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Deal reached on road user charging in Europe – updated

[ June 16, 2021   //   ]

The European Parliament and EU Council have reached agreement on new Eurovignette road charging rules for trucks to transition from time-based to distance-based charging.

The provisional deal will update the rules defining charges EU member states can impose on trucks vans and other vehicles using the trans-European transport (TEN-T) network. Under the new rules EU countries will need to set different road charging rates based on CO2 emissions for trucks, as soon as additional rules on CO2 classes for vehicles are set, possibly in 2023, and based on environmental performance for vans and minibuses as of 2026. There will be major reductions for zero or low emission vehicles.

Time-based “vignettes” will be phased out across the core TEN-T network from 2029 for heavy-duty vehicles, but member states will still be able to retain them for a specific parts of this network, if they can prove that a new mode of charging would be disproportionate relative to expected revenue.

To ensure occasional users and drivers from other EU countries are treated fairly, the provisional deal also created shorter validity periods (one day, one week or 10 days).

Five years from the entry into force of these rules, the Commission will assess the charging practice for  light-duty vehicles in order to decide if vans used for commercial purposes should follow the same charging models as trucks

The deal now needs to be approved by EU states’ representatives and the Parliament’s transport committee, and then by the Council and Parliament as a whole.

Nicolette van der Jagt, director general of European forwarders’ organisation, CLECAT welcomed the provisional agreement, saying that the move towards distance-based charging and phasing-out of the vignette for heavy vehicles would standardise a currently fragmented system.

However, she said that it could be more ambitious in earmarking road charging revenues for investment in transport infrastructure.

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