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BREXIT TRAP FOR TOURING BIKERS

Britain’s recently-founded National Motorcyclists Council (NMC) has opened talks with the UK government after it emerged that the EU/UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) has a glaring gap in it threatening European motorcycle tourism. 

There are concerns about two specific issues. Firstly, the ability to send road-registered motorcycles into the EU, via friends or commercial transport businesses, is now in doubt. Typically, this relates to owners commissioning transportation of their bikes to EU destinations, and then flying out to use them for a touring holiday. The second issue is the ability for riders to transport their own road-registered motorcycle by van or another vehicle into the EU.

As it stands, the EU/UK TCA does not address either unaccompanied movement of road-registered motorcycles or their transportation by owners. And the situation over customs treatment, compulsory paperwork and costs at EU borders, relating to what might be deemed “goods in transit”, is entirely unresolved.

The NMC is therefore seeking clarity on these subjects. To this end, it is currently discussing the matter with the Cabinet Office Border and Protocol Delivery Group and officials are escalating the matter within government, including Brexit minister Lord Frost’s EU negotiating team.

Commenting on this challenge, NMC chairperson Anna Zee added: “This is a problem which stands to seriously disadvantage touring motorcyclists and the businesses that support them.”

Transport of unregistered bikes for sporting activities is a separate subject, requiring ATA Carnets in place. The Auto Cycle Union, the UK’s primary motorcycle sport administrator and also a NMC member, has already established facilities for supporting British competitors in international events.

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