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The Carnet de Passages en Douane (CPD) is the international customs document, which covers the temporary admission of motor vehicles. A CPD is like a passport for your car.

The CPD is still required today, in numerous countries around the world, for temporary admission of private automobiles, commercial vehicles or other categories of motor vehicles. It facilitates the temporary importation of motor vehicles by providing security for the payment of any customs duties and import taxes chargeable, should the vehicle not be re-exported.

Narmally CPD's are issued by automobile associations of the country of registration of the vehicle. In mainland Europe it is issued via ADAC and the AA in England. The Automobile Association is the only institution in South Africa that is able to issue carnets.

Visit their web sites to find the restrictions listed per country. It's important to check your itinerary carefully since the security for payment amount can vary per country. Also it's nice to know which countries require one since e.g. in the European community it's not recognized and you will not need one. (example: Egypt requests twice the amount that Tanzania requests) If you have the wrong one you are likely to be send back to get the right one. To permit customs to check the CPD make sure the identification numbers of the vehicle are easy to read.

Requirements & Pricing Information

Extension of Carnet de Passage de Douane

Carnets are normally valid for one year. If the carnet holder wishes to extend the CPD, payment will be required for a
 new carnet and the security deposit will remain at the issuing institution. In SA, permission must be granted by the South African Revenue Service. This is arranged for you by the AA's Head Office. The process is known as substitution and the carnet will be send to you by courier.

TIP (Temporary Import Permit)

If you don't have a Carnet de Passage then when you pass into another country, customs will issue you with a TIP - Temporary Import Permit - this allows you to bring your vehicle into a country without paying a huge deposit (in case you sell the car and leave without paying duty). You'll buy it for about 50USD and its usually valid for 1, 3 or 6 months. So this is you "signing in" your vehicle. Sometimes there is a bit of paper to put in the window - sometimes not - just hang onto the receipt. When you leave the country you'll "sign out" and "sign in" at the next customs office. No problem really.

This works only in a few countries but you will certainly not make it from Cape to Cairo. If you want to do this in Egypt you pay 8 times the value of your car so again it's important to do your homework.