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Charging of heavy goods vehicles: Eurovignette Directive

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Charging of heavy goods vehicles: Eurovignette Directive

Most EU countries charge hauliers for using their transport infrastructure, notably roads. The EU has introduced the Eurovignette with the aim of recovering construction, maintenance, repair and environmental costs, ensuring fair competition and preventing discrimination.

ACT

Directive 1999/62/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 1999 on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures.

SUMMARY

Most EU countries charge hauliers for using their transport infrastructure, notably roads. The EU has introduced the Eurovignette with the aim of recovering construction, maintenance, repair and environmental costs, ensuring fair competition and preventing discrimination.

WHAT DOES THE DIRECTIVE DO?

It replaces earlier legislation - Directive 93/89/EEC - which had been annulled by the European Court of Justice in 1995. It harmonises the conditions under which national authorities may apply taxes, tolls and user charges on goods carried by road.

KEY POINTS

Financial charges initially only applied to vehicles with a maximum gross laden weight of 12 tonnes. From 2012, this was extended to vehicles over 3.5 tonnes.

They may be levied on motorways, bridges, tunnels, mountain passes and certain other categories of roads.

Charges may not discriminate between the haulier’s nationality or the vehicle’s origin or destination.

Mandatory controls at internal EU borders are forbidden.

Charges may vary depending on emissions produced or the time the road infrastructure is used.

National authorities may levy other taxes in specific circumstances, such as registration, abnormal loads and parking or to avoid congestion.

Charges do not apply to vehicles registered in the Canaries, Ceuta and Melilla, the Azores or Madeira operating in those territories or between them and Spain and Portugal.

Directive 2003/96/EC sets minimum tax levels for all motor fuels. Countries with road user charges may apply a reduced rate for gas oil used by those vehicles.

WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?

From 20 July 1999.

BACKGROUND

In 2014, the Commission adopted a strategy to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from transport. This emphasised the contributions new technology, including alternative fuels, and a shift to other forms of transport could make.

For more information, see the European Commission’s road charging website.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 1999/62/EC

20.7.1999

1.7.2000

OJ L 187 of 20.7.1999, pp. 42-50

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2006/38/EC

10.6.2006

10.6.2008

OJ L 157 of 9.6.2006, pp. 8-23

Council Directive 2006/103/EC

1.1.2007

1.1.2007

OJ L 363 of 20.12.2006, pp. 344-351

Directive 2011/76/EU

15.10.2011

16.10.2013

OJ L 269 of 14.10.2011, pp. 1-16

Council Directive 2013/22/EU

1.7.2013

1.7.2013

OJ L 158 of 10.6.2013, pp. 356-361

RELATED ACTS

Council Directive 2003/96/EC of 27 October 2003 restructuring the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity (OJ L 283 of 31.10.2003, pp. 51-70).

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament - Strategy for reducing heavy-duty vehicles’ fuel consumption and CO2 emissions (COM(2014) 285 final of 21.5.2014).

Last updated: 30.04.2015

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