Practical Information on the Green Card
A Green Card can only be issued by the insurance undertaking (or a broker) which is authorised to do so under the authority of the national Bureau.
The language to be used in the Green Card should be the language of the country of the issuing national Bureau, with the title of the document being shown in addition in English and French (both languages being the official languages of the Council of Bureaux).
A Green Card can be issued in a horizontal or in vertical format.
The Council of Bureaux does not handle any individual claim. In case of road traffic accident abroad (i.e. in one of 45 countries¹ other than the one where the vehicle is registered) involving the liability of the driver of the insured vehicle, any victim (either resident of that country or not) has the right to address himself/herself to the national Bureau of the country where the accident occurred in order to have his claim handled and settled (the details of these bodies can be found under “National bodies”).
- Nonetheless, it should be noted that for accidents occurring abroad in one of the Member States of the European Economic Area, the visiting victim could either address himself/herself to the claim representative or in some specific cases to the Compensation Body of his/her Member State of residence (www.4directive.org for more information).
However there are cases, as stated on the Green Card where the injured party shall not contact the national Bureau of the visited country: for instance in case of damage to the insured vehicle, in case of personal injuries not covered by the Compulsory Third Party Insurance Law in force in the country of accident or in case of renewal of an expired Green Card. In those cases, the insurer should be contacted directly (unless otherwise instructed by him or her).
A revised Green Card format will be introduced as of 1st January 2009. This new format will have to be implemented by all insurers and by all national Bureaux authorised to issue Green Cards by the end of 2010. This means that between 1st January 2009 and 31st December 2010 (transitional period), either old Green Card formats or the revised Green Card formats could be issued to the policyholders. However, as from 1st January 2011 onwards, only the revised format will be obligatory and will be issued to the policyholders.
If a Green Card is validly issued under the old format for more than one year (e.g. 5 years) within the transitional period (between 1st January 2009 and 31st December 2010), it will remain valid for the whole duration of its validity even if its validity goes beyond the transitional period of two years. However, any Green Card issued under the old format after 1st January 2011 will no longer be considered as valid.
The enclosed specimen gives some explanations on each item covered by the new Green Card template and aims at helping the policyholder to understand which information has to appear on the document and which information is only optional. This explanation does not preclude any additional security feature (e.g.: against forging document, etc…) which might be on the Green Card at the discretion of the national Bureau.