In its decision of 28 October 2020, the ECJ ruled that the calculation of the German road toll is contrary to European law – in as far as it is based on the road cost report of 30.11.2007, which applied to the toll calculation for the years 2007-2012.
In order to take into account the calculation principles established by the ECJ, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is now adjusting the toll rates in two ways as of 1 October 2021. To this end, it has published the road cost report 2018.
Initially, the toll will be reduced retroactively for the period from the ECJ ruling, i.e. 28 October 2020, to 30 September 2021. Accordingly, toll payers are entitled to a refund for this period granted by the legislator itself. The assertion of this claim is likely to be met with little resistance from the Federal Office for Goods Transport (Bundesamt für Güterverkehr – BAG). The amendment to the law on which this entitlement to reimbursement is based will come into force on 1 October 2021. In the wake of the above-mentioned ECJ ruling, a large number of toll debtors submitted refund applications for overpaid toll amounts to the BAG. However, most of these relate to the periods 2017-2019 and 2017-2020, so that a separate refund application must be submitted for the retroactively reduced toll for the period from 28 October 2020 to 30 September 2021. For the application, companies should retain all supporting documents, i.e. in particular the monthly toll statements from Toll Collect GmbH or the EEMD provider for the period from 28 October 2020 to 30 September 2021.
From 1 October 2021, a new overall toll rate will apply, consisting of the sub-categories infrastructure, air and noise pollution. Compared to the previous toll rate, there will be a slightly higher rate with regard to air pollution costs. A partial toll rate for the causation of external noise costs will be introduced. At the same time, the uniformity of the toll rates will be maintained, regardless of whether federal motorways or federal roads are used. The following table shows the further details: