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EU transport ministers have agreed to a number of road toll exemptions to specific vehicles and businesses as part of a new plan announced today.

Among other things, the transport ministers decided to agree on the following changes:

  • No later than eight years after the directive has come into force, mandatory fees are to be levied on all trucks over 3.5 tonnes gross in EU member states where charging systems for trucks are already in place.
  • Exceptions for small and medium-sized companies shall be allowed. Accordingly, they may be permitted to use roads with trucks between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes without having to pay a toll. Each country can then decide for itself whether it will completely exempt small businesses, offer them reduced tolls or expect them to pay in full.
  • With a view to climate protection, the toll rates must be differentiated across the EU according to the CO2 emissions of the vehicles. This means that CO2-free vehicles can be completely exempt from the toll until 2025.

Further to last point above, trucks with conventional engines running diesel and petrol will pay according to the CO2 emissions they emit. The more efficient the vehicle, the lower the road toll.

Provided that the new scheme is rubber stamped by the EU parliament, the changes are expected to accelerate the move to emission-free freight and improve air quality in urban areas.

“After years of tough negotiations, we have reached a compromise today that will allow the member states flexibility ”, said Germany’s Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer following the conclusion of the meeting.


Photo credit: wikimedia.org

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