We have been in communication with the FIA over the last few weeks, and are very happy to say that things are progressing.
The FIA are currently working on changes that will ensure that the rules and regulations of the FIA:
1. Will not prevent people from applying for Carnets from any other Carnet issuer in Europe
2. Remove the ability of issuing clubs to prevent consumers from engaging with other carnet issuers in Europe by eliminating any misinterpretation that consultation or a letter of non-objection is required.
I believe that the changes proposed will remove the barriers from using other Carnet issuers in Europe.
The changes are expected to be drafted and put forward for acceptance to FIA members sometime in December 2015, I therefore believe it is not likely that we will see these changes implemented until sometime between March 2016 and June 2016.
The Next Problem
The changes being implemented are moving us in the right direction, however, it does not mean that other issuers will agree to issue UK vehicle owners a Carnet.
Currently every Carnet issuer in their own right is free to assess each Carnet application, and may choose whether or not they wish to issue that person a Carnet or not. Some Carnet issuers may also not be legally able to issue consumers in the UK or other European countries a Carnet due to the limitation of their insurance coverage.
Once the new changes have been implemented, we will have to test the water and see if alternative issuers are willing to issue Carnets to UK vehicle owners. If they are not, we will have to consider what action we can take. If they do demonstrate though their actions that they are being discriminative towards UK vehicle owners, we will look at our options for taking further action and which organisations would be best to work with to solve the issues.
Possible Long Term Solution
We have expressed an interest to the FIA about setting up our own association to issue Carnets in Europe through a new organisation called “The Overlanding Association”.
The FIA have said that they would have no objection to an additional carnet issuer in Europe.
We plan over the coming months, to continue our enquiries with the FIA about the legal and financial requirements of becoming a Carnet issuer, in addition to assessing whether we would be able to offer the service to Overlanders at reasonable cost whilst mitigating any potential risks.
If the enquiries are positive and we are able to offer Overlanders Carnets at reasonable cost i.e the security required in terms of a deposit or insurance premium, then we will move forward and see how best we can achieve this.
The Overlanding Association http://overlandingassociation.org/ is being set up to continue discussions with the FIA and to be a voice for overlanders on similar matters going forward. Over the coming weeks, we will be finalising the legal structure and objectives of the association and would like to invite those who are interested to join us at an early stage to help us shape the association for the benefit of all Overlanders. The Overlanding Association offers us a great opportunity to build a community working for and on behalf of Overlanders around the world.
This is the Association’s FB pagehttps://www.facebook.com/OverlandingAssociation
More news on the Overlanding Association will be released in coming weeks, but if you were interested in becoming founding members or committee members please feel free to contact me, or discuss this through our Facebook Grouphttps://www.facebook.com/groups/OverlandSphere . (This will be an international association, not just for the UK, and will be open to all Overlanders regardless of mode of transport)