Impact Assessment of Internalisation in Transport

The 'polluter pays' principle has long been a foundation of European environmental policy. In a consortium led by CE Delft, TML took part in a DG MOVE project to establish an inventory of measures for internalising external costs in all modes of transport. An overview of current pricing policies in the 27 EU Member States was made, focussing on 7 topics:

- infrastructure wear & tear
- congestion
- scarcity
- accidents
- climate change
- air pollution
- noise
- The study identified all relevant internalisation schemes and analysed their main properties, as well as the administrative costs they entail.
TML was responsible for the road transport mode, while other partners investigated rail, inland waterway transport, maritime transport, and air transport.

All in all, fact sheets were drafted for close to 400 measures; over 150 of which covered road transport. The following measures were studied:

- registration taxes
- ownership taxes
- fuel taxes (excise duties)
- insurance taxes
- infrastructure taxes
The research showed an important trend: with a view to improved compensation of transport externalities, more and more countries are basing the level of taxation on the environmental properties of the vehicle. There is also a tendency among policymakers to shift taxation towards vehicle use, rather than ownership. A clear example is the application of road pricing, pushed by technological improvements.
Additionally, we collected information on revenues of internalisation measures, earmarking of these revenues, and the administrative costs of the measures.
The study showed that fuel taxes make up the bulk of total revenues: around 170 billion euros, versus 94 billion euros for all other measures (EU27 total).

In other transport modes, only fuel and infrastructure taxes are generally applied, and revenues are several orders of magnitude lower than for roads.




European Commission, DG MOVE


CE Delft, TNO, TRT

Our team

Tim Breemersch
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