From 1 September, the price of fuel oil will fall to €1.50/litre in France, while it is currently still around €2/litre in Belgium.
The drop in prices will be possible because the French Government is further reducing its excise duties on fuel while TotalEnergies is granting a reduction to its service stations.
The current reduction of 18 cents/litre on excise duties will rise to 30 cents in September, and then fall back to 10 cents in October and November. Combined with a – somewhat forced – gesture from TotalEnergies, the population will see prices at the pump drop significantly after the summer holidays.
Total announced that it would lower its prices after the French State threatened to tax the company's refineries, which have seen profits soar with the recent price hikes. The other brands will follow suit, as competition is inevitable.
Is this also possible in Belgium?
Belgium still has a margin of 9.5 cents in excise duties to reach the European minimum (which is as low as the country can go), according to Olivier Neirynck, the technical director of BRAFCO, the Belgian Federation of Fuel Traders.
"This can be done very quickly, within 24 hours, by a ministerial decree. It is a question of political will," he told BelRTL on Monday.
However, with fuel prices as low as €1.50/litre in France, it is the Belgian petrol stations close to the border that will suffer, as well as the Belgian State, according to Neirynck.
"It will effectively encourage a good number of Belgians living close to France – and the estimate is about 40 kilometres from the border – to fill up in France," he said. "The Belgian government will no longer have any revenue from excise duties and VAT on the fuel sold."