IRU questions readiness for new tolling system following widespread reports of delays in equipment delivery, technical problems and poor customer support.

Brussels - Following an increasing number of complaints from transport operators and IRU member associations from various EU Member States over the last few days, IRU questions if Belgium is ready for the entry into force of its new heavy goods vehicle toll on 1 April 2016. Complaints reported include the non-delivery of on-board units (OBUs), technical problems and unclear installation and user guidelines.

Marc Billiet, who leads IRU’s goods transport work in Europe explains, “Incoming complaints range from On Board Units (OBU) which have been ordered and paid for but not delivered, technically malfunctioning OBUs, serious technical problems and unclear installation and user guidelines, to an inaccessible helpdesk.”

A little less than 24 hours before the entry into force, these are very serious problems which would force transport operators to either purchase OBUs for a second time using vending machines at border crossings with the need to repeat the administrative requirements or face penalties. It seems to IRU that Viapass is unable to live up to its ambitious promises made in relation to the preparations for the new Belgian toll.

Marc Billiet added, “It is absolutely unacceptable that transport operators who ordered and paid for OBUs sufficiently in advance cannot rely on delivery or good quality assistance. Those Operators that ordered and paid in good time should not be penalised for the shortcomings of Viapass and its service providers. IRU can only hope that inspectors will show appropriate understanding of this situation when these transport operators are found without OBU’s or with a malfunctioning unit.”

The IRU will continue to closely monitor further developments and will not hesitate to intervene with authorities at the appropriate level, including with the European Commission, if necessary.

For further information please contact Stuart Colley, Communication and Events Manager,  stuart.colley@iru.org, +32 2 743 2584, +32 476 049225, IRU Permanent Delegation to the EU, 32-34 av. de Tervueren, Box 17, 1040 Brussels, Belgium