Can you bring your motorcycle to another country?

You may be interested to know that ShipVehicles services abroad, including motorcycle shipping, involve much more paperwork than domestic shipping. You need specific documents ready to leave your vehicle in the USA. UU. Customs and then more documents to go through customs in the destination country. This detailed guide contains information on shipping motorcycles internationally.

Our industry expert explains everything you need to know about motorcycle shipping, air or sea transportation, agents, packaging, paperwork, and more. Kathy is an international expert in motorcycle shipping and co-founder of the shipping company Moto Freight, based in the United Kingdom. Planning a motorbike adventure around the world means that at some point you'll have to send your bike. It's a big expense, can get overwhelming quickly, and often discourages travelers.

But it doesn't have to be that way; it's often much easier than you think, there are specialized companies that can do the legwork for you, and this guide to international shipping of packaged motorcycles will explain everything you need to know. First of all, check each country's government websites and look for their temporary vehicle import requirements. For example, driving around the US. on your own bike will mean that you will have to apply for the EPA exemption for your motorcycle one month before your arrival.

Second, you have a variety of options available when it comes to shipping your bike to another country, such as air transport, maritime transport, road transport, and even a combination of both. Your specific situation and route will determine which one is best for you at that stage of your trip. The use of an agent is not a mandatory requirement everywhere in the world, but there are some areas where it is worth investing in the expertise of a specialist to ensure the success of your motorcycle shipment. Talking to an experienced and trusted transportation agent is a great starting point for planning any trip, as any company of this type should take the time to explain the ins and outs of what it entails and have the honesty to tell you where an agent is really needed.

There's a time and place for both air and maritime transport in the world of motorcycle transportation, and it's vital to choose the one that's right for your trip. It is almost always wiser to choose air transport for the start of a trip or for a “bridge” leg of the trip, since the times are much more reliable than maritime transport. Likewise, in most countries, the bike can't go through customs without you being there, so you can't just transport your bike by sea to a destination with a few weeks to spare, because if it arrives as scheduled, it will incur storage fees. Those charges can be very high and are best avoided, as they would cancel out any savings you may have made when choosing shipping in the first place.

A lesser-known fact is that the arrival and handling costs of ocean freight are almost always considerably higher than those of air freight. So, while ocean freight itself is usually cheaper than air freight, the total costs can be comparable. The most important thing to learn from this section is that you must set the freight and destination charges for any movement before continuing. Arrival costs can sometimes be as high as the freight itself and you need to budget precisely to avoid being stung.

A good shipping agent should help you collect all the costs, not just the exit finances involved, so that you have a good idea of the total shipping cost. There are a few exceptions to this rule, and in some cases, it's best to transport your motorcycle by sea at the start of the trip to save money. The best examples are the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, because these are some of the few countries in the world where the bicycle can go through customs without having to be physically there. It's worth noting at this stage that one of the biggest differences between air and maritime transport is duration.

Shipping normally takes much longer than air transport, which largely explains the difference in costs and is one of the most notable negative aspects of shipping. What this means is that the size of the box will determine the final cost of freight and is more important than the actual physical weight of the bike. Most motorcycles have a fixed length and width, but sometimes the height can be reduced by removing the screen. So, for example, you might be able to save money by removing tall swivel screens.

Some agents may offer to remove the front wheel to reduce both the length and height of the bicycle. Confirm with them first that you're okay with them doing so, but keep in mind that you might be riding the motorcycle yourself in the parking lot of an airline's cargo shed at your destination. Please follow this route only if you have enough mechanical skill to replace the front wheel and if you have the tools to do so. Finding an agent is relatively easy, the slightly more complicated part is finding a specialized and experienced agent who will take care of you and your motorcycle as if they were his own.

A good starting point are social networks, motorcyclist forums, and word-of-mouth from people who have used agents. Always check the date that forum posts and social media updates were published, as information that is 5 years old is unlikely to be trustworthy. Don't be surprised to discover that what someone spent on their RTW trip a decade ago might be a little different today. Facebook and forums like Horizons Unlimited can be a gold mine of useful information, but as with anything, remember to treat social media with reservations and apply your own logic and common sense to the posts you read.

Contact the agents that seem promising, their answer will allow you to get an idea of them. They should respond in a timely manner with information specifically relevant to you. Don't hesitate to question the spirit and experience of your company, as any agent worth dealing with won't be offended by these questions and will be happy to answer you. Once again, and I can't stress this enough, always try to work with an agent who will give you an indication of the cost of both freight and arrival charges, so you can have an idea of what the total shipping cost will be.

Many people consider packing their own bike for shipping. However, we recommend that you do some research and make an informed decision about whether you should pack the bike yourself or let your transportation agent organize it for you. Any reputable transport agent should be able to organize the packaging (or, as in our case, we pack the bikes ourselves with our own bespoke box kits), which ensures that the bike is better protected from damage during transit. Many countries around the world require that all solid wood used in a box be treated to the ISPM15 standard and very severe penalties (including the elimination of the motorcycle in extreme cases) can be imposed if you send untreated wood to these countries.

If a professional has packed your bike for you, they should know how to use treated wood, as appropriate. If you are travelling from the UK, we strongly recommend that you allow us, or the company of your choice, to do the packaging for you. Our boxes are designed specifically for motorcycles, we have several sizes in stock at all times and they cost less than you think because we manufacture them in bulk, and almost certainly less than it would cost you to make your own. There are cases where it might be beneficial to make your own box, since the costs of packaging in countries that don't handle large volumes of bicycles can be very high.

Technically, the rules for shipping are that if you run out of fuel and disconnect the battery, you can travel safely. However, you'll need to check with that country's shipping agent to see if there are any country-specific regulations that might apply in addition to these. For air transport, if the motorcycle is sent as dangerous goods (this is the most common form of motorcycle air transport, but this is not always the case, so it will have to be clarified with the transport agent), the fuel level will have to be lower than ¼ of the tank, but the battery can remain connected. Once again, some countries interpret the rules differently, so check if there are any additional rules or regulations with your chosen freight forwarder.

All the advice here is based on general guidelines, each situation is slightly different and specific to each individual, so we always recommend that you talk to your transport agent before packing the bike for advice on any specific requirements. We can't help but insist that each country has its own constantly changing rules and regulations regarding the paperwork requirements for temporarily importing motorcycles and other vehicles. It's always best to research them before shipping starts, as some paperwork needs to be requested in advance. Some countries require a pass pass and, if so, we recommend that you request it at least one month before the bicycle arrives in the country.

The UK card provider (at the time of writing this article) is Cars Europe, and you can ask them for prices and more information. You'll hear stories of people who have managed to get their vehicles through countries that actually require a license without one in force, usually through a bribe or, sometimes, simply through a very inefficient customs officer. We strongly recommend not trying this. If you're visiting a country that requires a card, it's best to have one.

Yes, you can leave without one, and this usually works when you're in transit through that country (i.e. Entering and leaving by road (border), but if you need to transport goods to or from that country, the procedures are much stricter and you will almost certainly insist on carrying a license. Keep in mind that anything can happen and you may have to end your trip urgently due to unforeseen circumstances; in that case, you will need the correct documentation to be able to take your bike home and it will be too late to request a license at that time. Countries that don't require a license can issue a temporary import (which may appear similarly under many different names), and some countries may individually require that different documentation be completed in order for the motorcycle to be allowed in.

It is your responsibility, the traveler, to ensure that you have all the necessary documentation to legally import your bicycle to each of the countries you visit. Check the entry requirements with governing bodies, contact vehicle transport specialists and motorcycle transport agencies, and search the Internet (but don't take online sources as gospel, as they quickly become obsolete). Traffic insurance is never automatically included in any cargo movement, and it's an optional extra that you should be able to purchase through the transportation agency. Traffic insurance should cover your motorcycle or vehicle in the event of loss or damage during traffic, and there will most likely be a small deductible, as with any type of insurance policy.

Most of the time, the policy will cover the bike and any permanent accessories, but not the equipment, such as the riding equipment left with the bike. If the transport agent that organizes your shipment does not automatically offer traffic insurance, it is always worth asking about the cost of it, since, although it is rare, disasters can occur and that is why there is insurance. Rules and regulations around the world are constantly changing and even something you read last week may not apply today, making it practically useless for someone planning their own future trip. Learn more about shipping and transporting motorcycles Explained how to transport your motorcycle from the UK to Europe The best packing list for motorcycle trips How to choose your adventure bike riding gear How to take the ferry from Japan to South Korea How to take the ferry from Russia to Japan We hope you found this international motorcycle shipping guide useful.

Leave a comment below with any questions or get in touch via email. Okay, it looks like shipping will be the way to go. I will be attentive to your updates. Very informative, but unfortunately now I guess it's not really valid.

I was supposed to be finishing my preparations for my trip to South America with my new Moto Guzzi by the time I retire in September. Since airlines close or reduce their staff in a big way, have you received any feedback on the impact of Covid on the cost of shipping? Regards Rick Trengove Hello, I'm going to travel in September or October from Europe to Saudi Arabia on a motorcycle, do you have any suggestions for crossing by boat with my motorcycle, from Athens to Egypt or from Turkey to Egypt or from Cyprus to Egypt on a cargo or passenger ship, the most important thing is that I travel with my motorcycle. Coordinate: And this guy was probably the last person to ship to Egypt before all the restrictions against the virus arrived. He would be your best choice for questions.

Important things that are very good to know. Cheers, I'll be in touch once we can all move again. Good article, can you get Kathy to talk to Boris? I'm desperate to get back on the road. , Mmm, do I feel like a song is playing? Keep smiling, we'll get your greetings.

Could you deliver a SUZUKI GSXR-750 motorcycle from France (any port) to Madeira (Funchal)? What would the price be? If not, maybe from mainland Portugal to Madeira? Or mainland United Kingdom? Either of these options is acceptable. This was a great article and it helped me a lot with regard to the information I need for my future plans. It has been difficult to find clear answers about shipping motorcycles until now. If all goes well, then I have the future ambition to take my motorcycle to other parts of the world, such as Africa, South America and Australia, and then return to the United Kingdom.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. We will never share your information with third parties. Your information is protected in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Another thing to consider when traveling with your own motorcycle in a foreign country is the Temporary Import Permit (TIP).

You are only allowed to travel in a country with a foreign motorcycle for a certain period of time. If your bike is still in the country after the expiry date of your TIP, it will be confiscated or you will face incredibly high fines. Air Freight Cost Considerations When shipping a motorcycle overseas by air, it's much more expensive than shipping containers. But if you're going to be there for an extended period, then it might make more sense to buy or even ship your own motorcycle.

The use of an international agent specialized in transportation and transportation of motorcycles can greatly help to eliminate the stress of the two points above. One question I get asked a lot is whether it's better to rent a motorbike, send your own motorbike, or buy a local motorbike for a motorbike adventure abroad. Even those shipping a motorcycle to Europe will find that different countries have slightly different rates and import requirements. Your Schumacher representative will consider your location, budget, and general requirements to help determine the best method and cost to ship your motorcycle from the U.S.

When I decided to return the motorcycle to Europe from Vancouver, I took advantage of Air Canada's discount on motorcycle shipping, which allowed me to literally fly on the same plane with my motorcycle, land and pick up the vehicle the same day on another continent. As long as you show that you have a local address, a local phone number, and that you have enough time to wait for the process to finish (usually in a few days), you should be able to get your RUT and go to any motorcycle dealer and buy a local motorcycle. .

Léa Hendriks
Léa Hendriks

Typical music aficionado. Hipster-friendly beer practitioner. Wannabe twitteraholic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Amateur music evangelist.