Higher taxes for polluting vehicles in Flanders from 2021
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    Higher taxes for polluting vehicles in Flanders from 2021

    Polluting vehicles will face higher registration taxes from 2021 in Flanders. Credit: ©Herwig Vergult/Belga

    New owners of polluting cars in Flanders will be subject to a steep tax hike from 2021, with the region set to adopt a new testing system for determining the levels of pollution emitted by cars.

    The tax in question is a one-off levy for newly acquired vehicles, known as the registration or entry tax (BIV in Dutch), which owners of both new and second-hand vehicles must pay in Flanders.

    New European Union regulations called on mobility authorities and the car industry to transition into the new pollution levels testing system, known as the WLTP procedure, in order to “avoid confusion among consumers.”

    Flanders is expected to adapt its tax scheme to the WLTP by 2021, meaning the registration fees for new vehicles deemed polluting will rise significantly, Het Nieuwsblad reports.

    Estimations by Febiac, an automobile federation in Belgium, done over the course of the summer said the transition would see the BIV tax for a small petrol-powered car rise from €114 to €231, and that for for a compact, middle-range vehicle with a petrol engine rise from €357 to €850, according to HLN.

    But, citing changes in the market and in consumer habits, the new government’s coalition agreement said the introduction of the new testing system will not make the overall tax burden increase.

    “More polluting cars are becoming more expensive and environmentally friendly cars are becoming cheaper,” the coalition agreement, quoted in HLN, notes.

    The transition to WLTP will concern all EU states, with regulations intended to come into force for all new car registrations from September 2018, and which will see EU states’ regulations in line with the globally harmonised polluting standards system.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times