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Smart tachographs, new road sections covered by the toll and bans on diesel – these are just a few of the changes that you need to know about this year.

Smart tachographs

Smart tachographs will be compulsory as early as mid-June 2019 in new trucks produced in EU. Other lorries, travelling in international traffic will have to install them from 2034. The devices are not only effective in preventing any interference in time record but also facilitate the work of traffic inspectors. Data from smart tachographs can be read remotely, thanks to short-range devices. It’s not everything. The devices will also record the route on which the vehicle moves (marking its location every three hours) and inform the driver about the mistakes.


The Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) has recently presented a draft regulation on toll rates in Austria for 2019.

Although the draft provides for a statutory adjustment of infrastructure costs inflation in the amount of 2.2 per cent, for trucks meeting the EURO 6 emission standard, the fees will increase almost three fold. For the first time, the rates for this class of vehicles also take into account the external costs associated with air pollution. Austrian carriers are harshly criticizing increases.

The increases are as follows:

– 6.2 percent for Euro 6 trucks with 2 or 3 axles,

– 5.3 percent for Euro 6 trucks with 4 axles.

All other tariffs will increase by 2.2 percent.

Toll rates in Austria in 2019 (in cents, excluding VAT):

Tariff group Category no 1 Category no 2 Category n0 3
2 axles 3 axles 4 axles and above
A – emission standard Euro 6 19.23 26.985 40.099
B – emission standard Euro 5 and EEV 20.24 28.399 41.875
C – emission standard Euro 4 20.87 29.281 42.883
D – emission standard Euro 3, 2, 1, 0 22.87 32.081 46.083


From January 1, 2019, three new road sections will be added to the network of roads subject to tolls in Flanders. In turn, the operator Sofico has published new toll rates in Wallonia.

In Flanders, the following roads will be subject to tolls:

– a new section of the A11 motorway (Bruges-Knokke),

N36 from Roulers (R32) to Zarren (N35),

N722 from Hasselt (N80) to St Trond (N718).

In Wallonia, the toll administrator Sofico has published new toll rates that will apply from January 1, 2019. The reason for the increase is the adjustment of prices to the realities of the market, taking into account inflation and rising costs. Their height can be found in our earlier article on this topic.


In January last year, the Spanish Ministry of Transport announced a ban on taking a regular weekly rest in the truck’s cabin. It was originally intended to enter into force in July last year. Eventually, the deadline was postponed to January 1, 2019. According to the information provided by the Spanish Association of ASTIC Road Transport Carriers, the penalty for taking a regular weekly rest in Spain will be 1 thousand euros.

Germany – big toll raises

Among the changes planned for 2019 in Germany, the most controversial – among German and foreign carriers – are high increases in toll rates. The amount of the toll has been established taking into account the costs of construction, operation and maintenance of the road network.

One of the most important logistics organizations, BGL association, regrets the 60 per cent increase in tariffs (in the case of 4-axle trucks meeting the Euro 6 standard). 

German toll rates (in euros), which will apply from January 1, 2019.

Emission standards GVW from 7,5 to 12 tonnes GVW from 12 to 18 tonnes GVW above 18 tonnes with maximum 3 axles   GVW above 18 tonnes, 4 axles and more 
Euro 0/I 0.167 0.202 0.247 0.261
Euro II 0.156 0.191 0.236 0.250
Euro III 0.146 0.181 0.226 0.240
Euro IV 0.114 0.149 0.194 0.208
Euro V/EEV 0.104 0.139 0.184 0.198
Euro VI 0.093 0.128 0.173 0.187

The minimum wage will increase

The statutory minimum wage in Germany increased from 1 January 2019 to 9.19 euro per gross hour. With a 40-hour working week, this increase will mean a salary higher by 55 euros (gross).

The German government also approved last year’s increase in the minimum wage. From the beginning of next year, the employer will have to pay at least 9.35 euros gross for an hour of work. This is important information for carriers carrying out transport on German territory.

The so-called MiLoG, the German minimum wage law, has been in force since January 1, 2015. At that time, the statutory minimum was 8.5 euros per hour (gross). In January 2017, the rate was raised to 8.84 euros.

Ban on diesel vehicles

In many German cities, traffic bans for diesel vehicles will come into force. This is the result of lawsuits that the German environmental organization Deutsche Umwelthilfe brought to the authorities.

Here are the cities where restrictions for diesel cars will apply:

City Streets where diesel ban applies: Date of entry into force Emission standard 
Berlin 11 sections on the following streets: Leipziger Straße, Reinhardtstraße, Brückenstraße, Friedrichstraße, dem Kapweg, Alt-Moabit, der Stromstraße and Leonorenstraße at latest in July 2019  Euro 1-5
Bonn Reuterstraße and Belderberg 1 April 2019 Euro 1-4
Darmstadt Hügelstraße and Heinrichstraße 1 July 2019 Euro 1-5
Essen 18 road sections, including a section of A40 motorway

in two stages:

– 1 July 2019

– 1 September 2019

– Euro 1-4

– Euro 5

Frankfurt am Mein Most likely the current eco-friendly zone

in two stages:

– 1 February 2019

– 1 September 2019

-Euro 1-4

-Euro 5

Gelsenkirchen Kurt-Schumacher-Straße 1 July Euro 1-5
Cologne Entire eco-friendly zone

in two stages:

– 1 April

– 1 September

– Euro 1-4

– Euro 5

Mainz Few road sections for Euro 5* vehicles and the entire eco-friendly zone for vehicles meeting Euro 1-4* standard – September under the condition that during the first 6 months of the year emission limits will be exceeded – Euro 1-4* i Euro 5*
Stuttgart Entire eco-friendly zone 1 January – Euro 1-4


The amount of road toll rates in France is raised annually in accordance with the contract between operators and the state. From February 1, 2019, they will be able to raise prices by a maximum of 70 per cent of the inflation rates. According to estimates, inflation should be from 1.40 to 2 per cent in 2018. Consequently, tariffs may increase on average by 0.98-1.40 per cent. According to the French media, the operator, who can raise the prices the most, will be ASF (up by 2.19 per cent).

Higher minimum wage

The French government plans to increase the minimum wage from 9.88 to 10.03 euros gross per hour (ie 1.5 percent) from 1 January 2019. As a result, the monthly minimum wage will increase from 1498.47 euros to 1521.22 euros gross. This is the second hike this month after President Emmanuel Macron raised the monthly minimum wage by 100 euros.

This is important information for carriers posting drivers on French territory. They are subject to the so-called „Loi Macron” or the Act on the minimum wage for posted workers.

The increases are a reaction to the protests of the „yellow vests” that have been going on in France since mid-November.


From January 1, 2019, the toll in Hungary will become more expensive. The rates have not been changed for 3 years. According to the statement of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, the average increase in fees will amount to approx. 5.8 percent.

The Ministry also emphasizes that the categories of Euro 3 and Euro 4 vehicles, which pollute the environment more, will no longer be treated in a privileged way from next year.

For example, in the case of Euro 3 and Euro 4 trucks, which have four or more axles, the toll will increase by more than 32 percent.

In turn, for trucks of the same class, but below 4 axles, the increase will amount to 24.5 percent. For vehicles Euro 5 and 6 with 4 axles and more, the tariff will increase by 12.5 percent.

Toll rates for trucks in Hungary from 2019 (forint/km)

Category J2 – motorways and express roads J2 – main roads J3 – motorways and express roads J3 – main roads J4 – motorways and express roads J4 – main roads
Euro 0 and 1 3,5 HUF/km 1,49 HUF/km 4,9 HUF/km 2,58 HUF/km 7,95 HUF/km 4,94 HUF/km
Euro 2 3,04 HUF/km 1,29 HUF/km 4,26 HUF/km 2,24 HUF/km 6,6 HUF/km 4,12 HUF/km
Euro 3 and 4 10,9 HUF/km 4,63 HUF/km 15,29 HUF/km 8,03 HUF/km 29,36 HUF/km 18,32 HUF/km
Euro 5 and 6 2,58 HUF/km 1,09 HUF/km 3,62 HUF/km 1,91 HUF/km 11,03 HUF/km 7,06 HUF/km

United Kingdom

An extremely important event for the transport industry as well as the entire European economy will be the speech of the British from the European Union on March 30, 2019. Brexit is fast approaching, yet there is still no agreement between the EU and the British government. At the end of December, the European Commission announced the implementation in some sectors of an emergency action plan for the so-called hard Brexit.

In regards to the transport sector, the Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation allowing UK operators to temporarily (ie for nine months) transport goods to the EU, provided that the United Kingdom grants EU road hauliers equivalent rights and subject to fair conditions competition.

In the absence of an agreement on Brexit, the Commission adopted the following technical measures regarding the import and export of goods from the Community to the United Kingdom:

– Delegated Regulation on the incorporation of the seas surrounding the United Kingdom in the rules on time limits for filing summary declarations and pre-departure declarations before leaving or entering the customs territory of the Union.

– The proposal for a regulation on adding the United Kingdom to the list of countries for which a general authorization for the export of dual-use items is valid throughout the EU.



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