Since January 1, any muscle or electric bike sold by a merchant must receive a unique marking in order to combat theft, concealment or illicit resale of cycles.
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If you plan to acquire a new or used electric or muscle bike this year, you should know that it must bear a marking with a unique number, registered in a database that can be consulted by the police in the event of theft or loss. This obligation came into force on January 1 following the decree published in the Official Journal on November 25, 2020 in application of the mobility orientation law. The measure will be extended to used electric and muscle bikes from July 1, 2021.
The solution recommended by the public authorities is the Bicycode, which was introduced in 2004 by the French Federation of Bicycle Users (FUB). This system is recommended by the Ministry of the Interior with which the FUB signed a partnership agreement in 2015. It is backed by a national file which is fed by the various databases administered by approved operators. These contain the contact details of the owner as well as a description of the cycle (type of machine, make, model, color). Oddly enough, the serial numbers of the bike, possibly the motor and the battery are considered “optional data” when they can greatly facilitate the identification of a stolen bike, especially if it has been repainted or modified. .
No commercial exploitation of data
The national file will be searchable in particular by the police, gendarmerie and customs services. Individuals will be able to access the status of the bike thanks to the identifier number, which will make it possible to verify that a cycle purchased second-hand has not been declared stolen. “The data appearing in the single national file will not be usable for commercial purposes but may give rise to statistical exploitation”, specifies the government.
The bicycle marking is provided by the bicycle sellers, but it is the purchaser who will be responsible for completing the information in the database. The site dedicated to Bicycode tells us that the marking of bikes with a titanium or carbon frame is “formally discouraged”. This is rather annoying given that this type of high-end bike is precisely the most exposed to the risk of theft. “There are alternative solutions to anti-theft engraving for carbon and titanium frames,” said one cycle salesman when questioned on this subject. Buyers of exceptional bikes will therefore have an interest in obtaining information from their dealer beforehand.
In the event of resale, the owner of a bicycle or an eBike must notify the operator who provided the identifier and communicate the necessary elements so that the new purchaser can transfer the information. Finally, you should know that children’s bicycles, cycle trailers, scooters, gyropods and other hoverboards are not affected by this marking obligation.
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