior to the expiry of the current one. If not you may be liable for large fines, your vehicle could be confiscated. (Yes this has happened to people)
Sometimes when shipping the rules for crossing a border via land to those entering by sea may differ, also in some instances shipping agents may not be experienced with temporary import of non residents vehicles and may not provide the correct advice. Before shipping, check with your agents on both ends or reach out to our community to clarify whether a carnet is required or not.
Where a Carnet is stated as recommended – it may be possible to enter that country without a carnet, however it may not be straightforward, you may have to pay bribes, speak to officials, may be time consuming, or make travelling through the country with a RHD vehicle more complicated etc, therefore it is recommended to have a carnet make the border crossing easier. In Africa official rules can change without notice or be purely down to the person on duty. If you do plan to enter any of the countries where a carnet is “recommended” please read the notes and consider reaching out to our community for the latest reports on entering that country.
*Temporary importation whether via Carnet or a Temporary import permit is normally provided for vehicles being used socially / for tourist purposes, on a temporary basis. If you are bringing a vehicle into your home country or Customs Zone (i,e EU), that is registered elsewhere, then these provisions may not apply, and you may have to pay local import taxes and duties.
The information provided on this website is for travellers outside of their home country or customs zone.
For more information see our Guide to Carnet de passage for Overland Travellers
This map provides details in relation to Temporary import of Motor Vehicles, Motor Bikes and trucks into a country other than your own. i.e Initial Length of Stay, Maximum length of stay, overstay fines, costs and other information.
The data is currently incomplete and we would ask that you add your experience to either the google sheet below / link or as a comment to this post.
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General Travel insurance try World Nomads or True Traveller both companies specialise in long term travel policies
Information provided on this site is generally provided for people travelling outside of their home country, visa zone or customs area. If you have any questions or would like clarification on any matter please leave a comment or reach out to our comunity in our overlanding facebook group.
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