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Commission requests France to remove barriers to trade for kit cars

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France was asked to change its rules for registration of imported kit cars previously registered in another Member State, as they do not comply with the principle of free movement of goods within the EU.

The European Commission has requested that France changes its rules for registration of imported kit cars previously registered in another Member State, as they do not comply with the principle of free movement of goods within the EU and the principles established in the EU Directive on the registration documents for vehicles. Kit cars consist of a set of parts sold by a manufacturer and used by the buyer to assemble a car. Usually, the mechanical systems such as the engine and transmission are sourced from donor vehicles or purchased new from other vendors. Currently the French authorities refuse to register some imported kit cars as they claim certain data in the car's registration documents are incorrect (such as the initial registration date of the vehicle), despite the fact that the registration documents were produced by the relevant authorities in another EU country. 

The Commission considers that the documents provided by the Member State of origin should be trusted and France's concerns should focus on the safety aspects of the vehicle. To allow the efficient registration of such cars, the relevant national authorities should cooperate and establish an efficient dialogue to clarify any missing or incorrect data, rather than placing additional administrative burdens on the private individual purchasing the vehicle. If is it not possible to reach an agreement between national administrations, other steps should be taken to allow the vehicle's registration, for example the French authorities should be allowed to select a more recent registration date for the vehicle.

The Commission has therefore issued a reasoned opinion asking France to allow the registration of such vehicles already registered in another Member State. If France does not inform the Commission within two months of measures taken to ensure full compliance with their obligations under the Directive, the Commission may decide to refer them to the European Court of Justice.

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