Ministry plans to hike heavy truck road taxes

Trucks on an Estonian road.
Trucks on an Estonian road. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Ministry of Economic Affairs says it plans to raise road tax for all trucks from 2026, with older, more polluting vehicle being most in focus. Their daily fees will more than triple, while the annual corresponding fee will rise by about 50 percent, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Friday.

Tiit Parik, manager of hauliers Haanpaa, told AK that companies already have to pay a heavy truck tax.

Parik said: "This fee must be paid quarterly, regardless of whether the machines are in Estonia or not, i.e. even if they provide services outside Estonia."

"And these amounts currently exceed €500 euros for a two-axle carrier; for a three-axle trailer, well these are quite substantial sums," he went on.

The Ministry of Economy has submitted a draft with new road user fee rates to its approval round. This would, if it passed into law, add to the existing heavy trucks tax.

"This idea that a polluter pays is also completely welcomed by carriers. On the assumption, of course, that those companies that have made investments in EURO 6 machines (the least pollutant vehicles in terms of CO2, on an EU scale.ed.), in new, less polluting machines, should not have to pay more. But yes, those who use older trucks that pollute, that are difficult, which are long, they really should, and could, pay more," Parik went on.
Haanpaa belongs to the French group Samat, and transports hazardous liquid chemicals to companies across Europe. 

The new rules will apply from 2026, with the tax levied to depend on vehicle weight, number of wheel axles, trailer type and EURO emission class.

For vehicles belonging to the most polluting i.e. 0-2 EURO level, a daily pass will cost €40, over three times the current €12.

Ain Tatter, head of road and rail at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, said: "We have one-day fees, they will rise the most, and there will be a manifold increase in the fee rates for polluting trucks."

"The annual fee rate there increases by more than 50 percent; with less polluting trucks, the annual fee rate rise will stand at about 10 percent, while for zero-emission trucks, the fee rate will be zero for the first few years," Tatter went on.

Tatter said overall, road freight rates should not be affected much by the new regime, and while the tax take will increase, by around €12 million, the main goal is still to rejuvenate and modernize truck fleets.

Over time, as there are fewer and fewer of the older, more polluting trucks on the roads and more energy-efficient ones, revenues will fall from this source, he added.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera'

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