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UK

04/08/2022

Despite seemingly being resolved in May, there are still questions over the ability of British bikers to take their motorcycles into the EU in a van or on a trailer without running into customs problems.

The Federation of European Motorcycle Associations and the UK National Motorcyclists Council had been pushing hard in talks with the EU and UK authorities to solve problems with people taking bikes in vans from the UK to the continent for European track days and other purposes. Since they weren’t being ridden across the border, they could be seen as commercial freight – meaning they would need either paperwork for importation or an expensive carnet to cover them for temporary importation into the EU. And if the bike was being transported by a third party such as a trackday company, the situation became even more complex.

In May, FEMA published a letter from the European Commission, which stated that “Means of transports entering the EU temporarily and returning back to the UK after a few weeks can be placed under temporary admission and declared to customs by the sole act of crossing the frontier.”

Minor celebrations amongst European trackday fans then? Well, no. It turns out that ‘means of transport’ might not strictly apply to a motorcycle in a van, especially a track or dirt bike which isn’t road legal, or a non-running show bike. As before, a strict customs agent might slap charges onto anyone bringing a bike from the UK into the EU in a truck.

The NMC’s executive director Craig Carey-Clinch said: “The work done jointly by FEMA, FIVA and the NMC has shifted the dial on this issue and led to the reopening of talks between the UK and individual EU member states, which had stalled. The NMC has proposed a potential solution which the UK government will consider internally and also discuss with counterparts within the EU, but we fear that it could be some months before this is finally resolved. In the meantime, we urge riders to check the rules carefully before transporting their bikes to and from the EU in a van or on a trailer.”