Dover port

The European Commission (EC) said it will not comment on reports that it is to start legal action against the UK government over the introduction of the HGV Road User Levy.

Last weekend, Reuters reported that legal action was imminent. The legal action was mentioned in a letter, dated 13 April, sent by European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker’s chief of staff to Germany’s transport minister Alexander Dobrindt regarding a similar German toll tax.

The EC has filed an infringement proceeding against Berlin over its plans to charge foreign car drivers for using Germany’s autobahns. The EC said the plan contravenes EU rules on equal treatment.

German magazine Spiegel reported that Dobrindt had stated in the letter that the UK had failed to provide sufficient proof to address the EC’s

concerns over the HGV Road User Levy introduced in 2014.

“Therefore the EC is preparing, in this case, an infringement proceeding after an exchange with the British authorities over the past few weeks remained inconclusive,” said the letter.

The EC did not deny the claim when approached for comment by CM, however a spokesman would only add that “The EC does not comment on

press reports.”

The DfT confirmed it was aware of the reports and did not refute them.

A spokesman said: “We believe our levy is justified and consistent with the free movement of goods.

“The UK has not been infracted on the HGV levy and we won’t comment further on speculation.”

Transport minister Robert Goodwill described the HGV Road User Levy as ushering in “a fairer deal for UK hauliers competing against foreign registered rivals” at its launch.

The levy sees all hauliers running trucks of 12 tonnes or above paying up to a maximum of £1,000 a year per vehicle to use UK roads. UK hauliers

receive a rebate through their annual VED, making the charge, as closely as possible, cash neutral.