English version Explanatory Memorandum legislative proposal Heavy Goods Vehicle Charge

1.1 Reason for introducing a charge for heavy goods vehicles

In a number of European countries, a charge per kilometre driven is levied for driving heavy goods vehicles. Heavy goods vehicles with a foreign vehicle registration number are subject to these charges as well. For example, in Germany, a charge applies on motorways and on all Bundesstrassen (comparable to the Dutch ‘N’ roads). Belgium levies a charge on motorways and on a number of national roads.

Apart from fuel duty, the Netherlands currently does not have any taxes or levies for freight traffic which are linked to the number of kilometres driven. In the Netherlands, like in Denmark, Sweden and Luxembourg, there is a time-based charge – the Eurovignette – for heavy goods vehicles with a maximum permissible mass of at least 12,000 kg. This charge, referred to in the Netherlands as the ‘tax on heavy motor vehicles’, is levied for driving on motorways. In addition, holders of motor vehicles must pay motor vehicle tax.

The Coalition Agreement of the Rutte III government states that, following the example set by neighbouring countries, a charge for heavy goods vehicles is to be introduced as soon as possible. [1] It concerns a charge for heavy goods vehicles where the holders of these vehicles pay per kilometre driven. The net proceeds are to be channelled back to the transport sector for the promotion of innovation and sustainability in this sector.

[1] ‘Confidence in the Future’, 2017-2021 Coalition Agreement, annex to Parliamentary Papers II 2017/18, 34700, No. 34, pages 40 and 42.