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German Road Tolls for Heavy Trucks to Average 15 Cents per Kilometer

Germany is set to fall in line with the other major European countries by introducing a road toll for heavy trucks from 2003, and details of the levy have now been outlined.

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Falling into line with the rest of Europe

Germany is set to fall in line with the other major European countries by introducing a road toll for heavy trucks from 2003, and details of the levy have now been outlined.

The Transport Ministry announced Tuesday that from 2003 it will charge heavy trucks an average of 0.15 euros (29.3 pfennigs) per kilometer for the use of Germany's highway network.

The toll system, which is to be electronically operated, is expected to raise around 3.3 billion euros in earnings for the government. It intends to use the funds to finance the expansion of Germany's road network.

Germany is the only large continental European country still not charging for use of its roads. The BGL logistics and road-haulage federation on Tuesday immediately urged Transport Minister Klaus Bodewig to compensate for the new charge by lowering taxes.

BGL managing director Karl-Heinz Schmidt told Handelsblatt that he saw scope to lower petrol taxes by up to 0.15 euros.

Talks with the ministry were scheduled in the near future, he added. Bodewig on Tuesday declined to commit himself. So far, he has only pledged to lower vehicle tax to the European Union minimum.

But vehicle tax in Germany is raised by the federal states, not the federal government. The 29.3 pfennig toll announced on Tuesday is only an average figure.

The actual toll raised will depend on a vehicle's emission levels and on its number of axles. EU rules allow no more than 50% difference between the lowest and highest toll rates.

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