Toll sign on the B9 in the southern Palatinate (photo from 2007)
Photo: Ronald Wittek / picture-alliance / dpa
In 2010 and 2011, the German truck toll partially violated EU law.
With this ruling, the Higher Administrative Court (OVG) of North Rhine-Westphalia partially righted a Polish freight forwarding company in a dispute with the Federal Republic of Germany over the reimbursement of tolls.
When calculating the toll rates, the capital costs of the freeway properties were incorrectly calculated, according to the judgment
(file number 9 A 118/16)
The Federal Republic must now reimburse the plaintiffs in the model proceedings 565 euros in tolls plus interest.
The court did not allow an appeal.
Despite the success, the verdict is likely to be disappointing for the shipping company: The company had sued for repayment of around 12,000 euros.
The OVG justified its judgment with the fact that the tolls according to EU law must not exceed the infrastructure costs.
It is not compatible with this if the capital costs of the freeway properties are calculated with their current replacement value instead of their acquisition value, according to the reasoning for the judgment.
In contrast to other capital goods, real estate does not suffer any loss of substance and does not have to be procured again after a certain period of time.
The toll rates were therefore based on an incorrect calculation.
The administrative court in Cologne had dismissed the complaint of the Polish forwarding company, whereupon the company appealed to the Higher Regional Court of North Rhine-Westphalia.
This initially suspended the proceedings and asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to interpret European law.
The ECJ ruled in October 2020 that according to EU law, the costs for the traffic police may not be taken into account when calculating the truck toll.
The Federal Republic then reimbursed the plaintiffs for around 424 euros.
The truck toll was introduced for motorways in 2005 and is now also applicable on federal highways.
Your amount is recalculated regularly.
mamk / AFP