Travel Documents Explained- What is a Carnet de Passage
Travelling abroad – Don’t forget your passport, or your vehicles!
So finally your truck’s fully kitted out… you’ve got the rooftop tent, awning, dual battery system, fridge/freezer, solar shower etc. etc. and you’re ready to make that epic trip you’ve been promising yourself for years and are heading off for a great adventure across far flung shores. Before you go however there’s one key piece of paperwork besides your own passport that you need to make sure you’ve got organised – and that’s a ‘passport’ for your vehicle, or Carnet De Passage En Douane (CPD) to give it its full name, or ‘trip ticket’ as commonly known in the Middle East.
What is a Carnet de Passage (CPD)?
The CPD is like a passport for your vehicle. It’s a globally insured customs guarantee document confirming that customs duties and taxes will be paid in case the vehicle doesn’t return to the country of registration. It entitles you to enter countries by vehicle without having to pay import taxes in the countries or country where the vehicle is brought (whether shipped or driven) on a temporary importation basis.
Note you cannot use this as an import document if bringing your own car with you when emigrating, the CPD is purely designed for travellers as a temporary transit or import document.
What if I don’t have a CPD?
Without a CPD you will have to pay customs guarantee cash deposits to the border officials for the foreign countries you travel through which as well as being costly can take weeks or even months to have returned.
Who issues a CPD?
An authentic CPD can only be issued by your Automobile Association (AA) who are members of the Alliance Internationale de Tourisme (AIT) and Federation Internationale de L’Automobile (FIA) in accordance with the UN Customs Convention 1954 and 1956. The AIT and FIA have over 230 affiliated associations operating across 124 countries around the world.
All CPD issuing members are approved by the customs authorities of their countries and AIT/FIA CPD’s guarantee uninterrupted border crossing.
How does it work and what does it cost?
So you simply contact your Automobile Association and apply for a CPD. You’ll need to complete an application form and also supply copies of your own passport, driving licence and vehicle registration document. Once you’ve applied with all the correct information and documentation it takes approximately 4 weeks for you to receive your CPD documentation.
The CPD is valid for 1 year (this can be extended if you’re lucky enough to be travelling for longer) and depending on your AA it can be issued to cover either 5, 10 or 25 countries with the fee ranging from approximately 250 euros or GBP 215 to GBP 255. You will also have to pay a deposit to your AA calculated by your AA and varies from 1,200 euros or GBP 1,000 to GBP 10,000 depending on your vehicle and the countries you wish to visit. This deposit is held by your AA for the duration of your journey.
Each page is divided into three sections. The lower section is removed by Customs when you enter a country; the middle section is removed when you exit and the top section is stamped once on entry and once on exit. If you re-visit a country during a return journey you will require a new page to be stamped.
When you return to your country with your car and CPD complete with all stamps, the issuing AA will then return your deposit.
So that’s it, no more complicated than that. So what are you waiting for… you’re vehicle’s all ready and willing, get your bags packed and loaded and make tracks and have that adventure of a lifetime you’ve been promising yourself.
Remember to send us some pictures from your travels – we’d love to see where you guys end up and would love to publish some of your photos or stories in the magazine to share with our readers – either email them to us at [email protected] or tag us @turasadventures when you’re posting them up on Instagram.