Will the Council adopt A new tax on road freight that flies in the face of EU cohesion?

Date

14 Oct 2010

Sections

Transport

CLECAT is the largest European organisation representing freight forwarders
and logistics service providers, independent and professional users of transport
services in all modes. An advance information excerpt prepared by the Clecat
Road Transport Institute and the Sustainable Logistics Advisory Body was
published today with a view to providing information on the status quo of road
transport externalities with regards to the Eurovignette III proposal, which is on
the table of the Council tomorrow.

The research comes to the conclusion that the road transport sector can rightfully
claim it is already paying taxes and charges that substantially manage to
completely internalise its externalities by providing these figures in the four
largest countries of the EU. The document further suggests that the unintended
effect of the legislation may seriously jeopardise EU cohesion and transfer wealth
from the periphery of the EU to the centre, despite the fact that central MS’s
seem to be comparatively faring better than others in this period. The full
research with more detailed information will be published later this year.

After hearing the proposals for a compromise made by the Belgian Presidency
that will be discussed tomorrow, CLECAT Members are alarmed that the Council
may conclude a political agreement slashing the only positive aspect of the
proposal, i.e. the earmarking principle, without coming to any reasonable solution
for the issue of congestion, which would be ignored as if it did not exist!
Mr Stefan Back, the Chairman of the CLECAT Road Transport Institute said
during the meeting of the Institute this morning that “the political debate should
focus on a more comprehensive approach, intended to address externalities in all
modes of transport with a comprehensive strategy.” These comments are in line
with the conclusions of the research that suggests Ministers should reject the
Eurovignette III proposal and ask the Commission to come up with a
comprehensive strategy for the internalisation of external costs in all transport
modes and with a view to mitigating the externalities as its main objective.

Mr Heiner Rogge, Secretary General of CLECAT, commented from Germany
that “the unintended damaging effects of transport measures taken in isolation
without a comprehensive strategy are well known. The current Eurovignette
proposal is the typical example of an unsuitable solution for a real problem. It is
now perfectly clear that the Eurovignette III is not about decarbonising transport,
but about extracting money from road hauliers instead.”
Marco Sorgetti, Director General of CLECAT took note of the compromise
proposal and observed that “the disposal of earmarking is now surfacing in line
with the non-ambitious and unfair nature of the Eurovignette III proposal that has
been unmasked by CLECAT Members all the way. This is just a new tax on road
hauliers, heavier on the poorer and lighter on the richer, just another tax over an
above all existing taxation for which hauliers already pay very handsomely, as it
is clear in the figures produced by CLECAT.”

Véronique Corduant, Chairperson of the Sustainable Logistics Advisory Body of
Clecat further observes that “the mistake in the legal base also makes it
impossible to deal with congestion, that is anyway a major problem for all road
users and that would require an integrated approach.”

The excerpt can be consulted at the following link:

http://www.clecat.org/dmdocuments/pp010oetro101014eurovclecatexcerpt.pdf

For more information contact:
Mr Marco Sorgetti
Director General
CLECAT1
sorgetti@clecat.org
http://www.clecat.org

International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations / Comité de Liaison Européen des Commissionnaires et Auxiliaires de Transport