• Swiss tax rise legitimate

    An interesting legal judgement has been made in Switzerland over covering the costs of road transport.

    Three years ago, the Swiss Customs Administration ordered a rise in the country’s distance-based heavy goods charge to take effect from 1 January 2008. Two transport firms plus the Swiss hauliers’ alliance Astag took the customs administration to court, and last year they won an administrative court ruling after questioning the basis for calculating the congestion part of the charge in relation to the costs caused by heavy goods traffic on Swiss roads. But now Switzerland’s top court, the Federal Court, has overturned last year’s ruling, saying the rise was legitimate. The Federal Court’s exact reasoning will not be published for several weeks, but it will be based on whether it considers the costs caused by traffic jams as external costs or not.