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Ireland calls for HGV levy exemption

  • 11 April 2014
  • By Robin Meczes

The Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) has repeated its call for an exemption from the HGV Road User Levy for Ireland-based hauliers on Northern Ireland roads.

IRHA president Eoin Gavin told Commercialmotor.com last week that the levy, which came into effect earlier this month, had extended the already substantial costs differential faced by hauliers in Ireland compared with their Northern Ireland counterparts.

He put this at about €30,000 (£25,000) a year, including road tax, cabotage restrictions and vehicle testing costs – and said his association was already “witnessing a mass exodus of our haulage fleet into the UK” as a result.

Gavin said he expected the levy to affect about 80% of Ireland’s truck fleet, given that most hauliers travelled frequently to the north, and also stressed that even some domestic journeys involved passing through Northern Ireland, such as those from Donegal to Dublin .

“The UK government is imposing a tax on Irish domestic trade, which isn’t right,” said Gavin. “There will definitely have to be something done.”

The IRHA has been raising concerns about the levy for more than a year and last month warned that a failure to achieve an exemption for Ireland-based hauliers would result in substantial job losses in its road haulage sector.

The IRHA has also called on the Department of the Environment for urgent changes to excessive domestic Irish goods vehicle road tax rates to help offset the costs of the levy. It pointed out that the road tax on a 6-axle vehicle in Ireland is more than €4,000 (£3,300), compared with just £750 in Northern Ireland.

Elsewhere, the introduction of the HGV Road User Levy continues to receive a warm welcome. Dudley South MP Chris Kelly stressed: “The measure had been called for over many years by our domestic haulage industry and creates a fairer system by removing some of the inequality UK hauliers feel when paying to use many roads abroad. The introduction of the levy ensures all HGVs make a contribution to the costs of UK road maintenance, irrespective of their country of origin.”

See commercialmotor.com/roaduserlevy for more.

  • More than £20,000-worth of fines were issued on the first day of the HGV Road User Levy, transport minister Stephen Hammond said. Speaking at the launch of the DVSA last week, Hammond said 687 trucks were checked for levy payment. Fixed penalty notices were issued to 67 vehicles.

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Article source: http://www.commercialmotor.com:80/latest-news/ireland-calls-for-hgv-levy-exemption