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German truck toll faces legal challenge

[ March 22, 2013   //   ]

Germany’s ‘Maut’ electronic truck tolls are facing a major legal challenge, reports European forwarders’ organisation Clecat in its latest newsletter.

On 25 October, the Higher Administrative Court of Münster ruled that the Federal Republic of Germany has to refund a road haulier “due to the lack of a legal basis” for the tax.

The amount involved – €22.41 – is trivial but the case opened a legal floodgate. The judges concluded that the Maut was legally void because the underlying regulation imposes a system with too few vehicle categories and which did not achieve proportionality between trucks and cars.

Following the judgment, thousands of road hauliers filed applications for reimbursement. According to Horst Roitsch, the speaker of the Federal Office for Cargo Transport (BAG), the authority has already received 6,000 claims totalling €1.75.

The court decision may jeopardise the Federal Republics chances to win €5.6bn compensation redress against Toll Collect, the consortium operating the electronic charging system, for the two-year delay in implementing the system.

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