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'I'm leaving for France and taking with me…'

ER Classics Desktop 2022

Europe is not quite aligned yet. We have convincing European countries that happily take European money like a thirsty mop absorbs spilled lager. And there are countries that at best see European laws and regulations as proposals you could consider. We think of the UK or its sad remnants and France.

The French Bureaucracy

The world-famous French bureaucracy is a more than a strong example of the cherished individuality. French officials are often arrogant, slow, stupid and reluctant. That is why many Dutch people who are happy to buy a (holiday) home in France have returned to the Netherlands crying to find themselves under the treatment of Dr. Sigmund (see 'de Volkskrant').


Difficult, laborious. And arrogant

But in France it is not only often very difficult with real estate transactions. The introduction of a (classic) car or young timer can also lead to surprises. The theoretical 'just overwriting' from one European license plate to another is the dream solution. And where all the fun breaks loose is if you want to import your car under thirty years old with its roots from outside that Europe. For this, the French ask for a European conformity document that also states the fiscal capacity of that car. The 'chevaux vapeur' or 'chevaux fiscaux' is a term that is actually uniquely French. "And whether the rest of the world wants to take that into account."

Also read: Living in France, exporting car

The capacity in Kw's is stated on an official European conformity certificate. If you're incredibly lucky, you'll find a French bureaucrat who uses a secret formula to convert ordinary horses to tax ponies.

From 'non-EU countries'

But then there are also the vehicles that came here from outside Europe, usually from the States. In our example, that's a just thirty-year-old Chevrolet Silverado. It is made in Canada and has never been officially sold here through GM importers. The Silverdos that drive here have been imported - there are quite a few - and registered on Dutch registration. There is simply no European homologation report. Fortunately, there is a solution. Kind of. If you give the 'French RDW' about three to four months and if you are inclined to collect about four grand in French euros, you can still get your French license plate.

Look before you leap

So if you have plans to spend the autumn of your life in beautiful France, it pays to first be thoroughly informed about the local laws and regulations. And consider selling your Silverdo in the Netherlands. As an AMK subscriber you can have it uploaded - with photo - to AMK for free.

Thanks to the professionals

Our research brought us to the VWE, a B2B, business to business. organization for the provision of services regarding document processing related to the sale and export of used passenger and commercial vehicles. We essentially list the text of the comment here:

A CVO // COC can indeed usually be requested via the brand dealer / import, but in the country where the vehicle was directed. Then you would say the Chrevrolet dealer in the Netherlands. However, what we encounter is that the Silverado is not manufactured for the European market. A COC and also a VWE statement are only issued on a European type approval.

With the Silverado it says at K. Type approval number: not registered. This may be because the vehicle was not manufactured in Europe and / or due to its age. The type approval is actively used from the mid-00s on. Therefore, no statement can be drawn up for such a car. But even if it was there, it would not have been enough, because only the RDW statement is accepted in France.

So there is now the situation that the importer / dealer and VWE cannot issue a statement. This does not mean that the vehicle cannot be registered in France. There are European agreements that an EU member state must take over a registration from another EU member state. The way to go is to request the French RDW to contact the Dutch RDW to request the vehicle file. And that is not very easy.

The RDW reports that it is no problem from NL. The French bureaucracy can request a certificate of no objection on the basis of the NL registration. If the French do not have this statement within 8 weeks, they can decide for themselves.

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