Vice-President Siim Kallas said: "Non-discrimination is a fundamental right under EU law. It must be as easy for a French or British citizen to drive across Slovenia or Belgium as it is for a resident driver. Road charging systems must be transparent and fair to all."
The Commission's preference is for a distance-based toll system as being the fairest and most price transparent option rather than a time-based system which, unless carefully designed, is more likely to cause problems for foreign drivers simply passing through the country.
If a time-based road charging system is used then the Commission has set out conditions which must be met. As a minimum, there must be weekly, monthly and yearly rates available to residents and non-residents as well as an acceptable "average daily price ratio". This shows the difference between rates for non-residents using a short term scheme compared to residents paying an annual charge.
Currently the average daily price a non-resident pays can vary from 2.5 to up to 8.2 times the price a resident pays.
The Commission also wants to see clear information for non-residents of the charging schemes so they know what to buy together with an easy range of payment options, including by 'phone and online, as well as at the border.