UK drivers and hauliers will not have to apply or pay for ‘Green Card’ documentation from insurers when they travel in an EU member state after Brexit, the Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed in a letter to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA). The DfT confirmed the intention to remain part of the Green Card-free circulation area and to ensure the UK meets the requirements for third party motor insurance.

Following representations from the ABI, Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) and BIBA over the last 18 months, senior officials at the DfT wrote to the ABI this week stating that the Government has formally decided to keep the UK within the Motor Insurance ‘Free Circulation Zone. The Department for Transport has secured the agreement of the Council of Bureaux (the organisation that administers the international Green Card system) and has confirmed its ability to meet any cross-border claims involving UK drivers and haulage operators, the Commission’s role is only to confirm the timescales.

BIBA commented: “This is excellent news for commercial and personal motorists as well as brokers and insurers and follows collaborative representation by BIBA, the MIB and the Association of British Insurers. Without such an agreement, drivers would be faced with increased bureaucracy and delays at borders and insurance brokers would need to have in place mechanisms to physically issue 2.5m Green Cards every year. This is exactly the solution we wanted.”

The proposal requires the agreement of the EU Commission but this is expected to be purely procedural and the agreement will be put in place.

The ABI said: “This is good news for drivers and haulage operators who no longer face the prospect of doing reams of paperwork and paying admin charges every time they get on a ferry to Europe. It’s always encouraging to see common sense prevail and I look forward to the Commission concluding the formalities as soon as possible.”

As a result of this decision, the UK’s status within the Green Card system will effectively be the same as three other non-EU member states who are part of the ‘Free Circulation Zone’ – Serbia, Switzerland and Andorra – where drivers can enter the EU using their domestic motor insurance policy and do not need to be issued with any additional documentation.

The same will apply for any drivers and haulage operators from these countries who bring their vehicle to the UK.