Denied Entry At Poi Pet From Thailand!

Discussion in 'Cambodia - General Discussion Forum' started by faynce, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. faynce

    faynce Member

    Today we were denied entry with big bikes into Cambodia from Thailand. I checked the forums, and supposedly all we needed to cross were green books and passports.

    We exited Thailand no problem, but then we were turned away at Cambodia for not having some kind of import form that they claim takes 2-4 days, and must be applied for back in Thailand. They said we were welcome in Cambodia, but our motorcycles were not.

    Does anybody know anything about any of this? I couldn't find any information about this paperwork they were talking about.

    Also, should I try again tomorrow at Hat Lek or Pak Khlong?
     
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  3. faynce

    faynce Member

    My wife and I are hoping for some information from you find folks as soon as possible, so we have something to go on. I hate that our Christmas plans are being ruined. :(
     
  4. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Ol'Timer Staff Member

    This happens some time on Poi Pet, quite notorious border crossing. At times very rude immigration and customs officials. I went via Hat Lek few times and it has always been more than pleasant experience.
     
    Alamo likes this.
  5. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer

    Always worth trying somewhere else , Osmach has been easy quite often. But then it could be "tit for tat " starting at the borders as Cambodian registered motorcycles need pre clearance/ permits now into Thailand. I sincerely hope not as any increase in the paper war is never welcome to free souls on motorcycles. Anyone with a recent update at a border crossing into Cambodia ??
     
    DavidFL and Alamo like this.
  6. lightcycle

    lightcycle Professional Nomad

    We entered with our Thai-registered CRF250Ls from Osmach on Dec 8th and exited the same crossing two weeks later without any problem. All you need is your Green Book and passport. Thailand gives you a temp export paper and you keep it until you return, at which point you hand it back in again.

    Cambodian side will overcharge you for the $30USD visa in your passport (it's up to you whether you want to make a big stink about it or not), but other than that they didn't ask for any permit or customs. We just rode in and out.

    Very easy border crossing.
     
  7. faynce

    faynce Member

    Since Cambodia decided it didn't want our tourist money, we drove to the Koh Chang ferry the next day and gave our money to Thailand instead.

    Good choice, Cambodia!
     
  8. Jimenator

    Jimenator Member

    Nope, that's not it. Cambodian customs at Poipet have been a problem for Thai registered private vehicles for years. You see, Cambodia and Thailand only share an agreement covering buses and trucks, which enter and exit Poipet in their dozens daily (especially trucks), but there is no agreement covering cars or motorcycles since the Cambodian side is dragging their feet on this issue for some unknown reason. Exiting Cambodia at Poi Pet for Thailand is no problem, I've done it.

    Nowadays, Cambodian vehicles can still enter Thailand under the new rules without making pre-arrangements, provided they do not leave the border province entered and return back through the same border they entered. The law has always been like this for Cambodian vehicles, since the Cambodians have the same rule in place for Thai vehicles, just that it wasn't enforced until June 27, 2016. It appears that some Cambodian vehicles are still "slipping through the net" and leaving the border province entered without permission since I have seen Cambodian cars and one motorcycle driving in various parts of Thailand over the past few months, including a few weeks ago in Tak province where I spotted a Phnom Penh plate heading north on the Mae Sot-Mae Sariang road. This will continue as long as the Thai police are not actively stopping these vehicles, despite checkpoints in places like Trat province where you have as many as 4 checkpoints between the border and the Chanthaburi provincial boundary. Customs are however enforcing the return through the same border checkpoint rule for Cambodian vehicles unless they have a permit. It could be that they will crack down especially once the new guide rule goes into effect in March, as I've been reading about recently but since the new rules have gone into effect it's still largely business as usual at the Thai-Cambodian borders as far as local vehicles are concerned.

    The only two border crossings that definitely work for private Thai vehicles (or indeed, any foreign registrations) without needing advance permission from Phnom Penh are Chong Chom/O'Smach and Hat Lek (Khlong Yai)/Koh Kong. The latter will probably tell you that you can't leave the province with your vehicle but in reality there is nothing stopping you - I've done it. Leaving Cambodia is fine at any crossing though Chong Sa Ngam/Anlong Veng is a bit uncertain since some reports suggest that vehicles can't cross there at all, in any direction not even for local travel, while others claim that permission was granted but only for travel as far as Siem Reap. Exiting at Poipet, Pailin (Pong Nam Ron) is OK while Ban Laem should be OK but is also a maybe.
     
  9. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for the car write up, but I think Harri was talking about motorbikes as was the OP.
    On all the border crossings it seems if the motorbikes are excluded from the cross border transport agreements; & the issue gets confused.
    What applies to the 4W vehicles does not apply to the bikes.

    BTW what was the last border crossing you did on a motorbike?
     
  10. Jimenator

    Jimenator Member

    Koh Kong. Actually, I was referring to both cars and bikes - I have not noticed any difference in treatment at any Cambodian borders. I crossed at Koh Kong on a motorcycle, same procedure as by car, just needed the green book. I've never even bothered trying to enter at Poipet (whether by bike or car) knowing the problems there. Indeed the cross border agreements exclude bikes but since Cambodia and Thailand only have an agreement covering trucks and buses (excluding bikes and cars) they are treated the same by customs at least in my experience and from my own observations (have seen bikers nearly every time I've been to Koh Kong, less often at O'Smach).
     
  11. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    It sounds like you normally cross the borders by car there.
    What other bike crossings have you done to Cambodia. I get confused easily, trying to follow this thread & your post, sorry.
     
  12. Jimenator

    Jimenator Member

    No worries. In my original post I simply said "vehicles" in general by which I meant both cars and bikes. Indeed I have crossed to Cambodia by car more often than by bike - I used to take my bike more often when my car was still on finance but in more recent times have been going by car with my family.

    I have also been through O'Smach by bike (2015). Same procedure as by car. Haven't tried any other crossings but can confirm that Ban Laem is a no-no for any vehicles (cars or motorcycles) going in or out except crossings in the near vicinity for example to the casino, although even then most vehicles cross from Ban Pakkard and drive the 30-40km to get to Ban Laem rather than crossing directly since Cambodian customs there seem to be quite strict. Pailin (Ban Pakkard) seems to be OK for cars at least, provided you agree not to leave Pailin province. Last time I was in the Pailin area was in 2014 so not sure if things have changed since. To be safe, I'd recommend only O'Smach and Koh Kong for entry as they are trouble free (except if you can obtain a permit from the relevant ministry in Phnom Penh allowing another entry point).
     
  13. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer Staff Member

    Poipet has been no go for some time.. also a notorious crossing since time began

    Especially since the bombs went off in Bangkok and officialdom was found to have assisted the departure for compensation.

    As the other posters say. Osmarch, or hat lek are fine and never had issues. Except thai side failed to give correct export paper work 4 years back and when still allowed to cross back at Poipet.. had to complete the export forms so everything matched up.

    More here for Osmarch and Poipet at that time..

    A 3 day meander.. Bangkok - Preah Vihear - Siem Reap - Bangkok
     
  14. Jimenator

    Jimenator Member

    Correct. However, the issues you speak of regarding Aranyaprathet/Poipet are immigration issues and do not apply to bringing your own vehicle (car or motorcycle) in or out. Normally the Thai side is happy to issue export documentation there, but will tell you that they can't guarantee the Cambodian side will allow your vehicle in. Exiting is never a problem and entering Thailand no problem if a holder of any Thai visa or an expat resident. Since December 31, they are now limiting visa-free entries to 2 entries per calendar year at all overland checkpoints.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  15. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer Staff Member

    There is more than immigration at play at this crossing . .
    As the other posters have said. Best to cross at Osmarch or hat lek..

    My final words
     
  16. Jimenator

    Jimenator Member

    I was referring only to the Thai side. Thai customs are friendly. The Cambodian side is only friendly to passengers, buses and trucks, not to private motorcycles and cars. That's the issue at Poipet and nothing has changed in this respect for years. Only an official cross-border transport agreement with Thailand covering private vehicles will change that.
     
  17. 2ind4ken

    2ind4ken New Member

    Hi....I had the same thing happen yesterday. I just posted what happened to me in this same forum. Did you have the same experience. ??

    Ken
     
  18. Jimenator

    Jimenator Member

    So you were refused at the Aran/Poipet crossing with a motorcycle? Fortunately, I have not experienced this because I knew the (unofficial) Cambodian law already in advance; it's been like this for years. Therefore I didn't try to enter there - I have exited at Poipet for Thailand which was no problem. Entering however is uncertain so better to stick with Hat Lek/Koh Kong and Chong Chom/O'Smach.
     
  19. 2ind4ken

    2ind4ken New Member

    My question is....so lets say I go to another entry point that's less restrictive. But now I am driving around Cambodia without any Customs clearance docs. What happens if I am stopped...or worse I get in an accident that required the police to be involved. I could have just skipped the Customs and drove on... Was I being too cautious by following the rules.....??
     
  20. Jimenator

    Jimenator Member

    Good question.

    Based on all the reports I've seen posted here and elsewhere it seems that the police in Cambodia know there is no official system for temporarily bringing in foreign registered private vehicles yet. Sometimes the police in Sihanoukville will 'lecture' foreigners driving foreign (mainly Thai, occasionally Vietnamese) bikes or cars about the 'legality' of driving outside of Koh Kong province (or Kampot for Vietnamese registrations) all the way to Sihanoukville but will eventually let them go. The main issue is what happens when you get into an accident...however, you probably won't be treated any better or worse than driving a locally registered bike or car since local insurance probably won't get you very far anyway. It's your ability to pay off the cops and compensate for the damages and injuries that result in an accident that matters more.

    Best piece of advice is to decide for yourself how much risk you are willing to take - it seems not a whole lot of foreigners take the risk of driving a foreign vehicle to Cambodia compared to Laos - most likely this is due to the lack of an official customs temporary import system in place. If Cambodia were like Laos, every adventurous car driver and biker from all over the place would go there.
     

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