Saturday, September 03, 2011

Biking UAE: The last huzzah

It wasn’t quite as painful as I’d first imagined to ship my motorcycle to Qatar. This wasn’t the favourite option; better would have been to sell the old one in the Emirates and then start again in Qatar with a new machine. But nobody likes big sports-tourers in the Gulf. Presumably the big-bike fraternity all prefer either crotch rockets or cruisers. Once I’d learned that a new 1400GTR was for sale for less than I’d want to get for my two year old example, it started to look like shipping it was a better option.

At one point I was looking into riding the bike back to the UK, but that plan foundered on the rocks of regular employment. No new employer was going to let me have a month off, and this assumes that obtaining the multiple import and export paperwork would be possible. Actually, I know that it is possible: witness Mike's trip a couple of years ago.

But would it be possible to obtain the paperwork from the UAE after my Residence Visa had been cancelled? You gotta laugh.

Back to shipping. It seems that moving the bike from the UAE to Qatar under its own power would be impossible. The machine has to be de-registered in the UAE before it can be registered in Qatar. In order to deregister it, I would have to hand over the licence plate, and it’s completely illegal to ride on the road without a licence plate. So I’d have to pay a man with a truck. DHL comes to mind. Export plates are not available for motorcycles for some unfathomable reason. If they were, I’d ride the thing to Doha.

The procedure is as follows:-

1. Obtain a Qatar Residence Permit and ID card.
Without this, I would not be allowed to import a vehicle.

The remainder of the steps can be completed in one day. I rather enjoyed the excuse to stick a couple of hundred kilometres on the bike, as I went back and forth obtaining the various bits of paper and all in the correct order. Once this was completed, I wouldn’t be able to ride the bike again until after it had become road-legal in Qatar.

2. Obtain copies of the original Bill of Lading and Customs Clearance.
Eventually I resorted to a personal visit to Liberty Automobiles in Sharjah, the place where I originally bought the bike. A very helpful gentleman rummaged through his computer and paper filing system, eventually unearthing the relevant sheet of paper. He photocopied it. The value of this document is that it proves that GCC import duties were paid when the bike first arrived from Japan, and I don’t have to pay 5% of the value new when I import a two year old motorbike. Full marks to Liberty for effort.

3. Visit Tasjeel in Sharjah.
I explained that the reason for the visit was to export the bike, and Dh100 later I had a document and rubber stamp that would make this possible.

4. Visit Classic Motorcycles in Dubai.
This is the Royal Enfield dealer in Dubai. Nelson had previously mentioned to me that he shipped bikes overseas, and could crate up my bike and arrange its transport. I removed the licence plate and awaited the arrival of Beloved Wife and my alternative transportation. That’s it, then. No more motorcycling for a little while.

5. Visit Tasjeel in Sharjah.
In addition to the old licence plate, the export test certificate and payment of Dh210, I was told I needed to produce copies of my passport and visa page (not my Emirates ID card, as per flamin’ usual), and my UAE driving licence. Why they need these latter two items was unclear. I obviously don’t have a valid UAE Residence Visa because I can’t export the bike to Qatar without Qatar residence, and I’ve just removed the licence plate so I can’t ride the bike anyway.

It turns out that what they actually need is some form of photo ID. Anything will do provided it’s got my mugshot on it. I was given two pieces of paper. One was an export certificate, complete with a dire warning that the machine has to leave the UAE within 96 hours, and the other was a certificate that should enable me to obtain a refund of unused motor insurance.

6. Visit Classic Motorcycles in Dubai.
I handed over the all-important Export Certificate and the Bill of Lading. Nelson queried why I needed the latter. “Of course the import duty has been paid. The export certificate proves that the bike’s leaving the UAE, and it would never have got in without the duty being paid.”

He’s right, of course, but I don’t fancy trying to argue that one with a recalcitrant non-English speaker in a week or so’s time.

7. Write a personal invoice.
I had to provide a typed, signed document that recorded the bike and accessories, plus anything in the hard luggage, all itemised and valued.

The bike now gets crated up and driven to Doha via Abu Dhabi and a small section of Saudi. It should arrive by next weekend.

Once it reaches its destination, the machine will need to be inspected in Doha’s Industrial Area and then registered at Madinat Khalifa, several kilometres away. And of course, because it’s illegal to ride it without a licence plate, the bike has to be moved across town on a trailer. I shall let you know, dear reader, if my meticulous planning that has worked impeccably so far continues to do so.



Martín said...

when you transport the GTR on a trailer, remember not to tie it down by the handlebars. The aluminium pieces are too weak, I learned. Or so the elves say at the zggtr forum (btw, I haven't seen oyou there).

Grumpy Goat said...

Thanks for the tip, Martín. I too have read about problems with the Canyon Dancer tie-downs. Personally, I (or rather my old dealer), used them without problems, and the issue may be down to enthusiastic overtightening.

For the international trip, my bike will be in a crate, so the issue probably shouldn't arise. And if it does, then DHL gets to buy me new handlebars!

Grumpy Goat said...

A week has gone by, and the bike continues to languish in Dubai.

So much for "We'll crate it tomorrow and it'll arrive in Doha after about four days."

Dexter jazz said...
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Denial Mofi said...
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