The President of the European Community of Alsace (CeA) announced, on Friday March 11, the introduction, in 2025, of a heavy goods vehicle tax to rebalance North-South transit flows between Germany and Alsace . This is, for Frédéric Bierry, to fight against the transfer of road traffic generated by the establishment, in 2005, of the LKW-Maut on the other side of the Rhine: from 2,000 to 2,500 trucks thus cross the river every day, attracted by a largely free Alsatian road network. A law adopted on February 28 now allows the establishment of a local tax, epilogue of a process started more than fifteen years ago.
Called “R-Pass”, the Alsatian HGV tax will be based on the Via Pass system already implemented in Belgium. It enables trip billing via satellite, using existing on-board systems. Traffic control is carried out by means of gates. Five are still in place in Alsace, following the aborted entry into service of the heavy goods vehicle ecotax. They will be modernized and supplemented by two others, at the level of the southern entrances to the territory.
“We have to move forward”
However, several steps are necessary before the measure becomes a reality. Impact studies must be carried out to refine the community’s choices as to the extent of the taxed network, the exemptions that can be put in place, the scale to be defined to ensure that local traffic is affected as little as possible. In the meantime, the community is careful not to estimate the amount of revenue that can be expected. “European law does not allow us to tax only transit traffic, so we have to find compensation so that the Alsatian economy is not penalised. For this, we want to give the power of influence to shippers and carriers,” explains the president of the CeA.
For representatives of road hauliers, this announcement seems indecent in the midst of the fuel crisis, and while the consequences of the war in Ukraine are blurring any visibility in terms of activity.
Frédéric Bierry denies wanting to be the gravedigger of the economic world: “We now have the legal framework allowing the implementation of this tax. In view of the will expressed by the Alsatians and all the efforts made so far, we must move forward. If, in two years, the economy is better and we are not ready, we will be blamed for it. Then, of course, if the economic context should not allow the implementation of this tax, we will not do ithe says. Everyone is watching us; we have no right to screw up. We are the only local authority in France capable of implementing this type of tax. And it is one of the last fiscal autonomy tools we have. »