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Tolls and tunnels

Electronic vignette is (almost) over

Yann Gauthier 07/12/2018

The European Parliament voted in favor of new rules on road charges in the European Union the last 25th of October 2018.

These rules are to ensure fair treatment of road users and to help Member States achieve their targets for reducing CO2 emissions in the transport sector.

According to the new regulation, all light and heavy vehicles in the EU will be charged according to their actual use of the road and the pollution generated. For this, European countries using vignettes (time-based road charges) will have to switch to tolls (distance-based road charges) by 2023 for trucks and buses and by 2027 for vans and minibusses.

How will these changes be applied?

These changes will only apply to the 136 706 km trans-European transport network and only where road charges already apply.

Concretely, this implies a future change for the countries concerned by the

  • Eurovignette (Netherland, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden)
  • HGV Levy (UK)
  • Ro-vignette (Romania)
  • And the vignette in Bulgaria where the change is already ongoing for 2019.

Recently, the French Government proposes to establish a vignette for heavy goods vehicles of more than 12 tonnes for 2020.

The figures of 430 euros per year for three-axle vehicles and 1 200 euros per year for four-axle vehicles were mentioned. From this potential vignette, the French government would expect to get 500 million euros a year. In addition to the categorical refusal of the road association in France, the short window of opportunity makes this idea unrealistic.

Indeed even if this vignette was really launched in 2020, it could only work for 3 full years 2020 / 2021 / 2022 according to the new regulation voted the 25th of October.

Incidentally, it is rather ironic that the member of the European Parliament in charge of this file is French.


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