The heavy goods vehicle charge (HGVC) applies to all trips by lorries and other heavy goods vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes. Its purpose is to cover unpaid road costs and the external costs of this traffic, which triggers damage to the environment, human health etc. The HGVC is a key element of the Swiss modal shift policy and is enshrined internationally in the Land Transport Agreement with the EU. The graded tariffs provide incentives for using modern, environmentally friendly lorries.
The HGVC is levied by the Federal Customs Authority (FCA). Annual revenue from the charge is CHF 1.5 billion. One third of the revenues go to the cantons, and two thirds to the Confederation.
The Confederation uses most of its share of the revenues to finance rail infrastructure. In 2021, the Federal Council instructed the FOT to develop variants for the further development of the HGVC.