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Euro fine loophole closed

Published: 25 February 2005

The loophole which allowed speeders to avoid fines if the offence was committed abroad has been closed by a new European Union law passed on February 24, 2005.

Now, if you are given a fine or fixed penalty notice for any amount over £50 while in another EU country, British officials are obliged to collect any money owing from you when you get home. The rule will be implemented in all member states by 2007.

The change was proposed by British officials to enforce major court judgements and fines, rather than motoring offences, but these are now likely to be the bulk of fines collected.

The only exemption will be for fines under £50, if the paperwork is not in order, or if the alleged offender is below the age of criminal responsiblity in his or her home country.

There is one ray of sunshine. EU ministers agreed that the authorities who actually collect the fine can keep the money - rather than send the cash back to the country in which the offence took place. So if you are a French cop who spots a speeding bike with a GB plate on it, perhaps youll now be less inclined to issue a fine - if you thought the Brits were going to get the cash...

Current EU countrites: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands and the UK.

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