The green card system is overseen in Ireland by the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland, MIBI. As part of contingency preparations for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, my Department has maintained frequent contact with the MIBI over the past few months.
A green card is a document which acts as proof of motor insurance when travelling internationally. The system predates the European Union, and covers 48 states, including all EU Member States. Under the EU Motor Insurance Directive, green cards are not required for travel within the EU. However, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal in place the default position is that green cards will be required for EU-registered vehicles entering the UK and for UK-registered vehicles entering the EU.
The EU Commission has to power to set a date from which green cards for vehicles entering the EU from any particular third country will not be required, if so requested by the National Motor Insurers Bureaux of all the member states. Such as request has been with the Commission in respect of the UK since November 2018, but the Commission has yet to issue a decision. My Department has engaged with the Commission asking them to reach a decision, and will continue to do so.
The MIBI has now issued approximately 1 million Green Cards to insurance companies and brokers. The MIBI has also engaged extensively in public information campaigns about this matter.
While we would all prefer a negotiated departure of the UK from the EU, it is prudent to plan for the alternative. The MIBI deserves to be commended for the way in which it has been engaging for months in advance to prepare for the contingency that green cards may be needed.