Fruit and vegetable sector displeased with Belgian kilometre tax
Many are not happy with this. There may be protests from the transport sector in Belgium against the intended kilometre tax for trucks. Branch organisation Febetra wants to take action and is talking to TLV and UPTR.
Dutch transporters make up a quarter of the European road traffic to move goods from Rotterdam and Schiphol. A lot of this is transported through Belgium. Besides the high extra costs, the Dutch transport sector is afraid that clients will choose Belgium transporters when importing.
Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen for Infrastructure has told her Flemish colleague Ben Weyts that she is against the current plans for new road tax in Flanders.
The measure will mean more costs for Dutch transporters. The reactions from the fruit and vegetable sector aren't positive. According to Arjan de Bruin of Groenten & Fruitransport Van Ooijen it certainly will not be progress for distributors.
"Driving empty or just dropping off a few pallets afterwards will soon be a lot more expensive.
"Transporters with a good loading grade, who drive few kilometres, will be able to sell this to their customers slightly more easily. The customers won't have to pay for the entire way there and back. It probably won't influence our company operations too much, apart from it not being fun to confront the customers with higher charges."
Robert Van Ooijen of Van Ooijen BV indicates that we will have to wait and see.
"It's not yet clear what charges there will be and if it will be for all roads. Right now you need a Eurovignette to drive in Belgium, and this will apparently drop out when a kilometre tax is implemented. But it's certain that it will be more expensive than the current situation. And this will naturally be calculated into the transport charges.
"Higher transport charges will decrease the prices of the products when there is normal or overproduction. Otherwise the traders and auctions will no longer be able to compete with the competition in the Netherlands and Germany. It won't make it any easier," he concludes. ■