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Under what conditions does the trade exemption apply?

From 1 July 2024, the German Federal Trunk Road Toll Act (BFStrMG) also sets out a mandatory toll requirement for vehicles with a technically permissible maximum laden mass (TPMLM) of more than 3.5 and less than 7.5 tonnes that are intended for or used for road haulage. Vehicles used by trade businesses are exempt from the toll under certain conditions.

The list of all professions that fulfil the requirements for the trade exemption can be found on the website of the Federal Office of Logistics and Mobility.

List of skilled trades

The trade exemption applies if the vehicle is driven by an employee of the trade business and

  • materials, equipment or machines are being transported that are necessary for the performance of the services and work of the trade business (including tools, work materials, spare parts, building materials, cables, devices and accessories) and/or
  • handcrafted goods are being transported that are manufactured, processed or repaired in the company's own workshop.

The trade exemption also applies to foreign skilled trade businesses.

In the case of toll inspections, proof must be provided that the journey fulfils the requirements for the trade exemption. Suitable proof includes, for example, the trade/commercial licence, business registration (copy), delivery notes or customer orders. The evidence must be submitted in German or in a German translation.

When does the trade exemption not apply?

If industrially manufactured goods are delivered, the journeys are not toll-exempt. Industrial manufacture is understood to denote any manufacturing process that is characterised by a high level of machine use and/or standardised production processes. In contrast to mass production, handcrafted production is generally characterised by limited quantities and more frequent individual product variation.

The trade exemption does not apply to commercial transport for third parties, including another tradesperson's business. The transport of goods must only be an ancillary activity within the overall activity of the company.

If your vehicles are primarily not travelling under the conditions of the trade exemption, we recommend installing an on-board unit (OBU) from Toll Collect or from a provider of the European Electronic Toll Service (EETS provider). The on-board units can be switched on or off as required.

Questions and answers (FAQ) on the trade exemption

Register trade vehicles

At Toll Collect, you can register trade vehicles that are used under the conditions for the trade exemption.

You can register vehicles in the weight class of more than 3.5 tonnes and less than 7.5 tonnes technically permissible maximum laden mass for which the trade business is entered as the vehicle owner in the vehicle registration certificate part 1 (vehicle registration document).

Toll Collect checks your data and stores it for a maximum of two years. You will then receive a request to renew the registration.

Toll checks can be organised on the basis of this information in such a way as to minimise rejections of commercial vehicles and official procedures.

If the requirements for the trade exemption are not met for a journey, the vehicle is subject to toll. You can use the Toll Collect app or the Toll Collect website to book and pay for these journeys or equip the vehicle with an on-board unit from Toll Collect or from an EETS provider.