Carnet de passage


Whenever you enter in to a country with a vehicle, that country has the right to demand a deposit from you at the border, to ensure that you remove the vehicle from the country after your visit, and if not that there are funds available to complete the documentation and demolition/removal of the vehicle.

Let’s say you are a tourist from Europe, borrow your friends old car for a tour, drive in to Zambia for holiday, crash the car. Your friend says it is an old car just leave it there. You get on the next flight home and leave the vehicle. Who has to pay for the removal, paperwork and work to get that vehicle in to a scrap yard?

The Carnet de Passages en Douane (CPD) is the international customs document, which covers the temporary admission of motor vehicles.

The CPD is still required today, in numerous countries around the world, for the temporary admission of private vehicles and motorcycles. It facilitates the temporary importation of motor vehicles by providing security for the payment of any customs duties and import taxes chargeable, should the vehicle not be re-exported. AASA is the only authorized issuer of the FIA Carnet booklet to citizens of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland.


  • Using the Carnet is an alternative to leaving a cash security deposit with a foreign government. 
  • It facilitates entry formalities at border posts and port of entries. Most countries, but not all, allow this option. 
  • The Carnet eliminates the need for national temporary importation documents.
  • You need a Carnet for your vehicle and a separate one for your trailer or caravan.

The Carnet is valid for a maximum period of one year from the date of issue. The Carnet is available to AASA Members and non-Members residing in South Africa and to applicants who have a car registered in South Africa. Non SA citizens / permanent residents wishing to apply for a Carnet for a vehicle registered outside South Africa must apply through their club in country of residence.

When to apply:

We will apply for this 30 days before departure. I will remind you.

The make up

The carnet consists of a yellow outer cover and several identical inner pages, with your vehicle and trailer info on it. 

Each country that you visit will use up one page. 

So determining the number of pages is based on how many times you will cross a border.

Botswana and Namibia do not use the carnets so we only start using it from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and further north.

The procedure

  1. On entry in to a country, the customs official will complete the top left section, in this picture stamped with a rectangular blue stamp.
  2. Next they will complete the bottom tear off strip and take it for their records
  3. On exit of that same country the customs official will complete the top right section indicated by the round stamp 
  4. Next they will complete the middle tear off piece and keep it for their records.

It is important to note that this is not insurance of any sort and the cheaper you can claim your vehicle to be the less deposit you will pay at the AA. 

Your deposit is payable when you request the document and refunded when you return with the vehicle to South Africa.

The application form and costs are on the AA website