Irish implementation of the 4th EU Motor Insurance Directive
5th January 2004
This note has been produced as a status update following various conversations with
the sources noted below in Point 4.
The Irish government enacted the appropriate legislation in SI 651 on 22nd November
2003. A copy of this legislation has been requested and will be disseminated when
This followed a move by the EU Commission to prosecute the Irish for non-
compliance in May 2003. It is also the Irish Government’s stated intention to fully
comply with all appropriate EU directives by the end of 2004, especially as the
current revolving 6-month presidency of the EU is with Ireland.
MDS were made aware in early December 2003 of the existence of the legislation. A
circular had been issued by Lloyds Worldwide Marketing to LMUA and motor
syndicates, and responses had been requested to a questionnaire circulated by LMUA.
It is not the intention of LMUA nor of Lloyds to provide a solution to this issue. Each
Insurer must undertake themselves whatever work needs to be done to comply with
the Irish approach.
MDS had previously had contact with the MIBI to determine the correct approach for
Irish plated vehicles, but had had no firm information. We have subsequently
contacted various sources in the ROI to confirm the current situation.
2. Current Status
The MIBI has chosen to implement the 4th Directive via the Motor Taxation Database
(National Vehicle File) which is computerised and held in Shannon.
In order to tax a vehicle, the Insurance certificate must be produced, and the Database
is updated at the point of issuing the Tax Certificate (Disk) with the details of the
A 4th Directive enquiry service operates to allow foreign claimants to pursue a claim.
This is accessible either by phone or via the MIBI website.
3. Next Steps
MDS has reviewed the implementation and identified that there could be several
Issue 1 – As in the UK, insurance must be valid when taxing a vehicle. However, it
can expire shortly afterwards, and there appears to be no method for updating the
database with the new Insurance
Issue 2 – Similarly, a vehicle could be sold, and therefore change Insurer, with no
obvious means of updating the database
Issue 3 – As the responsibility for the update of the database is solely with the
policyholder, there is no means of verifying that a policy is either accurately recorded,
or is not fraudulent (made up) or incorrectly re-used (one policy covering several
Issue 4 – Again, as the Insurance company is not in the loop for updating the
database, the issue of compliance rests solely with the MIBI or Government agencies.
The Insurer cannot reasonably be held accountable for any shortfalls or errors
Issue 5 – In terms of reducing Uninsured driving, there is no independent method of
cross checking tax versus insurance
Issue 6 – The MIBI enquiry system does not appear to contain details of all Insurers
which are solely UK based but cover Irish registered vehicles.
Whilst awaiting clarification from the MIBI on these issues, it appears to us that, so
long as the Irish plated vehicles covered by a policy are legally taxed and registered in
the ROI, and are accessible from the lists provided by the various policyholders to
their Insurers to provide a cross-check in the event of a claim, the obligations appear
to be met. However, pending full sight of the exact legislation, and any updates from
the MIBI, we expect this situation to change over the next few months.
Office of the Irish Parliament (Statutory Instrument 2003/651)
Nigel Withyman, LMUA
Michael Horan, Non-life manager, MIBI
Brenda Cairns, Head of MIBI
Andrew Smith, Lloyds Worldwide marketing
Paul Kavanagh, McCarthy’s Insurance Brokers, ROI