France introduces compulsory bike marking

The French authorities are fighting back against cycle theft by introducing compulsory bike marking and registration.

The new law will cover all new bikes from 1st January 2021 and used bikes sold from 1st July 2021. It won’t be an obligation (but is recommended) for bikes already in circulation prior to 2021, or children’s bikes.

This is something that France has been working towards for some years in order to combat the estimated 400,000 bikes stolen every year. The Guardian reported in 2018 that the proposal (‘Plan Vélo’) was part of a 350,000 Euro plan to encourage and improve cycling. 

At Stolen Ride we have seen many UK plans and campaigns over the years to add traceability to all bikes and combat the trade of stolen bikes. So many will take a keen interest in how successful this new law works for France.

So what is the plan for second-hand bikes?

When an identified cycle is sold, its owner, when he is not a trader or a preparation professional for reuse or reuse, declares it to the approved operator. who provided the identifier and communicates to the assignee the information allowing him to access the file of this operator so that he can record the data concerning him.

The ‘status of the bike’ will be freely available via searching with the cycle identifier. So prospective buyers of bikes can confirm that it is not registered stolen. That is if the bike is recorded, remembering that the bikes prior to 2021 might not be registered. 

Other key points covered:

  • Any bike sold by a retailer will be security marked with a unique identifier, tied to national database 
  • A single national file will hold such information as the owners’ name and email address. Alongside the details about the bike, including its spec and frame number.
  • After selling a second-hand bike the original owner has 24hrs to update the database to ensure personal data is removed
  • If a bike is stolen, the owner has two weeks to update the national database
  • A fine will be issued if the owner (or retailer) does not update the registration file, after a change of status (such as ownership)

There is no mention in the new law regarding online marketplaces and their obligations. But this could be an opportunity for them to insist that bikes are registered before allowing a listing of a second-hand bike

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