FIA plans response to insurance directive that threatens sport

The FIA has confirmed it will reply to the consultation into an EU insurance ruling which a trade association claimed last week could "close down all motorsport".

The consultation – which closes on October 20 – is into the ruling known as Vnuk and its implementation, which applies to all 27 EU member states, made by the Court of Justice of the European Union in September 2014.

Should it be implemented in Europe, it will force all motorised vehicles to hold unlimited third party liability insurance, even on private land.

That includes racing circuits, and means any crash within races would be treated as a road traffic accident and would cause the involvement of the police.

The consultation offers a number of options, one of which, option three, is being backed by people involved with motorsport. It would mean Vnuk applies 'in traffic only' and therefore wouldn't affect events such as motorsport on private land.

An FIA statement read: "This is of course a matter that we have been following closely since the ECJ [European Court of Justice] ruling on Vnuk.

"The public consultation being conducted by the European Commission covers a wider scope than only motorsport.

"The questions being asked in connection with the scope of the Motor Insurance Directive could indeed have a potential impact on motorsport and the FIA.

"Over the past months the FIA has consulted its European ASNs to determine a common position and will be replying officially to the Commission prior to the deadline.

"The FIA shall of course seek to preserve motorsport from any negative consequences of proposed amendments to the motor insurance directive."

Last week, the chief executive officer of the Motorsport Industry Association, Chris Aylett, urged business owners and employees to complete the consultation "before it is too late".

"This threat is real, make no mistake, it could close down all motorsport [in countries in the EU]," said Aylett. "If you want to protect your job in motorsport then make sure your employer responds before the deadline of October 20."

Aylett confirmed that the misconception that, due to Brexit, the Vnuk ruling won't affect the UK, was incorrect. Britain isn't expected to leave the EU until at least 2019 while the EU wants to conclude the Vnuk issue within months.

"Brexit won't change things," added Aylett. "If businesses don't take positive action now then motorsport will cease and we'll all be out of a job or business. It's a stark choice and there's no time to waste."

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