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Registering a UK bike in France - the pitfalls


Bob T

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Went to the Prefecture in Perigueux the other day to try and help a friend register his Hyabusa. We had the required paperwork including a certificate of conformity, with the title "EEC Certificate of Conformity". The lady was very helpful but could not process the registration as the manufacturers type number does not appear on their computer.

I assume that when the Suzuki production line is on full swing, a UK bike with an mph speedo, LH dip headlight and full power comes along it has a different type number to a German or French market bike with kph speedo, RH dip light and possibly reduced power. If the type number is not the same as the French one then it won't appear on the prefectures computer. This means that the owner will have to go to the French importer and get another one (at a cost).

This makes a mockery of the EEC rule that all European countries should accept a C of C from all other European countries.

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Not only that but hubby has bought a limited edition CCM (no I don't know what it is), but according to Bennets it "Does not exist......".   This is supposed to be the company that are "The Bike Insurance Experts" according to their numerous adverts.

The problem is that because the bike is being built at present we need an insurance certificate before it will be released after testing, so having trawled about he ended up asking the dealer  about someone who might confirm its existence and insure it for him.   Luckily the dealer admitted that Bennets are not exactly the experts they proclaim to be and gave us someone who knows this bike exists, but what a pain!  Next time he can have a bicycle instead.

And we agree with you Terry about the UK and we are getting out too.  I have already been into a Forum row with others who think this is still "Great Britain", but if so one wonders why they left it in the first place?

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Bob

Before all the Europundits start lining up, I had the same problem with the Suzuki GS.  The clerk tried the French type approval number - no joy.  I suggested she try the English type approval number - no joy.  Eventually, she input the CNIT number and bingo - everything came up on her screen.

It seems like the CNIT number links up with the national index of type approvals, so it may be worth checking the Busa CoC to see if there's one there.

Given that French vehicle registration procedures comply with the exact same EU legislation as does the UK, this should be able to be resolved.

 

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Is it possible to ask the UK to supply the French Cert of Conformity Number rather than get a full French CofC?  Could Suzuki UK/Honda UK not email their French equivalent and get the reference?

 

Forgot to ask...where can the CNIT no be found?

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[quote user="makfai"]Is it possible to ask the UK to supply the French Cert of Conformity Number rather than get a full French CofC?  Could Suzuki UK/Honda UK not email their French equivalent and get the reference?[/quote]

No it is not, if you do you run the risk of it not being accepted in France, its better to get the French agency to issue C De C's.  The rules are different for bikes in France

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I have a Cert of Conformity for my bike which I purchased in UK.  Surely the whole idea of this is that I can use it when I go to register it abroad.  Do I have to go to a French dealer to get another one when I arrive with my bike?
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Not always. I had a CofC issued by BMW (UK) which came from the factory in Germany, for my bike and there was no problem with that. It did state that it was a EU CofC and even gave the French fiscal rating on it.

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Everyone back in your kennels......[;-)]

In 2002, the Ministry of Transport issued a bulletin to all prefectures regarding the changes to the registration process involving vehicles subject to EU whole vehicle type approval.  It reminded them that the purpose of the changes were to comply with new EU regulations over the free movement of vehicles and to avoid the need for people acquiring their vehicles abroad to seek individual French attestations d'identité.  In other words, the French were complying with EU regulations the same as everyone else.

The bulletin mentions two key identifiers which can be used in order to access the centre nationale de réception des véhicules(CNRV) - the CNIT number (code nationale d'identification du type) and the community type approval number (e--*--/--*----*--).  Either number can be input in order to call up the necessary information for populating the carte grise record.  Further, the Type, Variant and Version details can be used, but in the case of motorcycles, the latter two elements are often reversed and require correction before input.  The bulletin also warns of potential mismatches due to inputting the letter 'o' instead on the number '0'.....

The bulletin goes on to caution that although the major automobile manufacturers impose rigourous quality control over their documentation, the same cannot not be said for the motorcycle manufacturers, many of whom are based outside the EU, and who's internal procedures do not always reflect the need for strict compliance with international documentation standards . 

Having revisited my own conformity document, it states:

....et ayant fait l'objet d'une réception:

[tick box] COMMUNAUTAIRE

sous le No. e4*92/61*0105*01

du 02/02/2001

CNIT:  LJS16K40H041

Given the above, the problems raised may well be due to deficiencies in the documentation issued by the UK importers rather than the French side, so it may be worth while taking this up with them.  If you approach the French importers, they will issue CoCs under the French type/variant which is, of course, power restricted

If you want to read the full Ministry document, you can find it [url=http://www.interieur.gouv.fr/sections/a_votre_service/lois_decrets_et_circulaires/2002/INTD0200166C.pdf/downloadFile/file/INTD0200166C.pdf?nocache=1160493047.56]here[/url].

 

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I have taken up this matter with Harley Davidson UK as it was HD which issued my CofC. 

Interestingly on my CofC there is - in para 57 'Fiscal power or National Code Numbers(s)'-  only an entry for 'Germany' when they knew I was taking it to France!  Don't know why they don't fill them all in with the data.

I also found the UK's VCA site valuable as it sets out details of the EC agreement:

http://www.vca.gov.uk/vehicletype/type-approval-for-mo.asp

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Good link depicting the Rocket 111 which is my next challenge to register mine in France this July -

Just last week I registered successfully my FJR1300 which has a BHP of 143.5 or 105.5kW - I used the UK cert of Conformance using the Vin no and e* numbers as identifiers it went through no problems what so ever, could part of the problem depend on the reigon ?   Notably I did not get my Certificate of Conformance back.

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I have been having an interesting (read 'challenging') exchange of views with Harley Davidson (UK) since buying a bike from them earlier this year.  Here is a much abbreviated version.

 

At the time of purchase I explained I needed the appropriate documentation (whatever that was - expecting them to know!) to re-register the bike in France. They said all I needed from HD was a Certificate of Conformity (COC) and I asked for one in French.

 

Several weeks later (after the bike had been delivered)  I was told I could have a COC in English free of charge but if I wanted a French one I would have to pay for a translation to be made.  HD UK said that even in France a COC was issued in English and French ones did not exist.  I queried this with HD France and found out that they issue a COC either on French or English depending on the circumstances.  HD France also went on to say:

 

The COC in English language is only the passeport of the bike in Europe between these countries.

But in France for example to register the bike or the car (same process), the customer need to receive from the subsidiary or importer a other document (attestation d'identification pour véhicules importés conformes à un type communautaire).

On this document you have of course a lot of info from the English COC but also the CNIT number for French law!

Prefecture need this document to be sure that they can register the bike.

 

After further correspondence HD France said

 

Please send us these documents below and we will offer you the certificate that you need.

We need Copy of your V5 is the bike is register or your COC if this is a new bike.

Copy of your passport or identity card

If this is a new bike we need also a copy of the invoice (to check that you are the owner)

 

The delay is about 2 to 3 weeks (summer period) but we will do the best for you.

Have a good day

 

Best regards

Didier Coursaux

Technical ManagerHarley-Davidson et Buell France

 

I have to say that the courtesy and efficiency with which my queries were dealt with by HD France was of an excellent quality!  Replies within hours.  NOT something you find with HD UK who (interestingly) appear to contract Customer Service to http://www.arvatoloyalty.com/.

The Arvato Loyalty Services Limited representative was not too happy with me querying the HD UK position he had presented to me and suggested (in an email to a colleague which sadly for him was copied to me by mistake by a third party) that I was 'starting to pick holes in every thing we are telling him'. I pointed out that I was not picking holes - just trying to get an accurate and complete answer to questions I had put to him...for example, when they knew I was going to France why did they put in the COC the National Code in for Germany.  I still have not had an answer!

I would like to say a thank you to people on this Forum whose experiences and knowledge have helped me steer a path through various bits of 'dodgy' info on this topic.  The link from Sunday Driver to http://www.interieur.gouv.fr/sections/a_votre_service/lois_decrets_et_circulaires/2002/INTD0200166C.pdf/downloadFile/file/INTD0200166C.pdf?nocache=1160493047.56 was particularly helpful in my 'negotiations'.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm following this thread with interest because we're planning on trying to register a couple of kitcars (OK OK they're not bikes but we're bikers as well as having these cars with three wheels, so please can we join the discussion?).  Anyway, there's no certificate of conformity so I'm stuck at the first hurdle.  The cars have full MOT, etc., but it seems French bureaucracy cannot allow them to join the system .... we have great fun driving them in France but just can't get a French numberplate and insurance!

If there's anyone out there who knows anyone who's registered a kit car or an unconventional vehicle in France, please tell me how you did it! 

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The process for putting kit cars on the road is the same in France as it is in the UK.

When your kit cars were originally built (either supplied ready to run by the manufacturer, or sold in kit form) they had to have a single vehicle type approval inspection before they could be registered and used on the road.  In order to achieve this, the manufacturer/self build customer would have had to supply all the technical data for the cars to the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) so they could be evaluated for compliance with UK safety standards and Construction and Use regulations.  After that, the vehicle would have been presented for inspection to ensure that it was properly screwed together...

Once this process was completed, VOSA would have issued the SVA certificate which the DVLA needed to allow you to register the cars.

In France, it's the DRIRE who handle all type approval matters.  You'd need to book the car in for an SVA inspection (reception de titre isolé) and supply all the necessary technical information.  Once you pass the inspection, the DRIRE will issue an SVA certificate (process-verbal de reception isolé) which you take to the prefecture to register the car.

The key to success is having the necessary documentation.  If you still have it all from the original UK SVA, then that's a good start.  If the manufacturer is still in business, then they should be able to supply what your need. 

If not, then you will be wasting your time.....

Finally, if you are UK resident, then you can keep the cars in France for up to six months without having to re-register them here.  However, if you're are living here in France, then you'll have to take them off the road because it's illegal for a resident to drive a foreign registered car.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Sunday driver

Sorry to steal the thread but I have 1 quick question you may be able to help me with. I am a full time resident in France, fiscally and all the rest. But I do have a UK place which I visit rarely.

Here in France I have a French registered car and bike, all legal! I also have a UK registered car which I use on my infrequent drives to the UK, usually filling it with whatever I need to ship, be it wine from here or baked beans from the UK. My problem is that when I arrive in France I park the car in my garage, where it can stay for 4 to 6 to even 8 months, I then drive it back to the Uk and the same happens there. The car is taxed, MOT'd and insured. I know I should register it here if it stays here, but then it goes to the UK where it also stays which means if I register it here I fall foul of the laws in the UK. Is there a legal way of doing this or am I just damned no matter what I do.

Many thanks for whatever advice you can offer

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[quote user="Sunday Driver"]

Finally, if you are UK resident, then you can keep the cars in France for up to six months without having to re-register them here.  However, if you're are living here in France, then you'll have to take them off the road because it's illegal for a resident to drive a foreign registered car.

[/quote]

Hello SD

I've just spotted your reply to this thread. Could you clarify this last statement please. I live here in France; are you saying it would be illegal for me to drive, for example, my son's car when he visits?

Sid

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Many thanks Sunday Driver

My concern was not me, I spend most of my time in France. I was confused about the car as it spends 6 to 8 months here, off road. Then I return to the UK where it spends an equal amount of time, so I was not sure of how to make it legal.

The reason I keep 2 cars is my french car is petrol and quite small, not good for long drives. The other car is diesel and very spacious, good for loading up.

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[quote user="oakbri"]

My concern was not me, I spend most of my time in France. I was confused about the car as it spends 6 to 8 months here, off road. Then I return to the UK where it spends an equal amount of time, so I was not sure of how to make it legal.

[/quote]

Where are you resident - France or the UK?

Sue

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Hi sue

I am a resident in France. I saw that Sunday driver said it would be illegal for a french resident to drive a foreign registered car. What confuses me is if I put the car on French plates and then it ends up parked in the UK for 8 months will I then be breaking UK law when I drive it down to Dover to come back. Basically what I am asking is what can I do to remain legal on both sides of the channel or is it a no win situation.

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If you are a French resident, then you are probably breaking the law now. I assume that the UK registered car is taxed and insured in the UK, in that case check the fine print on the insurance and you will find that you can only insure it as a UK resident with a UK company, and you say you are French resident. If the car is legal on the UK roads with a tax disc then you will have UK insurance

If and when you have a bump, however minor, you will find that the insurance company will wash their hands of it, and you will not be covered. In the case of a person being injured, you could end up paying thousands out of your own pocket.

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Hi Bob

The car is taxed, MOT'd and insured in the UK. I pay the extra for the permanent green card status as my insurance originally had a limit for how long the car could be overseas.

For the insurance company how would they define my residence ? I live in France and pay tax here etc. However if I had a bump on my way to Calais I am a UK passport holder, driving on a UK licence a fully insured UK car to my UK house. How do the insurance company decide on your resdidence?

I am not tying to justify it, as I originally said, how do I do it legally?  I am just asking if anyone else has similar experiences and knows how to stay on the right side of the law in both France and the UK.

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