Green Card is an international certificate of MTPL insurance. The form itself represents the evidence of contracted MTPL insurance, i.e. the evidence that vehicle has a valid insurance coverage at the time of its use abroad. It is obtained from the issuer of MTPL insurance.
The form is necessary for all citizens of the Republic of Serbia which have intention to travel abroad with their vehicles, namely to one of the countries of Green Card System which aren’t members of so called Multilateral Guarantee Agreement: Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldavia, Turkey, Israel, Iran, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tunisia and Morocco.
Green Card System is originated by Scandinavian countries in 1920s, which allowed vehicles to cross their borders by recognizing MTPL insurance which is issued in their country of origin. Countries had guaranteed for damages caused in other countries by vehicle insured at their territory. In a certain stage of development of the System, insurance form/card of green color was introduced, hence the widely accepted name Green Card. That System, originated 80 years ago, was a model for development of Green Card System in a modern and highly developed form that exists today. The Green Card Bureau at the Association of Serbian Insurers has been a member of the International Association of Green Card since 1954. Members of Bureau, in accordance with the Geneva Recommendation, are all insurers who perform tasks of the compulsory MTPL insurance, and at the moment there are twelve in our country.
The system works in a way that insurers licensed to work with MTPL insurance establish the central organization, the National Bureau of insurance – Green Card Bureau, recognized by the government of the country in which it was established. In our country, National Bureau is legally and formally one of tasks entrusted to Association of Serbian Insurers by legislation and as such has a clearly defined scope of rights and obligations. Among other things, every National Bureau is responsible for making and distributing to their members Green Card Forms which are printed in the language of the country of the Bureau, and the name ˝International Motor Insurance Card˝ is printed in English and in French.
Besides a number of functions performed in accordance with the system regulation (Internal Regulations), the laws of the domicile country and international laws, the National Bureau may appear as a service for processing and payment of compensation in cases of accidents: a) caused by vehicles with foreign license plates on the vehicle of local registration plates on the local territory and b) when the accident happened between the foreign license plates vehicles on the domestic territory (Handling Bureau). The National Bureau also guarantees that the domestic insurance companies are duly fulfilling their obligations to the insurers/Bureau in foreign countries, concerning damage caused abroad by the insured of the local companies, and guarantees that citizens of given country’s Bureau will be economically fairly compensated if they are damaged by the vehicle bearing foreign license plate. Function of Guarantor is most important function of the National Bureau of a given country and, as such, is the backbone of the Green Card System.
Work of National Bureau’s is coordinated by the Council of Bureau, central organization founded in 1951, with headquarters in London, which is later relocated in Brussels. Council of Bureau is composed of a number of bodies and committees, some of which are expert types and are dealing with improvement of existing and development of new regulations, in light of constant analysis of the practical situations arising from the extensive transport of goods and people and the traffic accidents on that basis. Serbian National Bureau is an active member in some of those committees and this can be rightly considered as a great recognition of work of our Bureau and its position in the system.
In June 2011, after many years of preparation and work on establishing certain standards, a Multilateral Guarantee Agreement is signed and Serbia became a member of the system based on the license plates – Deemed Insurance Cover System. By signing this agreement with 32 countries (EU countries, Switzerland, Croatia, Andorra, Iceland and Norway), from January 1st 2012 the owners of motor vehicles in Serbia are enabled to travel to aforementioned countries without obligation to have a green card, ie. official authorities at the borders of the European Economic Area and Croatia are no longer required to seek proof of MTPL insurance in the form of Green Card for vehicles with Serbian license plates (registration labels). With this, vehicles from Serbia are in equal position as those of the EU and other aforementioned countries, and that can be considered as achievement of the highest standards in Europe as far as the use of motor vehicles is concerned. A green card will continue to be required to travel to any of the other 12 members of the Green Card system, as stated in the introductory section of this article.
As for Montenegro, whose National Bureau ceased to be under monitoring by Serbian Bureau and became a full time member of the System from February 1st 2012, a bilateral agreement was signed, stipulating that Green card form is not needed for our citizens during a visit to Montenegro using their vehicles. The same applies to the citizens of Montenegro which are entering the territory of the Republic of Serbia with their vehicles.
Green Card Bureau Serbia at the Association of Serbian Insurers employs five professionals, which by their experience and dedication successfully represent our country in the international system when it comes to the specific area of MTPL insurance. We are available for all the questions and professional support and assistance to our esteemed fellow citizens, but also to foreigners visiting our country. We think that, in situations when a loss event occurs, providing timely advice, taking over the processing of claims, or referring to the appropriate address by our professional and friendly staff, can significantly mitigate the effects of the incident and reinforce the belief of the participants that in an accident, regardless of the territory in which they are located, they are not alone.
Green Card system exists to protect the damaged party and its principles are based on the best values of the modern world.
In order to enable claimants to exercise their rights in a more prompt and complete manner, and in order to make them able, in case of road accident occurring on the territory of the Republic of Serbia caused by motor vehicle with foreign registration, to check to which insurance company they may report damage, a service is activated on the official web site of the Association of Serbian Insurers. In the "Services" section (http://uos.rs/services/) it is possible to perform check for the selected date of accident occurrence and for the selected foreign insurance company with which the vehicle causing the accident is insured. Citizens may obtain information on whether there is an appointed domestic correspondent, i.e. insurance company authorized to receive and process claims and pay damages on behalf and for the liable foreign company.
When there is no appointed correspondent, or in case of service failure, or when damaged person decides to exercise the rights by using other legal methods, as well as when there is a need for additional information or professional assistance, interested persons are welcome to address the Association of Serbian Insurers, Green Card Bureau (http://uos.rs/kontakt-rs/)