Trucks on Dutch highways will have to pay a charge per kilometer in the course of 2026. However, introducing such a truck tax will cost at least twice as much as previously expected. Not 200 million but 400 million euros, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management now thinks. Earlier estimates were “too optimistic.”
On Wednesday, outgoing minister Barbara Visser (Infrastructure and Water Management, VVD) sent the bill for the kilometer charge for trucks to the House of Representatives. This will replace, among other things, the heavy motor vehicle tax (Eurovignette).
This proposal was long awaited in the transport sector. In April, then minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen reported that the truck tax would be postponed again. From 2023 and later 2024 to possibly 2027. That will probably be a year earlier now.
Belgium and Germany went first
The House of Representatives passed a motion in June to submit the bill, despite the government’s caretaker state. In Germany and Belgium there has been a comparable truck tax for years. Trade association Transport en Logistiek Nederland (TLN) and other stakeholders argued at the time that postponing the HGVC would seriously damage the sustainability of road transport. This has everything to do with the so-called ‘recirculation’ of the levy.
Also read: Postponement of the truck tax is a ‘sledgehammer blow for achieving the climate goals’
Trucks have to pay 15 cents per kilometer to use highways and some other through roads. That is expected to yield 250 million euros per year. The proceeds are (partly) funneled back to the transport sector. The ministry has agreed with transport parties evofenedex, TLN and VERN to use the return lock for an accelerated transition to electric driving (on batteries and on hydrogen), the use of renewable (bio)fuels and improving logistics to reduce the number of kilometers driven. .
Minister Visser now writes to the House of Representatives that the increased costs will be paid from the proceeds of the levy. The introduction must be ‘cost neutral’. This would mean that in the first year of the HGVC the proceeds will be used almost entirely to cover the additional costs of implementation and that there would be virtually nothing left to buy electric trucks or to stimulate the use of biofuels.
The truck levy is settled with on-board equipment in the truck. Initially, the government seemed to want to use standard software that is also used abroad. In the letter that was sent to the House of Representatives on Tuesday, the minister now comes back to this.
The higher costs are mainly due to the required automation of the project, according to the letter. For example, the Road Traffic Department (RDW) will carry out part of the ICT work itself; the ministry has opted to fund this in advance rather than through a multi-year performance contract. That drives up the realization costs. The choice for government service RDW does mean that user data, other data and intellectual property remain in public hands.
Transport and Logistics Netherlands (TLN) is critical of the higher costs. The trade association wonders, among other things, whether the costs of the collection system are manageable. The government also wants to be compensated for the loss of excise revenue due to an expected slight decrease in the number of kilometers driven. “This would mean that the net revenues would be lower than expected,” says TLN, “at the expense of the recirculation.” As a result, making the sector more sustainable risks being unnecessarily delayed, which is unacceptable, says TLN.
Natuur & Milieu is pleased that Minister Visser has finally sent the bill to the House. According to the environmental organisation, the tax provides for more efficient transport and gives an impulse to making the transport sector more sustainable. According to Natuur & Milieu, one fifth of the total emissions from Dutch road traffic are caused by trucks. The idea is that if an entrepreneur has to pay a kilometer charge for road transport, he is more likely to think about alternatives such as water and rail. The environmental organization is not pleased with the postponement of the introduction.
Truck tax introduction by 2026 will cost twice as much
Source link Truck tax introduction by 2026 will cost twice as much