Tag Archives: certificates of conformity

European Certificate of Conformity

Certificate of Conformity

The European Certificate of Conformity, also called COC or approval certificate is an essential document to register in France and throughout Europe a vehicle purchased abroad.

To facilitate intra-Community trade and simplify administrative procedures, the European Union has set up the certificate of conformity (COC) valid in all EU countries. However, this only applies to vehicles of less than 3.5 tonnes, type M1 (9 people sitting up with the driver), and the year of construction and registration is higher than 1995.

The certificate of conformity is a standardized document containing technical information on the vehicle for which it was established, it indicates that the vehicle conforms to the standards of the country of origin. Thus, it contains the vehicle chassis number, the Community type-approval number and other technical characteristics of the vehicle such as weight, color, height and length, etc …

However, despite having allowed a simplification of administrative procedures for approval of a vehicle from abroad, the COC remains mandatory for persons who acquired a vehicle outside France. It is often difficult to buy and therefore lengthens the time for obtaining a gray card, whereas the statutory maximum period for the registration of an imported vehicle is 30 days.

However, to be valid, the certificate of conformity must be issued before the certificate of sale or first registration of the vehicle and must indicate the chassis number or VIN in the same series to the one engraved on the vehicle manufacturer’s plate.

Note however that for vehicles not having COC (pre-1996 vehicles and N1 utility vehicles), identification certificates are issued, replacing the approval certificate prefecture.

So for every used vehicle purchased in Europe, it is essential to remember to ask the seller to provide the car with a distinct European Certificate of Conformity COC that Europe can provide.

COC Europe specializes in obtaining certificates of conformity for any brand. We provide the best prices and fast delivery.

Registering a car bought overseas

In any case , for travel in France , a vehicle obtained abroad must comply with safety rules and construction under the rules of the road .
Then, depending on the situation , the procedures may be different.

Number Plates

On his arrival in France , the vehicle must be provided with valid license plates. If they are not valid , you may get an immobilisation of the vehicle by the police .

Depending on the country , situations vary :

- Some countries issue temporary plates for export . When the plates are no longer valid , the vehicle must travel with a special certificate of registration WW
- some countries require the removal of the vehicle from their national registries and / or the return of the front license plate to leave their territory .


- if you buy a car in Germany , the vehicle must be registered in your name by the German authorities and be removed from the German registry file before being imported into France. The German authorities will issue export plates , but it will also be insured with a German insurance company or from the ADAC ( German automobile club) to get ;

- if you buy a car in Belgium , Belgian license plates are assigned to the vehicle owner , you will need to obtain transit plates from the Directorate for Registration of Vehicles ( or one of its branches in Belgium ) to enter France with the vehicle ;

- if you buy a car in Italy : the Italian number plates owned and being issued for the entire life of the vehicle is required before entering France to strike the vehicle registry automobiles mentioned on the registration papers that it is intended for export. The plates will be returned to the state and a valid temporary plate will be issued for five days .

In all cases , to know the rules of each country , it should contact the consulate of the country concerned in France .

Warning: when you arrive in your home country , if you drive the vehicle , make sure you have all the necessary documents to the administration in the case you get pulled over by the police and also proof of insurance to drive your vehicle  ( for certain countries , you have to purchase local insurance).