August 04
2020
Anjum Shabbir
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12th February 2020
Internal Market

Commission refers first Reasoned Opinion to UK after Brexit

The Commission has issued a Reasoned Opinion to the UK, for failure to comply with the Eurovignette Directive (1999/62) on road charging for heavy goods vehicles. The UK must apply principles emanating from that Directive on annual taxes, tolls or vignettes, but is instead charging a levy for heavy goods vehicles, which the Commission sees to be a tax that can only be charged by the Member State of registration, and finds this to be discriminatory against foreign hauliers vis-a-vis UK hauliers: the latter are compensated by a reduction of annual tax on UK registered vehicles.

The EU is currently still subject to all legal obligations it had as a Member State of the European Union, until the end of the transition period in December 2020.This is the first Reasoned Opinion to be sent to the UK after its formal withdrawal from the EU.

Under the usual process in such cases, the UK has two months to notify the Commission of how it is or will comply with the Directive.

If it fails to do so, the Commission may commence legal action against the UK in a case before the Court of Justice of the EU.

This appears however not to be the first Reasoned Opinion that the UK has received for this specific issue: see this press release of October 2019.

Read here for more information from the Commission.

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