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Vnuk ruling
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The new European Motor Insurance Directive

(The Vnuk issue)


How does the May 2018 European Motor Insurance Directive threaten motorsport?

New proposals, made in May 2018, to amend the European Motor Insurance Directive (MID) are currently under review by the European Commission (EC). The text will be voted on by both the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union before the end of 2018 and, unless amended, will mean the end of motorsport throughout the EU.

This latest review follows the “Vnuk” ruling made by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in September 2014. This ruling required all EU Member States to ensure compulsory unlimited third-party liability insurance is carried by anyone using any form of motorised transport, in any location – including motorsport.

In May 2018, the EC clarified that this new MID would apply to “any use of a vehicle, consistent with its normal function as a means of transport, irrespective of the terrain on which the motor vehicle is used and whether it is stationary or in motion”. So, any motorsport vehicle (Formula One, Moto GP, race or rally car, motorcycle, go-kart, speedway, drag, etc) must carry insurance which covers personal injury to other competitors AND car to car /bike to bike damage to competitor’s vehicles during any event, anywhere in the EU.

However, there is no such motorsport insurance available in the EU which meets the compulsory requirements of the Motor Insurance Directive (MID). Insurance Market specialists, who underwrite the majority of insurance for motorsport across the EU, make it clear that no effective market can, or will in the future, write insurance to meet the specified levels of liability.

To be clear - when this new MID is actively enforced by the laws of each EU State, it will be illegal to race or compete as the compulsory motor insurance required will not be available for vehicles taking part.


How can this serious threat be overcome?

The European Parliament, and the Council of the European Union, will vote on the text of this May 2018 Motor Insurance Directive proposal at the end of 2018.  This Directive can be amended or rejected by either MEPs or Council members before the final text is adopted – to save European motorsport it must be amended.

All involved in motorsport can demand the text be amended to exclude motorsport in one of two ways:

The Directive should state that obligatory insurance will apply “only to vehicles used in traffic”. Vehicles used during motorsport events, on circuits or closed roads, would therefore not require the new level of insurance.

The Directive should clarify that, as the use of a motorsport vehicle in competition is clearly not its ‘normal function as a means of transport’, then they are exempt.
Either, or both, of these simple amendments will allow motorsport to continue in all EU Member States.


What can I do to keep European motorsport alive?


This immediate threat to jobs and businesses can be overcome if motorsport organisations and motorsport employers, across all EU States, individually, and collectively, send a strong, clear message demanding these amendments to the EU Motor Insurance Directive before it is adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

If you are a motorsport-based business or employee in the EU, write to your MEP and your national government and explain to them the catastrophic effect this Directive will have on your business, jobs, the motorsport industry and sport. Share the amendments above and ask them to propose these being made in the text to save EU motorsport.

The MIA has prepared a template message (in English, French, Spanish, Italian and German) which may help you write to your MEP and national government.

Please read the template letter to MEPs and Ministers in English. (This letter is available in other languages: French, German, Italian, Spanish.)

Please follow the links for contact details of the relevant Ministers in your Local Government and the list of MEPs per country.

Please ACT NOW – we NEED MEPs and national government Ministers to agree to support us immediately...

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD - so motorsport has a future in Europe.

For more information, please check our Vnuk - frequently asked questions page and Vnuk - useful links page.