Brussels threatens UK with legal action over road charging rules

Land Transport

Source: Politico, 2020-02-12

EU notes its laws continue to apply until 31 December.

The U.K. has left the EU but it could still face being taken to the bloc’s highest court if it doesn’t change its road charging rules, the European Commission said on Wednesday.

A British truck tax rolled out in 2014 is in breach of the EU’s Eurovignette Directive, which sets rules for taxing heavy-duty vehicles, according to the Commission.

Brussels argues the U.K. levy — which also applies to foreign vehicles — is actually a form of tax that should only be collected by the country that registered the truck. The levy discriminates against foreign hauliers because British trucking companies are compensated through a cut in their annual vehicle tax, the Commission also said.

Under the Withdrawal Agreement governing the country’s exit from the bloc, EU law continues to apply in the U.K. until the end of the transition period on 31 December, meaning the Commission can still launch infringement proceedings, the announcement noted.

If the U.K. doesn’t rethink its measures within two months the Commission could escalate the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union, having already warned London over the issue.

“The UK remains subject to the EU's enforcement mechanisms,” the announcement reads.

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