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Old 09-30-2012, 10:58 PM   #1
milesforsmiles OP
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Miles For Smiles Charity Ride - SE Asia and Australia

UPDATE............We have just received special permission for our charity project to overland through Myanmar (Burma). We have authorisation to enter through Tamu in the west and exit through Myawady in the East. Our charity Interplast have a great history in Myanmar and this has helped us gain the permission we had hoped for. And before anyone asks....it took us 12 months! ;o)

In 2013, a group of charity riders will embark on a 50 day epic journey through SE Asia and Australia....welcome to Miles For Smiles!!

The aim of this 6500 mile (approx 10,460 km) journey is to raise funds and awareness for Interplast Australia and New Zealand. Miles For Smiles will raise vital dollars to provide life-changing surgery to those living with a treatable disability and give them a reason to smile

Miles For Smiles will also raise awareness of the difficulties of health care access for Australia’s developing neighbours and the work being done by Interplast volunteers in these countries.

There is a real possibility that we may receive special permission to overland across Myanmar (Burma)....watch this space! However, if it falls on it's arse, we have plan B in place to freight the bikes from Bangladesh to Thailand. All the logistics work is done, you just need to fund-raise some $'s, pay your way and join us on this awesome journey.

Contact us to find out how you can join us on the ride....Log onto www.milesforsmiles.org.au to find out more, or email me at peter@milesforsmiles.org.au

milesforsmiles screwed with this post 02-04-2013 at 04:57 PM
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:12 AM   #2
TheMichelinMan
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Hi Peter,

I came across your website while researching my own trip and problem with Bangladesh.

In July 2013 I will be setting off from London to NZ on a trip across central asia, north India, Bangladesh, SE Asia, Indonesia, AU and NZ.

I am arranging my Carnet de Passages with the RAC here in the UK and they have categorically informed me that they wont endorse it for BD. This is the directive from the AIT, the CDP governing body. I have made a fuss, spoken to the manager etc, nothing. The RAC wont endorse DB on my carnet and they also categorically maintain that no other motoring organisation will do either as this is the directive from the AIT (Assiciation Internationale du Tourisme)

This is a major disappointment for me as my girlfriends parents are doing development work in BD and a real milestone of the trip is to drive there overland.

So the short of the story is, if you don't mind helping me, what arrangements do you have in hand for BD?
Is BD listed in your carnet? In which case perhaps I could email the Australian motoring organisation and organise a carnet with them? Possible?

If not, what do you expect to be the customs requirements at the BD border? I cannot find out any concrete info on that at all.

Your help would be much appreciated!

Many thanks,
Ioannis

PS: I am stunned that you managed to get permission to go across Burma. Really really impressed.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:13 AM   #3
TheMichelinMan
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Hi Peter,

You also mention on ADV rider that you have a plan B to freight the bike from BD to Thailand.

This is what I had in mind, before the Carnet issue.
In fact after some emails I came across this very helpful and responsive agent in Dhaka who had experience and was willing to organise this freight leg for me.

http://www.homeboundbd.com/letter.html

But he categorically needs a carnet and the RAC have now kiboshed the whole plan with the no BD on the Carnet.

I would be very keen to know which freight forwarder you are using for this fallback plan, and again how you are going to clear the bike.

PS: I've just registered with ADVrider, to put the same question there for the benefit of everyone else. I am just waiting for the moderator to approve my account for the moment.

Many thanks again,
Ioannis
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:18 AM   #4
TheMichelinMan
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Hi Peter,

Very last link, sorry for the deluge.

I double checked what the RAC where saying with the ADAC, a German automotive club, really big.

It tallies with the RAC: BD do not currently accept carnets...

Click Asia, and you can see that there is a red exclamation mark over bangladesh. They don't currently accept carnets. What they accept is a mystery though

http://www.adac.de/reise_freizeit/ra...spx?tabid=tab1

I am keen to hear your arrangement.

Many thanks,
Ioannis
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:17 PM   #5
milesforsmiles OP
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Hi Ioannis, thanks for the message mate.

Bangladesh accept Carnet's but it is not a requirement, you can travel through without one...so bollocks to what the RAC endorsement stamp thingy. The only country in the region (SE Asia) you will 100% need one is India, you will not get in without one.
This info is based on what we have already researched and applied for etc. I'm not sure if it differs in the UK...but there's no reason why it should.
I'll send you an email with more info, including details of the RACV (same as RAC) carnet information.
Cheers
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:26 AM   #6
TheMichelinMan
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Hi Peter,

Thank you for getting back to me.
What you say is really encouraging, I will definitively try to get through into BD. There is more than one land border crossing with India, so if I hit a real brick wall I will move on to the next one.

You have a carnet endorsed for BD from the RACV, is that right?

Thanks again,
Ioannis
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:54 PM   #7
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We're not travelling until the end of the year, so haven't locked the carnets in yet. When we inquired about the Bangladesh Carnet through RACV it wasn't a problem, there were no red flags.
Given the recent events there the UK might be using caution for travelers??
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:17 PM   #8
TheMichelinMan
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Hi Peter,

I spoke to the manager at the Carnets office in RAC to get to the bottom of why they are not issuing them for BD.

Its not related to the recent demonstrations.

In 2010 some kind of forfeit of luxury cars being imported using the carnet upset the BD authorities and since then they are not accepting them. Likewise the directive from the Association International De Tourisme (AIT), the governing body of this convention to all automotive clubs is not to issue these for BD.

This is what the RAC told me and I wanted to double check this so I went to the ADAC page. This is a German automotive club, in fact its the biggest in Europe and the only one who will issue carnets europe-wide. They have a map, I sent you a link in an earlier post, where BD is marked in yellow, for a country where a carnet is advised, but then a red exclamation mark saying that at the moment BD is not accepting carnets.

The ADAC is typically efficient and on the ball and I would trust what they say. I was surprised that the RACV didn't flag this up. Perhaps its worth re-checking with them.

On the plus side though, BD is marked as a country where the carnet is "advised". So no carnets accepted doesn't mean there is an import ban. More like there is a BD-specific customs clearance procedure. The carnet is really just proof that you have lodged a bond and you will forfeit it, allowing you to bypass import taxes. We'll see.

Another lead I want to check is DHL BD. Another German and typically on-the-ball agency. I will try to get through to them in the next couple of days to hear from them what is the latest customs clearance procedure.
http://www.dhl.com.bd/en.html

Before you got the letter for Burma, you had a fall back plan to air freight to BD. Its worth checking what paperwork the agent expected from you to clear the bike into BD.

I wanted to use this agent, he is responsive and spoke to him on the phone, but he was categoric that with no carnet he could't take up the assignment.
http://www.homeboundbd.com/letter.html

That's just an agent saying so, its not the end of the matter. With BD motorbike freight is so unusual that even if you find an agent who has done it, it may be years ago. This is the case with "homeboundBD".

On the plus side, there are at least 3 land border crossings with India that I know of, and each one is an opportunity to get through.

As soon as I get through to DHL I will re-post if I find anything concrete.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply,
Ioannis
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:51 AM   #9
TheMichelinMan
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Hi Peter,

I managed to get through to DHL BD.
Their head offices and customer care number are here.

DHL SERVICE POINT
76, Gulshan Avenue (MCC Tower)
(4th Floor),Gulshan: 1,Dhaka-1212
Ph: +88 (02 ) 9881703
http://www.dhl.com.bd/en/express/shi...locations.html

A set back, but also an opportunity:

The lady I spoke to said that DHL could arrange the clearance and air freight or a _new_ motorcycle for export. And as such I would have to pay a CCIE (Chief Controller of Imports and Exports) document fee.

When I said this would be a used motorcycle she was clear that DHL could not export it. That its not possible logistically.

So in turn I asked her if I could be able to take the bike into BD from a land border crossing with India. She was a bit stumped and apologetic and said no sir.

So, the short story is that DHL is out but the good thing is this Chief Controller of Imports and Exports. I googled this and fount some useful links:

His office
http://www.ccie.gov.bd/

Bangladeshi ministry of Commerce
http://www.mincom.gov.bd

We can always try to wing it through the border but every little thing helps, and I am thinking the next step would be to email this CCIE dude and try to get some endorsement letter from him.

In your case its your charitable aspect, similar to what you've done for Burma I imagine.

I will try to piggy back on development agency that my girlfriends mum and dad are working for in BD, sayin that I want to visit them and see their work etc.

Its worth a shot.

Its the first time I managed to penetrate this BD bureaucracy, finding this CCIE office.
The BD high commission in London on the phone for example was spectacularly casual and unhelpful.

Anyway, onwards,
Ioannis
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