Estonia to introduce road tax for heavy vehicles in 2018
The Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications has notified the European Commission of its intention to begin levying a tax on road use by vehicles with a maximum mass of 12 tons or more, with the planned rate of the tax being 10-12 euros per day and 700-1,300 euros per year.
Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson (Center) said in a letter to European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc that Estonia is preparing for the introduction of taxes for the use of roads by heavy vehicles beginning in 2018.
Thus far, Estonia has only levied an annual tax on trucks.
Simson said that in order to avoid additional taxing of trucks, Estonia has inquired with the Commission about the possibility to of stopping levying the heavy vehicle tax when the road user tax is introduced. It has been explained to Estonia, however, that the annual vehicle tax on heavy goods motor vehicles is mandatory for all member states of the EU regardless of the application of road user levies, and it is not possible to relinquish it in accordance with the directive, the minister said in her letter.
Simson noted that it appears from a survey conducted by the Government Office in 2015 that the most appropriate solution for Estonia would be to introduce a time-based road user charge for heavy goods motor vehicles, noting that speaking in favor of such a charge are its low investment and maintenance costs as well as the fact that a similar road user tax is already being levied in Latvia and Lithuania, which make up the Via Baltica road transport corridor with Estonia.
Alongside the option to pay the tax online, Estonia will also make available to carriers a network of sales points where the road tax can be paid 24/7 using conventional payment methods.
Similarly to Denmark, Sweden and other EU member states, Estonia is planning to levy the tax on vehicles the maximum mass of which equals or exceeds 12 tons.
The tax rates will be the same for all vehicles, regardless of their country of registration, and will depend upon the emissions class of the engine as well as the number of axles. The revenue generated by the road user charge will be utilized in the maintenance of transport infrastructure, Simson said.
Estonia and Finland are currently the only EU member states not to have imposed a road user tax for heavy goods motor vehicles.