A major area for international cooperation is the recovery of stolen or embezzled vehicles. The Conference on Theft of and Illicit Trafficking in Motor Vehicles (Warsaw, December 1996) recommended, among other things, that States be urged to negotiate and conclude bilateral and/or multilateral agreements for a simplified and effective procedure to recuperate stolen vehicles. Such agreements should clearly state, inter alia, documentation required, certification procedures, translation requirements, authorized expenses and applicability of value added tax. A model treaty is contained in the annex to the resolution contained in paragraph 4 of the report of the Conference annexed to the present report. States could also usefully rely on the existing United Nations model treaties on extradition, mutual assistance in criminal matters, transfer of proceedings and transfer of prisoners, as necessary, as tools in improving international cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of cases of illicit trafficking in motor vehicles.
The International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO/Interpol) had developed a motor vehicle crime action plan and an international stolen vehicle database. The Analytical Criminal Intelligence Unit of the General Secretariat had produced a report entitled "Project Roadrunner" on the routes used for vehicle trafficking in Europe, together with information on the organized groups involved. The ICPO/Interpol ASF International Stolen Vehicle Database, which became operational in April 1996, contains details of stolen and misappropriated vehicles including their VIN or chassis numbers, while no personal information is recorded on it. Interpol national central bureaux or national police authorities of participating countries are responsible for creating, modifying and deleting the stolen vehicle records, using specified message formats. This is achieved electronically using an international e-mail protocol (x-400) to link up to the central stolen vehicle database at the General Secretariat and is carried out on a daily basis. There are three options for entering data into the system and subsequently interrogating it. Special software has been developed and made available to requesting countries by ICPO/Interpol to help them to update and use the system.
The Organization of American States (OAS) is responsible for three international treaties on the subject, namely, the Convention on the Regulation of Automotive Traffic (1930), the Convention on the Regulation of InterAmerican Automotive Traffic (1943) and the Regional Agreement for the Temporary Importation of Vehicles by Highway (1956).
Dramatic progress has been made in Europe in the computerization of vehicle registration data systems and stolen vehicle databases. In general, international cooperation against type of crime had improved but was still inadequate and the flow of information among relevant agencies the national and international levels, was reportedly still inefficient. Where international agreements had concluded, practical procedures for their implementation had not been devised. Problems relating to language of different registration procedures and relevant documents had not yet been solved satisfactorily. Countries have been slow in joining the ICPO/Interpol ASF International Stolen Vehicle Database, which had not reach( potential so far. Conflicting jurisdictions among various law enforcement agencies at the national level also hampering an effective response to this form of crime.