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The Motor Vehicles (International Circulation) Order 1975

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Documents for drivers and vehicles going abroad

1.  (1)  The Secretary of State may issue for use outside the United Kingdom a driving permit in each or either of the forms A and B in Schedule 1 to this Order to a person who has attained the age of eighteen years and satisfies the Secretary of State—

(a)that he is competent to drive motor vehicles of the classes for which the permit is to be issued, and

(b)that he is resident in the United Kingdom:

Provided that a permit in form A which is restricted to motor cycles or invalid carriages may be issued to a person who is under eighteen years of age.

(2) The Secretary of State may issue for use outside the United Kingdom a document in the form D in Schedule 1 to this Order for any motor vehicle registered under the Vehicles (Excise) Act 1971, or in Northern Ireland under the Vehicles (Excise) Act (Northern Ireland) 1972.

(3) The Secretary of State may issue for use outside the United Kingdom with any such motor vehicle or any trailer a document certifying—

(a)the weight of the maximum load which it is to be permitted to carry, and

(b)the permissible maximum weight, that is to say, the weight of the vehicle when ready for the road and carrying the maximum load so specified.

(4) The Secretary of State may assign to any trailer an identification mark to be carried on the trailer outside the United Kingdom.

(5) The Secretary of State may assign to a motor vehicle to which the Decision of 1957 of the Council of the Organisation for European Economic Co-Operation applies, an identification mark in the form of such a trade plate as may be required to be carried on such a vehicle under the provisions of section 1 of the Regulation attached to that Decision.

In this paragraph, “the Decision of 1957 of the Council of the Organisation for European Economic Co-Operation” means the decision of the Council of the Organisation for European Economic Co-Operation concerning the International Circulation of Hired Private Road Motor Vehicles adopted by that Council at its 369th Meeting, in June, 1957.

(6) The Secretary of State may charge a fee for any document issued under this Article or for the assignment of any identification mark under this Article, and the fee shall be of the amount specified in relation thereto in Schedule 2 to this Order.

(7) The Secretary of State may for the purpose of his functions under this Article carry out tests of the competency of applicants for driving permits and examinations of vehicles.

(8) The Secretary of State may delegate any of his functions under this Article (including any power of charging fees and the carrying out of tests or examinations) to any body concerned with motor vehicles or to any Northern Ireland department.

Visitors' driving permits

2.  (1)  Subject to the provisions of this Article, it shall be lawful for a person resident outside the United Kingdom who is temporarily in Great Britain and holds—

(a)a Convention driving permit, or

(b)a domestic driving permit issued in a country outside the United Kingdom, or

(c)a British Forces (BFG) driving licence,

during a period of twelve months from the date of his last entry into the United Kingdom to drive, and, except in the case of a holder of a British Forces (BFG) driving licence, be employed in driving, in Great Britain a motor vehicle of any class which he is authorised by that permit or that licence to drive, notwithstanding that he is not the holder of a driving licence under Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1972.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Article, it shall be lawful for a person resident outside the United Kingdom who is temporarily in Great Britain and holds—

(a)a Convention driving permit, or

(b)a domestic driving permit issued in a country outside the United Kingdom,

during a period of twelve months from the date of his last entry into the United Kingdom to drive, and be employed in driving, in Great Britain a public service or heavy goods vehicle brought temporarily into Great Britain which he is authorised by that permit to drive, notwithstanding that he is not the holder either of such a licence as is required by section 144 of the Road Traffic Act 1960, or of such a licence as may be required by section 112 of the said Act of 1972.

(3) The foregoing provisions of this Article shall be without prejudice to section 4(1) of the said Act of 1972 (which imposes minimum age limits for persons driving motor vehicles of various classes therein specified) except that paragraph 4 of the Table in that subsection (which makes it unlawful for a person under the age of twenty-one years to drive certain heavy motor vehicles) shall not apply in relation to a person driving in pursuance of this Article a motor vehicle brought temporarily into Great Britain if he has attained the age of eighteen years.

(4) This Article shall not authorise a person to drive a motor vehicle of any class if, in consequence of a conviction or of the order of a court, he is disqualified for holding or obtaining a driving licence under Part III of the said Act of 1972.

(5) The Secretary of State may by order contained in a statutory instrument withdraw the right conferred by paragraph (1)(b), (1)(c) or (2)(b) of this Article, or any two or more of those rights, either in the case of all domestic driving permits or British Forces (BFG) driving licences, or in the case of domestic driving permits or British Forces (BFG) driving licences of a description specified in the order or held by persons of a description so specified.

The power to make orders under this paragraph shall include power to vary or revoke an order so made.

(6) In this Article—

Convention driving permit” means a driving permit in the form A in Schedule 1 to this Order issued under the authority of a country outside the United Kingdom, whether or not that country is a party to the Convention on Road Traffic concluded at Geneva in the year 1949, or a driving permit in the form B in the said Schedule issued under the authority of a country outside the United Kingdom which is a party to the International Convention relative to Motor Traffic concluded at Paris in the year 1926 but not to the Convention of 1949;

domestic driving permit” in relation to a country outside the United Kingdom means a document issued under the law of that country and authorising the holder to drive motor vehicles, or a specified class of motor vehicles, in that country, and includes a driving permit issued by the armed forces of any country outside the United Kingdom for use in some other country outside the United Kingdom;

British Forces (BFG) driving licence” means a driving licence issued in Germany to members of the British Forces or of the civilian component thereof or to the dependants of such members by the British authorities in that country in such a form and in accordance with such licensing system as may from time to time be approved by those authorities; and

dependants” in relation to such a member of the British Forces or of the civilian component thereof, means any of the following persons, namely:—

(a)

the wife or husband of that member; and

(b)

any other person wholly or mainly maintained by him or in his custody, charge or care.

(7) The provisions of this Article which authorise the holder of a permit or a licence to drive a vehicle during a specified period shall not be construed as authorising the driving of a vehicle at a time when the permit or the licence has ceased to be valid.

3.  (1)  It shall be lawful—

(a)for a member of a visiting force of a country to which Part I of the Visiting Forces Act 1952 for the time being applies who holds a driving permit issued under the law of any part of the sending country or issued by the service authorities of the visiting force, or

(b)for a member of a civilian component of such a visiting force who holds such a driving permit,

to drive, and be employed in driving, in Great Britain a motor vehicle of any class which he is authorised by that permit to drive, notwithstanding that he is not the holder of a driving licence under Part III of the Road Traffic Act 1972.

(2) This Article shall not authorise a person to drive a motor vehicle of any class if, in consequence of a conviction or of the order of a court, he is disqualified for holding or obtaining a driving licence under Part III of the said Act of 1972.

(3) This Article shall be without prejudice to section 4 of the said Act of 1972 (which imposes age limits on young persons driving motor vehicles).

(4) The interpretative provisions of the Visiting Forces Act 1952 shall apply for the interpretation of this Article.

4.  Schedule 3 to this Order shall have effect as respects the driving permits referred to in Articles 2 and 3 of this Order.

Excise exemption and documents for vehicles brought temporarily into Great Britain

5.  (1)  The next following paragraph shall apply to a vehicle brought temporarily into Great Britain by a person resident outside the United Kingdom if the person bringing that vehicle into Great Britain—

(a)satisfies a registration authority that he is resident outside the United Kingdom and that the vehicle is only temporarily in Great Britain, and

(b)complies with any regulations made under paragraph (4) of this Article.

(2) A vehicle to which this paragraph applies shall be exempt from any duty of excise under the Excise Act to the following extent:—

(a)a vehicle which would, but for this Order, be chargeable with excise duty under section 1 of the Excise Act and Schedule 1, 2 or 5 thereto, and in respect of which relief from customs duty has been afforded by virtue of Part 2 or Part 7 of the Customs Duty (Personal Reliefs) Order 1970(1), as amended(2), shall be exempt from excise duty for such period, not exceeding one year from the date of importation, as relief from customs duty shall continue to be afforded in respect of that vehicle;

(b)a vehicle which would, but for this Order, be chargeable with excise duty under section 1 of the Excise Act and Schedule 2 thereto, and which is exempt from customs duty by virtue of the Temporary Importation (Commercial Vehicles and Aircraft) Regulations 1961(3) shall be exempt from excise duty for such period from the date of importation as that vehicle may remain so exempt from customs duty;

(c)a vehicle which, if used for the conveyance of goods or burden, would, but for this Order, be chargeable with excise duty under section 1 of the Excise Act and Schedule 3 or 4 thereto, and which is exempt from customs duty by virtue of the Temporary Importation (Commercial Vehicles and Aircraft) Regulations 1961 shall be exempt from excise duty for such period as that vehicle may remain so exempt from customs duty.

(3) A vehicle registered in the Isle of Man and brought temporarily into Great Britain by a person resident outside the United Kingdom shall be exempt from any duty of excise under the Excise Act for a period not exceeding one year from the date of importation, if the person bringing that vehicle into Great Britain—

(a)satisfies a registration authority that he is resident outside the United Kingdom and that the vehicle is only temporarily in Great Britain, and

(b)complies with any regulations made under paragraph (4) of this Article.

(4) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide—

(a)for the furnishing to a registration authority by a person who imports a vehicle to which either of the two last preceding paragraphs applies of such particulars as may be prescribed, and

(b)for the recording by a registration authority of any particulars which the Secretary of State may by the regulations direct to be recorded, and for the manner of such recording, and

(c)for the production to a registration authority of prescribed documents, and

(d)for the registration of vehicles which by virtue of this Article are exempt from excise duty and for the assignment of registration marks to, and for the issue of registration cards for, such vehicles.

(5) The following provisions of the Excise Act, that is to say:—

(a)paragraphs (d) and (e) of section 23(1) as substituted by virtue of section 39(1) of, and paragraph 20 of Part I of Schedule 7 to, the Excise Act (which enable the Secretary of State to make regulations as respects registration books for vehicles in respect of which excise licences are issued), and

(b)paragraph (f) of the said section 23(1) (which enables the Secretary of State to make regulations as to the display on a vehicle of the registration mark assigned to it), and

(c)section 26(1) (which relates to forgery of licences, registration marks or registration documents),

shall apply in relation to a registration card issued, or a registration mark assigned, in pursuance of this Article as they apply in relation to a registration book or registration document issued, or a registration mark assigned, under the Excise Act.

(6) If regulations under this Article provide for the assignment of a registration mark on production of some document relating to a vehicle which is exempt from excise duty by virtue of this Article, then paragraph (d) of the said section 23(1) shall apply in relation to that document so as to authorise the Secretary of State to make regulations under that section requiring the production of that document for inspection by persons of classes prescribed by regulations made under that section.

(7) Paragraphs (d) and (f) of the said section 23(1), and section 26(1) of the Excise Act shall, in Great Britain, apply in like manner in relation to a registration card issued, or a registration mark assigned, in pursuance of provisions corresponding to paragraph (4) of this Article in Northern Ireland.

(8) In relation to a motor vehicle brought temporarily into Great Britain by a person resident outside the United Kingdom, references in section 19 of the Excise Act and in the said section 23(1) thereof to registration marks shall, where appropriate, include references to nationality signs.

(9) In this Article—

the Excise Act” means the Vehicles (Excise) Act 1971;

the date of importation”, in relation to a vehicle, means the date on which that vehicle was last brought into the United Kingdom;

registration authority” means the Royal Automobile Club, the Automobile Association, the Royal Scottish Automobile Club, or the Greater London Council;

and references to registration marks shall, where appropriate, include references to nationality signs.

Excise exemption and documents for vehicles brought temporarily into Northern Ireland

5A.  (1)  The next following paragraph shall apply to a vehicle brought temporarily into Northern Ireland by a person resident outside the United Kingdom if the person bringing that vehicle into Northern Ireland—

(a)satisfies a registration authority that he is resident outside the United Kingdom and that the vehicle is only temporarily in Northern Ireland, and

(b)complies with any regulations made under paragraph (4) of this Article.

(2) A vehicle to which this paragraph applies shall be exempt from any duty of excise under the Northern Ireland Excise Act to the following extent:—

(a)a vehicle which would, but for this Order, be chargeable with excise duty under section 1 of the Northern Ireland Excise Act and Schedule 1, 2 or 5 thereto, and in respect of which relief from customs duty has been afforded by virtue of Part 2 or Part 7 of the Customs Duty (Personal Reliefs) Order 1970, as amended, shall be exempt from excise duty for such period, not exceeding one year from the date of importation, as relief from customs duty shall continue to be afforded in respect of that vehicle;

(b)a vehicle which would, but for this Order, be chargeable with excise duty under section 1 of the Northern Ireland Excise Act and Schedule 2 thereto, and which is exempt from customs duty by virtue of the Temporary Importation (Commercial Vehicles and Aircraft) Regulations 1961 shall be exempt from excise duty for such period from the date of importation as that vehicle may remain so exempt from customs duty;

(c)a vehicle which, if used for the conveyance of goods or burden, would, but for this Order, be chargeable with excise duty under section 1 of the Northern Ireland Excise Act and Schedule 3 or 4 thereto, and which is exempt from customs duty by virtue of the Temporary Importation (Commercial Vehicles and Aircraft) Regulations 1961 shall be exempt from excise duty for such period as that vehicle may remain so exempt from customs duty.

(3) A vehicle registered in the Isle of Man and brought temporarily into Northern Ireland by a person resident outside the United Kingdom shall be exempt from any duty of excise under the Northern Ireland Excise Act for a period not exceeding one year from the date of importation, if the person bringing that vehicle into Northern Ireland:—

(a)satisfies a registration authority that he is resident outside the United Kingdom and that the vehicle is only temporarily in Northern Ireland, and

(b)complies with any regulations made under paragraph (4) of this Article.

(4) The Secretary of State may by regulations having effect in Northern Ireland provide—

(a)for the furnishing to a registration authority by a person who imports a vehicle to which either of the two last preceding paragraphs applies of such particulars as may be prescribed, and

(b)for the recording by a registration authority of any particulars which the Secretary of State may by the regulations direct to be recorded, and for the manner of such recording, and

(c)for the production to a registration authority of prescribed documents, and

(d)for the registration of vehicles which by virtue of this Article are exempt from excise duty and for the assignment of registration marks to, and for the issue of registration cards for, such vehicles.

(5) The following provisions of the Northern Ireland Excise Act, that is to say:—

(a)paragraphs (d) and (e) of section 23(1) as substituted by virtue of section 37(1) of, and paragraph 20 of Part I of Schedule 9 to, the Northern Ireland Excise Act (which enable the Secretary of State to make regulations as respects registration books for vehicles in respect of which excise licences are issued), and

(b)paragraph (f) of the said section 23(1) (which enables the Secretary of State to make regulations as to the display on a vehicle of the registration mark assigned to it), and

(c)section 26 (which relates to forgery of licences, registration marks or registration documents),

shall apply in relation to a registration card issued, or a registration mark assigned, in pursuance of this Article as they apply in relation to a registration book or registration document issued, or a registration mark assigned, under the Northern Ireland Excise Act.

(6) If regulations under this Article provide for the assignment of a registration mark on production of some document relating to a vehicle which is exempt from excise duty by virtue of this Article, then paragraph (d) of the said section 23(1) shall apply in relation to that document so as to authorise the Secretary of State to make regulations under that section requiring the production of that document for inspection by persons of classes prescribed by regulations made under that section.

(7) Paragraphs (d) and (f) of the said section 23(1), and section 26 of the Northern Ireland Excise Act shall, in Northern Ireland, apply in like manner in relation to a registration card issued, or a registration mark assigned, in pursuance of provisions corresponding to paragraph (4) of this Article in Great Britain.

(8) In relation to a motor vehicle brought temporarily into Northern Ireland by a person resident outside the United Kingdom, references in section 19 of the Northern Ireland Excise Act and in the said section 23(1) thereof to registration marks shall, where appropriate, include references to nationality signs.

(9) In this Article—

the Northern Ireland Excise Act” means the Vehicles (Excise) Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 as that Act has effect subject to the provisions of Article 2(1) of, and Schedule 1 to, the Northern Ireland (Modification of Enactments—No. 1) Order 1973;

the date of importation”, in relation to a vehicle, means the date on which that vehicle was last brought into the United Kingdom;

registration authority” means the Royal Automobile Club or the Automobile Association;

and reference to registration marks shall, where appropriate, include references to nationality signs.

(10) Nothing in regulations made or deemed to have been made under this Article shall apply to any person bringing a motor vehicle into Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland who complies with the provisions of the Motor Car (Irish Circulation) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 1925(4)

6.  (1)  An application under Part V of the Transport Act 1968 for an operator's licence for a motor vehicle or trailer brought temporarily into Great Britain by a person resident outside the United Kingdom shall be made to the licensing authority for the purpose of the said Part V for the area where the vehicle is landed.

(2) Regulations made or having effect as if made, under sections 68–82 (provisions as to lighting of vehicles) of the Road Traffic Act 1972, may, either wholly or partially, and subject to any conditions, vary or grant exemptions from, the requirements of those sections in the case of motor vehicles or trailers brought temporarily into Great Britain by persons resident outside the United Kingdom or in the case of any class of such vehicles.

Interpretation, Repeals, Citation and Commencement

7.  (1)  In this Order—

the Secretary of State” means the Secretary of State for the Environment;

prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State.

(2) The Interpretation Act 1889 shall apply for the interpretation of this Order (except as provided by the next following paragraph of this Article) as it applies for the interpretation of an Act of Parliament and as if for the purposes of section 38 of that Act this Order (except as aforesaid) was an Act of Parliament and the Orders revoked by Article 8(1) of this Order were Acts of Parliament thereby repealed.

(3) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 shall apply for the interpretation of Articles 5A and 8(2) of, and Part II of Schedule 4 to, this Order as it applies for the interpretation of a Measure of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(4) Any reference in this Order to any enactment shall be taken as a reference to that enactment as amended by, or under any other enactment; and any reference to an enactment which has effect subject to modifications specified in an enactment shall, when those modifications cease to have effect, then be construed as a reference to the first mentioned enactment as having effect without those modifications.

8.  (1)  The Orders specified in columns (1) and (2) of Part I of Schedule 4 to this Order are hereby revoked; and notwithstanding the said revocation and without prejudice to the provisions of section 38 of the Interpretation Act 1889 as applied by this Order—

(a)any permit or document issued, any fee paid or any identification mark assigned under those Orders shall not be invalidated but shall have effect as if issued, paid or assigned under the corresponding provision of this Order;

(b)any regulations made, or having effect as if made, under those Orders shall have effect as if made under this Order; and

(c)any period of exemption from excise duty which started to run before this Order comes into operation shall be continued under the corresponding provisions of this Order.

(2) The Orders replaced in Northern Ireland by Article 5A of this Order, and specified in columns (1) and (2) of Part II of the said Schedule 4 are hereby revoked; and notwithstanding the said revocation and without prejudice to the provisions of section 28 of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 as applied by this Order, sub-paragraphs (a) to (c) of the last preceding paragraph shall have effect correspondingly in Northern Ireland.

9.  (1)  This Order may be cited as the Motor Vehicles (International Circulation) Order 1975.

(2) This Order shall come into operation 10 days after the date on which the Order is made.

N.E. Leigh

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