Interactive Map Showing All the Countries with a Carnet de Passage

Monday, October 23, 2017

So, you decided to travel the world with your car or motorcycle, but want to know more details on how to do it from a legal standpoint? First of all, I want to congratulate you on making that decision! You will have an adventure of your life as that way of traveling enables you to travel wherever you want and explore the beauty of different countries. Imagine the freedom you’ll have as you don’t need to think about the timetables or other things that could make your traveling experience less efficient.

The best way to experience and explore many countries while you’re on the road is by taking your vehicle as it gives you more control and freedom to see the things you’d like.

It sounds great, but there are things you need to be aware of before deciding to take this kind of trip, and the most crucial thing is called Carnet de Passage.

What is Carnet de Passage and Why Will You Need One?

Carnet de Passage is the document similar to the passport, but it’s the passport for the vehicle. It’s a document that identifies the owner's’ vehicle, and it’s required if you want to travel with your vehicle to some countries. But most importantly, the Carnet de Passage requires a deposit and works as a guarantee that you do not illegally import the car.

The document shows the crucial information about the vehicle like a model, color, engine strength, registration plates, value, and owner information. Sometimes it’s recommended to obtain the document even if the country doesn’t require it as it will always make your border crossing much easier process.

The great news is that only minor number of countries require Carnet de Passage if you want to enter the country with your car. It gets more interesting, however, if you are planning to cross one more continent on the road.

How to Check Which Countries Require Carnet de Passage?

The simplest and most effective tool I’m using when checking Carnet de Passage requirements is Overlandsphere. It’s a straightforward and intuitive tool that shows the world map with all the countries on it. Different colors are representing different requirements and laws regarding the document, and you have a legend on the right side which shows Carnet requirements.

The map is working on the principle of selecting the country you want to visit with your vehicle. You’ll get the pop-up with all the crucial information regarding the Carnet de Passage. The most basic information you get using the tool is the requirement of Carnet, duration, extendable status and which documents are required for getting the Carnet and what organization is responsible for issuing the document. Luckily for people who are planning an epic road trip, only the minority of countries require a valid Carnet de Passage.

Other Things You Need to Know

You may ask, what organization is issuing and where you can obtain your car’s travel document. You should be a member of your country’s Automobile Club who is partnered with Federation Internationale de I’Automobile, as this organization is responsible for issuing the document. The document has to be obtained before you start your journey in the country where you registered your vehicle, but you can do it upon arriving in the country that requires the document. Unfortunately, those associations are not available in every country, but there are other organizations that might be helpful. A quick search on the internet can help you to find the right partner near you.

Every Carnet de Passage comes in the form of a 5 – 25-page booklet. Every country you enter will require a new page; this page gets stamped when entering and when leaving. If you’re returning to a country where you have already been, you’ll need another free page. The booklet’s cost varies for every issuing country. It depends on the number of pages and duration of validity. Carnet can be issued for a maximum period of one year, and if you want to extend it, you need to go to the organization which is responsible in a certain country for Carnet and pay again for the new document.

The best practice is to apply for the Carnet de Passage at least one month before departure, but you will get the document in a physical form a few days before the trip.

The majority of African countries require Carnet if you want to enter with your vehicle. Each of them has different policies and process of obtaining the documentation. I advise you to check the official AASA site so you could check the amount of deposit you need to leave for each country.

Paying the deposit is the most important and also most expensive part of the carnet. It depends on the country you are traveling to. Ethiopiainfo-icon requires around 1,500USD, while Western African countries require 10% of the total value of your vehicle as a deposit. Egyptinfo-icon is very extreme regarding deposits and if you want to go there with your car, be ready to leave 200% of vehicle value as a deposit.

To travel by your vehicle, your expenses could go up by few times, but the freedom you’ll have on the trip is simply worth it. Complete freedom of movement leads to completely different experience. Also, once you come back from your trip, you should contact the organization that issued your Carnet de Passage to get your deposit back. The process of getting the money back is straightforward, and it doesn’t last long until you see the deposit in your bank account.

Have you ever obtained Carnet de Passage? Do you prefer to travel with your vehicle or you rather take public transportation?