The UK HGV Road User Levy has come into effect, and is “good news” for British freight operators says the Freight Transport Association.
The levy which came into operation 1 April 2014,is a time-based charge of up to £1,000 a year or £10 a day and will apply to lorries weighing more than 12 tonnes using UK roads.
It has been set up to offset the competitive differences between British registered operators which pay vehicle excise duty and foreign-registered vehicles which until now, have made no contribution to the upkeep of the roads.
By law, the scheme cannot discriminate between UK-registered vehicles and those from elsewhere in the EU so teh levy is applied to all lorries but, for the vast majority of UK operators, this will not mean an increase in costs as they will be compensated through a reduction in vehicle excise duty.
The FTA points out that UK vehicles already have to pay levies and taxes to drive in many European countries.
Karen Dee, FTA Director of Policy said: “FTA has consistently supported the introduction of the HGV Road User Levy. Until now operators of foreign HGVs have paid nothing in UK taxes. They pay vehicle tax in their own country, and buy low-taxed diesel before entering the UK, and in so doing save up to £200 on a full tank of fuel. The levy won’t fully redress this imbalance in costs, but it does create a fairer arrangement for UK operators.
“Road charges and tolls are part and parcel of operating a truck on the continent. It is only right that foreign HGVs using UK roads should do the same. FTA believes that the benefits of the HGV levy for UK operators will go beyond the charge that foreign carriers must pay from 1 April. The associated extension and upgrading of the DVSA and DVA roadside enforcement cameras network offers the potential for more effective enforcement of foreign HGV safety standards.”
Responding to the consultation on the HGV Road User Levy in January 2012, FTA had three conditions of support of the scheme:
Condition 1: The cost of the levy must be fully recompensed for UK operators by an equivalent reduction in VED.
Condition 2: That the cost and administrative burden of paying the levy must be no greater than that involved in acquiring a VED disc.