Rationalizing EU taxation of commercial motor fuel : harmonized rates versus apportionment - [part 2] technological considerations

This article is the second in a two-part series. The first article described the economic effects of taxing commercial motor fuel in the EU Member State where it is purchased, regardless of where it is consumed, and suggested that, from an economic point of view, apportioning the tax base according to the distance driven in each Member State would be preferable to the European Union's current system of minimum tax rates. This article examines the technologies that might be used to implement an apportionment-based system of taxing commercial fuel and/or road user charges: approaches that record all the distance travelled in a country and systems that collect tolls on high-speed motorways. This article concludes that once interoperable satellite-based technology has been introduced throughout the EU, it may be possible to rely on that technology to produce the records needed to apportion motor fuel on the basis of the distance travelled in each Member State.