This is our experience/record of transiting by air between Turkey and Nepal with our motorcycles. Our traveling party consisted of two people and two motorcycles. The motorcycles traveled via air cargo with Turkish Air Cargo while we flew with Etihad Airlines via U.A.E. on different days.
For details regarding shipping the motorcycles from Turkey to Nepal see our Shipping Report.
Border Name: Kathmandu, Nepal
Costs: $80 visas and $7.41 for taxi to airport
Paperwork required at the Nepal airport for Mike and Shannon, visa on arrival:
*Passport photos (2)
*Visa application forms (pre-printed)
*Visa fee $40 per person for a 30-day, multiple-entry tourist visa (paid at airport)
Paperwork required at Nepal airport for the motorcycles
Note: we keep all originals in individual plastic sleeves (except the carnet). We labeled these sleeves clearly to avoid confusion as to what was what, to keep original documents clean, and to differentiate what is original and what is a copy. All border-crossing officials have respected the sleeve.
The motorcycles exited at Turkish Air Cargo with our shipping agents. We were with the agents and motorcycles until customs took the crate away. We were requested to be present in case any questions, signatures, or other issue emerged. We were able to crate and clear customs in one day.
Step 1 – Immigration: We cleared immigration at the airport. We didn’t have an additional stamp in our passport clearing the motorcycles. Vehicles are stamped into your passport. But, it was clearly done within the system because we didn’t have an issue leaving. We had all our shipping documents available just in case.
Step 2 – Customs: Customs officers cleared the motorcycles at Turkish Air Cargo. They did open the crate after it left our control (they told our agent) and all they inspected was one helmet. It was easy to tell when we opened the crate because the bikes and gear had been shrink-wrapped prior to crating and we found a hole in the shrink-wrap at one of the helmets. We think the cords and our communication system in the helmets may have looked odd on x-ray.
We arrived at the Kathmandu airport and cleared immigration getting our visa on arrival. The next day we went to the cargo terminal at Kathmandu airport along with our local agent to clear the motorcycles.
Step 1 – Immigration: We were eligible for visa on arrival in Nepal (30-day, multiple entry). We needed the visa fee (in US cash), passports, passport photographs (2), and visa application forms. There are two forms you need prior to arrival: 1) download the following form, fill out, and bring with you: http://nepalembassyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/VISA-APPLICATION-FORM.pdf; 2) fill out and print the online tourist application form http://www.online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/tourist-visa. After exiting aircraft you first get in line to pay your visa fee and then you exit to the visa on arrival lines with the fee receipt, passport, passport photos, and filled out forms. I did not see any forms available at the counter so be sure to have them prior to arriving in Nepal.
Step 2 – Customs: We left our hotel by cab with our local agent at about 9:00am and we arrived at the airport about 9:30. At the airport we had to find our names in a ledger book that noted our crate had arrived. Mike signed for a crate and a fee was paid (our agent paid this fee). Then we drove over to the cargo building (about five minutes away). Our agent provided our carnet along with copies of all the shipping paperwork (including copies of our titles and passports) to the customs officer. They proceeded to fill out the carnet and we waited. We waited for about four hours for our crate to clear customs and be brought to the front. After we opened our crate it took about two hours to put the bikes back together and load the luggage after which the customs officer came to view the bikes. He needed to finalize the carnet and there was some confusion because our paperwork does not include the engine number. In Washington State on our titles we only have the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and they do not list the engine number therefore our carnet does not include an engine number. We had to explain this and keep pointing to our titles until finally the customs officer signed our carnets.
Step 3 – Insurance: We did not purchase insurance for Nepal and we were never asked for it. We are unclear whether it was legally required for us to have it or not. No one knew how to buy insurance even if you wanted it.