A Manchester based haulage company boss is backing plans to introduce a road tax for foreign HGV drivers using British roads. The new charge is now a step closer to being introduced following the granting of the operation contract to Northgate Public Services. The Foreign Operator Payment System will allow foreign HGV drivers or operators to pay an HGV Road User Levy; which can be paid online, over the phone or at point of sale terminals.
Michael McIntyre, Managing Director of Trafford-based Contact Industrial Recruitment Ltd, said: “Personally I think it’s a good thing for British hauliers. Foreign hauliers from places such as Spain have been pushing people in this country out of business and out of work.”
A database will be created and maintained by Northgate Public Services in order to identify hauliers who have not paid the tax, which is due to come into effect in April 2014. Transport Minister Stephen Hammond said: “Getting the foreign operator payment system right will be crucial to the success of the Levy. The system will be easy for foreign carriers and their drivers to access and straight forward to use.” He added that the charge will also send an important message to those foreign operators who think about avoiding paying. “If you don’t pay, or underpay, you will be caught and face a £300 fine.”
To comply with the law, the scheme must not discriminate between vehicles from elsewhere in the EU and UK-registered vehicles, therefore all HGVs will be subject to the road tax, however a reduction to the current Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) will be applied to ensure that UK operators do not have a rise in the amount they pay.