The Flemish government has recently announced modifications to the vehicle registration tax and annual road tax focussing on environmental performance, with effect as from 1 January 2016. The Brussels and Walloon rules remain unchanged.
Since 2014, registration tax in Flanders is exclusively calculated on the basis of the environmental class (type of fuel, CO²-emission, Euro emission standard) and the age of the vehicle, which clearly advantages hybrid/zero emission vehicles and penalises highly polluting vehicles, with amounts varying between 0 and 10,500 EUR. The calculation parameters for the registration tax would now be amended to increasingly penalize highly polluting vehicles (with an emphasis on diesel vehicles) and sustain environmentally friendly vehicles, such as electric, hydrogen, CNG and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
In Brussels and Wallonia, the registration tax is still computed on the basis of the engine (power and displacement) or permissible total weight and age of the vehicle (the amount varying between EUR 61,50 and EUR 4.957,00). Wallonia slightly modified the registration tax in 2009 by introducing an Eco-malus for vehicles emitting more than 145 g/km CO² (representing a tax increase between EUR 100 and EUR 2.500).
Currently, the annual road tax is still harmonised among the three Regions, and is computed on the basis of engine displacement or permissible total weight of the vehicle (with an amount varying between EUR 35,10 and EUR 4.139,12).
Based on the current version of the draft Flemish Decree, the new Flemish road tax would continue to be based on the engine displacement but would provide an eco-bonus or eco-malus based on the environmental performance of the vehicle.
The new Flemish rules regarding registration tax and road tax would be due for both new and second hand vehicles registered as from 1 January 2016. Vehicles registered before 1 January 2016 and new vehicles for which the order was placed before 1 November 2015, but registered on or after 1 January 2016, would still be subject to the current registration and road tax rules.
According to a cooperation agreement between the three regions, registration tax and road tax for vehicles registered by leasing companies remain calculated on the basis of the former federal criteria, being the engine (power and displacement) and age of the vehicle.