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Old 02-06-2014, 05:29 PM   #1
SD Splash OP
Joined: Oct 2009
Oddometer: 54
ISO Advice to Resolve Incorrectly Processed M/C Freight Due to Customs Paperwork

ISO Advice to Resolve Incorrectly Processed M/C Freight Due to Customs Paperwork

Forum Members,

Hello. I am writing for a friend who is having a bad experience with a freight or shipping company in Torrance, California. My friend is from Australia and air-freighted his F800GS to Long Beach approximately a year ago. He left America during the first week in November 2013 and scheduled the return shipment of his motorcycle shortly after he left. Unfortunately, he is still trying to resolve an issue with the freight company almost four months later. He is currently in Australia. The motorcycle is in Torrance, California.

I believe the main issue is related to the original classification of his motorcycle shipment from Sydney to Torrance/Long Beach, California. His motorcycle was imported as general goods and did not have a carnet.

(Carnets, commonly known as “Merchandise Passports”, are international customs documents that simplify customs procedures for the temporary importation of various types of goods.... such as automobiles and motorcycles.)

Since the importation documentation is incorrect, the shipping company is hesitant to ship the motorcycle from USA to Australia. My friend provided copies of his bill of sale and ownership documentation initially and was informed this was not acceptable. Finally, he shipped the original bill of sale and ownership documentation via DHL and the shipping company's POC's are still non-responsive. They have not acknowledged or confirmed receipt of the documentation.

I assume there must be a process in place to correct issues like this.
Is it better to have the Sydney to Long Beach freight company correct their original documentation or should this be handled locally with the Torrance/Long Beach to Sydney freight company? This can't be the first piece of freight processed incorrectly.

Is it common for the freight company to request original bill of sale and ownership documentation?

If I need to retrieve this freight or m/c for my friend from the shipping company, what may be needed for me to take delivery of his motorcycle? It is currently palletized/crated.

What are the current policies on keeping a motorcycle in the USA longer than a year? Is it possible to create a carnet for the motorcycle after it is already in America? Can he continue to keep the motorcycle here if he wishes to return for another tour?

Finally, is there an international or domestic entity (BBB?) that can apply pressure to freight companies when they stall or become non-responsive?

Thanks in advance for your time and extra keystrokes!

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Old 02-09-2014, 12:56 PM   #2
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Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis
Oddometer: 2,403
Sounds like your friend is getting scammed. I would not send original documents.

Can he have the crate shipped to his dealer? You would think the plate/registration would be documentation enough. Maybe the real concern is shipping the bike to a residence. Have it shipped to a commercial address/dealer? Just some thoughts.
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:26 PM   #3
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Joined: May 2008
Location: Helsinki, Finland
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that bike has Oz plates, right??

If so, then I don't see where he needs a carnet, certainly not for US, and while Oz is a carnet country, bikes from there, that return home, naturally won't need it.
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