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  #1  
Old 17 Apr 2012
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Taxes and fines in the UK

Hey guys,

Four years ago I bought a K1200 RS in the UK, using my friends address as I am from the US, and rode it to Croatia where I have been living for the last four years. It has been a great bike and I love it, but my contract with work is finishing and I have to figure out what to do with it now. (I am moving to Vietnam and will have to get something 250cc or smaller. If you have been there you know why)

One option I am considering is riding it back to the UK and trying to sell it there, but I am worried that there will be prohibitive fines/fees because I have not done anything with the paperwork for the last four years,

Does anyone know if this is a good idea? If not, are there other viable alternatives?

Help,
GS
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  #2  
Old 17 Apr 2012
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Did you declare the bike SORN before leaving the UK?
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  #3  
Old 17 Apr 2012
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It's a fairly straightforward procedure to sell the bike in an EU country (ie not Croatia). The buyer would have to take care of importing the bike and registering it, however in this case there would be no customs duties involved.

In your place I would probably just put the bike up for sale in Slovenia at an appropriately attractive price.

I'm assuming however that you declared the bike SORNed and /or permanently exported , right?
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Old 17 Apr 2012
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I did not declare it exported (oops!)

I did see that form on the registration, but at the time I figured I could renew the registration in England. I did not realize the complexities at that time.

Can I send that form in now? Am I completely "over-the-barrel" on this one?
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  #5  
Old 17 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1200 RS View Post
I did see that form on the registration, but at the time I figured I could renew the registration in England. I did not realize the complexities at that time.

Can I send that form in now? Am I completely "over-the-barrel" on this one?
Mu gut feeling is that there is no time limit for declaring that a bike is exported, even though it has been outside the UK for 4 years; kind of depends on if your friend has received any "nasty" mail about your bike at his home address concerning your bike.
For fuller discussion of the UK regulations there are sticky threads in "Trip Papework" which go into great, detailed discussion about all sorts of circumstances; when you identify your optimum solution to this one, you could add value to that thread!!

Good luck.
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  #6  
Old 17 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilesmark View Post
Did you declare the bike SORN before leaving the UK?
even if sorn was declared, it still has to be renewed every year (until they change the law soon if I recall correctly), so there could be quite a pile of fines in the post waiting at that address, probably gone to court, and letters from a debt collection agency by now.
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  #7  
Old 18 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fern View Post
even if sorn was declared, it still has to be renewed every year (until they change the law soon if I recall correctly), so there could be quite a pile of fines in the post waiting at that address, probably gone to court, and letters from a debt collection agency by now.
K1200 - are you and the friend still friends? Has any correspondence been arriving at his address about this (or bailiffs?!)
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  #8  
Old 18 Apr 2012
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Friend's dad is very old and has told me nothing.

The address I used my my friend's father's. (Can you have a double possessive) I have met him and he is very old and is the type that would not have indicated to my friend or me that anything had arrived. I will email my friend ASAP and see what has happened.

So what is the fine? Are we talking 100s of GBPs? Does anyone have any kind of estimate?
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Old 18 Apr 2012
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Hi

Its still on UK plates then, and you've never imported it into Croatia, new plates, import duties, etc?

From the UK Govt website

"There’s no way out" (they must like a bit of drama )

"If you don’t make a SORN or tax your vehicle you could be stopped by the police.You’ll get an automatic penalty of £80, as well as paying for a new tax disc.
You could also get a County Court Judgment against you, and be fined a minimum of £1,000.
The maximum penalty for making a false SORN, when the vehicle is actually used or kept on a public road, is £5,000 and imprisonment."


From What if you don't tax or make a SORN : Directgov - Motoring
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  #10  
Old 18 Apr 2012
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You have some good feedback here so far.

I would be surprised if your friends' Dad has heard absolutely nothing in 4 years, but there again, he may have just binned such paperwork going by your comment about him.
It would be interesting to hear about any update on that front.

Something that comes to mind is that you could just sell it locally on the basis of "let the buyer beware".
For instance, there would be a market for breaking your prized possession for sale of spares, or someone might just want the bike for re-registering locally.

Another thing I am reminded of: a while ago a whole sheaf of genuine UK registration documents (the V5c) were stolen in the UK; so many of them that the UK is now switching over from the blue version to a new red one.
You should get a new one therefore, or you may have one already at your friends' Dads' address (there's that double possessive again!!).
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  #11  
Old 18 Apr 2012
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Am very surprised you've got away with riding it around Croatia for the last 4 years without being stopped - thought you were supposed to reregeister the bike there after having it there for 6 months. There is a reciprocal rule that states any vehicle being registered in 1 EU member state but used on the roads of another must comply with whatever MOT/Road tax rules exist in the state of registration, but that once it's been in the new state for > 6 months it must get registered etc there.

Also surprised (if this turns out to be the case) that you haven't been busted in the UK. If you haven't, you can bring it back to the UK but you'll have to have a pre-booked MoT to go to as soon as you step off the ferry - there are plenty of threads about this on the HUBB.

If they catch up with you, I guess they could fine you for not SORN-ing it, plus (at least in theory) unpaid tax for the time it was being used on Croatian roads without UK tax but without Croatian registration?
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Old 18 Apr 2012
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Uhm....Croatia is NOT part of the EU , ( at least not for another year or so).

that's not quite the issue though, how on earth do you go about insuring a foreign (un-)registered bike there....(if at all) ?
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  #13  
Old 18 Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzly7 View Post
Hi

Its still on UK plates then, and you've never imported it into Croatia, new plates, import duties, etc?

From the UK Govt website

"There’s no way out" (they must like a bit of drama )

"If you don’t make a SORN or tax your vehicle you could be stopped by the police.You’ll get an automatic penalty of £80, as well as paying for a new tax disc.
You could also get a County Court Judgment against you, and be fined a minimum of £1,000.
The maximum penalty for making a false SORN, when the vehicle is actually used or kept on a public road, is £5,000 and imprisonment."


From What if you don't tax or make a SORN : Directgov - Motoring
If I can paraphrase that, you can play fast and loose with the rules but don't lie, especially not in writing i.e. a SORN statement.
If you are interested, see what Old Git Ray (a retired policeman) has recently said about all things related to UK regs within the sticky in Trip Paperwork.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilesmark View Post
Am very surprised you've got away with riding it around Croatia for the last 4 years without being stopped - thought you were supposed to reregeister the bike there after having it there for 6 months. There is a reciprocal rule that states any vehicle being registered in 1 EU member state but used on the roads of another must comply with whatever MOT/Road tax rules exist in the state of registration, but that once it's been in the new state for > 6 months it must get registered etc there.

Also surprised (if this turns out to be the case) that you haven't been busted in the UK. If you haven't, you can bring it back to the UK but you'll have to have a pre-booked MoT to go to as soon as you step off the ferry - there are plenty of threads about this on the HUBB.

If they catch up with you, I guess they could fine you for not SORN-ing it, plus (at least in theory) unpaid tax for the time it was being used on Croatian roads without UK tax but without Croatian registration?
I am not as surprised about what goes on in the Balkans.
Croatia has only just joined the EU and it was not all that long ago that they had a civil war under way; rules don't mean a lot in those circumstances.
We haven't done suchlike for years (civil war that is), so here in the UK we like to have a load of rules that we can follow (or not).
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  #14  
Old 19 Apr 2012
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UK plates, No insurance, No local registration, No problem

Croatia is a dream for motorcycles with foreign plates. The official police policy is to not chase motorcycles with foreign plates. This means that you can only be stopped if you actually stop (or crash). I was in heavy traffic once and could not get away, so I paid a spot fine of about 30 GBP. The cops are open to negotiations. They said I ran a red light (It was YELLOW), but we settled on a charge of "obstructing a pedestrian" (??) which had a lower fine. The cops were very friendly and actually wanted to chat with me about my trips.

This policy will eventually change and is thoroughly abused by all the Germans and Austrians motorcyclists that come to the coast during the summer. Until then, come this way and enjoy the amazing coast and total lack of traffic enforcement.
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  #15  
Old 19 Apr 2012
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Originally Posted by k1200 RS View Post
No insurance, No local registration, No problem.
MOT and road tax are petty and incidental, but I can't condone you riding around without insurance. And if they catch you without that in the UK you WILL be in the sh1t.
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