The Green Card

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Don Madge, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. Don Madge

    Don Madge Funster

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    As one of the MMM travel consultants (unpaid) I often get asked what is a Green Card.

    These days you don't usually need a green card in the EU (except Bulgaria). On the back of your insurance certificate it also gives details of other countries you can travel in without the GC. In fact your insurance certificate replaces the GC.

    You will still need to apply for a G C if you want to visit Turkey or Morocco, if your insurers won't/don't issue a G C for these countries third party insurance can be bought at the borders.

    Green Card History
    Following the Second World War the increase in road traffic made it necessary to devise a system to manage and expedite the movement of vehicles across borders.

    The problem was considered by the Working Party of the Inland Transport Committee of the Economic Commission for Europe (a United Nations body) which decided to recommend a solution based on a system originally implemented by the Nordic countries in the 1930s.

    That solution, embodied in the "Geneva Recommendations", led to the establishment of the Green Card system, which even today still reports to the ECE.

    The Green Card System is designed to fulfill two principle objectives, which are:

    1. To facilitate the movement of vehicles across international borders by the use of an internationally acceptable document proving the existence of insurance (the Green Card or International Insurance Card).

    2. To ensure that victims of foreign registered vehicles are not disadvantaged.

    The System came into effect in 1952, and there are now over 40 member countries.

    Membership

    To qualify for membership of the system, a country must first be within the geographical scope of the system, which is currently defined as "Europe, including Russia as far east as the Urals, countries to the west of the Caspian Sea, and countries bordering the Mediterranean". For historical reasons, Iran is also a member of the System.

    Thereafter, a country must fulfill the following conditions:

    1. Operate a law requiring the compulsory insurance of vehicles.

    2. Set up a Bureau, complying with the Geneva Recommendations, which is recognised by its Government.

    3. Put in place laws recognising the validity of the Green Card.

    4. Give a written assurance to the ECE that there will be no impediment to the free transfer of currency.

    Having satisfied those conditions, application for transitional membership can be made to the Council of Bureaux, which then places the application before the General Assembly. The General Assembly must then vote by 75% in favour

    Once accepted, a country has to put in place the requirements for transitional membership as set out in the Constitution, under which certain guarantees must be given to ensure that any debts incurred are met.

    As soon as the Management Committee approves the guarantees, the new Bureau is free to invite other Bureaux to sign the Internal Regulations with them.

    Green Card

    This document is specified by the Inland Transport Committee of the ECE, which specification is enforced by the Secretariat of the Council of Bureaux.

    Deviation from the standard can cause considerable inconvenience for policyholders and in some instances can lead to insurers or the paying bureau being exposed to greater risks than they had intended.

    Whilst the responsibility for issuing Green Cards is that of the local Bureau, many Bureaux, including the MIB, allow insurers to print and issue their own cards in the interests of efficiency.

    No charge is made for a Green Card. However, if cover is increased at the same time the Green Card is issued, an insurer is entitled to make a charge for the extension of cover. Intermediaries are also entitled to charge for obtaining Green Cards for their clients.

    Safe travelling.

    Don
     
  2. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    An excellent report Don and very pertinent to some members who are for the first time venturing out to Morroco,
    could I, as an interested party ask you to expand on the 3rd party Insurance that is bought at the borders,as you said it will be reqd if your own company will not issue a green card
    Geo
     
  3. Don Madge

    Don Madge Funster

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    Hi Geo,

    I was hoping that nobody would ask about third party cover. It is not the news that some people want to hear.

    The definition of third party cover is:

    "Liability cover purchased by an insured (the first party) from an insurer (the second party) for protection against the claims of another (the third) party. The first party is responsible for its own damages or losses—whether caused by itself or the third party."

    Unless it has changed in the last six years when you enter Morocco your vehicle details are noted and you must have the vehicle in your possession when you leave the country. There are exceptions to this rule.

    If the vehicle is stolen or written off you "MIGHT" be liable for the import duty as visitors vehicles are usually imported duty free.

    If you have the Green Card/breakdown cover it should cover you in the unlikely event of this happening. Third Party cover will most defiantly not.

    The bottom line is if your vehicle is damaged and needs shipping home can you afford the cost of the recovery and the repairs to the vehicle.

    In 2001 we met a young lad at the border who had had his motorcycle stolen in Morocco. The police wanted to deport him for over staying his visa and the customs would not let him leave until he had paid the duty on the bike. We never did find out the outcome as when we spoke to him he was waiting for assistance from the British embassy in Rabat.

    Ray Detourer might have some more up to date info but I would not have expected it to change much.

    Also remember the Pet Passport Scheme does not cover Morocco.

    Don
     
  4. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Thanks for the outline Don, I will get onto my insurers to check if im covered, and Ray to find out current costs etc if its not, a very important part of any insurance is repatriation for your vehicle in the event of break downs that cant be repaired localy or reasonably quickly
    Geo
     
  5. RockieRV

    RockieRV Deleted User

    I'm bumping this thread because it is a good one, and we have so many new members that may not have seen it.
     
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