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European Convention on the compulsory insurance against civil ---

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European Convention on the compulsory insurance against civil ---

     European Treaty Series - No. 29

    EUROPEAN CONVENTION

    ON COMPULSORY INSURANCE

    AGAINST CIVIL LIABILITY

    IN RESPECT OF MOTOR VEHICLES

    Strasbourg, 20.IV.1959

2 ETS 29 Insurance Motor Vehicles, 20.IV.1959

    __________________________________________________________________________________________

    _

     The governments signatory hereto, being members of the Council of Europe,

     Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve greater unity among its

    members for the purpose, among others, of facilitating their economic and social progress by

    the conclusion of agreements and common action in economic, social, cultural, scientific,

    legal and administrative matters;

     Considering it necessary to safeguard the rights of victims of motor accidents in their

    territories by the introduction of a system of compulsory insurance;

     Considering that it would be difficult to secure the complete unification of their laws in this

    matter and that it would suffice if such basic rules as are considered essential were

    standardised in the member countries of the Council of Europe, each country remaining free

    to apply in its territory provisions affording greater protection to injured parties;

     Considering it necessary, moreover, to promote the establishment and operation of

    international insurance bureaux and guarantee funds, or to take equivalent measures,

     have agreed as follows:

     Article 1

     1 Each Contracting Party undertakes to ensure that, within six months of the date of entry into

    force of this Convention in respect of that Party, the rights of persons suffering damage

    caused by motor vehicles in its territory shall be protected through the introduction of a

    system of compulsory insurance complying with the provisions annexed to this Convention

    (Annex I).

     2 Each Contracting Party shall, however, retain the option of adopting provisions affording

    greater protection to injured parties.

     3 Each of the Contracting Parties shall communicate to the Secretary General of the Council of

    Europe the official texts of the legislation and principal regulations establishing its system of

    compulsory motor insurance. The Secretary General shall transmit these texts to the other

    Parties and to the other members of the Council of Europe.

     Article 2

     Each Contracting Party shall retain the option:

     1 to exempt from compulsory insurance certain motor vehicles, the use of which it considers to

    present little if any danger;

     2 to exempt from compulsory insurance motor vehicles owned by its public authorities or

    those of other countries or by inter-governmental organisations;

     ETS 29 Insurance Motor Vehicles, 20.IV.1959 3__________________________________________________________________________________________

    _

     3 to determine the minimum amounts of insurance cover necessary; in this case, the appli-

    cation of the annexed provisions may be limited to these amounts.

     Article 3

     1 Any Contracting Party may, when signing this Convention or on depositing its instrument

    of ratification or accession, declare that it avails itself of one or more of the reservations

    provided for in Annex II to the Convention.

     2 Any Contracting Party may wholly or partly withdraw a reservation it has made in

    accordance with the foregoing paragraph by means of a notification addressed to the

    Secretary General of the Council of Europe which shall become effective as from the date of

    its receipt. The Secretary General shall communicate the notification to the other Parties and

    to the other members of the Council of Europe.

     Article 4

     1 Options exercised and reservations made by a Contracting Party in pursuance of Articles 2

    and 3 of this Convention shall be valid only in its territory and shall not prejudice the full

    application of the compulsory insurance law of other Parties in whose territory the vehicle is

    used.

     2 Each Contracting Party shall inform the Secretary General of the Council of Europe of the

    content of its legal provisions relating to the options and reservations referred to in Articles 2

    and 3 of this Convention. The said Party shall keep the Secretary General informed of any

    changes made therein at a later date. The Secretary General shall transmit all such

    information to the other Parties and to the other members of the Council of Europe.

     Article 5

     When compensation for injury caused by a motor vehicle involves both compulsory motor

    insurance and social security schemes, the rights of the injured party and the arrangements

    to be made between the two systems shall be determined under municipal law.

     Article 6

     1 Should the option of exclusion from normal insurance referred to in paragraph 2 of Article 4

    of the annexed provisions be provided for in its municipal law, each Contracting Party

    undertakes to make the holding in its territory of motor races or competitions, whether for

    speed, reliability or skill, subject to official authorisation. Such authorisation shall be granted

    only if the civil liability of the organisers and persons referred to in Article 3 of the annexed

    provisions is covered by special insurance complying with those provisions.

     2 Compensation for damage suffered by the occupants of vehicles taking part in races or

    competitions such as are referred to in the foregoing paragraph may, however, be excluded.

     Article 7

     1 Motor vehicles normally stationed outside the territory of a Contracting State shall be

    exempt in that territory from the application of Article 2 of the annexed provisions if they are

    provided with a certificate issued by the government of another Contracting State stating

    that the vehicle belongs to that State, or, in the case of a Federal State, to the Federal State or

    one of its constituent members; in the latter case, the certificate shall be issued by the Federal

    Government.

ETS 29 Insurance Motor Vehicles, 20.IV.1959 4__________________________________________________________________________________________

_

     ETS 29 Insurance Motor Vehicles, 20.IV.1959 5

    __________________________________________________________________________________________

    _

     2 The certificate shall indicate the authority or body responsible for paying compensation in

    accordance with the law of the country visited and which may be sued in the courts

    competent in such matters under the law. The State or constituent member to which the

    vehicle belongs shall guarantee such payment.

     Article 8

     The Contracting Parties shall promote the establishment and operation of Bureaux for the

    issue of international insurance certificates and for meeting claims for damages in the

    circumstances specified in paragraph 2 of Article 2 of the annexed provisions.

     Article 9

     1 Each of the Contracting Parties undertakes either to establish a guarantee fund or to make

    other equivalent arrangements in order to compensate injured parties for damage caused in

    such circumstances that a civil liability is incurred, where the obligation to be insured has

    not been complied with or the person liable has not been identified, or the case is one

    excepted from insurance in accordance with the first sentence of paragraph 1 of Article 3 of

    the annexed provisions. The conditions for granting compensation and the extent of such

    right shall be determined by the Contracting Party concerned.

     2 Nationals of any Contracting Party shall be entitled to bring the claim provided for in the

    foregoing paragraph in any other Contracting State on equal terms with the nationals of that

    State.

     Article 10

     1 The Contracting Parties undertake to determine in their municipal law the persons who shall

    be responsible for having the motor vehicle insured and to take all appropriate measures,

    accompanied where necessary by penal or administrative sanctions, to enforce the obliga-

    tions resulting from the annexed provisions.

     2 With a view to the application of the annexed provisions, the Contracting Parties undertake

    to make appropriate provisions in their municipal law relating to the approval, or the expiry

    or withdrawal of the approval, of insurers and, if necessary, of the Guarantee Fund and the

    Bureau, and also relating to control of their operations.

     Article 11

     1 Each Contracting Party shall determine, as may be necessary, the authority or person to

    whom the notification mentioned in Article 9 of the annexed provisions is to be made.

     2 Each Contracting Party shall determine what effect the insurance contract shall have in the

    case of a change of ownership of the insured vehicle.

     Article 12

     Except in case of emergency, a Contracting Party may not denounce this Convention within

    less than two years from the date on which the Convention entered into force in respect of

    that Party. Denunciation shall be effected by written notification to the Secretary General of

    the Council of Europe, who shall inform the other Contracting Parties thereof; it shall take

    effect three months after the date on which the Secretary General received such notification.

     ETS 29 Insurance Motor Vehicles, 20.IV.1959 6__________________________________________________________________________________________

    _

     Article 13

     1 If, after the entry into force of the Convention in respect of a Contracting Party, that Party

    deems it necessary to make a reservation, either not provided for in Annex II to this

    Convention or, if provided for in that annex, a reservation which it has not made previously

    or has withdrawn, it shall inform the Secretary General of the Council of Europe of its

    precise proposal, of which the Secretary General shall then notify the other Contracting

    Parties.

     2 If, within the six months following the notification by the Secretary General, the Contracting

    Parties signify in writing their agreement to the proposal, the Contracting Party which has

    made the proposal may amend its legislation accordingly. The Secretary General shall bring

    the notifications made to him under this paragraph to the knowledge of the Contracting

    Parties.

     Article 14

     This Convention shall not apply to overseas territories of the Contracting Parties.

     Article 15

     1 This Convention shall be open to the signature of the members of the Council of Europe. It

    shall be ratified. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary General of

    the Council of Europe.

     2 This Convention shall come into force 90 days after the date of deposit of the fourth

    instrument of ratification.

     3 In respect of any signatory ratifying subsequently, the Convention shall come into force

    90 days after the date of deposit of its instrument of ratification.

     4 The Secretary General shall notify all the members of the Council and acceding States of the

    names of the signatories, of the entry into force of the Convention, the names of the

    Contracting Parties who have ratified it and the subsequent deposit of any instrument of

    ratification or accession.

     Article 16

     After this Convention has come into force the Committee of Ministers of the Council of

    Europe may invite any State which is not a member of the Council to accede to it. Any State

    so invited may accede by depositing its instrument of accession with the Secretary General

    of the Council, who shall notify all the Contracting Parties and the other members of the

    Council of Europe of such deposit. The Convention shall come into force in respect of any

    State acceding thereto 90 days after the date of deposit of its instrument of accession.

     In witness whereof, the undersigned, being duly authorised thereto, have signed this

    convention.

     Done at Strasbourg, this 20th day of April 1959, in the English and French languages, both

    texts being equally authoritative, in a single copy which shall remain in the archives of the

    Council of Europe and of which the Secretary General shall send certified copies to each of

    the signatories.

     ETS 29 Insurance Motor Vehicles, 20.IV.1959 7__________________________________________________________________________________________

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ANNEX 1

     Provisions annexed to the Convention

     Article 1

     For the purpose of this law:

     The term “motor vehicles” shall mean: mechanically-propelled vehicles intended to be

    driven on the ground other than vehicles running on rails, and shall include trailers when

    coupled, and insofar as the government so decides, uncoupled trailers which are constructed

    or adapted to be towed by a motor vehicle and to carry persons or goods;

     The term “assured” shall mean: persons whose liability is covered in accordance with this

    law;

     The term “injured parties” shall mean: persons entitled to compensation for damage caused

    by a motor vehicle;

     The term “insurer” shall mean: the insurance undertaking approved by the government in

    accordance with paragraph 1 of Article 2, and, in the case of paragraph 2 of Article 2, the

    Bureau responsible for the settlement of claims for damage caused in the national territory

    by vehicles normally stationed outside that territory.

     Article 2

     1 No motor vehicle may be driven on the public highway, in grounds open to the public or in

    private grounds to which certain persons have right of access, unless the civil liability to

    which it may give rise is covered by insurance in accordance with the provisions of this law.

     The insurance must be effected with an insurer approved by the government for this

    purpose.

     2 Nevertheless, motor vehicles normally stationed outside the national territory may be driven

    in that territory on condition that a Bureau recognised for this purpose by the government

    assumes direct responsibility for compensating, in accordance with municipal law, injured

    parties for damage caused by such vehicles.

     Article 3

     1 The insurance must cover the civil liability of the owner and of any driver or person in

    charge of the insured vehicle, with the exception of persons who have taken control thereof

    either by theft or violence or merely without the consent of the owner or person in charge.

    Nevertheless, in the latter case the insurance must cover the civil liability of the driver if he

    has been able to take control of the vehicle through the fault of the owner or person in charge,

    or if he is a person employed to drive the vehicle.

     2 The insurance must include damage caused to persons and property in the national territory,

    with the exception of damage to the insured vehicle and to property carried by it.

     ETS 29 Insurance Motor Vehicles, 20.IV.1959 8__________________________________________________________________________________________

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     Article 4

     1 The following may be excluded from the benefits of the insurance:

     a the driver of the vehicle causing the damage, the policy-holder and all persons whose

    civil liability is covered by the policy;

     b the spouses of the persons mentioned above;

     c members of the families of those persons, provided either that they reside with them or

    are dependent on them for their maintenance, or that they are carried in the vehicle

    which caused the damage.

     2 Damage caused by the vehicle during participation in authorised motor races or

    competitions, whether for speed, reliability or skill may be excluded from the normal

    insurance.

     Article 5

     Should it be stipulated in the policy that the assured shall himself make some contribution

    towards compensation for the damage, the insurer shall nevertheless remain liable to the

    injured party for payment of the contribution which the contract lays down as being due by

    the assured.

     Article 6

     1 The injured party has a direct claim against the insurer.

     2 Should there be more than one injured party, and the total compensation due exceed the

    sum insured, the rightful claims of the injured parties against the insurer shall be reduced in

    proportion to that sum. Nevertheless, an insurer who, through ignorance of the existence of

    other claims, has in good faith paid an injured party more than that party's proper share,

    shall be accountable to the other injured parties only for the remainder of the sum insured.

     Article 7

     1 The assured must report to the insurer all accidents of which they have knowledge. The

    policy-holder must supply the insurer with any information or documents stipulated in the

    policy. Assured persons other than the policy-holder must supply any information or

    documents required by the insurer, at the latter's request.

     2 The insurer may make the assured a party to an action brought against him by the injured

    party.

     Article 8

     1 Any action by the injured party against the insurer based on the former's direct claim

    against him shall be barred after two years have elapsed since the time of the accident.

     2 A written request shall suspend the period of limitation in respect of the insurer until such

    time as he states in writing that he has broken off negotiations. The period of limitation shall

    not be suspended by subsequent requests.

     ETS 29 Insurance Motor Vehicles, 20.IV.1959 9__________________________________________________________________________________________

    _

     Article 9

     1 The insurer may not raise against an injured party the rights which he possesses vis-à-vis the

    assured, by virtue of the contract or of the provisions of the law relating to it, to withhold or

    reduce its benefits.

     2 The invalidity or termination of the insurance contract, its suspension or that of the

    guarantee thereunder may be raised by the insurer against the injured party only in respect

    of accidents occurring after 16 days have elapsed since the insurer gave notice of the said

    invalidity, termination or suspension. In the case of consecutive insurances this provision

    shall apply only to the last insurer.

     3 However, the provisions of the preceding paragraphs shall not be applicable insofar as the

    damage is effectively covered by another insurance.

     4 The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 of the present article shall in no wise prejudice the

    insurer's right to take action against the policy-holder or an assured person other than the

    policy-holder.

     Article 10

     No departure by way of agreement between individuals may be made from those provisions

    of this law which are designed to protect injured parties, unless the right to do so follows

    from those provisions.

     ETS 29 Insurance Motor Vehicles, 20.IV.1959 10__________________________________________________________________________________________

    _

ANNEX II

     Reservations to the Convention

     Each Contracting Party may state its intention:

     1 to exempt from compulsory insurance motor vehicles owned by corporate persons under

    public or private law able to provide sufficient financial guarantee to be their own insurer;

     2 to allow the deposit of a security in lieu of insurance by such persons as it shall determine,

    provided, however, that such security offers injured parties safeguards equivalent to those

    afforded by the insurance;

     3 to exclude from compulsory insurance wilful damage caused by the assured;

     4 to exempt from compulsory insurance the cases specified in the second sentence of

    paragraph 1 of Article 3 of the annexed provisions;

     5 to exempt from compulsory insurance the driving of a vehicle without the consent of the

    owner or person in charge, or in contravention of their orders, provided that in such cases

    the injured party has a guarantee of compensation, at least in respect of damage to person;

     6 to exempt from compulsory insurance damages for pain and suffering;

     7 to exclude from benefit under the insurance, when the assured is a corporate person or a

    commercial company not possessing legal personality, the legal representatives of the

    assured, and the spouses of such representatives, and, under the terms of paragraph 1.c of

    Article 4 of the annexed provisions, members of the families of such representatives;

     8 to exclude from benefit under the insurance of a motor vehicle any person who is carried

    with his consent in that vehicle although he knows or should have known that the vehicle

    was taken from the rightful possessor by an unlawful act or is being used in the perpetration

    of a criminal offence;

     9 to exempt from compulsory insurance damage to passengers in the vehicle that was the

    cause of such damage, if they were being carried free of charge or as a favour;

     10 to exempt from compulsory insurance motor vehicles while being driven in private grounds

    to which certain persons have right of access and also motor vehicles while taking part

    elsewhere than on the public highway in motor races or competitions, whether for speed,

    reliability or skill;

     11 to depart, solely as between its own nationals, from the terms of Article 5 of the annexed

    provisions in regard to damage to property involving small sums;

     12 to leave it to its courts to decide whether, in the case of damage caused in its territory,

    Article 6 of the annexed provisions shall apply, indication being given where necessary to

    the courts of the principles on which they should proceed;

     13 to depart from the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 6 of the annexed provisions with a

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