Plans for introduction of HGV toll

The Dutch Cabinet intends to introduce a heavy goods vehicle toll for national and international freight traffic. The intended policy is to take effect by 2023. The plans still await parliamentary approval.

Toll for trucks over 3500 kg

The HGV toll will apply to domestic and foreign trucks in excess of 3500 kg. On-board units will register the distance driven on roads where such a toll is in force.

The HGV toll will be registered and collected by private toll service providers on behalf of the body levying the toll, the Dutch government.

Plans:

  • The HGV toll will apply to domestic and foreign trucks in excess of 3500 kg.
  • The HGV toll will be in force on all the motorways in the Netherlands, and on a number of regional and local roads.
  • The toll levied will depend on a truck’s environmental features: the cleaner the truck, the lower the toll.
  • The revenue generated by the toll will be passed on to the transport sector.
  • The introduction of the toll is scheduled for 2023.

With the introduction of the HGV toll, the Cabinet is tying in with the situation in our neighbouring countries. Furthermore, the Cabinet intends to optimise the logistics chain and reduce freight traffic emissions.

Roads to be covered by HGV toll

The HGV toll will be in force on all the motorways in the Netherlands, and on a number of regional and local roads. Should the introduction of the toll prompt a substantial proportion of freight traffic to divert to other roads, the toll will also be enforced on such roads. The government is paying particular attention to such diversions and will continue to monitor this issue.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management will be surveying potential alternative routes in collaboration with regional road authorities (provinces, municipalities, and district water boards). The Ministry will finalise the scope of the HGV toll on the basis of their findings and will continue to monitor traffic on and around these roads.

No HGV toll will be enforced on roads that are already subject to toll payment.

Exceptions

Vehicles that are not primarily intended for freight transport will be exempt from paying an HGV toll. Such vehicles include:

  • farming and forestry tractors;
  • mobile cranes;
  • buses;
  • limited-speed motor vehicles, such as shops on wheels and road sweepers;
  • military vehicles;
  • fire engines;
  • refuse lorries.

HGV toll rates

The toll levied will depend on a truck’s environmental features: the cleaner the truck, the lower the toll. And the more kilometres driven by a truck, the higher the toll to be paid. This may encourage the sector to opt for cleaner trucks, more efficient logistics, or other modes of transport such as by ship or by rail.

The rates have yet to be set down. The point of departure will be the EU guidelines for road pricing.

The average rates charged in Germany and Belgium (EUR 0.15 per kilometre) have been used as reference rates in the purview of the impact studies.

Revenue will go to the transport sector

The revenue generated by the toll will end up with the transport sector again, for example, by lowering vehicle taxes for trucks. In addition, the revenue will be used to optimise the logistics chain and green the sector. The Cabinet is discussing plans for a sustainability and innovation agenda with representatives of the transport sector. The specific measures will be incorporated into this agenda. Thus, the HGV toll will help to future-proof the Dutch transport sector.

Other countries in Europe have taken the lead

The following countries have already implemented HGV tolls: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland. Furthermore, trucks using the motorway are required to pay tolls in virtually all the other European countries, such as France, Italy, and Spain. This toll is levied by means of a barriered toll plaza.

Status

On 9 November 2018, the Cabinet submitted the points of departure for the HGV toll to the Dutch House of Representatives. This policy framework serves as the basis for the Bill and the preparations for the realisation of the HGV toll.

The Internet consultations regarding the HGV Toll Act, during the summer of 2019, produced 187 responses. Whenever possible, these responses will be taken into consideration in the Bill. The Bill will be presented to the Council of Ministers in early 2020.

The toll is scheduled to be introduced by 2023.