Driving ban relaxations and toll exemptions for humanitarian aid transport in Europe

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Countries in Europe are relaxing weekend driving bans and road tolls for drivers transporting humanitarian aid to Ukraine and/or Ukrainian refugees. See here how different countries have changed their regulations.

Driving ban relaxations and toll exemptions for humanitarian aid transport in Europe
Photo credits @ Bartosz Wawryszuk

Austria

Throughout Austria, the transport of humanitarian goods is exempt from driving bans on weekends and public holidays. Other Austrian driving bans do not provide exceptions for humanitarian transport.

In addition, Austria introduced a toll exemption for all aid shipments to Ukraine.

For future journeys, confirmation of the toll exemption must be obtained prior to the start of the journey.

You can apply for reimbursement for journeys that have already been made by submitting a special application for motor vehicles over 3.5 tonnes.

Denmark

Due to the war in Ukraine, the Danish Ministry of Transport introduced certain exceptions for vehicles transporting humanitarian aid to Ukraine. These include the relaxation of drivers’ hours regulations.

The Ministry of Transport explains the same relaxation applies in Denmark as in Poland (including extending working hours from 9 to 11 hours).

Exceptions will be in force until April 3, 2022.

France

Humanitarian transports to Ukraine and neighbouring countries will be exempt from French driving bans on March 12 and 13, 2022 .

It is not yet known whether France will apply these measures on the following weekends.

In addition, the France, together with Poland, Austria, Czech Republic and Germany, has exempted the transport of humanitarian aid for Ukraine from road tolls.

People arranging this type of transport should contact ASFA (asfa@autoroutes.fr) by e-mail and ask for a French road toll release pass on the planned route of international transport.

A different procedure applies when humanitarian transport is carried out in France, for example when goods are transported to a central point in France before being dispatched to Ukraine. In this case, ASFA will deal with the matter individually, after prior e-mail notification from the transport organizer.

Germany

Road toll exemptions

Heavy goods vehicles used to transport humanitarian aid (food, clothing, blankets, etc.) to or through Germany are exempt from road toll-paying requirements, however, a number of conditions must be met for this to happen.

Road toll can be released for:

  • special transport of humanitarian goods to a collection or distribution point in Germany or abroad and return of the vehicle to its usual place of use;
  • empty pallets or containers used for transporting aid can be returned free of charge;

Tolls must be paid on the following journeys:

  • preparatory journeys prior to the delivery of humanitarian aid, including the collection of humanitarian aid and transportation to the loading point;
  • for the return journey, if the vehicle is carrying commercial goods or is otherwise used for the transport of non-unloading goods.

What evidence is needed?

It must be proved that the goods are humanitarian aid. Evidence shall be provided by a list of data drawn up by the aid organization or private aid initiative containing the following information:

  • aid organization / private aid campaign (address, contact person),
  • humanitarian aid items detailed by quantity (eg number of bags of clothes, number of cartons, pallets, etc.)
  • loading point
  • collection / distribution point (address, contact person)
  • the vehicle used for transport (license plates, owner).

This list must be available for inspection.

This list is also required for the toll exemption of humanitarian consignments in the case of temporary registration with Toll Collect GmbH.

Automatic toll collection equipment installed in HGVs should be switched off during free humanitarian aid. This can be done with the TC-OBU, BAG explains.

In the case of transport abroad, the certificates, permits and import and export documents required for the transport of the special goods to the given country may be presented.

Hungary

Hungary also decided to exempt heavy goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes from the road toll when transporting humanitarian aid.

Hauliers can apply for them directly at the transportation department of the Home Office.

Inquiries with a description of the transport should be sent directly to the kozlekedesi.foosztaly@bm.gov.hu email address.

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