The Warsaw Voice » Law » Monthly - August 29, 2012
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Interoperability and Electronic Toll
1. European Regulations.
Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council 2004/52/EC of 29 April 2004 on interoperability of electronic road toll systems in the Community provides for introducing interoperability in the territory of EU Member States based on establishment of the European electronic toll covering the entire EU road network, which would enable the users to pay tolls with the use of only one OBU device.

The purpose of interoperability in EU is to eliminate parallel operation of incompatible systems disturbing the Community transport policy. The White Paper concerning the Community transport for 2010 indicates that interoperability and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) are a condition for its development.

2. Polish Law Regulations.
Art. 13i of the Public Roads Act of 21 March 1985 provides a direct basis for ensuring interoperability in Poland, i.e. devices used for the electronic toll collection should be interoperable and capable of communicating with the systems of the electronic toll collection in Poland and all systems in other EU Member States.

The electronic toll collection system in Poland was implemented on 1 July 2011 with Kapsch Traffic Services sp. z o.o. as its operator. The electronic toll in Poland is charged for automotive vehicles and trailers or semi-trailers with maximum gross weight exceeding 3.5 tonne, including buses regardless their maximum gross weight. The electronic toll collection system in Poland is based on microwave technology. Gantries placed above toll roads are equipped with aerials which enable communication between the transmitter and the device in the vehicle. When the vehicle passes the gantry the toll for covering the respective section of the toll road is charged. Charging the toll is automatic without reducing the vehicle speed or stopping.

A major challenge for the government is renegotiating concession contracts to ensure interoperability with road sections managed by concessionaires, i.e. A1 - Rusocin-Nowe Marzy section, A2 - Konin-Nowy Tomyśl section and A4 - Kraków-Katowice section. As long as these sections are not covered by the electronic toll collection system ensuring interoperability on those sections is not possible. Actions aimed at introducing legal, organisational and technical solutions, such as those in Austria and Germany, should be taken to ensure full interoperability in Poland as soon as possible, not only for economic and organisational reasons, but most of all to ensure safety on the roads and the users comfort.

Paweł Kuglarz, Attorney at law, Partner
BEITEN BURKHARDT P. Daszkowski Sp.k.
ul. Mokotowska 49, 00-542 Warszawa
Tel. + 48-22-378-8900