The technical control of two-wheelers reinstated by the Council of State

Postponed, suspended, rehabilitated, repealed: the technical control for two-wheelers gave rise to a standoff between associations and the State, the last episode of which was played on Monday, October 31. The Council of State reinstated the technical control, the application of which was planned for the beginning of 2023 before its cancellation by the government, which had indicated however that this measure could be “staggered over time”.

“The decision taken by the government, on July 25, to reverse the application of technical control to two-wheelers which it had initially decided in August 2021, is illegal”estimated the highest administrative court in a press release, considering that it was a “excess of power”.

According to the Council of State, the abolition of technical control should have been subject to public consultation, “taking into account its direct and significant impact on the environment”.

Not compliant with European requirements

In addition, the measures proposed since by the government to derogate from the European obligation of technical control “do not comply” to European requirements “because they are only at the draft stage or because they do not allow a sufficiently effective and significant improvement in the safety of motorcyclists on the road”according to the Council of State.

The effective implementation of the technical inspection may be accompanied by “implementing measures” bearing on a “time staggering”or even a “differentiation according to the age of the vehicle”.

In 2014, the European Commission introduced the obligation for all EU countries to institute before the start of 2022 a technical inspection for two-wheelers over 125 cm3. In the heart of summer 2021, the French government had finally published a decree establishing it, but only from the beginning of 2023.


First twist, Emmanuel Macron had immediately assured that he would never apply this decision because ” this (was) no time to bother the French”, according to an adviser to the executive. The Minister of Transport at the time Jean-Baptiste Djebbari had therefore suspended it by decree.

The associations Respire, Ras le scoot and Paris without a car had seized the Council of State under an emergency procedure to demand the application of the European directive as soon as possible. And the highest administrative court in the country had agreed with them in May, ordering the executive to apply it from October 2022.

On July 26, there was a new twist, with the publication of a decree by which the government repealed the very first decree establishing this control, arguing that a clause in European legislation allowing taking instead “alternative measures”. It was on this decree of July, attacked again by the same NGOs, that the Council of State ruled this time, the public rapporteur recommending its cancellation at the hearing.

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