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Moldova Needs the Green Card

Following the Second World War the increase in road traffic made it necessary to devise a system to facilitate the movement of vehicles across borders. The problem was considered by the Working Party of the Inland Transport Committee of the Economic Commission for Europe (a United Nations body), which decided to recommend a solution based on a system originally implemented by the Nordic countries in the 1930s.

That solution embodied in the Geneva Recommendations led to the establishment of the Green Card system, which even today still reports to the ECE.

The Green Card System is designed to fulfill two principle objectives, which are:
1. To facilitate the movement of vehicles across international borders by the use of an internationally acceptable document proving the existence of insurance (the Green Card or International Insurance Card).
2. To ensure that victims of foreign registered vehicles are not disadvantaged.
The System came into effect in 1952, and there are now over 40 member countries.

To qualify for membership of the system, a country must first be within the scope of the system which is currently defined as "Europe, including Russia as far east as the Urals, countries to the west of the Caspian Sea, and countries bordering the Mediterranean. For historical reasons, Iran and Iraq are members of the System, although Iraq is suspended because of the UN sanctions.

Thereafter, a country must fulfill the following conditions:
1. Operate a law requiring the compulsory insurance of vehicles.
2. Set up a Bureau, which is recognized by the Government.
3. Put in place laws recognising the validity of the Green Card.
4. Give a written assurance to the ECE that there will be no impediment to the free transfer of currency.

Having satisfied those conditions, application for Transitional Membership can be made to the Council of Bureaux, which then places the application before the General Assembly. The General Assembly must then vote in favor by a majority of 75%.

Once accepted, a country has to put in place the requirements for Transitional Membership as set out in the Constitution, under which certain guarantees must be given to ensure that any debts incurred are met.

Starting August 2001 as a result of Chisinau Motor Bureau acknowledgement of the Bureau Counsel Moldova acquired the right to issue its own Green Card. A year and two months later however, on October 1, 2002 the Counsel retrieved its decisions due to the fact that Moldova did not comply with the accepted policy terms such as regular membership payments and participation in Bureau Counsel Meetings. Many countries made claims of Moldova’s bad performance, emphasizing its unwillingness to translate submitted documents into English or French.

On October 1 many automobile owners finding themselves stranded abroad were obliged to procure other form of insurance in their transit country. Moldova’s right to issue the Green Card may or may not be restored but until then insurance companies offering Green Cards from other countries for sale are simply providing brokers’ services. A simple solution to the problem for Moldovan travelers is purchasing a Bulgarian Green Card, which costs $75 as opposed to $15 charged before October 1 for the Moldovan card.

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