The EETS Directive – an accelerator of a pan-European ETC interoperability

Date: Tuesday July 14, 2020

Entered into force in April 2019, the on-going adoption of the EETS (European Electronic Tolling Service) Directive in all Member States is shaping the future ETC (European Electronic Tolling Collection) market and will result in significant changes for all entities of the value chain, as stated in our latest ETC Global Study.

In the oncoming weeks, we will publish a series of blog posts to dive deeper into the Directive’s content, its implementation methodology, the tolling technologies, and how it is going to impact the current European ETC market.

But let us start from the very begin, answering the question:

What is the EETS Directive?

Firstly, it should be pointed out that EETS is not a new form of ETC, but rather, an initiative specifically targeting the improvement of cross-border movement of people and goods within the member states of the EU.

With the exception of a registration process required to ensure that on-board devices employed by “EETS providers” are interoperable between member states, the technologies used do not differ from those currently in use by “non-EETS” toll service providers.

Issued in 2004, the EETS Directive was specifically designed to create a level playing field for tolling charges across the European Union. It strives for a cross border interoperability of electronic road toll systems by offering the road user one contract and one device to travel within all member states and will facilitate the wider application of the ‘user pays’ and ‘polluter pays’ principles.

Today are about 140 different ETC systems across Europe lacking interoperability and the demand for total coverage raised questions concerning the business case among many potential providers. Following ten years of a quagmire, a relaxation of the Commission’s desire for pan-European coverage through a single provider led different players begin investing in EETS platforms, with varying levels of coverage. 

Offering an EETS-compatible service has become a market necessity for any toll service provider

Despite its difficult inception, EETS is a key consideration among toll chargers and operators when launching new systems and reassessing existing ones.

EETS Directive Value Chain ETC Electronic Toll Collection

Devices & equipment, as well as systems & operations entities, need to follow EETS specifications and standards. Service providers and toll chargers have to adapt to EETS certification and monitoring processes.

The member states must apply the directive’s measures in their national laws by October 2021

As all large European tolling markets are now either open or have plans to open to EETS devices, the current ETC market will see a sudden change in the oncoming months.


Follow our next blog posts to get more insights into the changes that the adaption of EETS will imply and to shorten the waiting time for our soon be published ETC Global Study 2020, the 3rd edition!