European Commission

Procedure against German road tax law ends

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The European Commission has closed the pending infringement procedure against Germany's road charge for cars.

The controversial bill imposing a road charge for cars was adopted in March by Germany's Bundestag parliament but faced scrutiny by the European Court of Justice for discrimination against foreign motorists.

The bill meant car owners would have to pay the annual levy of €130 from next year to use main highways, but Germans would receive a reduction in car tax and see no net change in overall expenses.

Foreign motorists would not get any relief.

On Thursday, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Austria released a joint statement after the European Commission closed the pending procedure against Germany.

The statement reads: "The European Commission has closed the pending infringement procedure against Germany with respect to the planned introduction of a road charge for light vehicles and the parallel compensation (tax relief) for owners of vehicles registered in Germany.

"With a view to safeguarding conformity with EU law and notably the principle of non-discrimination, we urge the Commission to substantiate its decision to close the infringement procedure, including a legal assessment of the German toll plans."

Both north-south traffic from Scandinavia to Italy and east-west flows from France to Poland cross Germany, and trucks already pay tolls by the kilometre.

(Heledd Pritchard, heledd.pritchard@wort.lu, +352 49 93 459)

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