Green cards for incoming vehicles – Irish vehicles will not need them even if ‘no deal’ Brexit

The Irish Bureau, MIBI, indicates this morning that the UK government has confirmed that green cards will not be need for Irish registered-vehicles entering the UK after Brexit, even if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

On leaving the EU, the border between Ireland and the UK – which has over 200 official crossing points over its 500km length – will become the UK’s  only land frontier with the Union. There are significant flows* of private and commercial vehicles across the border in both directions, including Irish haulage traffic passing through the UK to and from the EU. The clarification this morning will mean that Irish-registered vehicles will not require any extra insurance documentation for UK driving and that windscreen insurance discs will be sufficient proof of insurance for UK and NI law enforcement agencies.  [*The evidence that the Irish Ambassador gave to the House of Commons’ Northern Ireland Affairs Committee in February 2017 was that 177,000 lorries, 208,000 light vans and 1.85 million cars crossed the border each month.]

The MIBI’s press release this morning green cards no longer needed provides a little more detail, with CEO David Fitzgerald stating unequivocally that “the UK has now confirmed that valid insurance discs meet the requirements set out in UK legislation and so can be used as proof of motor insurance cover” and adding that “This is really positive news.”

It is worth noting that the reverse situation – i.e the insurance documentation required by UK-registered vehicles driving in Ireland, or any other of the EU member states – is not addressed by today’s development. Without any further development between now and the end of October, the position will remain that set out in the gov.uk guidance on driving in the EU after Brexit: “You will need to carry a motor insurance green card when driving in the EU and EEA.”

The ABI provides further useful information on the requirements for UK drivers here.


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Alistair Kinley, Director of Policy Development & Government Affairs, BLM
alistair.kinley@blmlaw.com

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