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French Ecotaxe postponed indefinitely – updated***

[ October 29, 2013   //   ]

French prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has announced that plans to introduce the ‘Ecotaxe’ electronic truck toll across France will be suspended indefinitely. He said more time was needed for discussions with the industry and with outlying regions of the country such as Britanny that could be adversely affected.

There had been widespread speculation that the Ecotaxe, which would rely on on-board electronic boxes mounted inside truck cabs and which was due to be introduced from 1 January 2014, would be at least postponed. With just two months to go before the deadline, the ministry of transport was struggling with a backlog of applications from hauliers and there was no indication when the electronic boxes would be available. However, haulage industry sources had expected a revised date, possibly to the middle of the year.

“We transport freight to France every day, and speak to the truck drivers and traffic planners all the time. Although the reason for this latest postponement has been cited as the disruption in Brittany by hauliers and farmers last week-end, we have felt for a while that legislation was being rushed in.

Marie Boyer, MD of France Line, specialists in road freight from UK to France, said: “From what we’ve seen, there were just not enough hauliers registered on the scheme, and not enough who had actually got the boxes to make the system workable from early in the new year. Whilst the tax has not been fully abandoned, at France Line we no longer have the Ecotaxe surcharge starting in January 2014. My gut feeling is that the earliest it will be introduced is June 2014, but until we hear more, we’ll just continue to keep our customers aware of the changes as they happen.”

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