Border Crossing : Jordan - Egypt (16 June 2009)

Aqaba, Jordan crossing to Nuweiba, Egypt

Paper work

V5 - car logbook

Carnet

3rd Party Insurance - Purchase at border in Nuweiba

Passports

Visas - We had applied for visas before we left UK.  These are valid for 6 months and allowed us a 60 day stay.

Exit Costs from Jordan

JD5 per person

JD5 per vehicle - must be paid in Dinar

Entry Costs to Egypt

1330EP (US$240) - must be paid in EP

Time to cross

Aqaba - 15 minutes

Nuweiba - 90 minutes

 

We had been told to arrive at the ferry terminal at 11am.  Having said goodbye to everyone and popped in to say cheerio to Brigitta and Ursula at the Bedouin Moon, we were running 15 minutes late.  We got to the ferry terminal at 11:15am (follow the signs for PASSINGER TERMINAL on the dual carriageway towards South Beach from Aqaba town) and at the 1st gate before entering, we needed to show the A5 blue Jordanian Customs certificate along with the carnet, passports and tickets before we could enter the terminal (this blue certificate is the really important certificate that is issued on entering Jordan).

Follow the road round until you reach an office called Information.  English-speaking officials are on hand to check paperwork again and point you in the direction of the building called "Passinger Terminal".  On arriving here we were told that the ferry departure had been brought foward to 11:30am so we really needed to hurry.  Stress levels went through the roof as we ran across to start the paperwork process.  Enter the building and go straight to the Customs desk/window on the left.  It's here that they issued the stamps in exchange for the JD only (there is an exchange on the second floor to change money to JD for this).  "Hurry, hurry" they said, "10 minutes to departure".  Trevor ran upstairs to exchange money whilst I carried on the Customs process.  When he got back down with the dinar, 3 JD5 stamps were issued, 2 given to us for Immigration and 1 was stuck in my passport as the car owner.  The Jordanian Customs certificate was retained, the carnet stamped and an Exit Permission paper was issued (an A4 piece of paper with some arabic printing and a date handwritten in).  "Hurry, hurry" they said, "5 minutes to departure" as we ran upstairs to the second floor for Immigration. 

There they took our stamps, entered them in our passports, took photos of our retinas and once they confirmed whatever they had to, stamped our passports out.  "Hurry, hurry" they said, "2 minutes to departure".  We raced out of the building, straight to the ferry, handed over the Exit Permission and car ticket, our passenger tickets, had our passports and carnet checked and loaded Sully on backwards.  Phew, it was 11:30am on the dot.  As we parked up we started to calm down and noticed that in fact, we were right at the back of the ferry and loaded on first....  mmmmm something fishy going on here.  We eventually departed at 2pm, 1 hour later than the schedule.  We think they were having a bit of a game with us but, my god, they all had their timings right!!! What an exit!

We set off and the crossing to Nuweiba was really calm and straight forward but as you leave, the non-Egyptians are locked into the back third of the ferry with the front 2 thirds reserved for Egyptians.  The crew will let you know what you need to do, so follow their direction.  You are issued with 2 forms to complete.  One for the visit information (Landing Card) and another medical questionnaire to complete about Swine Flu.  Once all the Egyptians had been processed through Immigration, we were escorted to the Immigrations desk at the front of the ferry.  You can buy visas on board but these are only issued for a 30 day period.  If you do it this way, your passport is retained for the journey and returned to you as the ferry docks in Nuweiba.  Anyway as we had visas already, they took our landing cards, our passports were stamped and at this stage you are free to use the shop that's in the Egyptian section.  All purchases on board can be done in US$, JD or EP but be warned, make sure that you have small change and exact money as getting change is a nightmare.

Once we'd arrived in Nuweiba at 3:30pm, the fun started.  The doors to the Egyptian section were locked and for the next 1.5hours we waited as an announcement kept coming over the tannoy in Arabic looking for a passenger (calling him by name).  They would not let any passengers off the ferry and by 5pm, everyone including the crew were getting stressed.  The Egyptian section had not been told what was going on either and for 1.5hours we listened to loud banging on the door as they demanded to be let out and were studiously ignored or shouted at by the crew through the door to settle down.  Eventually at 5:15pm we were allowed to go down to the cars and as we all filed downstairs, our passports were checked.  Turns out the the passenger they had been looking for was a criminal and the police were waiting in Nuweiba to arrest him.  We live in interesting times!  Talking to locals, this is not a usual thing to happen and normally getting off the ferry is a simple process that happens immediately after docking.

So there we were in the ferry waiting for everyone to drive off.  Being last we sat for another 30 minutes breathing in exhaust fumes from the buses as they ran the engines to get the aircons going.  We eventually drove off at 5:45pm. 

Drive straight to the pyramid shaped building and walk through there, handing in your medical questionnaire.  Locals were having their temperatures taken by a doctor but they just waved us through.  Back into the car and drive out towards the exit but take the first left before the exit down to Customs. 

Map of Customs Layout at Nuweiba.

Turn right down a short road with banks on the left and right hand sides and park your car behind the others in the Customs queue.  We took our paperwork and went and waited outside the car, just chatting to each other and ignoring the chaos around us.  Eventually a man came up (no uniform) and asked to see the carnet.  I refused to hand it over (very politely!) until he eventually said "Customs, customs".  He took the carnet and walked around Sully checking that the carnet details were correct by just opening a couple of doors.  At this stage Ashraf arrived.  He is Tourism Police dressed in an official uniform, speaks English and is worth his weight in gold.  Ashraf can be contacted on mobile : +20 12 1449400.  We'd suggest calling him whilst you're on the ferry to Nuweiba so that he meets you as you arrive and takes you through the paperwork in customs.  Or even call him before booking to go over so that you know he is available to help.  We must warn you that the process is complicated and bureaucratic (which even the local customs officials recognise) and we'd recommend grasping local help with both hands.  Especially if you aren't going to get ripped off!  Ashraf is great.

If you feel you want to do the process on your own, here's what we did.  Go to the Road Tax window with passport, carnet, and V5 and pay EP520.  At this stage I must mention that because we had a 60 day validity on our visa, all paperwork including road tax and insurance is validated for 60 days at no extra cost.  What you are paying for is a year's insurance or road tax but validated for the period of your visa.  Extending can be done but must be done at the port of entry and you have to buy another year's worth but re-validated for the extension period.  So go for the longest period you can when entering if you want to spend a good time in Egypt.  He opens a file which you then take once the receipt is attached to the next window for Customs signoff.  This seems easy at this stage but you're only about 0.25 way through.  They then send you over to the window in a row of offices behind us marked "Bavaria" where the the contents of the file are copied with all documents including the V5 logbook (car license), car owner passport and visas for 30EP.  Take this back to Customs where he then keeps the file and all paperwork whilst you take your passport over to buy insurance at the DELTA insurance window for EP550 once they have validated the length of stay according to the visa. 

Go back to the Customs office and have the insurance validated in the file.  Keep the insurance certificate.  The customs officer will issue a notice for insurance.  Go back to Bavaria to have it copied (no cost) and then back to Customs.  He then keeps the carnet but gives you back the file.  Go to the Traffic Police window where they will send you round to the Traffic Police office to pay EP20 (we think this may be a bit of a scam but £2 is really nothing worth arguing over), then back to the Traffic Police office where they stamp the file once you confirm payment of EP20.  Then back to the Customs window where you collect your stamped carnet but this won't be issued until you have your "little paper" which is the Customs Clearance.  This is issued by the Customs Officers (uniformed) once they have checked that you have a fire extinguisher, checked engine/chassis number and take a rubbing and check all contents.  They are looking for a 2kg extinguisher which we had but Trevor actually showed him the cab extinguisher which is only 1kg.  Ashraf argued with them for a bit (not knowing about our 2kg) and we got away with not having the engine/chassis checked, a 1kg extinguisher and no contents check!!!  I told you that Ahsraf was good! And no money exchanged hands at all.   So back to Customs with the "little paper" and collect the carnet.  Then to the number plate office where plates are issued for EP150.  We gave Ashraf EP10 to pay to the license plate man as he cut the queue (about 25 people long) and issued the plates.  Ashraf then arranges the printing of a car license - this is a credit card size, includes the license plate details, road tax and insurance validity.  This is really important as this must be shown along with the carnet and passports at all check points.

Check the plates are the same, check it against the license card, attach the plates, have a chat to Ashraf and give him a well-deserved gift.  Then drive off to the exit where they check all the paperwork, license card, license plates, carnet and passports and away you go.

Simple!

#1 Gill on 6.17.2009 at 11:42 AM

Simple, you have got to be joking. I was dizzy reading this blog. hahaha

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Hence us paying "baksheesh" to the cop for him to do it for us - EP50 about £5 and well worth every penny!!! :-) 

#2 brenda on 6.17.2009 at 9:05 PM

What a nightmare, Mark didn't even have that much trouble getting into South Africa. lol

Glad to hear you are back on the road again.

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Its good to be back on it again!  We didn't realise how much we missed it.  Thanks for the email update, so good to hear about everyone.  Please give all boys, girls, babies and pets a hug and a kiss from us both xxxx

#3 Cameron, Dustin and Kirsty on 6.17.2009 at 10:08 PM

Hello guys

How are you both? Long time no see!! we hope everything is going ok for you.

All is going well over here although dustin is still looking for a job.

Dustin says "mumble mumble mumble" we hope you can translate for us...... :)

We got a nice cheap pool from argos for the few hot days of sunshine we have had over here.....filled it up but it was too cold for me and dustin, although kirsty enjoyed it (but she is used to the weather and cold pools in this country)

Have fun!!!!!!

Love Cameron, Dustin and Kirsty xxxxxxx

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"mumble, mumble, mumble" means "please can I have another doughnut"

"mumble, mumble, Mumble" means "contrary to popular belief, the world is an existential place, string theory a exact science and UFOs really do visit earth"!!!

heheheheh

Lovely to get a message from you.  Please keep in touch.  Tell Kirsty she's MAD swimming in anything below 22degC

Love to all of you.  Take care xxxxxx