Forslag til rådsdirektiv om endring av direktiv 1999/62/EF om avgifter på tunge lastebiler for bruk av visse typer infrastruktur, hva gjelder visse bestemmelser om kjøretøysavgifter
Proposal for a Council Directive amending Directive 1999/62/EC on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures, as regards certain provisions on vehicle taxation
BAKGRUNN (fra kommisjonsforslaget, engelsk utgave)
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Reasons for and objectives of the proposal
An efficient and reliable transport system is essential for the smooth functioning of the internal market and is a key sector of the economy. While road transport plays the most important role in the inland transport system, it is a source of a number of socio-economic and environmental challenges (e.g. climate change, air pollution, noise, congestion). Distance-based road pricing can play a key role in incentivising cleaner, more efficient operations, and its coherent design is crucial to ensuring fair treatment of road users and sustainable infrastructure financing.
Directive 1999/62/EC (the "Eurovignette Directive") provides a detailed legal framework for charging heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) for the use of certain roads. The Directive aims to eliminate distortions of competition between transport undertakings by a step-wise harmonisation of vehicle taxes and establishment of fair mechanisms for infrastructure charging. It sets minimum levels of vehicle taxes for HGVs and specifies the detailed rules of infrastructure charging, including the variation of charges according to the environmental performance of vehicles.
By nature, annual vehicle taxes are payments linked to the fact that the vehicle is registered on behalf of the taxpayer during a given period and, as such do not reflect any particular use of infrastructure. For similar reasons, vehicles taxes are not effective when it comes to incentivising cleaner and more efficient operations, or reducing congestion. Tolls, on the other hand, being directly linked to road-use, are considerably better fitted to achieve these objectives.
The application of vehicle taxes represents a cost the industry must so far bear in any event, even if tolls were to be levied by Member States. Therefore, vehicle taxes may act as an obstacle to the introduction of tolls.
Therefore, Member States should be afforded more scope to lower vehicle taxes, namely by way of a reduction of the minima set out in Directive 1999/62/EC. In order to minimise the risk of distortions of competition between transport operators established in different Member States, such reduction should be gradual.
The initiative contributes to the Regulatory Fitness Programme (REFIT) by lightening the burden associated with minimum HGV taxes.
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