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French law on contrôles techniques for motorbikes and mopeds repealed

The decree would have imposed the requirement from January 1. Environmental groups ask for an earlier start date, motorbiker groups are against the idea

A decree stating that motorbikes, mopeds and licence-free cars with an engine size of 125cm³ or more will have to undergo contrôle technique (CT) roadworthiness tests from January 1 has been repealed Pic: VadimNicolaou / Shutterstock

A decree requiring two and three-wheeled vehicles with an engine size of 125cm³ or more to undergo contrôle technique (CT) roadworthiness tests from next year has been revoked.

The decree stated that the new CT rules would come into force on January 1, 2023, although government advisory body the Conseil d’État had ruled that they be imposed earlier, on October 1 of this year. 

Read more: Motorbikes in France will need a contrôle technique from October 1

The decree – which was cancelled by another decree issued today (July 26) – had been controversial since it first appeared in summer 2021, following EU legislation from 2014 requiring member states to impose roadworthiness checks on this type of motorbike, scooter and licence-free car.

One day after the law was published, President Emmanuel Macron stated that it would not be applied, having judged that “it was not the moment to bother French people” with such requirements. 

However, three associations campaigning against air pollution – Respire, Ras le Scoot and Paris sans voitures – had gone to the Conseil d’État asking for CTs on two-wheeled vehicles to be implemented “as soon as possible”, highlighting the positive impact that this could have on noise and exhaust emissions.

This led the Conseil d’État to call for an October 1 start date. 

Those opposed to a contrôle technique for motorbikes and scooters are now expecting a new decree with alternative road safety, noise and air pollution measures, after the then-Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari promised such steps in November 2021, assuring that this would enable an exemption to the EU rules.

However, environmental associations have called on the government to proceed with the implementation of CT requirements on October 1, and not to cede to the “motorbiker lobby”.

Transport Minister Clément Beaune is set to meet with motorcyclist groups today (July 26) to discuss.

It is unclear whether the government is still planning to introduce the roadworthiness test rules, especially as the October deadline suggested by the Conseil d’État seems unlikely to be met.

A development welcomed by some, condemned by others

One branch of the Fédération française des motards en colère motorbike rider association has described the abrogation of the law as a “victory”, stating “we have won: this is the result of the mobilisation of motorcyclists with the FFMC (Fédération Française des Motards en Colère).”

Tony Renucci, the director-general of Respire, has tweeted: “As soon as there is a decision in favour of the environment, it is constantly contested by this government. 

“Emmanuel Macron’s quinquennat [five-year term] will not be eco-friendly.

“The government, in a panic, is trying to resist the [EU] laws whatever it costs and is going against its own institution, the Conseil d’État. 

“Clément Beaune is beginning his work as a minister by refusing a decision which is in the general interest of public health.” 

Related articles 

Can I get a French contrôle technique on my UK-registered car?

French motorbike and scooter ‘technical checks’ stuck in slow lane

Has the price of a contrôle technique risen in your area of France?

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