Thousands of foreign hauliers who operate in the UK have registered to pay the new HGV levy and are paying the charge, Transport Minister Robert Goodwill has announced.
More than 92,000 levies have been purchased for trucks registered in 56 different countries since the HGV levy came into force on 1 April 2014, while nearly 78,000 vehicles have been registered. Initial figures show that compliance is high with around 215 vehicles fined for non-compliance.
Robert Goodwill said:
Before the levy was introduced, foreign hauliers could fill up their tanks abroad, make their deliveries and then return home without making any UK tax contribution, which was unfair on UK hauliers.
The levy is something UK hauliers wanted and we were determined to do all we could to help. We introduced it a year ahead of schedule and it is great news that compliance is so high.
The HGV levy was introduced on 1 April and creates a fairer basis for charging HGVs in the UK. All HGVs at or above 12 tonnes maximum weight must pay the charge, irrespective of their nationality.
Karen Dee, Director of Policy at the Freight Transport Association said:
The introduction of the road user levy is welcome news for UK operators. As well as going some way to address the imbalance in costs which favours foreign operators, it reinforces the targeting of enforcement action against those non-UK registered HGVs that choose to flout UK laws.
The levy is part of the coalition’s promise of a fairer deal for UK hauliers. Duty on standard diesel is now lower than it was in October 2010 and there has been no increase in HGV vehicle excise duty (VED) during this Parliament.
The government is also investing £3.3 billion in major road schemes which will provide over 500 miles of additional lane capacity to the strategic road network and £10.7 billion to add at least 400 miles of capacity on the busiest motorways.
The levy is structured in a series of bands which reflect vehicle type, weight and number of axles. UK operators pay the levy at the same time as VED in 1 transaction – VED is also being reduced so that more than 9 out of 10 UK vehicles will pay no more than did before the levy was introduced.
Foreign operators must pay the levy before using UK roads. Charges vary between £1.70 and £10 per day or £85 to £1,000 per year. UK operators will pay the levy at the same time as VED in 1 transaction for administrative ease.
The levy is being enforced at the roadside through a mixture of targeted stops and as an additional check undertaken as part of existing road-safety related stops. The Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA) is the lead enforcement body in Great Britain and the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland. The police also have levy enforcement powers. Drivers face a fine of £300 if they are caught using the roads without having paid the levy.