British expats living in Europe face being able to import their cars more easily as the European Commission wants to ease car registration for citizens across EU.
What should be a simple procedure often turns into a bureaucratic nightmare, with cumbersome re-registration formalities and paperwork. Member States require that cars that are permanently on their territory to be registered via local authorities and according to national rules that be applied in an uncoordinated manner across the EU.
With the aim of simplifying this, the European Commission has launched today a public consultation to identify the main difficulties encountered by EU citizens and companies when moving a car bought and registered in one Member State to another.
The consultation will provide insight into the views of citizens and other stakeholders on car registration issues and shape actions to remove yet another obstacle to the free movement of goods and services.
‘Buying a car in one Member State and then moving it to another should not be complicated. This public consultation will provide us with a better understanding of the problems encountered by citizens and companies, and with ideas on how to improve the situation. Our aim is to save time and money for consumers and businesses as well as for national registration offices,’ said European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship.
‘Citizens continue to encounter problems when purchasing a car in a Member State and transferring it permanently to a different Member State. Having to provide information which was not already submitted during the previous registration of the vehicle creates considerable paperwork and unnecessary expenses,’ he added.
Those affected by the current rules include citizens transferring their motor vehicle already registered in one Member State to another; vehicle owning companies using vehicles in one Member State which have been registered in other Member States; companies selling second hand motor vehicles in other Member States; and leasing and car rental companies.
The obligation to register a motor vehicle previously registered in another Member State may also cause problems for the registration and taxation authorities of the receiving Member States.
The simplification of the formalities and conditions for the registration of cars previously registered in another Member State aims to contribute to the Commission’s strategic initiative to re-launch the single market, which is an essential element of the Europe 2020 Strategy. The initiative is one of the actions set out in the EU Citizenship Report 2010 that complements the Single Market Act of 2010.