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Laos to Cambodia, how to get the paperwork.

Discussion in 'Asia' started by chromeless, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. chromeless

    chromeless Adventurer

    Aug 27, 2013
    I figured I would do a write up on the procedure for getting a foreign bike (3 Canadian and one swedish) into Cambodia from Laos.
    Many people have in the past just driven to the border and been allowed to pass, more recently though paperwork from customs department and tourists department is needed. You can try the border and maybe you get in. But I have talked with several in the last month that had to leave bikes at border and take a bus to Phnom Penh.
    I heard about this paperwork issue while I was in Luang Prabang. I decided that rather risk having to leave bikes at the border and take a bus to Phnom Penh I would fly to Phnom Penh from Vientiane and get the paperwork sorted.
    All I had was a photo of the office tower where customs is located, fifth floor I was told and a photo of a sample letter of invitation that another overlander had sent me. Sounds easy.

    Customs office fifth floor. Come off elevator and go right, walk to end of hall. Door is in front of you. One of the guys inside speaks some English.
    11.572684, 104.91818

    The customs guy looked at my paperwork for the 4 bikes and said "go to ministry of tourism, get letter of invitation and bring back to me". OK where is the ministry of tourism? " ask tuk tuk driver they will know".
    We'll they didn't and luckily I found it with maps.me.

    11.566338, 104.911436 it's about 3km from the customs office.
    Walk into main building take a left, walk to end of hall and enter door on the left. Couple guys speak English, they will look at your paperwork and make up a letter asking for permission to enter country with motorcycles. You will need copies of registration, passport, drivers license, photo of bike. Then you wait.
    I got the letter in on Wednesday afternoon, they called me when it was done Friday at 3pm.
    Get this letter and head straight over to customs. Go left out of the elevator this time and walk to end of hallway. On your left is a small office with a guy stamping all kinds of papers. Don't be shy, get those papers on his desk and he will stamp and stamp and stamp. Then head back over to the other corner of the building and give this stamped paperwork to the man in this office. He will tell you to either, come back tomorrow or come back at 5pm. So close now. You come back at five. He gives you the papers back and you think finally I have done it. Nope. Go back to man who stamps things, walk into his tiny office and squeeze into the corner. Yep there is another guy that stamps things hiding in the corner. Get those papers on his desk, push past all the other people waiting to get their stamps. And done. Go back to the other office and your friend will look it over and tell you it's good.
    Now go back to your bike and get to the border. The customs guys at the border will not know what to do because no one ever shows up with the paperwork. Many calls will be made. The boss probably isnt in or the internet is down. They may ask you to leave bikes and go to stung treng for the night and then come back. Fuck no. Insist this is not happening. We agreed to check in at the Strung treng customs office to do the paperwork.
    13.532066, 105.960627 close to here.
    This paperwork, the temporary import, took three hours. It's incomplete, riddled with small errors and I will not use it when i exit unless absolutely necessary.
    So much bullshit. Was it worth it to do before hand? I know that we would not have been let in without the letter, maybe you will...
  2. gavo

    gavo Slacker

    Jan 5, 2010
    Gympie QLD
    Wow a lot of trouble, when I crossed at the same border crossing in late January 2016 I had to walk across speak to the Cambodian side when I finally found someone and they filled in the carnet I had for the bike and that was it. The most time was walking over and finding someone.:lol3