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How motorcyclists that visited London get a fine from Uzbekistan

At the end of 2022, FEMA received signals about penalties that were issued on behalf of Transport for Londen (but also on behalf of toll road operators in Hungary and Portugal) by an Uzbek company named Euro Parking Collection plc (EPC).

We wondered how it was possible that a Dutch motorcyclist (although we heard of people from other countries too) who supposedly violated the London ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) rules could be fined by an Uzbek company.

FEMA discussed cross-border enforcement with European Parliament Rapporteur Kosma Zlotowski.

The EU Cross-border Enforcement Directive provides in exchanging information after violation of a limited number of traffic rules that have a relation to road safety, and there are provisions to exchange data in case of crimes, also even after Brexit with the UK. Only, violation of the London ULEZ rules is hardly a crime and is outside the scope of Regulation (EU) 2014/413. And there was more, not only came this penalty announcement from Uzbekistan, but it also came too late to appeal which also meant that the fine was already raised. Kast but not least: the motorcycle in question was Euro3 compliant, and therefor allowed in the area where it was photographed.

The motorcyclist that had received the fine had already taken some action himself, but we were extremely worried about what appeared to be a large violation of privacy rules and contacted the Netherlands Vehicle Authority (RDW), because this must have been the source of the personal information of the motorcyclist. We drafted a list of ten questions that were all related to privacy protection and how data from the Dutch vehicle register could end up in Uzbekistan to be used in relation to a ULEZ violation in London. After some time, and after some intermediate contacts, we got an extensive answer to our questions.

Bottom line however was that RDW had no idea how this could have happened and was not happy with it. In fact, they had already put a warning about EPC on their own website. Later it turned out that the Transport for London (TfL) debt agent, European Parking Collection (EPC), had requested the names and addresses of Dutch citizens linked to number plates through a government agency in Italy, which was not authorised to share that information. The data was requested by authorised users through the Italian National Contact Point (NCP). Authorised users had used the data in an unlawful way.

In March 2023, the European Commission published a draft revised Cross-border Enforcement Directive ((EU) 2015/413). In the proposal the number of road safety related traffic violations was extended with eight more situations and the way member states where the offence has occurred can get to the data of the offender has been streamlined. Through the system EUCARIS the member state of the offence can directly enter the database of the country where the offender lives to collect his personal data. There is no check foreseen on the legitimacy of the request or the purpose of the data. Situations as painted above, where authorised staff collects data for other purposes than they are allowed to can, and therefore will, happen in the proposed system. We take this lack of data protection and lack of security very seriously.

Kosma Złotowski MEP (photo:

Already in March, we alerted the European Commission to the security risk that comes with an unchecked use of EUCARIS. Nevertheless, the proposal was sent to the European Parliament without changes. In June, we sent letters to over thirty MEPs (Member of Parliament), all members of the transport committee, to share our concerns about the security of the data and the privacy risks. Shortly after that, we received an invitation for a meeting with MEP Mr. Kosma Zlotowski.

Mr. Zlotowski is the rapporteur for the transport committee on this subject. He will draft the report and will process the amendments from other MEPs that will lead to the report that the transport committee and later the plenary meeting of the European Parliament. Just the man to talk with.

We had this meeting on the 29th of June and expressed our concerns, explained where that comes from and proposed some amendments. Mr. Zlotowski took our message very seriously. Of course, what this means in practice has to be seen, but at least we found a listening ear

Written by Dolf Willigers

Top photograph courtesy of

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