USA plated bikes in Eastern Europe - Any other docs req'd?

Discussion in 'Europe' started by motion, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. motion

    motion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    138
    Location:
    Red Lodge, MT
    For those of you riding USA plated bikes, is there any instance when you will be asked to show customs or import paperwork? I'm speaking primarily of eastern European countries such as Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, etc. Is title and Green Card or local insurance all that is required?
    #1
  2. slowriding

    slowriding Dopeless Hope Fiend

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    186
    Location:
    Geezerville, AZ
    I shipped my US plated bike to FRA and Lufthansa processed it through customs, I received no paperwork from customs. I don't know why a country you are transiting through would care about your paperwork from another country. Each country is likely to want you to fill out their forms and make sure you do not sell the bike, they will register your arrival and departure for the bike. Sorry if this doesn't address your question.
    #2
  3. AirCommando

    AirCommando Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Ramstein, Germany
    Keep your original Title document on you. Do not lose physical control of it. Take photo copies of it to give to officials for inspection. I also have a couple copies of the Green Card insurance on me.
    #3
  4. Gone_Ridin

    Gone_Ridin Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Oddometer:
    148
    Location:
    Canada
    Customs papers were not required at any crossings I made in eastern Europe. Watch which countries are specified on the greencard coverage you buy and always have copies and your original registration/title. The one I got from Stefan Knopf included the majority of them but I also bought from an agent Croatia once and many were not. In the Ukraine they tried to make me buy insurance on entrance but let me go when I showed where they were indicated on my card and also in Bosnia. The rest just checked closely for their country listing
    #4
  5. istadniy

    istadniy Ivan the Quite OK

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,353
    Location:
    Kiev
    Right, disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer and I have never done or seen someone do what you want to firsthand, I'm just someone who speaks Ukrainian and can google search for Ukrainian laws, so please get in touch with US embassy in Ukraine and check.

    Your foreign-plated bike can stay in Ukraine without any import duties for a year so long as it is only operated by it's owner. And the owner has to be a foreign citizen and a non-resident of Ukraine.

    You will need proof that your bike is duly registered by whatever official entities of your country. In Ukraine we get a police-issued piece of plastic with license number, VIN code, owner name, etc. Basically the thing you need to show the cops to prove that it's legally your bike and it is registered, dunno what the proper name for US equivalent is.
    The law says you do not have to "declare the vehicle in writing", as far as I understand you can just tell the customs officer that you intend to leave within a year.
    Sadly, if your bike is staying in Ukraine for over two months, you will need Ukrainian plates, so you'll need to come to one of police service centers in Kyiv and ask to temporarily register your bike. They are very helpful and polite nowadays, nothing to be scared of. You were looking to store it in Kyiv over the winter, which is over 2 months, right? If so, as far as I understand, from the border to Kyiv in autumn you are OK on US plates, but as far as the law is concerned, from Kyiv onwards in spring you will need UA plates.

    I have no clue how hard that is enforced. We have lots of Ukrainian citizens driving temporarily EU-registered cars, which is also not exactly legal, cops seem to give them no bother. You may have trouble with customs once you try to leave Ukraine after more than two months have passed and you still have US plates.

    This is just about your bike. You can come and go as your visa says, or a the visa-free regime for US citizens allows (90 days over 180 days period), bike entering and leaving is different.

    As far as insurance goes you need a green card that includes Ukraine, or you can ask a Ukrainian insurance company for Compulsory Third-Party Liability Insurance, dunno what's better/cheaper.
    #5
  6. motion

    motion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    138
    Location:
    Red Lodge, MT
    Wonderful, thanks everyone for the great info! Its really appreciated. istadniy, I have a msg in to the Suzuki dealership in Kiev to ask them about their feelings on the matter. Thank you.
    #6
  7. Oldtrvlr

    Oldtrvlr n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2017
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    Texas
    I did this last year and no customs documentation was required. The only documents I provided were title, state registration, International drivers license for a bike with US plates. I did have some confusion at my exit from Ukraine to Moldova over my license plate number. This was caused by the fact that a Texas title has the originally issued license plate number after 6 or so years they issue a new plate and it only reflects that on the registration document. This was not a real problem but delayed longer mainly due to language issues since no officials spoke English and fortunately a fellow traveler was able to translate for me. Once they saw the additional document matched the license plate on the bike they were happy.
    #7
    Frgich likes this.
  8. motion

    motion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    138
    Location:
    Red Lodge, MT
    I made it thru the borders of Croatia, Bulgaria, Romaina, Moldova, Transnistria and Ukraine eventually. Some were harder than others, but I did make it to Kiev and my bike is now in storage at the Suzuki motorcycle dealership there. Ivan, the general manager, was a great help and very accommodating. He has an excellent storage service. I'm hoping I won't have any difficulty leaving Ukraine next May. We'll see. Thanks everyone for all the input.

    BTW, I was really never asked for my Green Card. I believe they asked for it in Bulgaria, which wasn't covered, but they let me thru anyway. Ukraine never asked about it. I went thru a lot of these countries a few years ago in a car and they ALWAYS asked for the Green Card. I guess motorbikes are a bit easier to deal with :)
    #8