Changes in the Hungarian electronic toll system in 2019
The aim is to have correct settings for environmental category and to modernise control
The National Toll Payment Services Plc. (NTPS Plc.) has launched a development programme within the HU-GO system enabling toll payment for heavy-duty vehicles with a maximum authorised mass over 3.5 tonnes to identify incorrect environmental categories, and thereby improve control and modernise toll collection.
The individual elements of the comprehensive programme will be introduced on a continuous and gradual basis, and the related measures are expected to become complete in the second half of 2019 at the earliest. The first step is to include the emission classes of heavy-duty vehicles in a uniform and controlled database, followed by the introduction of the automatic and electronic setting and control of the environmental category, which complements the roadside inspection method of the organisations tasked with toll enforcement.
We are currently in the data upload phase of the programme. Since December 2018, all users can enter the new type of registration data (make, year of manufacture, VIN number, vehicle registration certificate) on the HU-GO.hu website. As of 3 February 2019, this information will be mandatory in the HU-GO system for customers registering vehicles with foreign country codes or modifying the data of already registered vehicles. Later, the upload will be mandatory for all HU-GO customers where the requested data are not available as required. We will also inform users about this novelty in good time.
The information requested during data uploading is required to verify that the environmental category entered by the customer is correct. While, for vehicles with foreign country codes, this information are uploaded to the HU-GO system by the user, for vehicles with Hungarian country code, this process is also facilitated by the central use of the Hungarian public vehicle registration data. In the case of heavy-duty vehicles with foreign country codes, the data upload obligation is explained by the lack of complete interoperability between the public vehicle registers of the respective countries.
The new type of enhanced control of the correctness of the environmental categories in Hungary may only begin after the validation of the uploaded data by NTPS Plc., i.e. in the second half of 2019 the earliest. From that time onward, in addition to imposing the toll fine, the HU-GO system will automatically rectify the incorrect environmental category and, at the same time, notify the customer, or, for customers who have not complied with their data upload obligation, the customer, in accordance with the EU Directive on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures (the “Eurovignette Directive”), will be required to pay the toll of the worst environmental category for the specific vehicle. In that case, the customer will continue to pay the toll for the worst environmental category until compliance with the correct data upload obligation for the specific heavy-duty vehicle.
The goal of NTPS Plc. is to contribute to the reduction of environmental load caused by heavy-duty vehicles, based on the “polluter pays” principle. Introducing the central setting service of the environmental classification can reduce the number of cases caused by incorrect environmental classification and resulting in cumulative fines. As a result of this step, toll collection becomes more accurate, and there may be less abuse related to the declaration of emission classes. The measure enhances fair competition within the carrier market and encourages law-abiding behaviour even more among players in the sector.
The control of environmental category is required by Hungarian legislation, in accordance with EU legislation and international practice. During the development process, NTPS Plc. always provides sufficient grace period and time to prepare for the carriers to learn about and apply the new measures and services.