Shipping Australia to Timor

Shipping the bike is the least exciting part of a trip, can be very frustrating and usually takes longer than you want.  Other people’s blogs have helped me with this in the past, so this is my turn to pass on some experience.

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Australia (Darwin) to East Timor (Dili) was very easy to organise, not particularly cheap, but as a RORO service, very convenient.

I chose to ship by sea cargo because it costs half as much as air, and in this case is much easier as you don’t need to crate the bike.

Here’s how:

Prices were in August 2015.

1) ANL organise the shipping from Darwin to Dili, currently running 2 boats between Darwin-Dili-Singapore.  The sailing schedules and contact details are published on their website, they have a boat roughly once every 7-10 days.

Beware that the schedules are prone to change with no notice, i.e. they run late, never early.  Ours progressively changed by 8 days between booking and delivery.

Call them and they will send you a booking form to fill in and return to them.  They will reply with a booking  confirmation which you are to print and take with you to customs and PJ’s (see below).

2) When you’re ready to drop off the bike, visit customs in Darwin, 21 Lindsey St, Darwin, (GPS -12.458359,130.840225), and have them stamp your carnet.  They will want to see your ID and booking confirmation, which should take about 10mins.

3) Drop off the bike at PJ’s Freight yard, Export Drive, East Arm NT 0822.  (GPS  -12.469490, 130.922875).  This is about 10km from the city centre, if you drop it off late in the day with a bit of luck one of the guys at PJ’s will give you a ride back to the city.  This literally involves riding into the shed, parking the bike and walking away.

4) Go somewhere else for a week or 4 until the bike has been delivered to Dili.

5) Book your flight to Dili – (Sriwijaya Air or Air Timor) booking in advance may leave you in Dili for longer than desired if your boat is delayed.  By SE Asian standards Dili is very expensive, factor US$30/night MINIMUM for a terrible room, but you can eat cheaply on the street if you’re game for a couple of dollars, otherwise restaurants will range from $5 for a cheap meal up to western prices.  We stayed in a barely habitable room, with a broken toilet that was at the end of a pile of construction rubbish for US$30/night.

6) Once in Dili, get a taxi from the airport direct to the ANL freight yard, (GPS -8.559512, 125.532399).  This should cost $2.  Give them your booking confirmation, Passport and about US$70 and they will give you your Bill of Lading – which proves the cargo belongs to you.

7) Take the Bill of Lading, a copy of your passport, your ownership document and your carnet to Customs in the Port in Dili.  Avenida Salazar,  Díli, Timor-Leste  (GPS -8.553605, 125.573624).  They will stamp your carnet, keep the lower portion of that page and send you on your way.  Should take 5 mins.

8) Return to ANL, show them the stamped carnet, and they will give you a cargo release form, which you take to a small customs hut across the compound and give to the customs officer, more stamping and passport checks and you can take your bike away.  This took me an hour as the bike was still in the container.  If your’s is at the back of the container instead of the front it could be several hours.

9) Fill the bike with fuel (the petrol stations on the way out of town charge much less than the one in the middle:  US$140/lt vs US$1.05/lt) and ride away!!

Cost – The KTM950 cost AUD$925 to get to Dili, (paid to ANL Australia) and another USD$68 in local fees in Dili, paid in the ANL office.  Customs should not charge you.

Crossing from Timor to Indonesia is overland, and all the islands in Indonesia are connected by RORO ferries, that normally leave daily.  The exception to this is from West timor (Kupang) to Flores (or elsewhere), which leave a few times a week.  Ask at your hotel in Kupang for more details.

We’re going all the way to Medan in Sumatra for shipping to Penang, Malaysia.  I chose this option because it’s another RORO service, no crating, and the customs and port process is very simple and also cheap.  More on that in the next post on shipping.

Hope this helps someone!

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