Fleet News

French bureaucracy jibe

THE French government will have to defend its vehicle registration rules against claims at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that they are so bureaucratic they break European Union (EU) law.

The European Commission has launched a case at the ECJ, focusing on rules requiring vehicle owners in some circumstances to present certificates of vehicle identification either issued by a manufacturer or France's state technical services agency - the Direction Régionale de l'Industrie, de la Recherche et de l'Environnement (DRIRE). The commission claims that owners - especially those importing cars from outside France - need only produce an EC certificate which has accompanied any vehicle approved for EU use since 1996. France used to require the additional documentation in all cases, but following legal pressure from the commission, it allowed some EC-certificate based registrations.

But a statement from Brussels said the identification certificate was still sometimes required, causing a delays in registration of up to several weeks and additional expense. As a result, the commission says EC-certificate registration should be allowed at all times.

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