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Thread: Carnet in South Africa and Zambia

  1. #1
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    Default Carnet in South Africa and Zambia

    I am likely to go to South Africa for six months followed by two years in Zambia. Given the cost of cars in SA and Zambia, it is going to be cheaper by far to ship my car from the UK to SA then drive to Zambia after the six months.

    Is it possible to do this on Carnets? I understand that a carnet lasts a year, but I am not clear if this means that each page of the carnet lasts a year from the first stamp on entry into the country (i.e. you have a year in the country), or whether the carnet book itself lasts a year with up to 25 in/out stamps in that year.

    I'm guessing the carnet book lasts a year, so my idea would be to take out a Carnet and import the car to SA, stamp out of SA after six months, into Zambia via Botswana, then after six months in Zambia renew the carnet to give a further year in Zambia. At the end of this year, renew the carnet again to give me my final six months and the drive home to the UK.

    If I do this and, say, the car gets written off in Zambia so I can't get it home, what happens?

    The other option I am looking at is to take the car from the UK and officially import it into Zambia, paying the customs cost of this. The problem with this is the six months in SA to start with. Does anyone know if, doing this, I could do the six months in SA on a Temporary Import Permit instead?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Sorry for the double post, but if I take the car into SA on a carnet, then once in Zambia can I, during the remaining six months of the Carnet, pay the customs duties due in Zambia and thereby cancel the carnet allowing the car to remain indefinitely in Zambia?

    In this case, how does the paperwork in the UK stack up (e.g. the depost left to guarantee the carnet).

    So many questions that my research just isn't finding answers for!

  3. #3
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    I am not sure if this site will help, I hope so. http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tripplan/paper Also the RAC issue them, it may be best to contact them http://www.rac.co.uk and talk to them about what you wish to do. It is my understanding that the vehicle has to be returned to the UK (I could be wrong) or the appropriate taxes have to be paid, that is what the deposit is.

  4. #4
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    I have no experience but a quick scan of the regulations suggest to me that you would be far better to buy a second hand car in S Africa. I looked at a website and prices look cheaper, if anything, than here. You would then have no problems with using it in SA. To take it over the border to Zambia would be another matter and an e-mail to the embassy might be a good way to get accurate information.

    The point about the car being wrecked is very important. If you don't take the car with you when you leave, then you have imported it. They will want indemnity against that in the form of insurance or a deposit.

    I am interested in how it works out so would appreciate further posts.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santa View Post
    I have no experience but a quick scan of the regulations suggest to me that you would be far better to buy a second hand car in S Africa. I looked at a website and prices look cheaper...
    Prices definitely not cheaper! I can pick up a 2002 diesel Toyota RAV4 in the UK for around 3000 (equivalent to 36,000 Rand in SA). The equivalent car in SA is around 90,000 Rand, looking on autotrader.co.za.

    Including shipping (690) and even if I have to pay import duty to SA, it's still cheaper to buy here and ship. Couple this with the fact that cars in SA are often wrecks because they have no yearly MOT equivalent, and it's worth buying in the UK.

    I think the way I am going to go, pending advice from the RAC which I am still awaiting, is to take the car into SA on a carnet and then import it into Zambia thereby cancelling the carnet. I'm seeking advice on the ramifications of this, but my reading of the regs seems to say it's possible.

  6. #6
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    What about shipping it back? As I understand it you can't sell it; but are they that well organised?

  7. #7
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    So the advice from the carnet team is that there are two options.

    Firstly, I will be taking the car into South Africa on a carnet. That gives me six months in SA, and I can drive the car up to Zambia on the carnet and have six months in Zambia.

    Then my options are to either import the car, or leave Zambia for a week (say to South Africa) and get another carnet for a year.

    If I decide to import the car, I need to inform local customs, pay the duty, and get evidence that the duty has been paid and the car registered in Zambia. That evidence is then sent to the RAC who will cancel the carnet and release the security bond.

    Fairly simple really!

  8. #8
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    Which interpreted, probably means finding the right person to hand over a brown envelope to.

  9. #9
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    Hi Jason,

    I'm currently embarking on a similar venture, to India and Nepal. I was wondering, would you happen to have any advice on shipping the vehicle? I'm hoping to ship my Land Rover Defender 90 to Mumbai, ideally by 20ft container rather than RoRo (as I've been advised so far).

    What would be ideal would be to have one company handle all the UK loading, transit and clearing in Mumbai - but it seems such a company quite difficult to find!

    Thanks a lot!

  10. #10
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    A quick search found these people: http://www.russellsfreight.com/conta...o-mumbai-india

    No idea if they really are competitive but the website is pretty good.

    To offset the cost you should try to find something to fill the container. This is what the Indians would do.

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