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May 16, 2023 - By:

Criticism of the Brussels proposal

“Unacceptable”. Criticism of the Brussels proposal on tolls for trailers and semi-trailers

Last week, the European Commission proposed to add trailers and semi-trailers to the Eurovignette Directive. The goal, she explains, is to stimulate the production and use of more energy-efficient trailers. However, the proposal was strongly criticized by the International Road Transport Union (IRU).

Member States with road tolls must implement the new Eurovignette legislation by 25 March 2024. The current system allows Member States to set infrastructure tolls depending on the vehicle’s Euro class, but from March 2024 they must be based on data about CO₂ emissions.

By bringing trailers and semi-trailers under the Eurovignette rules, the European Commission hopes to stimulate the production and use of more energy-efficient vehicles. The new rules should come into force only on July 1, 2030.

Another difficulty for the industry

Raluca Marian, the IRU’s director of EU advocacy, admitted that “the transport industry had high hopes for this proposal” and that the inclusion of trailers and semi-trailers in the charging scheme would further complicate the already confusing rules.

The proposed changes may become (…) administratively burdensome for drivers and carriers. Legislators need to find solutions that minimize the administrative burden associated with multiple registration of combinations of vehicles at toll booths,” she comments.

The IRU adds that the combination of changes already made to the Eurovignette Directive in 2022 with the new proposal could result in many Euro VI cars, currently considered the cleanest technology, falling into much less favorable Eurovignette categories in 2024 The IRU says lawmakers cannot allow this to happen.

The Commission’s proposal is currently under consideration by the Council and the European Parliament. If these bodies do not approve the text in the first or second reading, a conciliation procedure will be initiated to prepare a new project.


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