Crossing the border between Mongolia and Russia!

We’re up early and head over to the border. The que now is 20 or so trucks and as many cars. We have all agreed that I should handle customs after we all have cleared immigrations. I head the group of 6 bikes out of the guest house. I see a little hole in the lanes that divide the trucks from the cars and we all weave our way to the front without much protest from the cars and trucks already in line to where the guard is standing in front of a large gate. This guy is in charge of monitoring the flow into the immigrations area. Fortunately he agrees to let us pass first through the gates. Its 8am and we’re in first! At this gate after showing passports we are given a slip of paper that we later find out needs about seven different stamps from 7 different officials before we are allowed to pass out of the other control area to the Russian border.

We all park our bikes in the customs area and get processed through immigrations, not enough O’s in smooooth!! Then I get all the paper work for each bike from Eric, collect all the passports and head to the customs window. The board clerk behind the counter shuffles through the paper work 9 times looking at each document then the others, one by one. I know she has no clue what she’s looking at but have learned after many border crossings to be patient and say nothing. For those of you reading this who know me, you also know this is almost impossible! After about 15 minutes of me smiling at the window she calls over another board agent, says something in Mongolian with an “ I don’t have clue” look on her face who starts shuffling through the documents. Then she motions me to follow her. By the way, nobody speaks any English! So far it’s been all sign language and smiling. We head through a control area and upstairs. She hands over the doc’s to yet one more agent and we start the process all over again.

It’s been now over an hour and still nothing has moved forward. Finally a woman who looks like maybe she’s a supervisor of some sorts in very broken English says “where are your entry documents?” I wrote yesterday about the process. You check into a country first with a specific amount of time then you check out. You must follow this process to make sure that you have not brought your vehicle into the country illegally to sell it and not pay an entry or sales tax.

The problem is we don’t have any entry documents! The bikes were all shipped from Singapore to Ulaanbataar by rail. The shipping agent never gave us the customs seal of entry when we took possession of the the bikes in UB. So I say “oh no problem be right back”. I go back down stairs and find Eric and the boys. Another clue about border crossings is only show what documents they ask for. Don’t show up at a border with a big hand full of of doc’s. It only will confuse them as to what to do with them. Wait, be patient and hope for the best. In this case we don’t have what they want! So I ask Eric for the receipts of payment for the bikes from the shipper and hope to B.S. My way through. I take the receipts up and hope they will pass. More shuffling, more WTF is this?, ask the person next to them if they understand and then….”this is not a customs form, do you have one?” No this is what they gave us:) obviously we cleared customs or we would not be here, smile, laugh everything is ok! Wait here…then shows a new person I have not seen. She starts shuffling, then says follow me. We go to another department where we start all over with her speaking Mongolian and me smiling and shaking my head up and down like understand. Up until now we have been working the 5 bikes from the guys from Singapore. She notices we have 6 little pieces of paper from the first control. She says “What about the other bike?” me, “Oh, that’s my bike” now the next problem is all the other bikes are listed on the receipt. My bike was processed separate because I am an American, I require a Carne’ de Passage to enter and depart Singapore so that document is my receipt.

Now new problem. My Carne’ expired on September 3rd its now September 5th! My original plan was to ship my bike back to Singapore with the guys. So as soon as I got to UB, I Fed-exed my original Carne’ back to the states to renew. Now all I have is a photo copy of the original expired document! I am screwed! By the way a Carne’ is an insurance document recognized internationally as a guarantee to whatever country that requires it, that I will not leave my bike in that country past a specific time or sell the bike in that country. If not properly stamped entry and exit that country can make a claim against the bond for the value of the bike including import fees. So again I say, “Oh, no problem, be right back” smile, nod. I go back down stairs find Eric. He gives me the photo copy of my expired Carne’ and I go back upstairs and hope for the best. Now that they are focused on my bike, I am hopeful that the other bikes will clear. The big boss looks at my document and says smiling, “Oh, Ok now I understand, you need to go to see bla,bla,bla” I reach for the documents for the guys and she says “no! you need to go take care of your bike, we still are working on these bikes”, shit. The copy of my expired Carne’ is Golden! Everybody who see’s it just stamps, signs and moves it along!! Now about 5 hours has passed. I keep going from department to department. Then to the copy center then to the bank to pay fees, then back with a reciept. Then get all stamped, then find customs officer to inspect the bikes, VIN. numbers match license plates and passports. They have called customs in UB and confirmed legal entry. I have given everybody pens and MuchoBill stickers, smiled and kissed everybodies ass. It’s now 3pm. 7 hours!

I have gotten all the documents stamped and my fixer guy that we have been working with all day finally says we can go!! Only one more
thing! Because of all the special work there will be a “Special Fee”. 75,000 Mongolian! About 60 US. Obviously I say “no problem!” and no receipt!

We exit with our little paper with the 7 stamps, cross no-mans land to Russia! Now you think that Russia would now even be a bigger issue? But we all process in about 1 hour! Could not have been easier! Very efficient! Sometimes it’s easier to enter a country than leave it. We freeze our asses on our way to Ulan-Ude, but we are riding our motorcycles in Fricken Russia!

3 Responses to “Crossing the border between Mongolia and Russia!”

  1. carolyn krchmar Says:

    Just like in the movies! How the heck are ya Bill? Just back from a 2300 mile ride, was wondering who finds the gas stops in your group?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    You can also employ a giveaway that could give you a possiblity to gather the names of new clients and raise your potential consumer list…

  3. Anonymous Says:

    payday loan no credit check…

    Any Sheryl of nonsensicality offers you a way to console me….

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