Traffic fines abroad: Implementation and enforcement in Italy
In March of this year Italy has also implemented the Framework Decision of the Council of the European Union (2005/214 /JI) on the mutual recognition of fines by legislative decree no. 37 of 2016. The European Consumer Center Italy (ECC) provides clarity as to what is actually changing for the people having residence or income in Italy and receiving a traffic fine from abroad.
In the past few months, many consumers have contacted the ECC Italy office in Bolzano – with requests for traffic offences in another member state of the EU. How do you proceed?
The first step is to read the decision carefully and to check whether the information like time and place of the offence actually correspond to the date of the stay abroad. The letter must also include the terms of payment and the time limits, the institutions and the procedural rules with regard to a possible appeal to the decision.
Before the implementation of the framework decision on the recognition of monetary penalties, the consultants of the ECC Italy informed the Italian consumers that the decision which they received from abroad so far would be in conformity with the content, but that it would ultimately fail in the enforceability of the sentence, as this was not yet possible. Our center, however, always pointed out that if you got a new traffic control in the country where the first offence occurred, you have to pay anyway.
Since March of this year, however, the enforceability of sanctions coming from abroad should be no problem anymore: traffic violations are initially recognized and can then be enforced in Italy. This means that all necessary measures for collecting the amount from the property of the person committing the violation can be taken. The prerequisite for this is an Italian residence or the receipt of an income or the possession of goods in Italy.
And even more. The legislative decree no. 37 of 2016 sets out clear rules with regard to the terms of notification: the protocols of violation issued by foreign police officers must be submitted in compliance with the notification regulations of the country where the violation occurred. So the notifications can also be transmitted by a simple letter like in other EU countries.
If the amount is lower than EUR 70, the competent court may refuse recognition. This exclusion, however, is not compulsory for the court. Once the monetary fine has been recognized in Italy, it is enforced in accordance with the rules and regulations applicable in Italy.
If you would like to find out more about the EU Member States traffic regulations you can visit and simply download the free Goingabroad app, available thanks to the European Commission, DG Move.
For further information, please contact the European Consumer Center tel. 0471 / 980939 and firstname.lastname@example.org.