This post may be a bit boring for most people reading, but I’ve had enough people who wanted to hear the specifics about my experience with the ferry from Australia to New Zealand, so here it is.
This process was done with a Carnet for the bike. From what I’ve read, it’s possible to enter without, but there are some different process and fees, plus a refundable bond you’ll have to look into.
The ferry leaves from Brisbane every two weeks. It takes about 8 days to get to Auckland, and stops in Sydney and Melbourne on the way (so I’m guessing you could leave from either of those ports as well).
On the Australia end:
First off, I arranged everything with Toll, but the ship the bike is actually being transported on is operated by Toyofuji. I didn’t deal with Toyofuji at all in Australia‚ everything has been done through Toll.
While finalizing all the shipping details, I also spent a couple days cleaning the bike. NZ has a quarantine process, just like Australia does, so the bike should be pretty much spotless when it’s shipped.
Once everything was arranged, it was time to actually drop off the bike. The ferry I took was leaving on October 21, and they told me I could bring the bike in on the 15th, 16th, or 17th (that was a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, so I’m guessing if the weekend didn’t get in the way, I wouldn’t have had the bike delivered to the wharf quite so early). I opted to bring it in on the 16th, that way if there were any complications, I’d have an extra day to get everything taken care of.
In order to get down to the actual point where you drop off the bike, an escort is required. I’d talked to AAT a few days prior, made my $49 payment for the escort by credit card over the phone, and she emailed the receipt.
On the 16th, I stopped by the customs office near the airport. They couldn’t do anything with my carnet yet, as I need to have proof that my motorcycle was received at the docks first. I continued on to the docks, heading for the R&D office, which is right next to AAT. Their building is rather inconspicuous, but when I went into the AAT office, they were able to point me to it. At R&D, I presented the receipt showing that I had paid for an escort, they called the escort, and I followed him on my bike through security. I parked the bike in a warehouse, and had to leave them a spare key. Of the other times I’ve shipped the bike, I’ve had varying experiences as to what needs to be done to the bike, and what kind of luggage you can have on it. This time around was very simple‚ nothing extra needed to be done, and no one was concerned with what kind of luggage I had on the bike. I didn’t have to disconnect the battery, and no one questioned how much fuel was in the tank (I had previously been told that they want a max of 2L of fuel in the tank, and I probably only had .5-1L). As far as luggage, my two panniers were full, dry bag was on the luggage rack, and I had my helmet and new rear tire strapped down to the dry bag as well.
With the bike and key dropped off, I headed back to the customs office with my gate receivable (I can’t remember the exact name) paperwork, which I got from R&D when I checked in to get my escort.
Customs checked the gate receivable form, and stamped my carnet. They didn’t request any other paperwork and I was out within a couple minutes.
All in all, the whole process took under two hours‚ much faster and easier that I was expecting (dealing with customs in Australia is a little more straightforward and streamlined that it was in India…imagine that!)
On the New Zealand end:
I arrived in Auckland, with plenty of time to wait around for the boat would show up.
My first stop was the Toyofuji office, just to see if anything needed to be done before the ship arrived. Blain took my email address, so that he could send me my Freight Arrival Notification paperwork once it was ready.
I then went down to the customs office. The customs officer there told me that the customs process would be fairly simple due to 1)arriving by ferry, rather than cargo vessel, 2)being a temporary, rather than permanent import, 3)having a carnet. He wasn’t able to do anything that day, but told me I could come by to get my carnet stamped whenever I had my Freight Arrival Notification from Toyofuji. The quarantine/MPI officer said that (unlike quarantine in Australia) the inspection would be done before I even got to the bike, so I didn’t have to schedule anything with them. Upon unloading the ship, MPI would inspect everything, and I wouldn’t have to get involved unless it failed inspection and cleaning and reinspection needed to be arranged.
The ship arrived in Auckland on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 29.
I was told that unloading and quarantine inspection would be finished by Thursday afternoon. So on Thursday morning, I headed downtown with a backpack full of paperwork.
First stop was the customs office, but on the way there, I walked past the wharf, just to see if I could spot my bike amongst all the cars…yep, there it is, parked right next to the shitter!
Blain, at Toyofuji, had emailed the shipping documents to me a couple days prior, so with that information, I was able to get my carnet stamped in. There is a $46 dollar processing, but the officer was nice enough to waive it for me…he had a few Hondas, so we talked about riding, and he gave me some advice on places to check out inbetween doing all the paperwork…it’s not the first time on my trip something like this has happened, so when you approach these situations, keep a good attitude…even if it doesn’t save you money, I’ve found that the people guiding you through the process will at least do so with a little more efficiency.
Next stop was the quarantine/MPI office (most every refers to it as MPI…I’m not sure what it stands for, but when when you hear either one, know that it means the same thing). While going through the paperwork, there was a slight delay. Over the radio, I heard someone frantically calling for assistance, as they’d found a spider on one of the cars…big news in the life of a quarantine officer! Once the threat was eliminated, it was back to the paperwork. They said that they were delayed, and probably wouldn’t have everything inspected until the next (Friday) afternoon, and typically, they don’t release any of the ship’s cargo until all of it has been inspected. Luckily, the officer must’ve sensed that I wanted to get out of there today (and I really did, as I was nervous about not getting the bike until Friday, then not having time for the roadworthy inspection, and needing to sit around waiting over the weekend). Noon was approaching, so he told me to go grab lunch, and come back at 1:00, and he’d try to get someone to make sure my bike was clear.
I was back at 1:00, and the inspection was finished…perfect! I was a bit nervous, as I’ve heard New Zealand can be a bit more strict than Australia on the quarantine inspections, so thankfully my two days of cleaning in Brisbane was sufficient.
From here, I went to the C3 office, which is right behind the MPI office, and next to the security gate to access the wharf. Here, I met Joe, who escorted me onto the wharf, did a little paperwork, and got me my bike key. I still had about a liter of fuel in the tank, and hadn’t needed to disconnect my battery, so I fired it right up, and drove off the wharf. There’s a fuel station right next to the fenced off area, so that was my first stop.
It was about 2:00 or 2:30, so I decided to call up VINZ and see if I could get my inspection and registration done right then (I was expecting everything to take a bit longer, so I was planning on doing it the next morning right before I left Auckland). They weren’t busy, so I headed straight in. What you need to do there is get a roadworthy (or warrant of fitness) inspection and temporary registration & ACC (base level insurance). They check your brakes, horn, lights, tires, etc…so just make sure everything is in working order before you show up. The form you need for the temporary import is the MR2C. Go online and print off the form before you go there…luckily I had done that, as when I showed up, they didn’t even have that form in their office.
So, now that I have my freedom back, I’ll be heading north tomorrow morning!
Here’s a breakdown of the costs and all the contact info you should need if you’re interested in making this trip
Origin/Freight/Destination Charges – $830.50AUD (paid to Toll)
Brisbane Wharf Escort – $49AUD (paid to Australian Amalgamated Terminals)
NZ Customs Fee – $46NZD (paid to NZ customs when stamping carnet, he waived this fee for me)
Quarantine Inspection Fee – $16.35NZD (Paid to MPI officer)
Auckland Wharf Escort – $35NZD (paid to C3)
Warrant of Fitness/Roadworthy Inspection – $45NZD (paid to VINZ)
Temporary Registration/Insurance – $42NZD (paid to VINZ)
Toll – Chris Stewart, +61 7 3137 5057, firstname.lastname@example.org
Australian Amalgamated Terminals (AAT) – Kerry Lucas, +61 7 3909 3008, email@example.com
Auckland Wharf Customs – Brian Robinson, +64 29 909 3007, Brian.Robinson@mpi.govt.nz
Toyofuji Shipping Lines – Blain Paterson, +64 9 3585515 Ext 102, firstname.lastname@example.org
VINZ – 09 573 3230
Brisbane Customs – 20-22 The Circuit, Brisbane Airport, Brisbane QLD 4007
Brisbane Wharf – Berth 3, Port Drive, Port of Brisbane, QLD 4178
Toyofuji (in Auckland) – Affco House Level 13, 12-26 Swanson St, Auckland 1010
Auckland Customs – 50 Anzac Ave, Auckland 1010
Auckland MPI/Quarantine – 23 Quay St, Auckland 1010
VINZ – UnitC, 26-30 Vestey Drive, Mt Wellington, Auckland