Tuesday, May 29, 2018

German Road Haulage Tolls Set to Rise to Fund Infrastructure

Highway Charge Uplift Follows Extra Federal Trunk Route Costs
Shipping News Feature
GERMANY – Earlier this month, the German Federal Cabinet passed the proposal on the 5th Federal Road Toll Act which will see a sharp increase in the HGV tolls from January 1, 2019. The plan is for the billions of additional revenue extracted from road haulage operators to go directly into the expansion of the country's road network infrastructure, additionally tolls on all federal trunk roads are already due to increase from July 1, 2018, as ratified last year.

From July, all 52,000 kilometres of federal trunk roads will be subject to tolls for trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 7.5 tonnes or more. Currently, tolls are collected on 12,800 km of motorways and 2,300 km of federal roads. The revenue to be gained from this expansion of approximately 40,000 kilometres of toll roads is estimated to be an additional €2 billion per year. With the uplift of the rates in January next year, the German government is looking to bring in an additional €500 million.

With the 2017 figure of €4.7 billion gathered from the road toll, the federal government should see a rise in revenue to €7.2 billion, which will be redistributed across all regions of Germany for investment in the country's transport infrastructure. Low-emission EURO VI vehicles will be charged for air pollution and noise, as opposed to the newer electric trucks which will see an exemption from the fee in an attempt to encourage the industry to adopt greener vehicles.

According to the German shipping and logistics association DSVL, four-axle EURO VI class trucks greater than 18 tonnes are particularly burdened by an increase in toll rates, approximately up 59%, from 11.7 to 18.7 cents/km. For the particularly low-emission five-axle 18 tonne and larger, the toll costs will increase from 13.5 to 18.7 cents/km, still up by 38.5%. Modern EURO VI trucks already account for 65% of all toll kilometres in Germany.