European Commission to admit UK into Green Card free zone following engagement with MIBI
Green Cards will no longer be required for UK registered motor vehicles, including those from Northern Ireland, travelling to the Republic of Ireland or any other EU country. The news was confirmed by the European Commission following engagement from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) on the subject.
A Green Card is an internationally recognised insurance document which demonstrates to law enforcement agencies that valid motor insurance is in place. In the aftermath of Brexit, from 1st January 2021 all UK registered vehicles, including those from Northern Ireland, are legally required to carry a Green Card if they visit another EU country, including the Republic of Ireland.
EU registered motor vehicles, including those from the Republic of Ireland, travelling within the EU are covered by the terms of the Motor Insurance Directive (MID). This allows motor vehicles to travel freely between other EU countries without requiring supplementary insurance documentation.
These same provisions had previously applied to the UK, including Northern Ireland, but that ended once Brexit came into effect.
In advance of Brexit, the MIBI had secured agreement from the UK Department of Transport that valid Irish insurance discs would be accepted as proof of insurance for Irish registered vehicles. This meant that a Green Card was not required for Irish registered vehicles going to Northern Ireland or Great Britain.
The European Commission has now announced that it has agreed to fix a date under article 8 (2) of the EU Motor Insurance Directive to admit the UK in the Green Card free circulation zone. This will facilitate motor vehicles registered in Northern Ireland or other parts of the UK travelling to EU countries without the necessity of a Green Card once more.
The exact date for when the new measures will take effect is expected to be confirmed in the coming days.
The same measures had previously been applied by the European Commission to other countries outside the EU, including Serbia.
“We strongly welcome confirmation from the European Commission that the UK will be admitted into the Green Card free circulation zone,” said David Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of the MIBI. “Since the ramifications of Brexit on the issue of Green Cards became clear, the MIBI has been maintaining an ongoing dialogue with the European Commission to highlight the potential problems this could have caused, particularly across the island of Ireland.
“From the beginning of the year any UK registered motor vehicle which crossed the Border into the Republic was legally required to carry a Green Card. This wasn’t a sustainable situation when you consider there are an estimated 43 million cross border vehicle trips per annum and there are approximately 25,000 people who live on one side of the Border and who regularly commute to the other jurisdiction.
“Thankfully Green Cards will soon not be required for UK registered vehicles as they are not required for Irish registered vehicles travelling between these countries or anywhere else in the EU. We would like to thank the European Commission for their engagement on this subject, particularly Commissioner Mairead McGuinness and her team for helping ensure this issue received the attention it required,” Mr. Fitzgerald concluded.
The MIBI is a not for profit organisation established to compensate victims of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured and unidentified vehicles. The MIBI also acts as the Green Card Bureau in the Republic of Ireland.