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Issues with transporting bikes to the EU not yet solved

The BMF has warned motorcyclists that the issue of taking bikes into the EU by van or trailer is not yet resolved.

“I’m sure this will be addressed, the question is; when? In the meantime, the best solution, with a road registered bike, is to ride it into Europe. If you must transport it by van or trailer, an ATA carnet will be the best option.” said BMF Chair Jim Freeman.

In May, the EU Commissioner appeared to draw a line under the question, stating in a letter that ‘means of transport’ being taken across the border temporarily would not be regarded as liable for import duties, a carnet or the associated red tape. End of story? Not quite. According to the National Motorcyclists Council (NMC), it has since emerged that there is an issue with what customs authorities regard as a ‘means of transport’ under various international treaties and regulations. They could take the view that a road registered motorcycle being transported in a van or on a trailer, stops being a means of transport, becoming ‘goods in transit’ instead. “This appears to be what has happened in France,” said NMC’s Craig Carey-Clinch, “where customs have in some cases insisted that motorcycles in vans, lorries or on trailers are accompanied by an ATA Carnet.”

Talks continue between UK, EU and French officials aimed at seeking a final resolution to the issue and riders’ groups, including the BMF and NMC, are keeping an eye on the situation.

Until a final resolution is reached, NMC advises that riders check carefully with customs authorities about individual border requirements when transporting motorcycles to and from the UK and EU in a van or on a trailer.And for those riding into France, it’s worth remembering that you will also need a Crit’Air sticker to enter the low emissions zones of seven French cities, including Paris, Toulouse and Lyon. Aimed at discouraging higher polluting vehicles, the sticker costs just £3.65 and is colour-coded according to emissions – electric bikes get a green sticker, Euro 4 and 5 machines get purple and older Euro 2 bikes get brown. Failure to display a sticker can lead to a fine of over £100. Stickers can be ordered from the Crit’Air website (in English)

Written by Peter Henshaw

Top image courtesy of Wilderness Vans