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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/67

What effect will the new regulations that have just come into force have on this practice and what will be
the effect of the additional regulations due to come into force in July next year?

Are there any agreements or regulations affecting the cost of bank transfers between the Eurozone and the
non-Eurozone EU states, and, if so, are these being honoured?

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(4 September 2002)

The legal instrument dealing in 2002 with cross-border credit transfers is the ‘Cross-Border Credit Transfer
Directive (1)’; it concerns credit transfers within the European Union up to an amount transferred of
EUR 50 000. The Directive entered into force on 14 August 1999.

The Directive foresees that cross-border credit transfers ‘shall be executed for the full amount thereof’
(Article 7 of the Directive). This means that a cross-border credit transfer will by default be executed as an
OUR transfer, where all the costs, including those of the beneficiary’s bank, are charged by the sending
institution to the originator thus avoiding double charging. The beneficiary would then have no further
costs and receives the full amount transferred. Customers can, however, convene other ways of sharing the
cost for a payment: BEN transfers, where the beneficiary pays all the charges, and SHARED transfers,
where each party pays its own costs.

If any unlawful charges are levied by a bank, the customer is entitled to be credited the amount which has
been wrongly deducted (Article 7.2 of the Directive). This is a right given to him. All Member States have
correctly transposed the Directive on this point, but the Commission cannot take any legal proceedings if
customers are not using their rights.

The Parliament and the Council adopted the Regulation on cross-border payments in euro on
19 December 2001 (2). In accordance with this Regulation, cross-border credit transfers charges shall be
aligned to those for corresponding payments at national level on the 1 July 2003. The fees for the
originator’s and the receiving bank will be the same as for a national credit transfers.

This Regulation’s application is not limited to the eurozone but applies also in the three countries outside
for the transactions initiated in euro. The Swedish authorities have, furthermore, decided to use the
possibility to extend the provision of the Regulation to Swedish Krona. Thus only transactions initiated in
Danish Krona and in Sterling remain, as regard the cost, unregulated.

(1) Directive 97/5/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of 27 January 1997  OJ L 43, 14.2.1997.
(2) Regulation (EC) No 2560/2001  OJ L 344, 28.12.2001.

(2003/C 137 E/076) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2277/02

by Kathleen Van Brempt (PSE) to the Commission

(24 July 2002)

Subject: Re-registration of stolen vehicles

Investigations carried out by Europol indicate that it is possible for cars stolen in Belgium to be legally re-
registered without any difficulty in Russia, in other Eastern European countries and even in a number of
EU Member States. Europol claims that, for every car stolen to order in Belgium, the relevant
documentation already exists in the country of destination. In those countries, no checks at all are carried
out, and the relevant legislation is too lax. No less than 76 % of the vehicles stolen are destined for Russia,
but Europol reports that stolen vehicles are also legally registered in France and, to a lesser extent, in
Portugal and Spain.
C 137 E/68 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.2003

Is the Commission aware of this situation?

What measures is the Commission taking to combat the practice of vehicles stolen in Belgium being legally
re-registered without any difficulty in other countries (including EU Member States)?

Answer given by Mr Vitorino on behalf of the Commission

(24 September 2002)

The Commission is aware of the problem that cars stolen in Belgium or in other Member States can under
certain conditions be legally registered in Russia, in other Eastern European countries or even in some
Member States and can inform the Honourable Member of the following:

Work in the Union has been going on in both the first and third pillar to combat the problem of vehicle
crime in general.

Council Directive 1999/37/EC of 29 April 1999 on registration documents for vehicles (1) is, inter alia,
instrumental to facilitate those checks specifically intended to combat fraud and illegal trade in stolen
vehicles. Member States must bring into force the laws, regulations or administrative provisions necessary
to comply with this Directive by 1 June 2004.

Commission Directive 1995/56/EC, Euratom of 8 November 1995 on measures to prevent the

unauthorized use of motor vehicles (2) aims at strengthening the means of dissuasion against unauthorized
use of the vehicles. As such, equipping cars with immobilizers has contributed to a general drop of vehicle
theft in Europe (change 1999-2000 in Belgium: − 7 %)

With regard to the Schengen Information System (SIS), the Commission is aware of the fact that only
police have access to data on stolen cars, whereas vehicle registration authorities in the Member States
have not. However, the possibility of a legal instrument to grant vehicle registration authorities access to
SIS is under investigation with the aim to make the re-registering of stolen vehicles more difficult in the

Finally, the Commission is calling for closer co-operation between customs and car registration authorities
at the national level to reduce vehicle theft in the Member States. Additionally, in the third pillar area, the
Commission is constantly working on improving co-operation between Member States to combat vehicle
crime. Under certain Union programmes such as OISIN, some Member States have developed new forms
of co-operation in that area and some progress has been made. Moreover, Europol has produced an
interactive electronic programme designed to help law enforcement officers to identify stolen vehicles.

As far as registration of stolen cars in Russia is concerned, the Union has no direct legal means to prevent
registration of stolen vehicles in Russia. However, a series of expert meetings has been conducted under
the Union-Russia Partnership and Co-operation Agreement to deal with the issue, focussing inter alia on
how to involve the insurance industry in dealing with the problem more effectively.

(1) OJ L 138, 1.6.1999.

(2) OJ L 286, 29.11.1995.

(2003/C 137 E/077) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2283/02

by Bernd Lange (PSE) to the Commission

(24 July 2002)

Subject: Tourist traffic at the border with Gibraltar

This question concerns a European citizen who enjoyed freedom of movement within the European Union
during his holiday but encountered obstacles at the border with Gibraltar.