Procedure : 2003/0175(COD)
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Document selected : A6-0377/2005

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A6-0377/2005

Debates :

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Texts adopted :

P6_TA(2005)0516

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30 November 2005
PE 360.277v03-00 A6-0377/2005

on the Council common position for adopting a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 1999/62/EC on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures

(9856/2005 – C6-0274/2005 – 2003/0175(COD))

Committee on Transport and Tourism

Rapporteur: Corien Wortmann-Kool

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 PROCEDURE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the Council common position for adopting a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 1999/62/EC on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures

(9856/2005 – C6-0274/2005 – 2003/0175(COD))

(Codecision procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Council common position (9856/2005 – C6-0274/2005),

–   having regard to its position at first reading(1) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2003)0448)(2)

–   having regard to Article 251(2) of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Rule 62 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A6-0377/2005),

1.  Approves the common position as amended;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

Council common position  Amendments by Parliament

Amendment 1

TITLE

 

 

Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 1999/62/EC on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures

Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 1999/62/EC on the charging of goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures

Justification

Since the directive also includes goods vehicles upwards of 3.5 tonnes, no distinction should be made between light and heavy goods vehicles.

Amendment 2

RECITAL 2

(2) A fairer system of charging for the use of road infrastructure is crucial in order to encourage sustainable transport in the Community. The objective of making optimum use of the existing road network and achieving a significant reduction in its negative impact should be achieved without imposing additional burdens on operators in the interests of sound economic growth and the proper functioning of the single market.

(2) A fairer system of charging for the use of road infrastructure, based on the ‘user pays’ and the ‘polluter pays’ principles, is crucial in order to encourage sustainable transport in the Community. The objective of making optimum use of the existing road network and achieving a significant reduction in its negative impact should be achieved in such a way as to avoid double taxation, and without imposing additional burdens on operators in the interests of sound economic growth and the proper functioning of the single market, including outlying regions.

Justification

Re-introducing approach EP from first reading.

Amendment 3

RECITAL 3 A (new)

 

(3a) In paragraph 29 of the conclusions of its meeting of 15 and 16 June 2001 in Göteborg, the European Council stated that a sustainable transport policy should tackle rising volumes of traffic and levels of congestion, noise and pollution and encourage the use of environment-friendly modes of transport as well as the full internalisation of social and environmental costs.

Justification

Re-introducing amendment from EP first reading.

Amendment 4

RECITAL 5

(5) International road transport operations are concentrated on the trans-European road transport network. Furthermore, the operation of the internal market is vital to commercial transport. Consequently, the Community framework must apply to commercial transport on the trans-European road network as defined in Decision No 1692/96/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 1996 on Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network. Member States must, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, be free to apply tolls and/or user charges on roads other than those on the trans-European road network, in compliance with the rules of the Treaty.

(5) International road transport operations are concentrated on the trans-European road transport network. Furthermore, the operation of the internal market is vital to commercial transport. Consequently, the Community framework must apply to commercial transport on the trans-European road network as defined in Decision No 1692/96/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 1996 on Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network. In order to avoid traffic being diverted, with potentially serious consequences for road safety and the optimum use of the transport network, Member States must be able to introduce charging on any road which is in direct competition with the trans-European network (main road network). In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, Member States and, in accordance with their respective powers, regional and local authorities are free to apply tolls and/or user charges on roads other than those on the main road network, in compliance with the rules of the Treaty. In addition to the provisions of this directive Member States or the relevant competent authorities may apply additional urban traffic charges and regulatory charges on any road notably in urban areas including TEN roads crossing an urban area, according to article 9 of Directive 1999/62/EC.

Amendment 5

RECITAL 6

(6) For reasons of cost efficiency in the implementation of tolling systems, the entire infrastructure to which a toll relates may not necessarily be subject to access restrictions controlling tolls charged. Member States may choose to implement this Directive through the use of tolls at only a particular point on the infrastructure to which the toll relates.

(6) For reasons of cost efficiency in the implementation of tolling systems, the entire infrastructure to which a toll relates may not necessarily be subject to access restrictions controlling tolls charged. Member States may choose to implement this Directive through the use of tolls at only a particular point on the infrastructure to which the toll relates. This shall not discriminate against non-local traffic.

Justification

Tolling at a particular point must not discriminate against non-local traffic.

Amendment 6

RECITAL 11

(11) Where Member States levy tolls or user charges for use of roads in the trans-European road network, the roads subject to charging should be given appropriate priority in the maintenance schedules of Member States.

(11) Where Member States levy tolls or user charges for use of roads in the trans-European road network, this revenue should be used for the maintenance of the infrastructure concerned and the transport sector as a whole, in the interest of a balanced and sustainable development of transport networks.

Amendment 7

RECITAL 12

(12) Particular attention should be devoted to mountain regions such as the Alps or the Pyrenees. The launch of major new infrastructure projects has often failed because the substantial financial resources they would require were not available. In such regions, users may therefore be required to pay a mark-up to finance essential projects of very high European value, including those involving another mode of transport in the same corridor. This amount should be linked to the financial needs of the project. It should also be linked to the basic level of the tolls in order to avoid artificially high charges in any one corridor, which could lead to traffic being diverted to other corridors, thereby causing local congestion problems and inefficient use of networks.

(12) Particular attention should be devoted to mountain regions such as the Alps or the Pyrenees. The launch of major new infrastructure projects has often failed because the substantial financial resources they would require were not available. In such regions, users may therefore be required to pay a mark-up to finance essential projects of very high European value, including those involving another mode of transport in the same corridor or the same transport area. This amount should be linked to the financial needs of the project. It should also be linked to the basic level of the tolls in order to avoid artificially high charges in any one corridor, which could lead to traffic being diverted to other corridors, thereby causing local congestion problems and inefficient use of networks. This leaves unaffected the provisions of article 9 of Directive 1999/62/EC regarding urban traffic charges and regulatory charges.

Amendment 8

RECITAL 14

(14) In order to ensure consistent, harmonised application of the infrastructure charging system, new tolling arrangements should calculate costs in accordance with a set of core principles or be set at a level which does not go beyond that which would result from the application of these principles; these requirements should not apply to existing arrangements unless they are substantially modified in the future; such substantial modifications would include any significant change to the original terms and conditions of the tolling scheme through modification of a contract with the tolling system operator but would exclude changes provided for in the original scheme. In the case of concession contracts, substantial modification could be implemented pursuant to a public procurement process. In order to achieve transparency without creating obstacles to the functioning of the market economy and public private partnerships, Member States must also communicate to the Commission, so that the Commission is in a position to give an opinion, the unit values and other parameters they intend to apply to calculate the various cost elements of the charges or, in the case of concession contracts, the relevant contract and base case. Opinions adopted by the Commission prior to the introduction of new tolling arrangements in Member States are entirely without prejudice to the Commission's obligation under the Treaty to ensure that Community law is applied.

(14) In order to ensure consistent, harmonised application of the infrastructure charging system, new tolling arrangements should calculate costs in accordance with the set of core principles in Annex III or be set at a level which does not go beyond that which would result from the application of these principles; these requirements should not apply to existing arrangements unless they are substantially modified in the future; such substantial modifications would include any significant change to the original terms and conditions of the tolling scheme through modification of a contract with the tolling system operator but would exclude changes provided for in the original scheme. In the case of concession contracts, substantial modification could be implemented pursuant to a public procurement process. In order to achieve transparency without creating obstacles to the functioning of the market economy and public private partnerships, Member States must also communicate to the Commission, so that the Commission is in a position to give an opinion, the unit values and other parameters they intend to apply to calculate the various cost elements of the charges or, in the case of concession contracts, the relevant contract and base case. Opinions adopted by the Commission prior to the introduction of new tolling arrangements in Member States are entirely without prejudice to the Commission's obligation under the Treaty to ensure that Community law is applied.

Justification

Makes explicit that this recital only regards the core principles in Annex III.

Amendment 9

RECITAL 14 A (new)

 

(14a) To ensure the future application of the polluter pays principle for all modes of transport, uniform calculation principles should be developed, based on scientifically recognised data, which will clear the way for the internalisation of external costs for all modes of transport. In future implementation the tax burden already borne by road haulage companies such as vehicle taxes and fuel excise duties should be taken into account.

Amendment 10

RECITAL 14 B(new)

 

(14b) In order to prevent traffic being diverted because of different regimes between EU Member States and third countries, the Commission should try to ensure that, when negotiating international agreements, no measures are taken by third countries e.g. a transit right trading system, that might have a discriminatory effect on transit traffic.

Amendment 11

ARTICLE 1, POINT 1 (B)

Article 2, point (-aa) (new)(Directive 1999/62/EC)

 

(-aa) “main road network” means the trans-European road network and any other road to which traffic may be diverted from the trans-European road network and which is in direct competition with certain parts of that network;

Amendment 12

ARTICLE 1, POINT 1 (B)

Article 2, point (aca) (new) (Directive/1999/62/EC)

 

(aca) "external costs": costs being clearly caused by the road freight system, but not calculated in the market prices of their services. They can include chargeable congestion costs, environmental costs, such as local and global air pollution, noise, landscape damages and social costs, such as health and indirect accident costs, not covered by insurances.

Amendment 13

ARTICLE 1, POINT 1 A (new)

Article 6, paragraph 2, introductory part (Directive/1999/62/EC)

 

1a) Article 6(2), introductory part shall be replaced by the following:

 

2. Without prejudice to Article 7b, Member States may apply reduced rates or exemptions for:

Amendment 14

ARTICLE 1, POINT 2 (A)

Article 7, paragraph 1 (Directive/1999/62/EC)

1. Member States may maintain or introduce tolls and/or user charges on the trans-European road network or on parts of that network, only under the conditions set out in paragraphs 2 to 12. This shall be without prejudice to the right of Member States to apply tolls and/or user charges on roads not included in the trans-European road network or to other types of motor vehicle not covered by the definition of 'vehicle' on the trans-European road network, in compliance with the Treaty.

1. Member States may maintain or introduce tolls and/or user charges on the trans-European road network, only under the conditions set out in paragraphs 2 to 12. After informing the Commission, Member States may extend the imposition of tolls and user charges to other roads of the main road network. In determining such extensions, Member States shall ensure co-ordination with the authorities responsible for the roads where the extension would take place to guarantee that these tolls and/or user charges are compatible with other charging schemes operating at local or regional level. (This Directive shall be without prejudice to the right of Member States to apply tolls and/or user charges on other roads or to other types of motor vehicles not covered by the definition of 'vehicle' on the trans-European road network, in compliance with the rules of the Treaty.

Justification

This amendment is re-introducing the geographical scope accepted in EP´s first reading.

Amendment 15

ARTICLE 1, POINT 2 (A)

Article 7, paragraph 1 a (new) (Directive/1999/62/EC)

 

 

 

1. After informing the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 9c(2):

 

- Member States may exempt from tolls or from user charges the part(s)of the network where

 

1. there is a need to encourage and to maintain the economic integration of isolated or economically weak regions; or

 

2. there is a need to avoid perverse incentives for diverting traffic;

 

- Member States may apply tolls or user charges on part(s) of the network if necessary to realise specific TEN-road projects, i.e. public-private partnerships.

Justification

Member States should have the possibility to exempt from tolls or from user charges part(s) of the network, but only according to the criteria. This is for the benefit of the accessibility of isolated regions.

Amendment 16

ARTICLE 1, POINT 2 (A)

Article 7, paragraph 2 (Directive/1999/62/EC)

2. A Member State may choose to maintain or introduce tolls and/or user charges applicable only to vehicles having a maximum permissible laden weight of 12 tonnes. Where a Member State chooses to apply tolls and/or user charges to vehicles below this weight limit, the provisions of this Directive shall apply.

2 (a). A Member State may maintain or introduce tolls and/or user charges applicable only to vehicles having a maximum permissible laden weight of 3.5 tonnes or more.

 

2 (b) This leaves the existing arrangements in the Member States unchanged at the time of entry into force of this directive. However, in the case of a shift in management regime of a road, in case of substantial technical or technological changes in the toll collecting system but at the latest in 2010 all lorries of 3,5 tonnes or more shall fall within the scope of this Directive.

Amendment 17

ARTICLE 1, POINT 2 (B)

Article 7, paragraph 4a (Directive 1999/62/EC)

"4a. Member States may provide for reduced toll rates or user charges or exemptions from the obligation to pay tolls or user charges for vehicles exempted from the requirement to install and use recording equipment under Council Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85 of 20 December 1985 on recording equipment in road transport*, and in the cases covered by, and subject to the conditions contained in, Article 6(2)(a) and (b) of this Directive.

"4a. Member States may provide for reduced toll rates or user charges or exemptions from the obligation to pay tolls or user charges for the vehicles listed in this article that are exempted from the requirement to install and use recording equipment under Council Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85 of 20 December 1985 on recording equipment in road transport*.

 

(a) Vehicles that are the property of the armed forces, the civil defence force, the fire service or the forces responsible for the maintenance of public order or are rented by them without a driver where operating in line with the duties allocated to these services and subject to their supervision;

 

(b) vehicles belonging to the road maintenance service;

 

(c) vehicles which in emergencies are used for humanitarian aid transport or for rescue operations;

 

(d) specialised vehicles for medical purposes;

 

Vehicles undergoing road tests for the purposes of technical development or in connection with repair or maintenance work as well as new or converted vehicles that have not yet been taken into use.

Justification

This amendment is the logical follow-up to the amendment on the vehicle scope . The following rule must apply: where a Member State decides on a toll system, tolls must be charged from upwards of 3.5 tonnes and as far as possible without exceptions..

Amendment 18

ARTICLE 1, POINT 2 (E)

Article 7, paragraph 10, point (b) (Directive/1999/62/EC)

10 (b) Subject to the conditions of point (a), toll rates may be varied according to:

10 (b) Subject to the conditions of point (a), toll rates may be varied according to:

- EURO emission class set out in Annex 0, provided that no toll is more than 100% above the toll charged for equivalent vehicles meeting the strictest emission standards; and/or

- EURO emission class as set out in Annex 0 including the level of PM10 and NOx, provided that no toll is more than 100 % above the toll charged for equivalent vehicles meeting the strictest emission standards; and/or

- the time of day, type of day or season, provided that:

- the time of day, type of day or season, provided that:

(i) no toll is more than 100% above the toll charged during the cheapest period of the day, type of day or season; or

(i) no toll is more than 100% above the toll charged during the cheapest period of the day, type of day or season; or

(ii) where the cheapest period is zero-rated, the penalty for the most expensive time of day, type of day or season is no more than 50% of the level of the toll that would otherwise be applicable to the vehicle in question.

(ii) where the cheapest period is zero-rated, the penalty for the most expensive time of day, type of day or season is no more than 50% of the level of the toll that would otherwise be applicable to the vehicle in question.

 

No later than 2010, Member States shall be required to vary the rates at which tolls are charged in conformity with the first indent.

Justification

Introduction of ambient level of PM10 and NOx is according to EP first reading. It is mainly for the benefit of highly polluted regions and urban areas. In addidion to that, obligatory toll variation on the first indent will stimulate the sustainability of transport.

Amendment 19

ARTICLE 1, POINT 2 (F)

Article 7, paragraph 11 (Directive 1999/62/EC)

11. In exceptional cases concerning infrastructure in mountainous regions and after informing the Commission, a mark-up may be added to the tolls of specific road sections:

11. In exceptional cases concerning infrastructure in particularly sensitive regions, notably mountainous regions and agglomerations within the meaning of Article 8(1) of Directive 96/62/EC and after informing the Commission, a mark-up may be added to the tolls of specific road sections:

a) which are the subject of acute congestion affecting the free movement of vehicles, or

a) which are the subject of acute congestion affecting the free movement of vehicles, or

b) the use of which by vehicles is the cause of significant environmental damage,

b) the use of which by vehicles is the cause of significant environmental damage,

on condition that:

on condition that:

- the revenue generated from the mark-up is invested in priority projects of European interest identified in Annex III to Decision No 884/2004/EC, which contribute directly to the alleviation of the congestion or environmental damage in question and which are located in the same corridor as the road section on which the mark-up is applied;

- the revenue generated from the mark-up is sufficient to allow for cross-financing the investment costs of other environment friendlier transport infrastructures which are also of a high European interest, such as priority projects of European interest identified in Annex III to Decision No 884/2004/EC, which contribute directly to the alleviation of the congestion or environmental damage in question and which are located in the same corridor as the road section on which the mark-up is applied;

- the mark-up, which may be applied to tolls varied in accordance with paragraph 10, does not exceed 15% of the weighted average toll calculated in accordance with paragraph 9 except where the revenue generated is invested in cross-border sections of priority projects of European interest involving infrastructure in mountainous regions, in which case the mark-up may not exceed 25%;

- the mark-up does not exceed 25% of the tolls;

- the application of the mark-up does not result in unfair treatment of commercial traffic compared to other road users;

 

- financial plans for the infrastructure on which the mark-up is applied and a cost/benefit analysis for the new infrastructure project are submitted to the Commission in advance of the mark-up's application;

- financial plans for the infrastructure on which the mark-up is applied and a cost/benefit analysis for the new infrastructure project are submitted to the Commission in advance of the mark-up's application;

- the period for which the mark-up is to apply is defined and limited in advance and is consistent in terms of the expected revenue to be raised with the financial plans and cost/benefit analysis submitted.

 

Justification

Reinstatement of Parliament’s approach at 1st reading.

Amendment 20

ARTICLE 1, POINT 3 A (new)

Article 7 b, title and paragraph 1 (new) (Directive 1999/62/EC)

 

3a) The following Article shall be inserted:

 

Article 7b

 

1. Compensation in respect of road charges must be provided without discrimination to all hauliers from EU Member States, irrespective of the vehicles' country of registration.

Justification

Re-introducing approach from EP first reading.

Amendment 21

ARTICLE 1, POINT 3 A (new)

Article 7 b, paragraph 2 (new) (Directive 1999/62/EC)

 

2. The level of compensation must be proportionate to the level of the tolls and/or user charges paid. Member States may, however, average out the compensation paid to the various categories of vehicles referred to in the Annex.

Justification

Re-introducing approach from EP first reading.

Amendment 22

ARTICLE 1, POINT 6 (A)

Article 9, paragraph 1, point (c a) (new) (Directive 1999/62/EC)

 

(ca) regulatory charges designed to combat environmental impacts, including poor air quality

Justification

In light with the conclusions of the Goteborg European Council and the objectives of the Transport White Paper it is important to indicate clearly that Member States are free to apply charges designed to combat poor air quality. This is particularly relevant in urban areas where action is urgently needed in order to comply with Air Quality Directives. This is in accordance with the EP first reading, where references to air quality and, in particular, PM10 and NOx, were introduced in various parts of the Directive.

Amendment 23

ARTICLE 1, POINT 6 (B)

Article 9, paragraph 2 (Directive 1999/62/EC)

(2) In keeping with the principle of subsidiarity, Member Sates shall determine the use to be made of revenue from charges for the use of road infrastructure. To enable the transport network to be developed as a whole, revenue from charges should be used to benefit the transport sector and optimise the entire transport system.

(2) Member States shall determine the use to be made of revenue from charges for the use of road infrastructure. To enable the transport network to be developed as a whole, revenue from charges should be used to benefit the transport sector and optimise the entire transport system.

Justification

Serious reinvestment in EU transport infrastructure is an urgent priority to support the continued integration of the internal market. Nevertheless the principle of subsidiarity let the choice to the Member States to provide compensation in case of using the revenue other than in transport sector.

Amendment 24

ARTICLE 1, POINT 8

Article 11 (Directive/1999/62/EC)

Article 11 shall be replaced by the following:

Article 11 shall be replaced by the following:

No later than 5 years following the date of entry into force of this directive.........., the Commission shall present a report to the European Parliament and the Council, on the implementation and the effects of this Directive, taking account of developments in technology and the trend in traffic density, and evaluating its impact on the internal market, including on island, landlocked and peripheral regions of the Community, levels of investment in the sector and its contribution to the objectives of a sustainable transport policy.

No later than 5 years following the date of entry into force of this directive, the Commission shall present a report to the European Parliament and the Council, on the implementation and the effects of this Directive, taking account of developments in technology and the trend in traffic density, and evaluating its impact on the internal market, including on island, landlocked and peripheral regions of the Community, levels of investment in the sector and its contribution to the objectives of a sustainable transport policy.

 

No later than 2 years after [entry into force of this Directive], the Commission shall present (1) a generally applicable, transparent, and comprehensible model for the assessment of all external environment-, congestion-, and health-related costs to serve as the basis for future calculations of infrastructure charges. This model will be accompanied by (2) an impact analysis on the internalisation of external costs for all modes of transport and a strategy for a stepwise implementation of this model for all modes of transport.

The report shall be accompanied, if appropriate, by proposals to the European Parliament and the Council for further revision of the Directive.

The report and the model shall be accompanied by proposals to the European Parliament and the Council for further revision of the Directive.

 

In case such a revision of the directive regarding the Internalisation of external costs is not adopted within 3 years after the presentation of the model, Member States may add not more than 60% of the infrastructure costs to reflect a minimum of external costs.

Member states shall forward the necessary information to the Commission no later than ....";

Member states shall forward the necessary information to the Commission no later than ....";

Justification

The request for a model is in conformity with EP first reading. It is needed to ensure the future application of the polluter pays principle for all modes of transport.

Amendment 25

ARTICLE 1, POINT 9

Annex II (Directive/1999/62/EC)

 

 

Maximum Minimum

Maximum Minimum

three axles four axles

three axles four axles

EURO and 1 020 1 648

EURO 0 1 332 2 223

EURO I

EURO I 1 158 1 933

EURO II and 904 1 488

EURO II 1 008 1 681

EURO III

EURO III 876 1 461

EURO IV and 797 1 329

EURO IV and

EURO V and EEV

less polluting 797 1 329

Justification

Re-introducing amendment from EP first reading.

Amendment 26

ANNEX II

Annexe III, N° 1, paragraph 1 (Directive 1999/62/EC)

Where a single tolling regime is not to be applied to the whole TEN road network, a Member State shall specify precisely the part or parts of the network which are to be subject to a tolling regime as well as the system its uses to classify vehicles for the purposes of toll variation. Member States shall also specify whether they are extending the scope of the vehicles covered by their tolling regime below the 12-tonne threshold.

 

Where a single tolling regime is not to be applied to the whole TEN road network, a Member State shall specify precisely the part or parts of the network which are to be subject to a tolling regime as well as the system its uses to classify vehicles for the purposes of toll variation.

Justification

Since tolls are to be levied anyway from upwards of 3.5 tonnes, this stipulation is not required.

Amendment 27

ANNEX II

Annexe III, N° 2.1, paragraph 6 (Directive 1999/62/EC)

Costs shall be apportioned to heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) on an objective and transparent basis taking account of the proportion of HGV traffic to be carried on the network and the associated costs. The vehicle kilometres travelled by HGVs may for this purpose be adjusted by objectively justified "equivalence factors" such as those set out in point 4.

Costs shall be apportioned to goods vehicles on an objective and transparent basis taking account of the proportion of heavy goods traffic to be carried on the network and the associated costs. The vehicle kilometres travelled by goods vehicles may for this purpose be adjusted by objectively justified "equivalence factors" such as those set out in point 4

Justification

Since tolls are to be levied anyway from upwards of 3.5 tonnes, this stipulation is not required.

Amendment 28

ANNEX II

Annexe III, N° 4, introductory part (Directive 1999/62/EC)

HGV share of traffic, equivalence factors and correction mechanism

Share of goods traffic, equivalence factors and correction mechanism

Justification

Since tolls are to be levied anyway from upwards of 3.5 tonnes, this stipulation is not required.

Amendment 29

ANNEX II

Annexe III, N° 4, indent 1 (Directive 1999/62/EC)

- The calculation of tolls shall be based on actual or forecast HGV shares of vehicle kilometres adjusted, if desired, by equivalence factors, to make due allowance for the increased costs of constructing and repairing infrastructure for use by heavy goods vehicles.

- The calculation of tolls shall be based on actual or forecast HGV shares of vehicle kilometres adjusted, if desired, by equivalence factors, to make due allowance for the increased costs of constructing and repairing infrastructure for use by goods vehicles.

Justification

Since tolls are to be levied anyway from upwards of 3.5 tonnes, this stipulation is not required.

(1)

OJ C 104, 30.4.2004, p.

(2)

OJ... Not yet available.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

A. Introduction

The revision of the Directive on charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructure (1999/62/EC) is one of the key priorities of the current European Transport policy. In the White Paper on European Transport policy until the year 2010 the European Commission has stated that one of the main reasons for the existing imbalance in the transport system is that the transport modes do not always pay the costs for which they are responsible. On the occasion of the adoption of the resolution concerning the White Paper (COM (2001) 370) on February 12th 2003 the European Parliament confirmed to be in favour of charging for the use of infrastructure and charging the connected external costs. The conclusions of the European Council of Göteborg in June 2001 are of similar purport.

General aims are:

· harmonisation of the transport tariffs in all Member States in order to strengthen the internal market

· a fair system of charging for the use of infrastructure based on the ‘user pays’ and the ‘polluter pays’ principles, accompanied by the internalisation of both the costs of infrastructure and the external costs for all transport modes

· homogeneous methods for the calculation of the costs of the transport modes

· Transport policy instruments for governments, based on the costs of infrastructure, and aimed at promoting the use of transportation with the least environmental impact and stimulating new investments in transport infrastructure

In this context the Commission has proposed in July 2003 a revision of the Eurovignette Directive (1999/62/EG), in order to elaborate this approach for road transport.

Reaching an agreement about the revision of this Directive is urgent, as an increasing number of Member States contemplates implementing tolling and/or road charging. On the one hand because of investments which are necessary to satisfy the growing demand for transport infrastructure. Because of budget restrictions the appeal to private funds, several forms of public-private partnership and mainly concessions increases. On the other hand instruments and investments are needed to fight congestion, air pollution, noise and also to improve road safety and sustainable transport.

B. Parliament's first reading and the Council common position

The European Parliament decided in first reading on 20 April 2004 and formulated some important wishes: the Parliament introduced a definition for external costs and requested that the Commission should develop uniform calculation principles, based on scientifically recognised data, which will clear the way for future internalisation of external costs. The Parliament also expressed the wish for more possibilities for toll variation and agreed with the Commission proposal regarding the scope of the Directive. These wishes are not covered in the common position approved by Council.

- The scope of the Directive

The geographical scope: In first reading the European Parliament expresses the wish, in line with the Commissions proposal, to have tolls and user charges applied to the whole of the trans-European road network. If Member States introduce tolls on the main road network, these should also be in accordance with the Eurovignette Directive.

However, in the Council’s opinion, tolls or user charges should only be applied to the TEN-network or “parts of it" (art. 7.1). For all other roads, including the ‘main road network’, the Member States have the freedom to introduce other tolling arrangements as the possible extension of the Directive to the main road network has been cancelled from the Parliament’s first reading.

This means Member States will have the freedom to pick and choose where they want to apply tolls, even on the trans-European road network.

Parliament agreed with the Commission that Member States may maintain or introduce tolls and/or user charges applicable to vehicles with a maximum permissible laden weight of over 3.5 tonnes. The Council, contrary to both the European Parliament's first reading and the Commission proposal, gives Member States the choice to maintain or introduce tolls and/or user charges from 12 tonnes upwards (art. 7.1 a). This might work out as an incentive to the use of smaller (and thus more) vehicles, which will have a negative impact on the environment and on congestion.

- The definition of ‘construction’ costs and ‘weighted average toll’

The common position contains an elaborate definition of construction costs (art 2). The Council added elements out of art. 7.9 regarding the weighted average toll, as well as wishes of some Member States. The Council’s definition explicitly includes the finance costs which are defined as interest on borrowed money and return (dividend + capital gains) on equity. With this, Council accepts Parliament's approach in first reading. This is an important element to attract private capital for concessions and other PPP’s.

The Commission proposed to allow Member States to recover costs which are not older than 15 years and the EP proposed in its amendment 21 to limit the possibilities to recover only costs not yet amortised at the moment of entry into force of this Directive. The Council, however, proposes to widen the period of recovery to 30 years, unless the design lifetime of an infrastructure project is longer than 30 years but it should not be less than 20 years.This of course creates more possibilities for Member States to"calculate back in time" to recover their costs.

The Commission included in the weighted average toll (art. 7.9) the infrastructure costs designed to reduce nuisance related to noise and costs of actual payment made by infrastructure operators corresponding to objective environmental elements such as soil contamination. The Parliament’s amendment 28 also mentioned investments for prevention of accidents. Council included these types of costs in the construction costs (art 2).

In addition to the Commission’s proposal, the Parliament’s amendment 28 states that the weighted average toll shall also be related to: “the costs corresponding to objective environmental elements such as for example atmospheric pollution, including congestion costs where these can be objectively quantified by a methodology duly adopted at European level for the purpose of such calculations.” This has been removed in the Council’s text, and must be judged in relation to Council’s rejection of introducing external costs in this Directive.

- The external costs

The European Parliament added to the Commission’s proposal a definition of external costs. (art. 2 f). The Parliament also added a recital which stated that the Commission should develop uniform calculation principles, based on scientifically recognised data, which will clear the way in the future for the internalisation of external costs. The Council excluded this article and recital from the text. This is not consistent with the Commission’s White Paper and the European Council’s conclusions of its meeting in Göteborg in 2001.

- Toll variation and mark-up

In addition to the European Parliament’s first reading, the Council added (art 7.10) a number of explicit conditions which have to be fulfilled when applying the toll variations (proportionality, transparency, no discrimination, not designed to generate additional revenue, linear). In this the Council accepted Parliament’s wish, expressed in amendment 12, that the variation of tolls may not lead to a rise of the weighted average tolls.

The Council strengthened the toll variation in such a way that, for (1) EURO emission classes and/or for (2) time of day, type of day or season, the toll rates may vary 100%. This means that Council increases the total maximum variety of the rates to 200 %. With this, the Council shows awareness of the importance of aims such as combating environmental damage, tackling congestion and promoting road safety.

However, Council did not agree with EP wishes to include other elements such as variation according to the vehicle type based on its road damage class, the environmental sensitivity of the area and the level of PM10 and NOx level.

The possibility to add a mark up to the tolls for mountainous areas (art. 7.10, 7.11) has been maintained. Together with the Commission the Council is not in favour of the Parliament’s amendment 30 to ad a mark up for urban areas. Furthermore, a difference with both the Commission's proposal and the European Parliament's first reading (where the mark up was 25 % as a general rule) is that the "normal" mark up is 15 %. However, for frontier sections of the priority projects of the TEN's, the mark up can be 25 %.

It should be pointed out that the yield of this mark up is earmarked for priority projects of European interest in the same corridor. This means that cross financing (financing road-rail) is possible, and that the mark-up is closely linked to a specific alternative project which is to be submitted to the Commission.

The Council also introduces a more elaborate article on discounts for frequent users (art. 7.4 b, 7.4 c). This allows frequent users to be granted a discount of maximum 13 % of their "normal" toll. These discounts or reductions should be transparent and correspond to real savings in administrative costs.

- Concessions

The European Parliament’s amendment 24 introduces a definition for concessions in the Directive. However, with amendment 9 Parliament made clear that the rights of existing concessions may not be affected. The Council followed this approach for the existing concessions. For new concessions a set of special arrangements is developed (art. 7A,1a). The Council’s proposal for new concession tolls is that the toll tariffs shall not be higher than if the toll was calculated according to the principles of the Directive (Annex III). In this way there is a ceiling on toll tariffs, which seems quite reasonable.

As an increasing amount of road infrastructure needs to be built, exploited and financed via a public-private-partnership and is therefore subject to concession arrangements, the rapporteur points out the importance of clear, straightforward rules which prevent unfair competition.

C. Concluding remarks

The common position seems a workable starting point for European Parliament’s second reading. Obviously further steps in internalising external costs are missing, although Council shows awareness of the importance of strengthening environmental elements. It is remarkable that the Council introduces more flexibility for the Member States, and includes special interest of some of them. To some extent that is understandable, although too much freedom undermines the aims of this Directive. A European approach to achieve harmonised common principles for the use of infrastructure and tolls and/or user charges in the Member States, improve sustainable transport and improve a level playing field is necessary.

In this setting Parliament’s rapporteur tabled a limited number of essential amendments, which have an added value towards the common position. These amendments express Parliament’s position in first reading, and are aimed at improving the common position.

Parliament’s rapporteur wants to express the wish for an agreement in second reading. Of course this will depend on the willingness of the Council to accept the wishes of Parliament.

Regarding the geographical scope of the Directive the rapporteur suggests to reintroduce the position of Parliament in first reading, although some consideration for the Council’s wish for more flexibility is justifiable. Therefore an amendment is tabled which stated that exemptions should be subject to objective criteria regarding congestion and pollution level. The rapporteur also reintroduces the 3.5 tonnes weight limit.

The rapporteur suggests to reintroduce European Parliament’s amendment regarding the definition of external costs. She also proposes to reintroduce the request for a model for assessment of external costs. Keeping in mind the aims expressed in the White Paper it is important to develop a model for all modes of transport. The European Commission recently stated that it is already working on a study on the internalisation of the external costs for all modes of transport, including an impact analysis. The rapporteur wants to encourage the European Commission in this.

The Council shows awareness of the importance of aims such as combating environmental damage, tackling congestion and promoting road safety. This is for instance the case in the approach regarding the variation of tolls. Parliament’s rapporteur wants to strengthen this approach by reintroducing Parliament’s wish to make it possible to vary tolls according to the level of PM10 and NOx. These can be considered to be objective measures which are mainly for the benefit of highly polluted regions and urban areas. Second is an addition to article 7 which states that no later than 2010, Member States shall be required to vary rates of which tolls are charges on Euro classes and/or levels of PM10 and NOx. Third, the rapporteur wants to reintroduce Parliament’s position regarding variation on Euro-classes for road charging .

The rapporteur reintroduced some amendment from first reading to assure that Member States apply the Directive in a way that insures compensation will be proportionate and without discrimination.

Your rapporteur is convinced that the common position together with the proposed amendments is an important step in providing a transparent and harmonised European system for the calculation of tolls and/or road charging for heavy goods vehicles. The Directive will provide clarity to all parties involved and it contributes significantly to the improvement of sustainable transport and the improvement of investments in infrastructure.


PROCEDURE

Title

Council common position for adopting a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 1999/62/EC on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures

References

9856/1/2005 – C6-0274/2005 – 2003/0175(COD))

Date of Parliament’s first reading
– P number

20.4.2004

P5_TA(2004)0305

Commission proposal

COM(2003)0448 – C5-0351/2003

Date receipt of common position announced in plenary

8.9.2005

Committee responsible
  Date announced in plenary

TRAN
8.9.2005

Rapporteur(s)
  Date appointed

Corien Wortmann-Kool
4.7.2005

 

Previous rapporteur(s)

Luigi Cocilovo

 

Discussed in committee

30.8.2005

13.9.2005

11.10.2005

 

 

Date adopted

14.11.2005

Result of final vote

+:
–:

0:

21

2

18

Members present for the final vote

Inés Ayala Sender, Etelka Barsi-Pataky, Philip Bradbourn, Michael Cramer, Christine De Veyrac, Armando Dionisi, Petr Duchoň, Saïd El Khadraoui, Robert Evans, Emanuel Jardim Fernandes, Ronald Gewalt, Ewa Hedkvist Petersen, Stanisław Jałowiecki, Georg Jarzembowski, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Bogusław Liberadzki, Robert Navarro, Willi Piecyk, Luís Queiró, Reinhard Rack, Luca Romagnoli, Renate Sommer, Dirk Sterckx, Ulrich Stockmann, Gary Titley, Marta Vincenzi, Corien Wortmann-Kool, Roberts Zīle

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Bernadette Bourzai, Karin Scheele

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

Johannes Blokland, Luigi Cocilovo, Nathalie Griesbeck, Elisabeth Jeggle, Sepp Kusstatscher, Helmuth Markov, Francesco Musotto, Zita Pleštinská, Willem Schuth, Kathy Sinnott, Dominique Vlasto

Date tabled

30.11.2005

A6-0377/2005

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