Recalculation of German road toll

Statutory claim for refund and new toll rates

From our Shipping and Transport Law department

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:

Currently28.10.2020
to 30.09.2021
As from 1.10.2021
1.
Partial toll rate for infrastructure costs per kilometer in accordance with § 3 para. 1 No. 1:
vehicles or vehicle combinations subject to tolls:
(a) with a maximum permissible laden weight of between 7,5 and less than 12 tons, irrespective of the number of axles0,08 Euro,0,065 Euro,0,065 Euro,
(b) with a maximum permissible laden weight of 12 tons to 18 tons, irrespective of the number of axles0,115 Euro,0,112 Euro,0,112 Euro,
(c) with a maximum permissible laden weight of more than 18 tons and up to three axles0,16 Euro,0,155 Euro,0,155 Euro,
(d) with a maximum permissible laden weight of more than 18 tons and four or more axles0,174 Euro.0,169 Euro.0,169 Euro.
2.
Partial toll rate for the air pollution costs caused per kilometer in accordance with § 3 par. 1 no. 2:
a)
vehicles or vehicle combinations subject to tolls, irrespective of the number of axles, the permissible total weight and the roads used:
aa) in category A,0,011 Euro0,011 Euro0,012 Euro
bb) in category B,0,022 Euro0,022 Euro0,023 Euro
cc) in category C,0,032 Euro0,032 Euro0,034 Euro
dd) in category D,0,064 Euro0,064 Euro0,067 Euro
ee) in category E,0,074 Euro0,074 Euro0,078 Euro
ff) in category F.0,085 Euro0,085 Euro0,089 Euro
b)
Allocation of vehicles according to § 1 para. 1 to the categories listed in letter a on the basis of their emission class according to § 48 in conjunction with Annex XIV of the Road Traffic Licensing Regulations:
[Category A-F each unchanged]
3.
Partial toll rate for the noise pollution costs caused per kilometer in accordance with § 3 Para. 1 No. 3:
[unchanged]