Brussels (Brussels Morning) Commercial transport of goods will be charged on the basis of distance covered rather than the time it takes to complete delivery, once new rules voted by MEPs on the Transport and Tourism (TRAN) Committee are endorsed by the European Parliament and the Council and have then been implemented.
The deal on new rules was approved yesterday by the TRAN Committee by 28 votes to 21.
The Committee’s decision is intended to better represent polluters-pay/users-pay principles, hence the switch in charges from a time-based model to a distance-driven system, reflecting the actual number of kilometres covered.
“These new rules represent a milestone in achieving the ambitious decarbonisation policies that we set at the beginning of this parliament’s legislature. This is also why I am very satisfied with the agreement we reached on the earmarking of some tolls”, MEP Giuseppe Ferrandino (S&D) declared after the vote.
Committee members determined that EU countries will phase out “vignettes” — the system of time-based road haulage charges —across the core trans-European Transport (TEN-T) network from 2029 on heavy-duty vehicles, including trucks, lorries and buses.
In order to measure distance-based charges, member states are set to apply specific tolls. EU countries will still be able to retain vignettes for specific parts of the TEN-T, the Committee noted.
Exemptions to the phase-out of vignettes will be permitted when duly justified, according to the Council. These would apply in areas of low population density or, if relevant, to a restricted or limited stretch of a particular route.
Member states will also have the option of setting up a combined charging system for heavy-duty vehicles, which would bring together distance-and-time-based elements, integrating them into a dual-variation tool.
“In full respect of their autonomy, member states will have the tools they need to be active players in addressing the great environmental challenges we face”, Ferrandino observed.
MEPs have also determined that, three years after the legislation comes into force, member states must report publicly on tolls and user charges levied within their territory, including information on how the revenues are being spent.
The TRAN Committee emphasised the importance of ensuring that the adjusted road charges contribute to sustainable transport, infrastructure and mobility.