On 21 January 2011, the three Belgian regions – Flanders, the Brussels-Capital Region and Wallonia – concluded a political agreement for reforming the road taxation system. This agreement provides for the introduction of Kilometre Charging for vehicles with a gross weight of over 3.5 tonnes. Satellic NV, which was selected to implement the tolling system for heavy goods vehicles in Belgium further to a call for tenders, is today announcing another important step in the completion of this major project. After several months of development and testing, Satellic is now in a position to enable companies, who wish to do so, to already comply, starting from 1 October 2015, with the Kilometre Charging System that will come into force next spring.
Haulage companies that take the plunge in the coming days and weeks will therefore have ample time to become accustomed to the operation of the On Board Unit as well as to familiarise themselves with the invoicing model.
For Johan Schoups, CEO of Viapass, the interregional entity controlling the tolling in Belgium, “the making available of the On Board Units is an important step in the introduction of Kilometre Charging for heavy goods vehicles of over 3.5 tonnes in Belgium. The three regions have fully collaborated on the scheme and have ensured that the roll-out adheres to a very tight schedule. The development phase is now complete and is giving way to a testing phase during which users will be able to get used to the system before its actual implementation on 1 April 2016 in the three toll areas.”
The On Board Unit that calculates the amount to be charged based on the distance travelled, the type of road used and the weight and emission class of the vehicle, is the core component of the system set up for Viapass, who is acting on behalf of the country’s three regions. Since toll has to be paid on motorways as well as on some of the country’s regional and local roads, the OBU must be activated whenever the truck is driving on Belgian roads. The system is based on the “user pays” principle, and in this way everyone makes a fair contribution when they use our roads.
The simplest way to obtain an OBU is to go to the Satellic Road User Portal, which enables each company to access a private, secure, personalised area on Satellic’s website where it is possible to register companies and vehicles, order one or more OBUs, link and unlink OBUs and vehicles and manage all company and vehicle data in an easy, user-friendly manner. The user portal will also be available from
1 October 2015. OBUs ordered online will be delivered by post after the order has been submitted and payment of a deposit of EUR 135 per device has been made.
OBUs can also be obtained by visiting one of the service points set up throughout Belgium and in border areas. OBUs can be obtained through a fast-track procedure at a service point by registering and scanning the vehicle documents, entering the relevant data via the touch screen of the payment terminal and paying the deposit directly. Users who wish to receive the full benefit of the services offered by Satellic will still need to log in to the Road User Portal for complete registration. Also worth noting is that the service points only allow a single OBU to be obtained at a time, but they do offer the advantage of issuing the device straight away. All information relating to use of the user portal, the service points and the OBU is available on the Satellic NV website.
In order to make the transition even easier, a call centre will also be available from 1 October 2015 to help users with installation of their OBU as well as registration on the Road User Portal. The call centre can be reached free of charge on 00800-72 83 55 42 (00800-SATELLIC) in Belgium and neighbouring countries or on +32 2 416 0 416 from any location or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Rudolf Pospischil, CEO of Satellic NV, “this is an important step in the completion of this project that we are very proud to be carrying out. Users can, as of now, not only ensure that they comply with the new distance-based road charging rules, but also test the equipment and the system.