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EC Medlers to Get Heavy with Levy

04 May 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

The Road Haulage Association has strongly criticised the European Commission's decision to challenge the legality of the HGV road user levy introduced two years ago.

When the levy was brought in two years ago by the UK government, it was introduced for heavy goods vehicles (HGV) of 12 tonnes or more. The aim was to ensure these vehicles made a contribution to the wear and tear of the road network. Vehicles registered abroad have to make levy payments before entering the UK (including Northern Ireland).

Before the introduction of the levy the full burden of contributing towards road maintenance fell on UK trucks and foreign hauliers paid nothing.

The RHA states that the EC’s report talks about 'thorough analysis' but refers to ‘nothing new’ and in challenging the reduction of VED, it appeared to be challenging the long established principle that member states could set taxes rates within EU tax rules. 

“This challenge is nonsense as the levy breaks neither the letter nor spirit of EU law,” argued Richard Burnett, CEO, RHA. “Brussels was fully briefed during its design and implementation and continental hauliers continue to pay the levy without complaint.”

Mr Burnett believed that the levy was both an important and successful measure that addressed an issue of real concern to both the haulage industry and wider public. “Foreign operators now account for almost 90% of international trade, paid nothing at all to use our roads and the full burden of contributing towards road maintenance fell on UK registered trucks,” observed Mr Burnett. “The levy changed that within a framework designed by the EU itself. It is important to recognise that foreign and UK hauliers both pay the levy. Visiting hauliers 

Article written by Robin Snow | Published 04 May 2016


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