Road charging. The Commission requests the UK to comply with the requirements of the Eurovignette Directive

On 12 February 2020, the Commission warned the United Kingdom about a possible legal action for failing to comply with their obligations under European Union law on road charging for heavy goods vehicles.

In particular, the European Commission viewed the levy introduced for heavy goods vehicles by the United Kingdom in 2014 as a tax which can be charged solely by the Member State of registration. The national legislation, therefore, would breach the Eurovignette Directive, which sets principles regarding when Member States apply annual taxes, tolls or vignettes to heavy goods vehicles. Furthermore, according to the Commission this levy discriminates foreign hauliers against UK ones, who are compensated through a reduction on the annual tax paid of vehicles registered in the United Kingdom. 

As set out in the Withdrawal Agreement, during the transition period European Union law continues to apply in full to the United Kingdom, which remains subject to the enforcement mechanisms such as infringement procedures. The United Kingdom, therefore, has now two months to notify the Commission of implementing measures. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the matter to the Court of Justice, since the United Kingdom already received a letter of formal notice in October 2019.

Marco Stillo