Possible sanctions breach flagged in Russian vehicles' border insurance

  • 2023-11-02
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - According to COB, formerly known as the Council of Bureaux, which coordinates the functioning of the European motor insurance system, the conclusion of border insurance contracts for vehicles registered in Russia may be in conflict with pan-European sanctions, which would result in the prohibition of the use of these vehicles in Estonia.

A border insurance contract is a motor insurance contract that is concluded for a vehicle from a third country when it is used in a contracting state of the European Economic Area. Although vehicles registered in Russia generally can no longer enter Estonia, according to data from the Estonian Motor Insurance Bureau (LKF), there are a number of such vehicles in use in Estonia for which border insurance contracts are being concluded. Currently, about 100 border insurance contracts concluded with LKF apply to vehicles registered in Russia.

"If a border insurance contract cannot be concluded for a vehicle registered in Russia, then it must be considered that a number of vehicles registered in Russia located in Estonia can no longer be used because their traffic insurance has expired and a new one cannot be concluded," said Lauri Potsepp, a member of the LKF management board. The LKF expects that in such cases, the police will intensify the enforcement of traffic insurance validity checks for these vehicles.

Potsepp added that those injured in traffic accidents are protected, however.

"If an uninsured vehicle registered in Russia causes a traffic insurance incident, the LKF compensates the victim. The LKF has the right of recourse against the causer of the damage, but its realization in practice is often impossible," Potsepp admitted.

The LKF has requested an assessment from the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, and the Financial Intelligence Unit on whether the conclusion of a border insurance contract for a vehicle registered in Russia is permitted under current sanctions.