Truck tolls partially violated eu law in 2010 and 2011

Truck tolls partially violated eu law in 2010 and 2011

In a test case on the calculation of truck tolls, the higher administrative court of north rhine-westphalia (OVG) in munster partially ruled in favor of two polish hauliers.

The levying of the german truck toll in 2010 and 2011 was partly in violation of EU law, the court ruled in a judgment. The capital costs of highway land were calculated incorrectly when calculating the toll rates. The court did not allow an appeal.

The federal office of good transport (BAG) must now reimburse the plaintiff hauliers a total of 565 euros plus interest. It was initially unclear how many shipping companies could possibly benefit from the ruling. The plaintiff’s lawyer said that the decision will be applied to another seven cases.

The OVG had been dealing with the lawsuit since 2016. The european court of justice had already ruled in the october 2020 proceedings that the costs of traffic police could not be taken into account in the calculation of truck tolls. The federal republic then changed its calculation and refunded the plaintiffs around 424 euros in tolls.

The FOPH has since received tens of thousands of refund requests from freight forwarders and logistics companies. By june, the authority had paid just under 36.000 applications. The authority initially did not provide any information about the current number of cases.

According to tuesday’s ruling, tolls may not exceed infrastructure costs under the so-called EU infrastructure costs directive. It is not compatible with this if the capital costs of the highway properties are calculated using their current replacement value instead of their acquisition value.

Unlike other fixed assets, real estate did not suffer any loss of substance and did not have to be procured again after a certain period of time. The toll rates were therefore based on an incorrect calculation, it was argued.

An appeal against this ruling is possible and must be decided by the federal administrative court in leipzig. The plaintiffs’ lawyer, martin pfnur, expressed his satisfaction with the verdict.

The two plaintiffs had operated a freight forwarding company in poland until 2015. In total, they had around 12.000 euro tolls reclaimed. The administrative court in poland had dismissed their claim in the first instance. Courts in north rhine-westphalia have jurisdiction over the lawsuit because the federal office for good traffic, which is responsible for truck tolls, is based in coln.

The freight forwarding industry had been following the proceedings closely. The court’s assessments in the oral hearing will be of interest to thousands of toll-paying companies, the bundesverband guterkraftverkehr logistik und entsorgung (BGL) had announced in advance.

According to the EU directive, the level of the truck toll must be based on the actual cost of the route. Among other things, the costs for construction, expansion, maintenance and operation of the network will be paid for. Costs from air pollution and larvae pollution may also be included in the calculation.

Truck tolls were introduced in germany in 2005 on federal highways and later extended to all federal roads. Last year, revenues amounted to around 7.4 billion euros.