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Brits in trouble over motorcycle transport to the European Union

British motorcyclists who have their bike transported to the European Union by truck or van, often run into trouble and are confronted with high fines and duties in EU countries.

This is an unforseen consequence of Brexit, the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union. British and European riders’ organisations FEMA and NMC, and historic vehicles owners’ group FIVA ask the European Commission to help solve this problem.

Many British owners of motorcycles and historic vehicles like to travel to the European Union to go to events like shows, rallies, exhibitions to share their passion with others. Or they simply want their vehicle waiting for them in the country where they planned their holidays or leisure trip.

For practical purposes, the vehicles are often transported in vans, on trailers or in transporters. We are aware of situations where owners of motorcycles and historic vehicles from the United Kingdom thought, after inquiries, that they did the right thing but were confronted with problems and extremely high fines and duties in EU countries they crossed or at borders of EU countries. Similar problems have been experienced entering the UK from the EU.

It seems that EU member states have different views on the necessary papers and how to handle this kind of transport.

For clarity, the problem relates to vehicles which are road registered and legal for use on highways – not unregistered vehicles for sports purposes or exhibitions for which the ATA Carnet regime is in place as detailed in the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

FIVA, NMC and FEMA have written to the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Mr. Thierry Breton, asking him to help solve this issue. We offer a number of possible solutions and we have asked the Commissioner for an opportunity to discuss the matter further.

Click here to read the letter we sent to the European Commission.

Written by Wim Taal

Top photograph courtesy of Allen

This article is subject to FEMA’s copyright

FEMA (Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations) represents the European motorcyclists in, amongst other, the European Union institutions. Our members are national motorcyclists’ interest groups in the European Union, EFTA countries and the United Kingdom. We represent riders of powered two- and three-wheelers who use their vehicle for daily travelling and leisure riders. Our interests are, among others, safe motorcycling in a safe environment, freedom in choice of vehicle and movement.
FIVA (Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens) is a worldwide non-profit organisation dedicated to the protection, preservation, and promotion of historic vehicles. Established in 1966, it is active in more than 80 countries, representing millions of historic vehicle enthusiasts around the globe. Since 2017, FIVA has been a partner of UNESCO with consultative status, representing world motoring heritage and related culture.
NMC (he National Motorcyclists Council) is a coalition of motorcycling representative organisations in the United Kingdom, which works together on commonly held positions on a range of public policy issues affecting motorcyclists. The NMC also researches issues to both inform the policy debate and support the individual work of its members. Several NMC members are also FEMA members.