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Belavtodor: New road toll charges will not affect cargo transportation costs

MINSK, 23 January (BelTA) – Increasing the road toll charges for using toll roads will not have a significant impact on the cost of transportation of goods, the Belavtodor Department told BelTA while commenting on Resolution No. 68 of the Ministry of Transport and Communications as of 29 December 2012.

“The increase in the tariffs is not big,” noted experts. For example, the current charge for using the only toll road in Belarus M1/E30 (610km) for the vehicles with four axles is €60. With the new charges in place, a similar vehicle will pay €73.2.

The department noted that the new tariffs in Belarus are either below, or correspond to the European tolls which range from €0.07 to €0.33 per 1 km, for example in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. Thse countries widely use the electronic toll collection technologies.

Belavtodor noted that Belarusian citizens will not have to pay road tolls. Vehicles registered in the territory of Customs Union member states, with the permissible weight of not more than 3.5 tonnes, will be exempt from road tolls. The roads will remain free for mopeds and motorbikes registered in Belarus, tractors and self-propelled machines, vehicles used for defense and law enforcement purposes, and also for urban shuttle buses, cars used to provide medical aid, emergency or humanitarian aid to citizens of Belarus and other countries.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications issued Resolution No.68 on 29 December 2012 to set new road toll charges for using Belarusian roads. The document comes into force on 1 July 2013. It sets the tariffs for vehicles depending on the permissible total weight of a vehicle and the number of axles. The toll for motor vehicles with the permissible total weight up to 3.5 tonnes inclusive (passenger cars) is €0.04 per 1 km, with permissible total weight over 3.5 tonnes (trucks or buses) with two axles €0.08 per 1 km. Drivers of vehicles with the total weight exceeding 3.5 tonnes (trucks or buses) and 3 axles will pay €0.10 per 1 km, weighing more than 3.5 tonnes with four or more axles €0.12 per 1 km.

The document is based on Decree No.426 “Concerning the electronic toll collection (ETC) on certain roads of the Republic of Belarus" as of 27 September 2012. It provides for the implementation of the electronic toll collection system which means vehicles will not have to stop.

The national electronic toll collection system will be created under the trade name BelToll. The ETC system will be installed on 2,700 kilometers of roads in Belarus. The main investor and contractor of the project is the Austrian Kapsch Group. The company is the world’s leader in ETC system development.

The electronic toll collection system will become operational on 1 July 2013 on three motorways: М1/Е30 Brest-Minsk-Russian border (824km). The second phase will cover М4 Minsk-Mogilev and М5 Minsk-Gomel (478km). The investment agreement also provides for the third and fourth phases, which will follow after the government of Belarus adopts the relevant decision. The total amount of investment in the first two phases of the project in the coming years will total €158 million.

The ETC system in Belarus will be based on the technology of microwave data transmission over short distances. The system provides for the use of onboard devices in all vehicles. On-board devices will be sold through a network of distribution points, including petrol stations, roadside service facilities. Signal from an onboard device is transmitted through communication channels to the Central Office which registers toll collection. There will not be any speed limitations or traffic lane limitations.