BRUSSELS, Sept 29 The European Commission
referred Germany on Thursday to the European Court of Justice
over a planned road toll that it says discriminates against
Germany's parliament approved a law last year to introduce a
road charging system that would have granted vehicles registered
in Germany a corresponding deduction from their annual vehicle
The system was set to have started this year but was
postponed after Brussels challenged it on the grounds that that
foreign drivers would have to pay the toll with no compensation.
Under the plan, approved by the German parliament in March
2015, Germany would have charged foreign drivers up to 130 euros
($145.83) a year to use Germany's Autobahn highways, which until
now have been free.
Drivers could also have bought short-term passes costing up
to 30 euros for 10-day to two-month periods.
The Commission said that an EU country was free to introduce
road charges for goods vehicles and passenger cars, but, if it
wanted foreigners to pay, then the charges must apply to all.
It also said that the prices for short-term vignettes,
intended for vehicles registered abroad, were disproportionately
high in some cases.
"Despite numerous exchanges with the German authorities
since November 2014, the Commission's fundamental concerns have
not been addressed. The Commission is therefore referring
Germany to the Court of Justice of the EU," the Commission said
in a statement.
($1 = 0.8914 euros)
(Reporting by Marilyn Haigh and Philip Blenkinsop, Editing by