The toll system to ensure road haulage outfits pay their way towards the upkeep of British roads will apply to all trucks that weigh 12 tons and more using the UK road network. The new time-based user charge will come into effect on April 1, 2014 and will ensure that for the first time, foreign HGVs contribute to the costs they impose whilst engaged in shipping freight, whether involved in import/export activities or cabotage.
The levy has been set in line with EU legislation with the rate paid reflecting vehicle weight and axle configuration. There are seven levy bands which align with existing Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) bands. For a 40-ton 5-axle truck, the most common type of foreign vehicle coming to the UK, operators will pay £10 per day or £1,000 per year. The charge is designed to be cost neutral for UK haulers, through offsetting reductions in VED payments and the requisite changes to VED will be included in the Finance Bill 2014.
The foreign operator payment system will enable operators or drivers from overseas to purchase the levy in advance before entering the UK through a number of sales channels including online, telephone and point of sale terminals. The system will also create a database to enable authorities to identify haulers who have not paid and the proposals were warmly welcomed by UK operator representatives when details were announced a year ago following the original DfT statement in January 2012.