Forslag til europaparlaments- og rådsdirektiv om endring av direktiv 1999/62/EF om avgifter på tunge lastebiler for bruk av visse typer infrastruktur
Proposal for Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 1999/62/EC on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures
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). 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 provides the 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 modalities of infrastructure charging, including the variation of charges according to the environmental performance of vehicles.
So far, however, the Directive does not contain elements specifically contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions from transport. CO2 emissions from road transport in 2014 were still 17% higher than in 1990. The highest share of these emissions originates from passenger cars (over 60%), while that of HGVs is increasing. Under current trends, the emission reduction will not be sufficient to achieve the EU goals set for 2030 and 2050.
Road infrastructure is degrading in many Member States because of inadequate maintenance. Public spending on road maintenance has decreased in the EU by about 30% between 2006 and 2013 and stood at 0.5% of GDP in 2013 (compared to 1.5% in 1975 and 0.8% in 2008). This leads to various negative economic, social and environmental impacts including increased vehicle operating costs, pollutant and noise emissions, increased journey times, accidents, and negative effects on the economy.
The current legislation only applies to HGVs, all other vehicles are left unaddressed. In this area, which includes in particular passenger cars, and absent specific limits, there is a risk of short-term vignettes being priced comparatively too high and hence of discrimination vis-à-vis occasional, mostly foreign users. Another potential problem of discrimination, common to all types of vehicles, is compensation of national users in case time-based charges are introduced.
The negative impacts of road transport represent significant costs to society. While cars and vans cause less damage to the infrastructure than heavy duty vehicles (HDVs, including HGVs and buses/coaches), passenger cars are at the source of about 2/3 of external costs (including the cost of climate change, air pollution, noise, accidents and other negative impacts) generated by road transport, or about 1.8-2.4% of GDP.
In addition, congestion is a persistent problem inside and outside urban areas; however, it has only been sporadically addressed by Member States. Road traffic peaks result in considerable social costs, which amount to 1% of EU GDP. Two thirds of these costs are attributable to passenger cars and 20-30% to interurban traffic.
The objective of the initiative is to make progress in the application of the 'polluter pays' and 'user pays' principles, thereby promoting financially and environmentally sustainable and socially equitable road transport.
The initiative contributes to the Regulatory Fitness Programme (REFIT), since it is intended to bring about an update to and simplification of certain provisions of the Directive.
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