Following the UK decision to leave the European Union (EU), since 1 January 2021, a valid Green Card has been required for all vehicles and trailers traveling to the European Economic Area (EEA).
From 2 August 2021, the European Commission has agreed that the UK is now able to participate in the “Green Card Free Circulation Area” (GCFCA), removing the need to carry Green Cards for all vehicles from the UK who are entering these countries.
A Green Card is an internationally recognised document confirming that valid motor insurance is in place. Following Brexit, all UK-registered vehicles are legally required to carry a green card. The biggest issue has been in respect of Ireland, as vehicles from Northern Ireland are required to have a green card to enter the Republic of Ireland (as well as any other EU country). The Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) have played a big role in liaising with the EU as a result.
Huw Evans of the Association of British Insurers said: “This is excellent news. We have long campaigned for the UK to be part of the green card Free Circulation Zone so we warmly welcome the decision by the European Commission today.
“The Commission has taken a pragmatic approach on the matter. UK drivers will no longer need to apply for a green card through their insurer, which will help reduce bureaucracy for drivers and road hauliers traveling between the UK and EU. It will be especially welcomed by motorists in Northern Ireland driving across the border to the Republic of Ireland.”
David Fitzgerald of the MIBI, said: “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.
It is expected that it will take some time for processes to be updated across the GCFCA, especially at borders and ports, with some insurers still planning to continue issuing Green Cards for the time being, to prevent any potential delays.
If you are a current customer and plan to travel to the EU in the near future, get in contact with us on 0800 612 9376 at your earliest opportunity. Each insurer that we work with will be handling the issue of Green Cards in their own way, and may still choose to send you one just in case. We, therefore, recommend contacting us at least 6 weeks’ notice before you travel so that you can receive your Green Card with plenty of time to spare.