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Europe Topics specific to Western and Eastern Europe, from UK to the Russian border, and south-east to Turkey.
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Old 29 May 2010
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Customs on entering Europe & Europe Road Tax.

Hi, I'm familiar with the procedure for passing through borders in Africa with my bike but what happens when I come through Europe? I'm EU citizen but with a bike with a Mali numberplate. Do I have to get TIP/laissez passer?
Also, I remember being on roads in the Czech republic a few years back in a van and getting stung for not paying some highway tax (little green sticker). Is it just certain countries/highways?
Thanks - Dave
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Old 30 May 2010
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1. EU citizen on non EU plates. No problem as long as you can show you are entitled to have the vehicle as (say) a resident or temperory resident in the non-EU country of the vehicle's registration.

2. Customs. You are allowed (entitled even) to bring into any country (that signed) a private vehicle for tourist purposes for up to 6 months - subject to complying with some local regulations such as insurance. But most Construction and equipment regulations of the visited country do not have to be complied with if the vehicle complies in the country of registration. EG. seat belt, numbers of wheels (such as, France does not permit local 3 wheelers but visitors can tour in them). This all comes from the Geneva Conventions/Treaties.

3. Road Tax. There is no EU wide set of rules about tax for road use. Each member state has its own arrangements - some charge for road use for certain classes of vehicle - others do not. Some charge for using certain roads or types of roads - either by tolls at set intervals or a charge for a blanket permit. I suggest you Google 'vignette' and the name of each country in turn that you intend to cross. EG Switzland reqires a prepaid Vignette (disc or marker) if using motorways but not on other roads.
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Old 30 May 2010
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Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony P View Post

EG Switzland reqires a prepaid Vignette (disc or marker) if using motorways but not on other roads.
This used to be true but not anymore. You will find it very difficult to travel <anywhere> in Switzerland without a 27 euro Vignette
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Old 30 May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbmw View Post
This used to be true but not anymore. You will find it very difficult to travel <anywhere> in Switzerland without a 27 euro Vignette
Sorry, I beg to differ with what you say.

If you do not go on a Swiss Motorway (green signs) you do not need a vignette. Simple as that!

For non Motorway roads (blue signs on main roads) no vignette or payment is required. That has always been the situation and still is in 2010.

What you may be trying to say is that "it is very difficult to travel <anywhere> in Switzerland without using motorways". If that is what you mean it really depends on where you want to go and how you choose to get there - plus your confidence in your ability to observe and abide by road signs.

Look up the various agencies selling vignettes on-line. For their own commercial benefit they would try to scare you into buying one for ALL roads if they could. But they do not!

(Certain tunnels have specific tolls that are covered if you have a vignette)
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