Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission
Road tolling schemes have to comply with Directive 1999/62/EC (the so-called ‘Eurovignette’ Directive) for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) and with general Treaty principles as concerns the passenger cars. In both cases, discrimination on grounds of nationality is prohibited.
Taxation falls within the competence of the Member States. According to Article 5 of Directive 1999/62/EC circulation taxes should be charged solely by the Member State of registration. In the case of HGV, minimum circulation taxes are laid down in Annex I to Directive 1999/62/EC. As far as passenger cars are concerned, however, Member States are free to set the level of circulation taxes for resident drivers.
In view of the above, road tolling schemes — applying to both residents and non-residents — should be implemented as user charges rather than taxes, which essentially implies that fees levied should be proportional to the use of the infrastructure. The more proportional road tolling schemes are, the better they reflect the ‘user pays’ principle and the less discriminatory they are.
As such, reducing circulation taxes for resident users, while respecting the minima provided for in Directive 1996/62/EC for HGV, and implementing proportional user charges for all users would, in principle, not constitute discrimination on grounds of nationality.
-  Directive 1999/62/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 1999 on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures, OJ L 187, 20.7.1999.
OJ C 216, 09/07/2014