Brexit puts the brakes on international events with carnets and costs

An outcome of the UK leaving the EU means an increase in the cost of taking your off-road, track day, or race bike abroad

Visordown post-COVID-19 track day

THE ACU has just released important information for anyone moving motorsport equipment across the EU border post Brexit.

The following will be a familiar-sounding tale to those of a certain age, as one source that Visordown spoke to today claimed the situation was ‘like the clock had been turned back 30-years'.

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Now that Brexit has happened, those looking to take a motorcycle across the border and into Europe for a track day, endurance race, motocross event (competitive or not), trail, or even exhibition, must register the movement by way of an ATA Carnet.

An ATA Carnet is an official document that covers goods that are leaving the UK and due to return within twelve months. It lists the items you are taking into Europe and the value of them and includes the bikes, any spares, tools, tyres, motorcycle equipment, and pretty much everything else you need while you are there. The only things not required to be listed on a carnet are consumable goods.

The Carnet is, in a nutshell, an easy access inventory of the van, truck, lorry, and makes it easier for customs officials to check you are bringing back everything you took with you, and that you haven’t sold any items while abroad – circumnavigating local tax laws.

Yamaha R1 Trackday

How much does an ATA Carnet cost?

Right, here’s the fun bit. After Brexit, if you are an ACU member, you can get a favourable rate from the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce specialist who will charge £240+VAT, that’s for a standard ATA Carnet, an express option is another £35+VAT to ACU members. The express option can be turned around in as little as an hour.

So, that’s the first part and it is basically covering the paperwork required to create the legal document. It’s pricy, for what it is, but not totally prohibitive to heading abroad. The next part might be.

After the carnet is set up and ready to go, you have to pay a premium to secure the amount of goods you are taking across the border. This can either be a refundable amount of 40 per cent of the value of the goods you are taking, or a non-refundable insurance premium that covers the 40 per cent. So, you and a mate, two track day bikes, wets on rims, discs, spares, tools, generator, tyre warmers… it soon adds up, and you could be on your way to £50k meaning a £20,000 refundable deposit.

Triumph speed Triple RS track day

It’s also worth noting that the insurance premium payable will be, as with any insurance premium, linked to the value of the vehicle. It’s also worth noting it is not a policy against the theft of the bike or damage while abroad, it just stops you from having to fork out duties and fees should you not return with the bike in your van.

While I’m talking about a small van for a track day or clubman event here, it’s worth noting that the same rules will apply to BSB teams, European motocross teams and professional trials and endurance racing teams. A BSB team could take in excess of £400,000 worth of team kit, catering equipment and so to a European round such as Assen, that’d mean a £160,000 premium would be payable to cover the kit while in the EU.

It is worth noting that the rules only apply to non-road registered bikes, those that are road registered, with plates and all the other trappings of a road bike should be fine. It might be tricky trying to convince a border guard that your R1M on slicks and full carbon fairings is really a road bike though - number plate or not.

Expensive stuff, but at least with Brexit we got those blue passports - that are printed in France...

For more information on the ATA Carnet and the process involved, head to: Acu.org.uk