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  • Suhashini L

Day 068 - Navigating Australian Customs: A Nerve-Wrecking Experience with Strict Rules

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

Day 068 (10 Mar 2023) - Darwin, Australia


DAY 068 (10 MAR 2023) – My bike arrived in Darwin 2 days ago (8th March 2023) and is currently in quarantine awaiting inspection by the Australian authorities.

Today, I had an appointment with the customs officer to get my documents endorsed, particularly the carnet. A carnet (pronounced as car-nay) also known as a Carnet de Passage (CPD) is a simple document that acts as your vehicle’s passport (car or motorbike) and is required before a vehicle can be brought into another country.

So, I hopped on an airport shuttle bus in the morning and headed to Darwin Airport.

I was the only passenger on the bus and had a friendly chat with the bus driver - Mr Alan, the best shuttle bus driver in the world (in his own words)! He told me about the possibilities of encountering various animals on my road trip in Australia – will make sure to keep alert and look out for them!

The meeting with the customs officer lasted about 40 minutes. Although I was nervous due to the strict procedures, I patiently answered all his queries. I presented all my documents and waited nervously as the officer diligently went through them.

He checked my carnet, passport, international driving permit, motor documents, insurance documents and my visa. Since some original documents were in Bahasa Malaysia, he told me he needed an English version – luckily, I got all my documents translated to English and got them endorsed by the Commissioner of Oath back in Malaysia before leaving for my tour.

After finding all my documents complete, I was told I could drive anywhere in Australia without a hitch and he wished me all the best! I was relieved! It was nerve-wrecking, but I’m glad It all went well. I am now waiting for an appointment with the authorities regarding the bike inspection.



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