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France Delays Environmental Levy on Trucks by Three Months

Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) -- The French government delayed the start of an environmental toll on trucks by three months to Jan. 1, citing persistent glitches with the system.

A group led by Autostrade per l’Italia SpA will use beacons and satellite tracking to charge trucks using 15,000 kilometers (8,800 miles) of non-toll national roads. Trucks already pay tolls on French highways.

The delay creates a revenue shortfall for the government, and comes as a boon for trucking companies including Norbert Dentressangle SA and STEF SA, which may struggle to pass on the tax to customers already hit by Europe’s economic woes.

The central government has said it expects to get 780 million euros ($1.02 billion) a year from the new tax, which will be used to bolster transport infrastructure. Local governments are to get 160 million euro annually from the levy, and the group led by Autostrade is due to get 230 million euros per year to operate, maintain and reimburse costs for the construction of the system.

French electronics company Thales SA, national railroad operator SNCF, Vivendi SA’s SFR, and software company Groupe Steria SCA are partners of Autostrade in the project.

To contact the reporter on this story: Francois de Beaupuy in Paris at fdebeaupuy@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net

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