Federal Association of the Fruit, Vegetable and Potato Processing Industry (BOGK) criticizes bill introduced to increase tolls

Germany: "The federal government's plans for truck tolls are driving up inflation"

This is the conclusion reached by BOGK after analyzing the bill introduced by the German government in the Bundestag this week.

The CO2 surcharge, which the federal government envisions introducing on Dec. 1, 2023, would increase tolls by 70-80 percent for typical companies in the fruit, vegetable and potato processing industry. According to BOGK calculations, the additional costs are in the order of half a million euros per company. With the margins typical in the industry, "the toll eats up a significant portion of profits," judges the BOGK.

The companies will have to pass on these additional costs to their customers. This means that end consumers will also face noticeable price increases. The legislator's assessment that the toll increase will not affect the consumer price level is therefore wrong.

In the opinion of BOGK, the timing of the toll increase is completely inappropriate. In view of continuing high energy costs and a deepening recession in Germany, the food industry needs relief rather than further burdens. From the BOGK's point of view, it is absurd that the German government, on the one hand, has budgeted seven billion euros in the Growth Stimulus Act to support the economy, and, on the other hand, is taking back precisely this amount via the toll increase.

Postponement of current toll plans desired
The BOGK is also not convinced by the justification for the toll increase, namely that it is necessary to link it to the CO2 emissions of road freight transport. CO2 pricing already takes place via diesel taxation, and this is much more targeted: because CO2 emissions depend much more on vehicle technology and driving style than on the distance driven - which, moreover, is already optimized and cannot be reduced further.

Every company in the BOGK has the sustainability of its logistics in mind. In the short term, it is not possible to switch to lower-emission vehicles or rail. First of all, the "ramp-up" of these alternatives must take place, and only then can the state think about intervening in a steering manner with taxes and levies. The BOGK is therefore calling for the current toll plans to be postponed until at least 2025. In the meantime, the association is offering politicians its cooperation in developing sustainable logistics concepts for the German food industry. Indeed, it was regrettably not consulted on the current draft legislation."

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