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FIA Resolution on the Fairness of Fuel Prices and Motoring Taxation


Publication date: 27 November 2009


The European motoring and touring clubs, members of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Eurocouncil, representing 35 million motorists within Europe, gathered  in Oslo to discuss the integrity and fairness of the actual costs of motoring charged to consumers across Europe. Achieving greater competition and transparency in the fuel market and more fairness in motoring taxation were the main goals.


FIA club experts highlighted ways to preserve and enhance sustainable car based mobility for the benefit of citizens in this time of economic downturn and restricted public budgets.


TRANSPARENCY IN EUROPEAN FUEL MARKETS


Fuel expenditure accounts for a significant share of motoring costs. Price competition in this market is vital to keep net prices within justified limits. FIA clubs can pinpoint a number of failings regarding market transparency and information available to consumers. Better transparency of oil market mechanisms, regular and short term price monitoring as well as regular publication of price comparisons are essential.
The European motoring clubs believe that:
•    a free interplay of supply and demand on the fuel market will benefit consumers, provided that a sufficient level of market transparency is ensured;
•    the level of transparency in the European fuel markets is not satisfactory for consumers .
Therefore, the European motoring clubs demand that:
•    higher transparency is established at all levels of the fuel processing chain, allowing easier and increased competition to the benefit of European consumers;
•    national and European competition authorities observe oil prices, various transit and other costs and ensure a high level of transparency of pricing mechanisms used on the European fuel markets, with particular focus on the oil trading market ;
•    EU price comparisons (“oil-bulletin”) are reassessed and if necessary reviewed.
 
FAIR AND EFFICIENT MOTORING TAXATION


Car owning families pay substantially more taxes to own and use their cars than for any other consumer goods or services that they buy or use. More than a third of motoring expenses are taxes. The FIA European clubs call upon national and European authorities to keep the interests of mobile consumers at the centre of their concerns while conceiving taxation frameworks.


The European motoring clubs believe that:
•    current fiscal charges on motor vehicles vary greatly throughout the European Union, consisting of fixed costs (annual circulation tax, registration tax) and variable costs (fuel taxes, distance related charges);
•    passenger car users are heavily taxed and charged in all 27 member States , exceeding by far the investment into road infrastructure and the covering of external costs;
•    increases in taxation without offering clear policy objectives prove to have very limited effect on making mobility more sustainable.
Therefore, the European motoring clubs demand that:
•    a step-by-step re-orientation of the existing motoring taxation be undertaken, making optimal use of fiscal policy so as to induce a positive shift of consumers’ preferences to promote more sustainable mobility, i.e. cleaner, more energy efficient and safer;
•    any change in taxation and charging schemes helps governments to pursue clearly pre-defined policy objectives such as the fight against climate change, improving air quality and safer motoring;
•    any taxation incentive is based on result criteria and not prescribing specific technological solutions;
•    changes to taxation and charging schemes intended to modify consumption patterns should avoid  punitive effects on consumers;
•    any change in taxation and charging schemes is revenue neutral, as increases would hamper the economy, lead to a loss of citizens’ quality of life and social exclusion;
•    viable alternatives to car mobility such as quality integrated public transport are to be offered to consumers;
•    collected tax and charge revenues are largely invested into making mobility more sustainable, in particular through an efficient and safe road infrastructure.


For further information please contact Olivier Lenz (+32 2 2820825, o.lenz at fiabrussels.com)


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