Belgian trucks pay only 21% of total kilometre tax
Last year the ViaPass kilometre tax for heavy semi-trucks on Belgian highways has brought in 670 million euro. Remarkably only 21% of it was paid by Belgian trucks. Polish trucks accounted for 15%, doing most of the kilometres in Belgium of all foreign nationalities, before the Dutch and the Germans with 10% and the French (6%), Romanians and Spanish (5% each).
Since its introduction in 2016 for heavy trucks weighing more than 3,5 ton, all trucks on the highways are identified by ANPR cameras. They have to be equipped with automatic On Board Units (OBU) calculating the due kilometre tax. Flanders has collected 424,2 million euro in 2017, Wallonia 241,5 million and Brussels 10,1 million.
After two years the system gives a clear image on which nationalities use Belgian roads. In number of trucks registered, Belgian trucks accounted for 46%, followed by the Dutch (10,7%), Polish (10,7%) and Romanians (6%).
Four extra languages
At the start the system was provided in four ‘standard’ languages (Dutch, French, German and English), but experience learned lots of drivers don’t even speak one of these four languages. That’s why extra languages are added.
“By adding Polish and Romanian we address a large number of truck drivers using our roads”, Satellic, which delivers the OBU’s, says. “Russian is aimed at truckers from Eastern Europe where Russian often is the second language and Spanish is used by drivers coming from the South.”
Euro 6 standard
One of the reasons Belgian truckers pay less compared to their relative numbers on the road, is that more Euro 6 trucks are used that are taxed a lower tariff. While in 2016 at the start only 29,3% of the total fleet on Belgian highways was Euro 6 standard, in 2017 they accounted for 45,73%.