Brexit trap for Euro-bound motorcycle tourers - NMC to the rescue!

National Motorcyclists Council open talks with the UK Government after concerns are raised over transporting motorcycles into Europe for riding tourism.

NMC motorcycle transport to solve brexit issues
NMC motorcycle transport to solve brexit issues

AS a result of leaving the EU, taking your motorcycle out of the UK has become a whole lot more complicated. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the EU/UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) has missed out on aspects of motorcycle tourism on their agenda, and the National Motorcyclists Council has stepped in to clarify two pertinent issues. 

Concerns were raised to the NMC centred around what happens if a road-registered motorcycle is being transported into the EU rather than ridden in - is the bike treated as cargo, and therefore the paperwork trail begins? Or is treated as a vehicle?

There are two cases here. In the first case, an owner may ship their road-registered motorcycle to the EU to begin a tour, but fly out instead and save on time. This is an ‘owner unaccompanied’ movement, and something the UK/EU TCA does not deal with. 

KTM 390 Adventure
KTM 390 Adventure

In the second case, an owner may be travelling to the EU with their road-registered bike(s) in the back of a van - it seems like customs will be treating these bikes as goods rather than vehicles, and ferry companies deal with goods-in-transit in the manner that customs dictate. Which means freight fares, paperwork, and added headaches.

Brexit causing motorcyclist troubles

As motorcycle tourism resumes, and pandemic restrictions ease, the NMC is hoping to get the matter resolved.

NMC Chair, Anna Zee said in their release: “This is a problem which was overlooked in all the heat and light of trade negotiations last year. But is a problem which stands to seriously disadvantage touring motorcyclists and the businesses that support them. The NMC team have been able to draw on significant international travel experience to suggest potential solutions to the Government.
“We are pleased that the UK Government is taking the matter seriously, though given that negotiations with the EU will need to be involved, we are aware that new procedures will need to be agreed, which may take sometime.”

2019 Versys 1000
2019 Versys 1000

This is something we’ve previously covered for non-road-registered vehicles, where ATA Carnets are required to itemise your inventory for customs officials, typically for taking bikes across borders to track days and the like. 

It’s all in an effort to stop track day punters flogging their bikes in the EU, by requiring relevant insurance (or cash deposit) to cover 40% of the travelling value. That can be a lot of money if you and a mate are taking two well-equipped bikes to Jerez for a few laps.

Fair play to the NMC, great for us motorcyclists to finally have some representation.

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