Netherlands takes Germany to court over tollway charges

Dutch flag (Photo: Dutchgamer/Wikimedia Commons)Dutch flag (Photo: Dutchgamer/Wikimedia Commons)

The Netherlands is joining Austria in filing a lawsuit with the European Court of Justice against Germany's plans to introduce a toll for passenger cars. According to the two country's, this toll discriminates against foreign motorists and is therefore in conflict with European rules, reports.

Germany plans to compensate people for this new tolls by a reduction in road tax, but this only applies to people driving cars registered in Germany. As a result, only cars registered abroad actually pay the toll. The Netherlands is also concerned that the toll sticker will be an additional obstacle to traffic in the border region.

The Dutch government already indicated in October that it intends to join the Austrians in their lawsuit, but first wanted to look into the legal substantiation of the case. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management conducted an investigation into Germany's toll plans and found that this measure could cost the Netherlands between 60 million and 100 million euros in total. 40 percent of that cost will by paid by motorists or companies. 

This lawsuit will be handled by the European Court early in 2019 at the soonest. Until then Germany can continue with its plans to introduce the toll on January 1st, 2019. 

The European Commission also started legal proceedings against the German government's first version of this toll measure, also stating that it discriminated against foreign road users. But those procedures were dropped earlier this year after Germany changed the plan.