Bringing the Eurovignette into the electronic age (T&E 00/04)

June 27, 2000

Bringing the Eurovignette into the electronic age: The need to change Directive 1999/62/EC to allow kilometre charging for heavy goods vehicles.

Directive 1999/62/EC on the charging of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) regulates the road tolls and user charges that Member States can apply to HGVs with a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) exceeding 12 tonnes for their use of motorways. The Directive takes effect on 1 July 2000.

According to the new Directive, Member States may maintain or introduce tolls or usercharges on motorways and other multi-lane roads with characteristics similar to motorways, bridges, tunnels and mountain passes. However, in a Member State where no general network of motorways or dual carriageways with similar characteristics exists, tolls and user charges may be imposed in that State on users of the highest category of road from the technical pointof view.

The Directive defines toll as “payment of a specified amount for a vehicle travelling thedistance between two points” and states that “the amount shall be based on distance travelled and the type of vehicle” (article 2b). A user charge is, according to the Directive, payment of a specified amount conferring the right for a vehicle to use the specified infrastructure “for a given period” (article 2c).

Tolls and user charges may not be imposed at the same time for the use of a single road. However, Member States may also impose tolls on networks where user charges are levied,for the use of bridges, tunnels and mountain passes.

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