Tuesday 24 September 2019

Dutch transport firms face €60m bill for Belgian road pricing

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Dutch lorries weighing more than 3.5 tonnes will from today pay a new tax for the kilometres they drive over Belgian roads as Belgium introduces road pricing.

Last year, Dutch transport companies were responsible for 6.5 million trips on Belgian motorways, half the total by foreign firms, broadcaster Nos says.

The Dutch transpsort sector lobby group TLN estimates the tax will cost Dutch truckers some €60m a year. It has criticised the technology being used to calculate the tax and says it does not always work properly.

The tax varies from seven to almost 30 cents per kilometer, depending on the lorry’s emissions, weight and the roads it uses. Drivers caught attempting to dodge the tax can be fined €1,000.

According to news agency ANP, the introduction of road pricing led to ‘chaos’ on the Belgian roads on Friday. Some drivers were forced to wait up to two hours to install the dashboard recording equipment and Belgian truckers, who also oppose the tax, blocked some roads, causing long tailbacks.

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